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Bibs, Dungarees, Salopettes, Waders

Salopettes is the French word for very comfy bib-and-brace overalls. They have traditionally a high waist, reaching to the chest and held up by adjustable shoulder braces without the discomfort of a belt.

The word is used in English for similar garments worn when canoeing, kayaking, diving, dinghy sailing or just playing on the beach. There is a wide variety of sailing bibs and foul weather gear to keep you warm in the worst weather. Keep boating all year long!

Salopettes will perform beyond expectations and last several years with careful use. Most provide durable, waterproof and windproof protection while offering high levels of breathability providing the ultimate protection from both warm, wet climates and extreme wet weather conditions.


Waders are salopettes with build in boots. You can wade into the water and stay dry, until you go in too deep and water pours in over the top. Then you have a tough job coming out of the water if they are too big. The best way out would be to lay down in shallow water and raise your legs to drain your waders.

Inside or Outside?

A question we often get from our readers: "Should I  wear my cagoule inside the pants or outside?" As always, it depends.

When worn outside, a cagoule gives better rain protection, but flaps around in the wind, or rides up when you go into the water.

When the cagoule is worn inside, it stays put in wind and water, but rain runs into your pants.


Braces can cause chafing if worn directly on the skin.

Combined with a matching swim shirt, anorak or cagoule, bibs feel pleasant in the water.

Two pieces only: top and bib make an unusual but comfy swimsuit without a tight waistband.

Reader Comment: Rain and Sailing Bibs

by Rene from France

Bib trousers with a sweat shirt or hoodie are my favourite watersport clothes. I have quite a few of them that I use for rain walking, sailing, and swimming. They are simpler and lighter than my sailing trousers. What I like is they don't need a tight belt like shorts, and stay in place with more freedom to move about.

You can walk in the rain so wonderfully, a bad rainy day becomes a nice rainy day in a rain bib. Furthermore, bibs can be worn for any activity that is in connection with water. You can do of course everything else you could do in dungaree jeans.

On cooler days I add a poncho or long cagoule that is no longer waterproof. It rains a lot where I live, so I go out to the lake or beach in the rain. When I reach the water I'm already very wet, so I just keep my clothes on when I go swimming.


We sometimes go on longer camping trips where we usually wear nylon rain bibs with fleece pullovers around the campsite and in the water. These clothes dry so quickly after swimming, we just keep them on all day.


My sailing bibs are more robust trousers with reinforced panels on knees and seat. When I go sailing or canoeing I wear them with a cagoule to keep warm, because I often fall into the water. Great fun.

When we launch any boats from the beach, we carry them into waist deep water, then climb in and get going. It is so nice to be able to go in and out of the water and keep warm when boating or playing on the beach. My friends also enjoy bibs and hoodies for all kinds of water play.


For swimming or rain walking I wear my thin nylon bibs over a sweatshirt or hoodie. These clothes are easy to swim in, even with thermal underwear. They create more drag than shorts, but I'm not swimming any races.

Unlike shorts or pants with a belt, they don't trap air when I jump into the water. No billowing. Swimming is easy for the same reason.