After several years of snowboarding in the backcountry I knew my old, baggy snowboarding pants weren’t cutting it anymore. They were heavy and the insulation was built in so I had no temperature control. If I was in deep powder, snow would get up my back and down my pants. It was miserable.
The Arc’teryx Beta SV Bib solved basically every issue I was having and provided new opportunities in the mountains for me.
I originally got these bibs to provide a waterproof shell for backcountry snowboarding on cold days with deep snow. However, I also wanted something I could mountaineer in. These pants covered both and more. The super high thread count makes them not only waterproof, but incredibly durable for charging up high mountain snowy and rocky terrain.
Combining mountaineering and snowboarding really allowed me to put these bibs through the ringer. I have worn them up some of the biggest peaks in the Wasatch in the dead of winter and snowboarded down feeling comfortable and protected from the elements the entire time.
This last winter, I also decided to start ice climbing — a goal that I have had for some time, but was too afraid to commit to. Something clicked this season and I went all in. I was happy to find that the fairly slim fit of the lower leg and the durable, reinforced in-step proved useful while wearing crampons and moving around on vertical ice. The roomy upper leg of the pant made high stepping unrestricted.
Some of the features of the bibs that really stood out to me and made these pants worth the cost:
- High Waist Bib: This obvious benefit of a bib prevents snow from getting up your back or down your pants.
- Full Zip Sides: The full zip side allows for easy addition or removal of this layer over the top of existing layers without having to remove shoes/crampons. It also is a great way to regular temperature or have an emergency bowel evacuation if necessary.
- Built-in Gaiter / Lace Hook Under the lower pant is an additional gaiter feature that is separate from the pant itself. The gaiter includes an elastic rubber cuff that stretches over large snowboarding boots and narrow mountaineering boots. The lace hook really secures that gaiter to your shoe keeping out snow and water.
Cons: I only have one minor complaint about these pants. The pockets are pretty small. They are great for holding keys, chapstick, or maybe a small snack, but are too small for much else. This isn’t a terrible issue because I’m usually wearing a jacket with pockets and my pack usually have waist belt pockets. A minor complaint for a pants that are otherwise perfect.