Having worn several holes right through my old Arcteryx Beta bibs, and patched them enough times they no longer were waterproof, figured time for a change. Wear a knee brace, so pants needed to be wide or more holes on the way. Wanted insulation for NE cold days, and no insulation for warm NE days (we get both in the same week, welcome to climate change) and something for race training. So three choices, and the outcomes so far:
1) Arcteryx Micon pants - These are a "relaxed" fit, which means wide enough to accommodate my brace without looking like clown pants. Fairly true to size, meaning that my 32 waist fits into a M nicely.
Pros: Excellent quality, nice attention to detail including a nice flannel like lining. Toasty warm insulation, and Gore Tex seems to be solidly waterproof. Thigh vents are surprisingly effective. These worked nicely in the coldest days we've had so far (14-18 degrees). Fairly soft hand on outside, so not super noisy. To my surprise, didn't rub each other when I skied, but then I've been working on getting rid of my A-framing. Various leg pockets I never use.
Cons: Thigh vents can be a surprise if you get on an icy lift seat; they wrap around to rear a bit. Hiyooo!! No lower zips, so while you can pull them on and off over a boot, it's work. Would not like to take these off on-slope, like race pants. Do not come with suspenders, since freestylers like belts these days. And oh yeah, pricey. You get what you pay for, in this case.
2) Arcteryx Saber Bibs - Also a relaxed fit, very similar to the Micons that way, but a bit wider in the trunk and chest. So a M is ample, on the edge of being too big, on me at 32 waist, 6' tall, 33 inseam. These have what Arcteryx claims is a lightly insulated lining, but in reality is simply a fairly soft Gore Tex inner layer. So these are not insulated. They have about the same cold resistance as a typical Gore Tex Pro shell.
Pros: Nice attention to detail, unusual bib design that comes all the way up the chest in front, fairly high in back, truly like farmer's bibs. Also like those, has some nice zippered pockets in front, big enough for keys or credit cards and cash. Again, the new, gotta-be-improved Gore Tex seems to be fine. These will be $$ in real powder, no possibility of leaks even if I do a patented triple somersault yard sale deluxe 1 1/2 with a flip.
Cons: Weird to get on and off; zip is on one side, only goes down a ways, so you have to pull whole deal on, including crossed suspenders, with no front opening. Fine once on, but don't plan to do this quickly. Has a fly, so that's taken care of, but of very limited duration, so, ah, can also take some time. If you're a woman, forget these. Fabric is harder on surface than I was expecting, so little noisy, although not irritatingly. These will not be your best choice if you ski with your legs near each other, or on carvers. A more specialized design than I anticipated, jury still out.
3) Karbon Trainers - Inexpensive, full zips, meaning that you can literally take them off to the sides, they separate into a front and back. With light/moderate Thinsulate insulation. No pockets. No zips except at fly. Men's M
Pros: Smooth soft hand, good quality details, with a nice lining, perfect fit for a brace over racing suit, so semi-relaxed although inch less wide than the Arcteryx above. And silly cheap. Regardless of training, I've ended up using these for the majority of my days skiing so far; the insulation is about right for 25-35 degrees. Come with removable suspenders that are solid quality and stay adjusted. If you a nice pair of insulated pants that can be removed anytime, anyplace, for 2 Benjamins, these are your answer. More generally, Karbon clothing, race or non-race, is worth a look for good quality at a fair price. The working man's Spyder.
Cons: Zip design, while necessary, produces a funny flare at the hips that makes you look like you have a spare tire that moved south. Fabric is old school shiny. If you care about elegant appearance, may not be a starter. Insulation is heavy and I suspect won't last as long as Coreloft or Polarguard. These are not a statement of SES except in the negative. (Unless you appreciate the New England old money thing that goes for battered Volvos and slightly worn looking prep. Lot of younger racers wear these to show they don't need the Spyder emblem)