Hillbangin', sleddin', shovelin', beer-drinkin', fishin', redneckin', The North Face Brigandine kit is thick, heavy, bomber, loaded with pockets, and meant for the skier that lives in their ski kit. The Brigandine is made from three layers of The North Face's FuseForm—a thick, durable material—and Gore-Tex for a high rate of waterproofing and breathability. They also run bulky and loose, so consider sizing down if that isn't your thing.
"This is the ultimate expedition kit, built for a skier who is moving a lot and values function over comfort," said Sierra Davis.
Which was exactly what some Thread the Needle skiers were looking for. "Whether skiing, touring, snowmobiling, heading to town or building a snowman, I would wear it every day!" said JF Bruegger. "This jacket/bib combo is intelligently designed to integrate with their backpack so all pockets are accessible while wearing the pack. I loved the feel and fit of both the jackets and pants."
For others, the many pockets and pro-centric features, like a mic pouch in the collar, were too much. "The jacket was super stiff and uncomfortable," said Barronian, "with too many useless zippers."
Still, for most, the bibs had great touches. The bibs have a kangaroo pocket that was a huge hit at Thread the Needle—ideal for stashing beers or lounging during apres. They are a high bib, the fabric going well-above the chest. The fit was especially appreciated among several of the women at Thread the Needle. "The bibs had an awesome fit and cut," said Barronian. "I love the front pocket and high rise chest."