Expert Review: The North Face Men's Freedom Bib PantsPublished on 10/18/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski pants, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
Last say of the season for my college snowboard students. Bibs held up great for our snowball fight! That’s a wrap? No it’s a bib! All photos courtesy of Sadie Banks
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski pants, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
Every ski day, I put my North Face Men’s Freedom Bib Pants on and don’t take them off until bed. Boarding, apres-ski activities, driving, and chilling on the couch, there’s no doubt that I am always comfortable while still looking good.
About the pants I own
- Brand: North Face
- Model: Men’s Freedom Bib
- Size Fit: Tight in the hips for women, but otherwise true to size.
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 230 lbs
- Pant size: 2XL
- Experience: 13 years of snowboarding/skiing
- When I bought these: November 2021
- Days used: 70
- Where I’ve used them: Bridger Bowl, Big Sky, Grand Targhee, Showdown, and Big Mountain.
- Weather conditions used in: Bluebird powder days, whiteout conditions, grass one foot to the left and right, slushy spring days, icy spring days, nighttime backyard bonfires, and park runs. I have worn them in my air-conditioned home.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I had put on 40 lbs after having knee surgery, so I needed a larger size and bibs with a looser fit around the knees for comfort. I also needed black for my job as a ski instructor, with lots of pockets for the kids to stuff with snow.
Why I chose this gear
My previous bibs were the women’s version of these pants. Since I had put on some weight, I couldn’t find the correct size I needed in women’s. I loved the Freedom Bibs, so I decided to go over to the men’s side, knowing they would be baggier and I could find the right size.
What I love about them
- Comfort: I experience all-day comfort in these, whether the straps are on my shoulders or hanging down from my waist.
- Warmth: On really cold days when it was below freezing was the only time I NEEDED a base layer, but I usually just wore shorts underneath.
- Waterproofing: On a 65-degree slushy day, I decided I didn’t need to wear anything up top but a sports bra and spent the day laying down some penguin slides in the slush. Never felt wet or cold.
- Breathability: The vents on the inside of the pant legs are a lifesaver for the warmer spring days.
- Durability: With around 70 days under my belt, I haven’t had a single snag or rip, despite how hard I am on them.
- Quality: They are very sleek black. One won't necessarily hear me coming from a mile away, unlike other pants with a scratchy exterior. The inside of the pant legs is a soft and warm fleece that adds to comfort.
- Special Features: So many pockets! Great zippable chest pocket that fits my phone and so much more.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Fit: Curvy women with wide hips will need to size up since they are men’s pants. It doesn’t affect the overall fit too much, though.
Favorite moment with this gear
On the warmest day of the season, I went out in just the bibs and a bra. It was incredibly slushy, combined with some leftover chunks of ice from the freeze overnight. Right before the base of a lift, I threw myself to my stomach, and penguin slid all the way down into the lift line, prompting those behind me to do the same. Multiple other penguin slides occurred throughout the day, and the bibs held up amazingly, keeping me warm and dry.
Value for the money vs. other options
For such a durable pair of bibs that can be worn all season, the price is spot on, if not a huge bargain. Don’t spend the extra money on GORE-TEX bibs like the Burton Men's [ak] Cyclic GORE-TEX 2L Bib Pants or Burton Men's Reserve GORE‑TEX 2L Bib Pants, which I also looked into, if one doesn’t need it. These hold up just as well as any other high-tech bib out there.
For women with a heavier set with curves like me, if men’s pants are the way to go, they aren’t going to find a better pair for a better price. I’ve lost the weight I put on and will be using both the Women’s and Men’s Freedom Bibs this year and will continue to buy Freedom Bibs once these wear out!