Salopette is French for Trouser, but their differences might make you prefer one style over the other. APS provides this review…
With their athletic fit and higher cut, Salopettes are an excellent choice for the active sailor, whether buoy racing, day sailing and the occasional overnight. Salopettes offer total core coverage providing warmth and comfort and can be used as a standalone piece of kit when the elements are mild.
Salopettes are typically a three layer laminate providing full waterproof protection and superior breathability while keeping the weight to a minimum. Starting at the top, the shoulders incorporate wide stretch panels which prevent them from slipping off, and allow for ease of movement but restrict height adjustment so length/fit here will be most important.
Other differentiating features on some models are a waterproof zipper and up to one external pocket to hold the bare essentials. With minimal fit adjustment points, the only true adjustment to be made are at the waist and ankle.
Let’s review: Salopette’s ARE: Minimalistic, lightweight, flexible, breathable and comfortable, consider it a sleeveless, footless, waterproof onesie for adults!
Whereas trousers, also commonly referred to as bibs, are a fuller fit and lower cut with narrow shoulder straps and numerous adjustment points. Kind of like your denim overalls.
Height adjustment here is less as important with the adjustable Velcro shoulder straps to customize fit. Other features of trousers include hand warmer pockets under the chest, as well as thigh pockets to store your goodies.
The zipper is typically NOT waterproof but has a taller internal gusset to prevent penetration, which makes them ideal for longer passages or offshore adventures. The extra features on trousers usually make them a bit heavier and less breathable then their counterpart, the Salopette.