The Arc'teryx Micon Bib delivers the utmost in weather resistance while remaining comfortable to wear and stylish. These are the most protective ski bibs that we have ever tested. The shell material is thin enough to allow unencumbered movement, and the fine tailoring helps the pants move with the body. It has huge side vents to dump heat when necessary, and enough pockets to allow for easy use. And, it looks good. As a thin shell-only pant, it doesn't provide any warmth, and the user has to decide on layers to wear underneath if any warmth is needed. These bibs are truly excellent for those that ski frequently enough to warrant their expense.
Arc'teryx Micon Bib Review
Cons: Not warm
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Micon Bibs combine top-of-the-line weather resistance with excellent comfort. In fact, they perform well across the board, compromising only in the warmth metric.
Bibs are known for their weather resistance, and the Arc'teryx Micon sets the bar for what is possible. These pants use a waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex membrane to keep water out, while the waterproof pocket and vent zippers reduce weak points. All seams are sealed, so no water can enter through the stitching, and the ankle powder cuffs fits nicely over both downhill and touring boots. The bib overall protects the entire torso, and the front pocket panel reaches high over the chest, providing complete coverage.
In short, you won't find yourself lacking weather protection in these pants, ever. We couldn't find a weak spot, and these bibs even have buttons in the rear that snap into Arc'teryx ski jackets to seal the clothing system. On the worst days of winter, this is pair of pants that you want to wear.
Fit and Comfort
Bibs are notorious for being uncomfortable and bulky, and the "overall" design can feel restrictive. The Micon shell material is a bit crinkly and plasticky, but it still feels much thinner than other shells we have reviewed. The cut of the waist and torso is spot-on for athletic builds, and when you slip into these bibs, the well-contoured and ergonomic fit around the curves of your body is obvious. These bibs fit well and are comfortable to wear.
If we had to split hairs, we'd say that this bib runs on the small side. Some of our testers who are on the cusp between men's size Medium and Large felt like the medium-sized pair in our testing was too tight in the crotch and maybe a hair too short. So if you are on the fence between sizes, we recommend sizing up. But overall the fit is true-to-size.
A good pair of pants allows the user to ditch heat by opening vents, and bibs sometimes feel hot and stuffy because they cover the chest and torso, which is one of the warmest areas of our bodies. The Micon Bib allows for good ventilation through two zippered vents on the outside of the thighs. The vents are long and open completely to the outside with no mesh to get in the way of airflow. These vents are effective at dumping heat when the inside of the pants gets too hot.
The shell fabric is relatively breathable, but not as much as that of other pants in our test, and the bib design is inherently less breathable than traditional pants. If you spend a lot of time skinning uphill in the backcountry, or ski in environments where warm and sunny conditions prevail, these pants might not present as much ventilation as you'd like. But for average winter climates, where cold and stormy conditions prevail, the ventilation in these bibs is adequate.
Shell pants are not designed to provide warmth, and the Micon Bibs don't deliver any insulation. The shell material is thin and easy to move around in, but that also means that it allows heat loss through conduction fairly easily. The chest panel retains some of the body's heat that is produced in the front of the torso, which helps, but if you want to have warm legs in these pants, you'll have to layer underneath.
While warmth isn't these bibs' strong suit, we actually prefer uninsulated pants for most days on the resort and in the backcountry. Our legs can tolerate cold better than our upper bodies, and active skiers can deal with chilled legs on chairlift rides for added mobility and ventilation benefits when aerobically skiing downhill. So while these pants don't provide any warmth, it's not a deal-breaker for us.
The Arc'teryx Micon Bib has some good features that make life easier on the ski hill. It has two front thigh pockets that are placed around the mid-thigh, rather than up by the waist. This makes them easier to access while wearing a jacket, but it also limits what can be comfortably stored in them. Sharp items like car keys aren't suitable items for these pockets. We like the center chest pocket, which remains covered when a jacket is worn. This is a great pocket for a phone, car keys, or an avalanche transceiver.
The bibs also come with belt loops, as well as rear buttons that attach to certain Arc'teryx jackets to produce a full-body suit that is impervious to the elements. Both the chest and the left thigh pockets have thin fabric loops for clipping car keys or avalanche transceivers. The right thigh pocket has an internal media sleeve. These thoughtful design features help this jacket perform at the top of its class.
We like pants that are well-contoured and fit the body's curves, without being snug to the skin. We also like pants that have clean, articulated lines and sleek features. The Arc'teryx Micon fits the bill, with articulated knees, legs that slim down slightly at the knees, and an athletic look. These pants look great and make the user look like an expert skier or rider. They are also equally at home on the experts-only chairlift as they are in a classy après-ski bar.
Color options change from year to year, but over time, Arc'teryx has shown that they are able to produce good-looking garments and great color choices. Earthy, yet colorful looks are the norm, which we love. However, style is subjective so take a look for yourself.
There is no doubt that the Arc'teryx Micon is an expensive pair of bibs. They provide excellent performance, but at a higher price tag than other options, sometimes doubling the price of similar competitors. This bib performs better than any other on the market, but the high price tag will only be justified by those looking for the very best money can buy. For occasional skiers and those who don't live in the most brutal winter climates, these bibs aren't worth the money.
The Arc'teryx Micon Bib Pant offers the best weather resistance on the ski pants market, while also delivering great comfort, an articulated and refined fit, good style, and great features. Not everyone wants or needs a bib, but for those who do, and can afford this product, you will not be disappointed. But for everyone else, these pants verge on overkill, especially considering the price.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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