Expert Review: Dakine Women's Reach 20K Snow Bib PantsPublished on 01/27/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snow bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2022.
A rare powder heaven day in NH! All photos courtesy of Liz Swan
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snow bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2022.
The Dakine Women’s 20K Reach Snow Bib Pants have been a great choice for my East Coast resort riding. They are phenomenal in terms of waterproofing and freedom of movement—a functional choice for riders in all weather conditions. I have worn them in ice, snow, and rain. (Typical for us in New England.)
About the pants I own
- Brand: Dakine
- Model: Women’s 20K Reach Snow Bib
- Size Fit: Medium (true to size)
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 145lbs
- Pant size: M or L
- Experience: 30 years of snowboarding/skiing
- When I bought these: December 2022
- Days used: 15
- Where I’ve used them: Crotched Mountain, Mt. Sunapee, Mt. Snow, and other New England resorts.
- Weather conditions used in: Snow, ice, rain, and wind.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a new pair of bibs because what I had been wearing was a little big for me. I lost a little weight recently, so I needed to go from a Large to a Medium. I needed something with good waterproofing that was definitely bibs.
Why I chose this gear
I like the quality of Dakine products, I wanted a 20K waterproofing and something that wouldn't break the bank. I will ride rain or shine, so my priority is to stay dry. I also checked out Airblaster Hot Bibs. I like them too, and that is what my other pair are. The North Face Freedom Bibs were in the ring as well.
What I love about them
- Fit: I wanted a relaxed fit that would allow freedom of movement. These are a perfect relaxed fit, and once I adjust the suspenders to my liking, they hang well in all the right places without feeling bulky.
- Comfort: Super comfortable. Very minimalist in terms of design. Relaxed fit but not baggy. They are form-fitting around the natural waist, hips, and thighs.
- Warmth: I would say one needs to choose their baselayers accordingly with these bibs. They are not insulated. I am usually fine with a lightweight baselayer merino wool bottom. If it is below zero, I go with midweight or heavyweight baselayers. The bibs are fabulous for blocking the wind, rain, ice, and snow. They keep me dry as a bone.
- Waterproofing: Superior waterproofing. Thanks to getting caught in a significant rain storm on my way up the mountain and then riding down, I did put these to the test. Not a drop on my baselayers got through when I took them off.
- Breathability: Completely adequate breathability.
- Durability: I have only had these for a few months, but so far, they are perfect. The lower insides of the legs are reinforced to withstand any chaffing, rubbing, or dragging on the ground.
- Weight: These are fairly light—thin but durable fabric, low profile around the boot area, even with the reinforced gaiters.
- Ease of movement: I have no problem with maneuverability in these. They are not stretchy per se, but when they are adjusted properly, they fit well through the torso. If the straps are too low, it can cause a bit of sagging between the legs.
- Quality: Excellent quality for the money. The seams are fully taped, they have a nice construction that is well put together, and I really love the waterproofing.
- Special Features: Left-side hip zipper for easy on and easy off. Plenty of pockets for storage, but nothing out of the ordinary there.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Fit: They sagged between the legs when I first put these on. I could not figure out how to adjust the suspenders so they would stay up. I finally figured out that I had to push the suspender fabric through the buckle initially to be able to adjust them. Once I figured that out, it made it a lot easier to adjust them, so they did not sag. I also grabbed an elastic sports belt to put through the very convenient and well-placed belt loops. That definitely made the fit more precise.
- Any workarounds? See my above note under “Fit” on the suspender adjustment: To work around the suspender issue, I make sure my suspenders are adjusted correctly but also wearing an Arcade around the waist in the belt loops is very helpful.
Favorite moment with this gear
I really loved that I stayed dry in an unseasonably heavy rainstorm on the mountain. It is exactly what I want out of a pair of bibs—keep me dry and cruising comfortably no matter what. Nobody can rain on my parade.
Value for the money vs. other options
These are a great choice if someone wants a great pair of bibs but doesn’t want to drop $400. I also considered The North Face Freedom Bibs and the Airblaster Hot Bibs. Comparable in cost to both these options. I loved the Airblaster option aesthetically, but it lacked the waterproofing and breathability I wanted in a new pair of bibs. (I own a pair of Airblaster bibs that I really love.) The North Face Freedom Bibs had questionable reviews on the female-specific fit, so I tabled that one. Ultimately, I feel like I got an amazing deal on the Dakine Women’s Reach Bibs with all the features I wanted.
The Dakine Women’s Reach 20K Snow Bibs is a terrific choice for the rider putting in turns multiple days a week or the weekend warriors who want a nice quality pair of bibs that will last for years.