TREW Chariot Bib
Stated Weight: 26 oz
- Private Reserve 3L fabric featuring waterproof/breathable DERMIZAX EV membrane
- 20,000mm waterproof rating
- 20,000 gm/in2 breathability rating
- 140 denier nylon plain-weave face fabric (DWR treated)
- 20 denier nylon tricot backer
- SuperFabric cuffs and kick patches
- 3⁄4 length, dual-direction side zips with Flap chest accessory pocket
- Vertical zip chest pocket
- Vertical zip thigh pocket
- Flap thigh cargo pocket
- Zip fly and belt loops
- Internal boot gaiters with gripper elastic
- Boot-access zip cuffs with snap covers
- YKK Aquaguard VISLON zippers
- Hypalon zipper pulls
- 5’6”, 125 lbs
- Inseam: 30.5”
- Waist: 28”
Days Tested: 17
TREW introduced their first line of women’s outerwear last season, something I had been looking forward to since reviewing the men’s Cosmic Jacket a few years ago. The inclusion of a women’s-specific freeride bib is something I was especially excited about, as there are few stylish women’s bibs available that perform well in both the resort and backcountry.
Fit / Sizing
As I’ve mentioned previously in my reviews of ski pants, I typically fall between a size Small and Medium, but I’ll often go with a Medium for a more comfortable fit around the waist and hips and to leave room for additional layers.
The Chariot is a women’s-specific bib, but TREW’s apparel is known to have a looser, freeride cut, and the size Medium left me with a little too much extra length in the legs (which is not that surprising, as I’ve had size Medium pants be too long on me as well). With this in mind, a size Small would probably would have worked better for me, and still would have been able to accommodate additional layers.
I’m 5’6”, and with the suspenders tightened all the way, the bib’s cuffs reach the floor with the material bunched up around my feet. If I roll up the bottom of the cuff, then the pants just touch the ground and the hem length is closer to what I’d like.
With the suspenders tightened as much as possible, the top part of the bib rests an inch or two below my chest in the front, and comes about halfway up my back. Part of me had expected the front section of the bib to come up a little higher, and I often felt like it sat pretty low. This also resulted in the crotch feeling like it was a bit low, and I’d have to hike it up every so often in the middle of a run. I’m guessing that the Small would sit a bit higher, both on the front of the bib and in the crotch, which would have been slightly more comfortable.
The women’s Chariot is a bit more form-fitting than the men’s Trewth Bibs. The fit is slimmer around the hips, while the cut through the legs is pretty straight, and fairly loose and baggy. Although they have a wide cut, I never felt like the extra material in the legs got in the way, and my movements were never restricted while skiing or skinning.
Overall, while comfortable, the Chariot felt just a bit too big for me in a size Medium. A size Small would probably still have had a looser fit, without being quite so baggy. If you’re also in between sizes in the Chariot, I’d suggest going with the smaller size. And if you’re pretty sure about what size should work for you, given TREW’s sizing chart, I’d still expect the bibs to have a looser, relaxed fit.
Fabric / Performance
The fabric on the Chariot is the same Private Reserve three-layer shell material found on their Tempest Pants. Like I mentioned in my review of the Tempest, I was surprised by how soft and smooth the face fabric feels, despite its thicker, 140 denier weave.
In my experience with other pieces of freeride-oriented outerwear, such as The North Face Free Thinker jacket and the older TREW Cosmic jacket (which is now made with the same Private Reserve material as the Tempest and Chariot), the waterproof / breathable membrane is generally paired with a heavier face fabric to help improve durability. As a result, the fabric on these heavier freeride pieces can often feel a little stiff, but the Chariot’s face fabric feels a bit more pliable.
The pants use a waterproof/breathable polyurethane-based laminate, and if you want to read more about how these laminates work, I’d highly recommend taking a look at Sam Shaheen’s Outerwear 101 article.
Although the Chariot is an uninsulated hardshell bib, it provides a nice amount of warmth and wind protection in colder temperatures. I usually like to wear two layers of long underwear under shell pants/bibs, but have found that just one thicker pair of long underwear (Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Boot Bottoms) under the Chariot keeps me warm in temps down around 15ºF.
I haven’t experienced any issues with the Chariot’s DWR, although they are still fairly new. I have yet to wear them in rain or heavy, wet snow, but in drier snow that accumulated on my legs, no sort of moisture saturated the face fabric.
TREW is based out of Hood River, Oregon, and their outerwear is designed to withstand the large amounts of precipitation the Pacific Northwest receives. I know the Chariot will provide enough protection for anyone in drier mountain climates, and I imagine it will also do quite well in places that get a more heavy, wet snow than Colorado.
We saw warm, spring-like conditions while in New Zealand, and it’s been fairly mild the last few weeks in Crested Butte, CO, too. On warmer days above 30ºF, I typically wear just a thin pair of Icebreaker’s 200 weight long underwear bottoms under the Chariot, which has kept me plenty warm while riding lifts and cool enough while hiking and skiing hard.
We spent a lot of time boot packing around the really cool terrain surrounding the club fields in New Zealand, and even on longer hikes with temperatures around 45º, my legs never overheated in the Chariot. If hiking for more than ten minutes or so, I’d open up the pants’ side zips to get some additional airflow, and they effectively moved enough air through the bibs to keep me cool.
Unsurprisingly, I found myself getting slightly hotter in the Chariot than the Tempest pants due to their construction, which traps a bit more heat. I especially noticed this while wearing a pack, and my back got a little more sweaty than usual, although I always appreciated the additional warmth the bibs provide on colder days.
The Chariot bib offers good breathability for a hardshell, and I wouldn’t hesitate to wear it on days where I know I’ll be hiking or if I’m going touring. On warmer days, I may opt to wear pants instead, but the bib still breathes quite well, especially with the zips open. While the Chariot is comfortable for shorter, fast skins up the resort at the end of the day, or for day tours, I probably wouldn’t wear the bibs on a multi-day trip involving lots of scrambling or climbing given their wider cut and weight.
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