Keep comfortable on the mountain with the Mountain Hardwear Synchro Bibs.
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Mountain Hardwear Synchro Bib
I am 5'6 and have a 30" waist. The Small size of this bib was very long in the leg and very tight at the waist. No adjustment for waist line.
I wanted to use these as a ski bib/winter mountaineering pant, but ran into several issues.
1) The exterior seam taping fell off on one side zip after half a day of skiing, and other places started to fall off soon thereafter. I wasn't about to send them in for repair until after my Mt. Washington trip (see photo, left leg at knee, a good foot of the exterior seam tape is off). After I did send them in to MH, they came back properly repaired, but you could clearly see where they slapped the glue on and some residue remained around the tiny seam taping.
2) The side zip used to make the bibs easier to get in and out of falls down within an hour, either standing or first ride up the lift. Allows for some chilly drafts.
Great for powder skiing
Been happy with this pant for inbounds use ... a bit heavier and not as well vented as I'd like in the backcountry. My only complaint is minor - if I leave the straps too loose then they fall off of my shoulders when boarding, and if I tighten them too much I get a wedgie! Otherwise, the same bomber wind and snow protection as the synchro without the worry of snow down your butt ... and very comfy.
I bought these pants to be my new ski pants in all condition. I wanted something comfortable with a layer of fleece insulation, breathable, and full-zips (or nearly there) - oh, and bibs too. These fit the bill perfectly. They are definitely waterproof, they fit well - I would say that they have an athletic fit as they are NOT baggy), and the construction is second to none. The internal gaiters are well-designed, though they do not breathe. The side zips do leave something to be desired as they only go about halfway up one's thigh, meaning that donning and removal with ski boots on is difficult, and impossible with snowshoes. That being said, I really like them. The pockets are well thought out, and the zippers work well (be sure to add a toggle to the lower zipper on each leg as MH forgot to).
Besides skiing, I have also used these for wet/snowy winter hiking/snowshoeing, and they breathe well, vent well, and protect from the elements like Gore-Tex bibs. I couldn't ask for more. Well, I was expecting a tad more warmth, but the windproof nature makes up for the lack of fleece thickness.
Great Heat Regulation
I started skiing yesterday in minus 25 degrees wearing these and just a light liner. We ended up skinning up 6,000 feet of south facing terrain on a sunny day. Nonetheless, it got hot. I remained totally comfortable in all conditions simply by venting the side zips. When we hit windy ridge tops, I instantly warmed up when I zipped them up again. These are not the best pants for crampons- but perfect for skiing. If you want to wear them while ice climbing, I recommend wearing a gaitor to trap the cuff (and to keep them from tearing if you catch a crampon).
Size small fits me great- I'm 5.10 and 135. But being a woman, the pee funnel is absolutely necessary with these pants on cold days when I've got lots of layers over them as there is no butt flap.
I find that I get cold more quickly than most people- these bibs are the ticket for me as the fabric comes high to encapsulate the core. But, I also tend to do lots of sports where I warm up and need to ventilate as these pants allow. They are a great active cold weather pant.
On the Mountain Hardwear Synchro Bib, are...
On the Mountain Hardwear Synchro Bib, are there side zips? It looks like there are in the photo, the description for the Synchro Pants says there are side zips, but the description for the Synshro Bib says no - can you clarify?
The Synchro Bib has 1/2 length zippers... not full side zips. The Synchro Pants have 3/4 length zips. The Synchro Bibs also have an access locking zipper on the other side of the bibs not shown in the picture that makes them easier to get on and off. Hope this helps.
Very good, but...
The straps are too short. I'm 5'10", with a longish torso. I have the medium pants. I emailed Mountain Hardwear, and they told me if I added material to lengthen the straps it would not void the warranty. Otherwise the pants seem very solid, and are a great fit for someone with an athletic, but not overly skinny build.
Beware the wide, flared cuffs on these pants. More suitable for a 70's disco than mountaineering. They will blow about in the wind and snag on crampons. The Mountain Hardwear site and the leaflet attached to the pants refers to a 'one-handed draw-cord and snap'on the cuff, which would be a very useful feature if it were actually present. Backcountry.com have been unable to tell me so far whether this is a fault with my pants or an error with the product description. Anyone else have a drawcord on their synchro bibs?
Fit poorly for me
I was excited to see these softshell bibs, and know many who are happy with Mountain Hardwear. At 6'2", 180 lbs, these bibs did not fit very well. The suspenders had to be let out fully, which caused the back of the bibs to really stand away from my back. That seems to defeat the purpose of bibs. So I returned them. Hope they work for you...
Pants as Great as the Jacket
Great fit, very lightweight, I would highly recommend.