With Winter settled in many of us along the Wasatch Front turn our sights towards backcountry skiing as an additional way to connect with nature. We still run the lower trails in the valley and keep our base strong, but ski touring builds our climbing legs and allow us to dive headstrong into one of our other passions.
Outdoor Research and Elevenate reached out to us to test and review a couple of their ski outfits. This was great because they represent two different price points, which is great for anyone reading this. See how thoughts below and check out the video for more details.
Outdoor Research Carbide Jacket and Bibs – $299 each
Both the jacket and the bibs are shells, with no real insulation, which is actually great for spending time in the backcountry. Layering is the best way to control your temperature when you’re switching between the hard effort of skinning uphill, then having to transition and dive into the powder of the slopes. That said, even without any insulation, I generally wear nothing underneath the jacket except a long sleeve base layer and a light base layer under the bibs, as they both hold in body heat really well.
The jacket has four front pockets (2 chest, 2 waist) and full armpit zips for venting. The hood zips up nicely over a helmet and all of the zippers and seams are waterproof. The Carbide jacket doesn’t have a traditional powder skirt, but instead has a built in one that snaps into itself inside the jacket on each side, but can be removed to snap across your waist. I’ve never had to use it, however, because the bibs keep all of the snow out anyway. The bibs have a front zip pocket for a phone or even an avalanche beacon, along with two deep side pockets that zip closed. You can vent the bibs using side zippers that run from the hips to the knees.
I’ve been skiing for 40 years and I can say that this is my all-time favorite outfit. I love to ski deep powder, drop cliffs, and hit jumps. This outfit is crazy comfortable, protective, and good looking.
The Elevenate Bec de Rosses jacket and pants are next level quality. With 3 layer Gore-tex, full waterproof zippers, fleece collar, and full side zippers on the pants, this outfit gives you everything. Bring on the hurricane force winds or the 24 inch powder day, it won’t matter because this thing is bomb-proof. But as you can see above, it comes at a hefty price tag.
Pete has been testing this outfit and for good reason. It’s on February and he’s already 40ish days of skiing into the season. He’s worn this outfit exclusively during that time, in all conditions, and loves it. In my own opinion, it might be a bit overkill, but if you want something that looks great and has all of the subtle perfections and price isn’t an issue, check out Elevenate.
This is our second year of reviewing their gear and can do nothing but rave about the quality. As mentioned above, even after 40 days on the mountain, this outfit shows no wear and tear. Beat the hell out of it and it will still look great years from now. Again, for more details, check out the video below.
This video was filmed exclusively on Insta360.