Yuzawa, Japan. March 2017. There we sat, after a long day of riding deep powder, the kind so deep that the snow piled up near the bottom of the chairlifts and if you laid into a turn just right you could cover the entire lift in a white wave. We were deep into an après session at our lodge. We were exhausted, but we were excited. A group of us, led by a pair of guides from the local Japanese mountains along with 686 Founder and Creative Director, Michael Akira West, were huddled around a mountain of pants and bibs, dissecting every little piece and part of each of them. The goal was clear: To create the best all around bib on the market and every millimeter and detail mattered – materials, features, fit and functions.
The concept became as simple as it was complex. We wanted a bib that worked well on resort, but also had ample venting and a proper fit for longer tours into the backcountry. Stretch GORE-TEX fabrics were going to be incorporated throughout and a ultra stretchy low back panel would be used for freer movement. The chest pocket included a clip for your key or beacon and the thigh pockets were specifically placed by the guides for the best spot on the thighs to be unobtrusive while touring. While we chose a heavier nylon fabric for its durable qualities, we added cross venting inner thigh and outer hips were the key component of the bib in order to create ample airflow and venting during long ascents. We left Japan and let the designers back home in California work on the first prototype.
Mammoth Lakes, USA. April 2017. The Mammoth Unbound Park is one of the best parks in the world and the park staff put their gear through the paces for well over 180 days per season. Their gear gets thrashed by combination of wet Sierra Nevada snow, harsh California sun, spring salt and various tools and metal rails they continuously are handling during their laborious hours during the season.
After spending a few hours lapping Mammoth’s parks, Mike and I headed over to the main Unbound office. A handful of the Unbound staff piled in while we unpacked the Dispatch bib prototype. We passed it around the room, asking the crew what they would need to make this bib last longer than any piece of gear they had used prior. The conversation centered around durability and a few key points bubbled to the top and the final durable details fell into place. The bib’s heavy duty Stretch Nylon GORE-TEX fabric was going to be durable, but to make this bib ultra durable in the key wear spots – the knees and cuffs, we added an extra layer of 500D material. The staff was constantly hanging radios and other items from their belt loops and are constantly experiencing broken loops so we reinforced the side belt loop and PJ Connects to ensure that they wouldn’t rip when items were hung on them. At Mammoth Unbound’s request, we also added a second radio pocket with antenna hole in the top of the bib. As the bib had gotten a touch heavier with the 500D, we then decided to remove the mesh from the vents to ensure even better airflow and venting.
The result of these two meetings became one of the most versatile and durable bibs on the planet. A single design that performed on resort and in the backcountry and was durable enough for some of the hardest working crews in the world.
The GLCR Stretch GORE-TEX Dispatch Bib can be seen worn by some of the most esteemed athletes on the planet. Parker White, Gigi Rüf, Victor Daviet, 3x Freeride World Tour Champion Sammy Luebke, Mammoth Unbound, Woodward at Copper, Today’s Park and countless other skiers, snowboarders and snowpark staffs – most of whom would go through at least two or three pairs of pants per season now trust a single Dispatch Bib to keep them dry in all conditions, all season long.