Gear Review - XTM Performance Bib Pants (+ other wintery goodies)
I moved to Queenstown, New Zealand in April 2019, in order to give me enough time to well + truly settle in before the winter season. Besides a year’s stint in Switzerland in 2011, I’ve always lived in Sydney where the winters are practically non-existent. I did have some quality winter gear, thanks to a love of the mountains even back in the world’s flattest continent, but nowhere near enough! When XTM Performance approached She Went Wild to review some of their winter collection, I couldn’t have been more excited…
XTM. Cross The Mountain.
From a small café in Sydney, Australia, a brand that would change the face of Oz’s snow sports industry was born.
Today, XTM Performance is the official supplier for the Australian Winter Olympic team. In fact, they have been for the past three years.
They’re also the only licensed Gore-tex glove manufacturer in Australia.
What I Love About the Bib Pants
Fitted but flexible
As an athletic woman, I have always found it difficult to find pants that fit and flatter, especially snow pants.
I traipsed around Queenstown one afternoon, with my girl friends in tow, trying to find the perfect pair. They either fitted around my waist but were far too tight around my thighs or were comfortable around my thighs but far too loose around my waist.
I knew that the answer would be bib pants.
As soon as I tried on the bib pants, I knew I was onto a good thing. Finally, snow outerwear that is fitted and flattering but flexible and functional.
These bib pants are made of XTM’s premium X-FLEXSOFT material so they are not only completely waterproof and breathable but they are also very soft and stretchy so I never felt restricted in movement on the mountain.
And I love not having to keep hitching up my pants after every run!
I love the elasticised straps because it meant I could really fit the bib pants close to my body and adjust the snugness based on how many layers I had on underneath.
A brushed tricot lining meant I felt cosy all day long. Coupled with the XTM Back Country Jacket, a lightweight, breathable but warm MerinoLite mid-layer, and some XTM base layers (made of 100% Aussie merino wool - still an Aussie after all!) and I was set for those beautiful, blue bird days.
As a skier, I already have my hands full with my boots, my skis and my poles. Lots of ample-sized pockets in my snow outerwear is a non-negotiable.
The bib pants feature a pocket on your chest, two hip zip pockets and a pocket with a magnetic flap closure on the right thigh. The chest pocket is perfect for your lift pass.
What I Didn’t Love about the Bib Pants
Firstly, when I wear my bib pants without my ski jacket, I really miss having a media pocket for my phone! I had my phone in the hip zip pocket but I wonder if a media pocket in the chest of the bib pants would work better…
Secondly, I found the buckles fiddlier than ideal, especially when your hands are cold. I think a hook and clasp closure would be easier to operate but perhaps less secure.
Thirdly, the straps are joined in the back which is nice to keep them in place but made it difficult to untwist them post-bathroom break.
Some notes about other XTM Performance products that I was lucky enough to wear:
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I am a big fan of XTM. I have been fortunate enough to be able to wear many more items from their winter range and across the board, I am truly stoked with them all!
Here are some key feedback points that you may find beneficial when researching + investing in some new gear:
Briefly mentioned above, this jacket is the goods. It is one of my favourite pieces this winter. The body is made of MerinoLite insulation so it keeps your vital organs warm. The sleeves are a brushed merino so they are soft against your skin, keeping you warm but also effectively wicks away sweat (and let’s not forget that merino is naturally anti-odour). The sleeves also have thumbholes to keep them in place, reducing wind chill. This mid-layer is honestly a dream and I have loved wearing it for skiing, hiking and just kicking around town.
If you prefer your top base layer to have some extra length so you can tuck it into your pants, you may find that the XTM merino top base layer comes up a little short - literally.
Anyone else hate wearing gloves, or just me? I don’t know if it’s because I am always reaching for my phone or camera to take photos and/or trying to adjust my music volume and/or trying to not lose anything off the chairlift (poles, gloves, snacks haha) but I always feel so gumby in gloves.
The Gore Infinium gloves are like wearing a second skin. The dexterity I have in these gloves is unrivalled and they are touch screen-compatible so I can easily take photos and use my iPhone. The gloves feature silicon grip on the palm so I feel secure when using my phone on the chairlift.
And if you’re wondering if they are warm enough, the answer is yes! On a blue bird day, I only need to wear these gloves. They have a brushed lining and are windproof.
This was a commissioned gear review. But as always, opinions are honest and true to Thuc’s experience.
Thuc is a lover of beautiful words, grand landscapes and meaningful relationships. In addition to manning the She Went Wild digital desk, she is a freelance content creator in the outdoors and fitness spaces. You’ll likely find her in the mountains with her camera and a notebook and pen!
Follow Thuc’s adventures on Instagram at @thuc.creative