Expert Review: Flylow Women's Sphinx Bib Pants

Published on 01/14/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the Flylow Women’s Sphinx Bib Pants, which I bought with my own money in January of 2022.
Tory Dobyns, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Tory Dobyns

All photos courtesy of Tory Dobyns

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the Flylow Women’s Sphinx Bib Pants, which I bought with my own money in January of 2022.

My take

The Flylow Women’s Sphinx Bib Pants are a high quality insulated bib pant for women. These pants come in tall, regular, and short lengths to accommodate all body types. They have a light synthetic insulation and a two-layer waterproof hardshell, making them warm and waterproof.

About the pants I own

  • Model: Flylow Women’s Sphinx Bib Pants, Black
  • Gender: Women’s
  • Size: Medium

About me

  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 120lbs
  • Experience: 20 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: January 2022
  • Days used: 25
  • Size: Medium
  • Where I’ve used it: Resorts in Colorado, Utah, and Montana

How they perform

Comfort
4/5
Warmth
4/5
Durability
3/5
Waterproofing
3/5
Breathability
2/5

What I was looking for

I was on the hunt for a pair of insulated bib pants for cold days. I also have a pair of the Flylow Foxy Bib Pants which are shell pants. I wanted a pair with insulation for those super cold days. I also was looking for something relatively waterproof for stormy days, however this was not my main priority.

Why I chose this gear

I decided on the Sphinx Bib Pants for their combination of waterproofing and light insulation. I also love the fit of these pants, as they are loose and comfortable yet still flattering and designed for a woman's body. They have great pockets, including two on the front of the legs, two back pockets, and two chest pockets.

Flylow uses their High Performance DWR (Durable Water Repellent) on the outer shell of these pants. This repellant helps water bead up and roll off the pants. I find this waterproofing is adequate but not quite as durable when compared to GORE-TEX. Under the two-layer shell of these bibs, Flylow uses 40 grams of their Spaceloft™ micropuff synthetic insulation. This thin layer of insulation is just enough to keep me warm without feeling bulky and heavy. The synthetic insulation is lightweight and fast-drying.

What I love about them

  • Insulation: I struggled to find a pair of lightly insulated women’s bib pants—there are not a lot of options out there. I love the lightweight insulation in these pants. It adds just enough warmth to the pants and is great on chilly days. I find when my legs stay warm, my toes are less apt to get cold.
  • Comfort and Style: These pants are both comfortable and stylish, which is always a priority. The bib design allows them to stay up without being tight around the waist. They also come in a variety of colors.
  • Pockets: I love all the pockets in these pants. I rarely find myself using my jacket pockets because there are so many convenient pockets on the pants. The chest pocket is great for a phone: it keeps my phone from getting cold and losing battery.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Waterproofing: These pants are relatively waterproof, but not the most waterproof option out there. I find that the DWR keeps most water from penetrating; however, I have had some issues on super stormy, wet days. Sometimes after sitting on a wet chairlift, I find a bit of water will penetrate the fabric. However, these pants hold up with light snow and are great for dry, cold days.
  • Durability: I have skied only about 25 days in these pants, so it is hard to really comment on the durability. However, I have noticed the pants have lost just a bit of waterproofing over time. They also have a few small rips on the bottom of the pants from my ski edge. This being said, I have been overall impressed with how these have held up over time. I have found these to be slightly less durable when compared to my Flylow Foxy Bibs, though they are also significantly lower priced.
  • Breathability: Unlike the shell bib pants from Flylow, these pants do not have any vents in the legs. This is okay for me because I only use these for cold-weather days. However, if these are going to be one’s only pair of pants, this is something to keep in mind. These pants are made with a breathable, stretchy hardshell fabric which allows moisture and heat to escape from the body relatively well.
  • Sizing: I find these pants run a bit small when compared to other Flylow pants. The medium feels a bit tighter around the legs when compared to the same size in the Foxy Bib. I wear a size 27 in pants and the medium feels just a bit snug.

Favorite moment with this gear

I brought these pants on a trip to British Columbia and the temperature never got above 15 degrees fahrenheit. I was super happy to have a nice pair of insulated pants on this trip. They were great for these colder temperatures.

Value for the money vs. other options

I have found these pants are just slightly more expensive when compared to other insulated bib pants. For comparison, the 686 Women’s Black Magic Insulated Bib and the Airblaster Women’s Hot Insulated Bib Pants are both cheaper. However, I have found the Sphinx to be worth the price. They are high quality, have great pockets and zippers, and come in a variety of colors. I have not tested any other insulated bib pants, so it is difficult for me to compare the quality and durability. These are slightly cheaper when compared to the other Flylow Bib Pants including the Foxy Bib and the Moxie Bib.

Final verdict

If one is looking for high-quality insulated pants designed for cold weather, the Sphinx Pants are a great choice. Keep in mind, these may be less waterproof when compared to some shell pants. These may not be the best option if waterproofing is one’s main priority and they find themselves out in wet conditions frequently. These pants are a good balance between warm, breathable, and waterproof. Keep in mind, these pants do run a bit small. If one is looking for pants with a looser, more relaxed fit, I would recommend the Flylow Moxie Bib.

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