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Burton's Freebird bib pants offer superior protection for backcountry use, we put them to the test.

burton freebird
Overall Score
Superior protection

If you're looking for maximum protection from your bib pants then you seriously need to check out the Freebird pants from Burton which bear more than a passing resemblance to a pair of waders, with one of the highest chests we've seen on a bib, so high in fact that they accommodate pockets at the same level as chest pockets on a snowboard jacket.

This is a shell pant for the deepest of powder days and showcases the best that Burton has to offer, we must say that it highlights the heritage and experience of the company well. The stretchy Velcro braces are pure simplicity but work in wet, frigid conditions quickly and easily and the stretch panels around the sides of the torso are ideally placed for great freedom of movement.

Ventilation options are plenty both on the inner and outer thigh on both legs for a crossflow of air and the fit at the cuffs easily accommodates snowboard boots, there's also a zip opening for hassle free fitting over your boots. One feature we loved in the Freebird Pants was the innovative cuff riser which hikes the back of the trousers up a few inches when you pull on a cord - and keeps it there to save the cuffs from abrasion while hiking or walking around town. There's also a thin slither of extra tough Cordura to increase durability in that vulnerable area.

Talking of durability, this is generally reported to be excellent with many people putting season after season of hard use into the Freebird bib, the only thing that suffers from premature failure is the zips which have a tendency to loose teeth - bear in mind that this is after perhaps 150 days of riding, so much more than the average recreational snowboarder would put onto a pair of snowboard pants in ten years. The 3L Gore-Tex fabric is bombproof and offers protection from the element's day after day, week after week. If anything does go west on these pants just call up Burton - they offer a lifetime warranty against defect.

We absolutely love the Freebird pants, quite simply they're one of the best backcountry bib pants you can buy, if you're regularly snowboarding in deep powder then get yourself a pair of these - you won't be disappointed.

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