Expect top-notch performance and quality from this excellent shell bib, aimed at, and perfect for, hardy off-piste skiers.
Tough, durable outer shell
Comfortable, well-designed bib
Too technical for casual skiers
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Haglöfs Vassi Gore-Tex: first impressions
As its makers make abundantly clear, the highly technical Haglöfs Vassi Gore-Tex shell ski pants are “made for the dedicated off-piste skier”, and beginners enrolled in their ski school sessions need not apply.
These high-performing bibs might be overkill (and overly expensive) for casual winter use, but if you regularly ski the backcountry or work outdoors in tough conditions they’re an excellent choice, with features and technology we simply can’t fault.
Like all of Haglöf’s outdoor gear, which is designed in Sweden, the Vassi bibs are packed with lovely stuff, including a Recco reflector and reliable Gore-Tex waterproofing that will keep you dry even if you ski through a snowstorm or into deep powder.
But how did they fare on test on the slopes for our best women’s ski pants buying guide? Read on…
• RRP: $679 (US) / £510 (UK)
• Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
• Insulation: Proof
• Sizes: XS / S / M / L / XL / XXL
• Colors: Dark Ocean / Tarn Blue & Tulip Pink / Black
• Compatibility: For the serious skier
Haglöfs Vassi Gore-Tex: on the slopes
The Vassi is clad in an outer material that, on test, proved very tough and rip-proof as well as fully waterproof, windproof and highly breathable – basically these pants are bomb-proof, so they will suit anyone pushing boundaries with their skiing.
The adjustable bib is one of the best we tested, sitting snugly high on the chest and with wide, comfy suspenders that stay put however you move (see also: How should ski pants fit?). The Vassi isn’t insulated, so you’ll need to pick warm thermals for underneath (check out best base layers for some ideas), but while they aren’t lined, these bibs are highly windproof, which offers further protection from the cold. If you do splash the cash on these pants, they’ll also do you proud for mountaineering and winter hiking excursions.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.