REVIEW: Arc’teryx Stinger Bib – It’s All in the Hips
Trying out a piece of Arc’teryx gear for the first time can be an interesting affair. Your expectations are set about as high as the price tag (pretty high). And while I had my first Arc’teryx coat last season, I feel like it’s just starting to prove itself now after 100+ days of hard use.
The coat, a Sidewinder, is still in really good shape. But I think I was expecting it to make me a sandwich the first time I ever tried it on.
I did, however, slip my loins into a pair of Stinger bib pants recently. And I could tell right away that they were one of the nicer garments to have ever graced the lower half of my body.
This is why:
–The fit: Arcteryx has really steezed up their cuts in the last few years. Gone are the days of the zipper crotch pants that seemed to be designed exclusively for gronks over 6’3”.
I’m not in an electro-synth band, nor am I planning on using my boardin’ pants to smuggle a couple of 40oz’ers out of the liquor store, so I feel like they nailed the fit with the Stingers.
–The pockets: With two pockets above the waistline on the front of the bib and another couple deep ones over the thighs, I feel like I can effectively and efficiently store all of my essentials.
The bib pockets are the perfect size for a beacon. And if you put your phone in one of the thigh pockets on the opposite side of the pant, there’s well over 30cms of separation between the two devices.
(That doesn’t stop me from keeping my phone on Airplane Mode).
I also keep my Whistler Blackcomb pass in the top left bib pocket and I never have a problem at the RFID turnstiles.
–The bib: I’ve had full bibs in the past that have confused my whole layering system (read: swamp nuts). But the little half bibs on The Stinger seem to add the perfect amount of warmth without making it feel like I’m wearing two Gore-tex jackets.
And the suspenders never seem to slip off my shoulders, which can only be explained by sorcery.
–The feel: I suppose this can also be chalked up to the fit, but the Medium Stingers (I’m 5’11”, 170lbs) seem to hang off me perfectly. And maybe it’s because I got used to wearing non-bib pants with a belt for last few seasons, but I actually feel like the mobility within the Stingers’ hips makes for more unrestricted powderboardin’.
And hot damn it’s nice to bootpack without my pants sagging on every step.
Of course, no pant is perfect. I wore these through the early season cold snap and I found that the cold snuck through and chilled my legs (yes I had long johns on).
But I actually think that’s part of the design; The Gore-tex Pro is meant to be breathable and I suppose that’s a two-way street.
That being said, they still stood up really well to the cold snap.
But the biggest bummer is the small tear that showed up in the ass end of the pants after roughly 20 days of hard use. It’s hard to say whether or not it was a result of powderboardin’, enthusiastic après or both.
It’s never good to find a tear in your brand new, favourite piece of gear. But I think it was just bad luck more than anything else.
I probably just sat on a pile of forks after too many Fat Tugs.
So if you’re wondering whether or not you want to sink your own loins into a steezy pair of Stingers, I’d say the answer is YES.
Maybe just bring a pair of jeans for après.
Here are the tech details from Arcteryx…