Expert Review: Volcom Men's Rain GORE-TEX® Bib Pants

Published on 10/29/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2019.
Chris Sterner, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Chris Sterner

Farming corn high on Mount Adams. Photo by Kory Digrande. All photos courtesy of Chris Sterner

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2019.

My take

The Volcom Rain Men’s Bib is a stylish bib-style snow pant that is well-suited to snowboarding in a wide range of weather conditions. It is packed with technical features, offers a loose fit, and has an abundance of pockets that make it a great choice for both resort and backcountry riding.

Steep spines. Photo by Rab Byrd

About the pants I own

  • Brand: Volcom
  • Model: Rain GORE-TEX® Bib
  • Size Fit Runs slightly large

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 150 lbs
  • Pant size: M
  • Experience: 18 years of snowboarding/skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: February 2019
  • Days used: 120+
  • Where I’ve used them: Heavenly, Palisades Tahoe, and Tahoe Backcountry, California; Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood, Oregon; and Washington Backcountry.
  • Weather conditions used in: Sunshine, Heavy Snowfall, Powder, Slush, and Rain.

How they perform

Ease of Movement

What I was looking for

I am a through-and-through professional outdoor dirtbag. I had been teaching snowboarding for three seasons and didn't even own my own snow pants but instead relied upon the company-issued uniform snowpants from my job. As I was preparing for my expert-level snowboard instructor exam, the words of my last examiner for the intermediate level echoed in my head: “If you show up for your next exam in ratty old uniform pants, I’m going to fail you. You're a professional. Look the part.” If I were going to spend my hard-earned money on a pair of pants, they would have to be stylish and comfortable, and I really wanted a pair of bibs that would do a better job of keeping snow out on deep days than traditional pants.

Why I chose this gear

I decided these pants were worth the investment due to their style, premium GORE-TEX material, and abundance of pockets. I like baggy snow pants, and these are super comfortable and looked the part. GORE-TEX material is well known for its water and windproof protection while remaining breathable to expel moisture from sweat. In addition, the multiple chest pockets are a great place to keep a tool, pass, or phone without restricting movement or adding bulk to my jacket.

Photo by Rab Byrd

What I love about it

  • Fit: I like a baggy snow pant fit. These pants offer a relaxed fit in the legs and look great.
  • Comfort: The pants have a soft mesh lining that feels great with and without base layers.
  • Warmth: These pants are a shell which makes them very versatile for different weather conditions. Getting cold? Add a base layer underneath. Getting warm? Open up the large air vents on the inner thigh.
  • Waterproofing & Breathability: GORE-TEX is the industry-leading material for waterproofing and breathability. It keeps water out and allows moisture from sweat to leave the pant.
  • Quality: Great build quality. The seams are well-stitched. Again, Gore-Tex is a well-trusted industry-leading material.
  • Special Features: I love the chest pockets. They are a great place to keep a phone, pass, tool, or anything else one always wants to have on hand.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Durability: I have had a few tears occur in the GORE-TEX in the rear and thigh portions of the pant, mostly due to hangups on branches and one tumble through some rocks.
  • Ease of movement: My main gripe with these pants is that when I’m touring on my split board, the shoulder straps do not adequately keep the pants high, and I find myself fighting the pants during long strides. The use of a belt has mostly remedied this issue.

Favorite moment with this gear

I passed my expert snowboard instructor exam, so I feel like I look good as I teach and ride.

Value for the money vs. other options

These pants do fall on the upper end of the price point for snowboard pants but are worth the investment for their premium materials and timeless style. Another great option for those looking for bibs would be Quiksilver Utility Bibs, which offer a similar style fit and features at a lower price but sacrifice material quality. For those looking for a more premium option, the Dakine Stoker GORE-TEX Bibs have all the high-end materials and even more zippers, vents, and pockets.

Final verdict

Overall, these bibs have offered me great versatility in a wide range of conditions, and their fit, comfort, and style leave me feeling confident and ready for fun each time I put them on.

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