Powder Cloud Likes: Women’s Strafe Scarlett Bib Pant
Ladies, hear me now and thank me later: I’ve found a pair of backcountry bibs that are truly easy to drop when nature calls.
You know how it goes… You’re skinning up a ridge when you begin to experience the results of your proper hydration techniques. You stomp out a spot behind a small, twisted tree and take off your gloves to unzip the “easy access” dropseat that was obviously designed by a bunch of bros with handy hoses. You fumble around for the zipper, which turns out to be not at all where you thought it was, awkwardly twist to try to get it unzipped over your rump and under your pack, accidentally kick over your poles and the gloves you put over them, and then, uttering words that in previous times would have been deemed unsuitable for ladies of any ilk, finally strip off your backpack and jacket to pull the whole damn thing down, just as the wind sandblasts spindrift into your tender vittles.
Enter Strafe’s Scarlett Bib Pants, which boast a revolutionary single adjustable halter strap that goes around your neck. (Admittedly, it feels a little awkward at first, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.) The halter allows for the stretchy mesh back panel to pull down quickly over your bum in a crouch without having to take off anything else, save unbuckling the waist strap on your backpack.
The Scarlett Bibs are designed specifically for the backcountry, and I’ve used them exclusively for skinning for more than two years. They’re feather-light and made with fabric that breathes on the uphill and protects on the down. Huge leg vents dump heat in seconds, and a deep kangaroo pocket has a nifty little mesh compartment that cradles my phone and a handful of Advil. The reinforced cuffs are shred-resistant, even if you share my lazy habit of just opening your buckles on the ups. Oh, and they make my butt look cute, too.
The pants are the brainchild of Strafe designer Pia Halloran, who spent years thinking through an easier system. Pete and John Gaston, the twin brothers who founded the Aspen-based company, turned her loose to the make the pants she’s always dreamed of having, and the result is the single most functional set of bibs we’ve ever seen.
The Gastons founded Strafe a decade ago because the existing backcountry brands didn’t fit their freeride aesthetic, and now the company is the official apparel sponsor of the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Team. John is one of the fastest skimo racers in the United States, and Pete is an accomplished AGMA ski-mountaineering guide.
Click here to buy the Strafe Scarlett Bib now. We women have challenges enough in this world; peeing in the woods should not be one of them.
Regarding Powder Cloud Likes
We don’t take gear into the garage, dissect it, and provide in-depth gear reviews on Powder Cloud. (There are a plethora of detailed reviews already available on the web, and we don’t feel you need another one.) We simply want to share only the gear our team absolutely loves. Our criteria include that we have used it for an entire season, that we would purchase it without a pro deal, and we’d consider purchasing an additional one for fear the manufacturer might change it.
Kimberly Beekman is the former editor-in-chief of the late Skiing Magazine (RIP). She now uses freelance writing as a beard to ski powder anywhere it falls. She lives in Denver with her wonderful daughter and terrible cat.