Last season, I had the opportunity to test Elevenate’s new Bec de Rosses kit. This is my unbiased review of the kit – both the shell and the bibs. I’ve broken the review into five sections: fit, uphill performance, protection from the elements, miscellaneous pros/cons, and “the bottom line.”
- Name: Clay Malott
- Days with the Bec de Rosses kit: 10
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 170lbs
- Testing location: Aspen, Colorado; Lake Tahoe, California
Being a tall and slender skier is not easy when finding high-quality ski clothes that perform at a high level. However, Elevenate has engineered an excellent kit with customization in mind, meaning almost anyone can find a perfect fit.
Elevenate had customization in mind when designing this kit, and the pants are no exception. The biggest thing for me in terms of fit is pant adjustability. The pants utilize adjustable overall straps to allow users to fine-tune the length. I found that loosening these straps gave me a bit of extra pant length, which helped improve the downhill performance (more on this later). Additionally, the waist of the Bec de Rosses pants is incredibly easy to adjust with high-quality velcro. I never had any issues with the velcro failing and the fit loosening throughout the day. The pants also have belt loops if rocking a belt for a better fit is more your style.
The jacket fit great and had some excellent adjustability features that I loved. The hood is plenty big to fit a helmet under, which is a welcome attribute on stormy, cold days. An elastic drawstring in the back of the hood allowed me to get a tight fit around the helmet so it didn’t slip off as I was skiing. This was also helpful when I wanted to put my hood up while touring, as I could tighten the hood around my head when I didn’t have the extra volume of a helmet to fill up space. The release latch for this drawstring is large enough to release with gloves on, meaning you can adjust the hood easily without exposing your fingers to the cold. The jacket sleeves also feature velcro straps around the wrist so you can tighten the sleeve around a glove to prevent snow & wind from getting in.
The Bec de Rosses kit is designed for downhill and touring use. The bottom line is that it does perform surprisingly well as a touring kit.
The main factor here is breathability. This kit is made with advanced GORE-TEX Pro 3-layer fabric that provides breathability while retaining excellent weather protection. Considering this kit’s weight, I found it to be impressively breathable. While touring, I did overheat on warm, sunny days and had to remove the jacket. However, this kit is an excellent choice for days with heavy snowfall or even rain, where lightweight shells that maximize breathability won’t keep you dry and comfortable.
What I loved about this kit was the intelligently designed ventilation system. The jacket has large pit zips that permit an impressive airflow to keep you cool. The pants have zippers that stretch nearly the entire leg length, making them very comfortable, even on warm days.
The other thing that makes this kit pleasant to tour with is the mobility factor—the large vents ait more range of motion and less resistance on big strides. This mobility also translates to downhill performance, making quick, dynamic movements effortless. The GORE-TEX fabric has some stretch, which makes a difference during long days in the backcountry.
This is the section where I could rave about the Bec de Rosses kit for hours. This kit is the highest quality hybrid shell I’ve reviewed, and despite the hefty price tag, it is worth every penny.
The main thing that jumped out during the first few days of testing was just the quality of the fabric. Through tight trees, jagged rocks, and everything else mother nature could throw at it, the material never tore or even scratched. This jacket was designed to last years of heavy use.
This jacket is practically a rain jacket when it comes to water resistance. After several days of wet, heavy snowfall while testing, I never had any issues with any moisture inside. To test, I ran the fabric under running water in my sink to see if it would eventually give and leak. After five minutes of no moisture seeping through, I called it quits and determined that this jacket would hold up under any skiing weather you could realistically throw at it.
Of course, with this impressive water resistance also comes good windproofing. The shell helped keep me very comfortable on cold, windy days.
This section is dedicated to the various pros and cons of this kit. One thing that I loved about the Bec de Rosses kit was the pockets; this is something that I think often gets overlooked in jacket/pant reviews. The pockets were spacious and could fit anything that I needed to fit in them – phone, skins, even light layers. The placement was also genius, especially on the jacket. At first glance, the jacket pockets seem unreasonably high on the jacket. However, when wearing a backpack, this means that the pockets aren’t pinned underneath the waist strap, something that I find incredibly frustrating about other jackets.
One thing that I didn’t love about the jacket was the zippers. I found them a bit difficult to zip up and down. However, they were reinforced for waterproofing purposes, so I suppose these zipper gripes are a price to pay for this kit’s excellent weather resistance and durability.
The bottom line
This kit is worth every penny, despite the steep price point. This kit provides well-fitting, high-performance gear for ski tourers and downhill skiers. I was thoroughly impressed by the Bec de Rosses jacket and pants and would recommend these to skiers willing to pay a bit extra for superior performance.