Expert Review: Flylow Baker Bib Pants · 2023Published on 09/10/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
Fun in the sun on St. Helens. All photos courtesy of Gen Kaneko
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The Flylow Baker Bib Pants are a no-nonsense, backcountry shell bib that combines great waterproofing and durability in both hot spring tours and whiteout blizzards. The Baker bibs are meant for backcountry use but can be used by anyone who wants a reliable and waterproof shell bib.
About the pants I own
- Brand: Flylow
- Model: Baker Bib Pants 2021
- Size Fit: Runs true to size
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 140lbs
- Pant size: 28in waist, size small
- Experience: 21 years of skiing
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days used: 30
- Where I’ve used them: Mt. Hood Meadows, Skibowl, Timberline, Copper, CO, and touring in the Pacific Northwest
- Weather conditions used in: Powder days, rain, downpour, bluebird, wet snow
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a versatile backcountry bib that is waterproof for the Pacific Northwest and breathable because I get fairly hot when I tour. I’ve always preferred bibs over pants, and as I am not the most gentle with my gear, I need multiple vents with a durable main material.
Why I chose this gear
I had my eye on the Baker bibs for a while, and the known fact that they are bombproof and great in wet weather was key. Named after Mt. Baker in Washington, they better be waterproof and able to handle rough conditions. I did look at some other options such as Burton’s AK bibs, Trew bibs, and Flylow’s Firebird bibs, but either they were not breathable enough, too expensive, or not as bombproof.
What I love about them
- Fit: The Baker Bibs are known to be a little looser and baggier than most, but I like the extra room and airflow. They do fit true-to-size compared to previous versions. The waist area has velcro straps to bring the bib in tighter, and the shoulder straps are comfortable and adjustable. For a baggy fit, I would recommend sizing up.
- Waterproofing: Best waterproofing I’ve had in a bib and I’ve tested the lot. They do not get wet inside. All the waterproofing features, such as DWR, being fully seamed taped, three-layer construction, and waterproof YKK zippers do their job and have kept me dry.
- Breathability: Being a hot tourer, I needed a bib that was airier and had loads of vents. All the vents on the Bakers have kept me cool when touring and dry/warm when I close them up. The interior and outside thigh vents are meshless and let the airflow in and out nicely. I prefer no mesh backing on my vents, as it can catch on the zipper.
- Durability: These are bombproof and as durable as they come. I have put them through the ringer this season and they look lightly used. I expect them to last another couple of seasons at least.
- Weight: At 946 grams the Baker bibs are not the lightest on the market, but in reality I don’t notice that much of a difference. I also would rather have water proofness and durability over lightweightedness.
- Ease of movement: These bibs are on the looser side, allowing for a lot of range of motion. I even use the bibs when I drop the knee and tele ski, which requires all the leg movement in the world to get a turn in.
- Special Features: I wouldn’t say they have any special features, but the chest pocket area is my favorite compared to other bibs I have used. They feature multiple hidden zippers for lots of storage on the chest and a beacon pocket. Everything is kept secure and reliable when touring and skiing.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Comfort: For a shell bib with no insulation, I would say the comfort is average. However, they are meant to be worn with a base layer underneath when it is cold and wet. I encountered no problems with comfort when wearing base layers or no base layers in the spring.
- Warmth: I wouldn’t put these bibs in the high-warmth category. Again, they are shell bibs, so they are not meant to keep the wearer warm, but dry. On that note, they kept me plenty warm when I wore the right base layers on the mountain.
- Quality: The quality of the product is above average in my opinion because of the durable quality of the polyester material and added DWR coating. I say they are above average and not amazing due to the simple material usage which is reliable, but higher quality fabric such as nylon for more strength could be used. The Baker bibs are not flashy and don’t have all the bells and whistles other bibs have, but they are no-nonsense to keep their wearer dry.
Favorite moment with this gear
I used my Baker bibs on a bright, spring day for my tour up St. Helens. It was a very warm day where I required these bibs’ aforementioned breathability. It was a long and sweaty tour which was not as bad as previous tours because now I wasn’t sweating like crazy and I could let the air flow through my setup with no problem. I didn’t have to worry about overheating and I could just take in the views.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Baker bibs retail at $430 and are an absolute must buy. There are definitely cheaper bibs that will be waterproof and have similar features, (such as the Burton AK bibs, Outdoor Research Archangel, Trew Bibs, and North Face Freedom Bibs), but may not be as durable or breathable or waterproof. They are a definite value for the money for those who find themselves in the snow often in the resort or backcountry. I have been able to use them for snowboarding, tele skiing, and working outside in the winter, which allows me to make the most of my investment in these bibs.
The Flylow Baker bibs are outstanding, no-nonsense bibs that allow me to do everything I want and need without having to worry about being wet, cold, or overheated on a tour, in the resort, or in any activity I use them in.