Expert Review: Flylow Men's Baker Bib Pants
This review is my honest opinion of the pants which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022 (after retiring my previous pair purchased in September of 2017).
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the pants which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022 (after retiring my previous pair purchased in September of 2017).
The Flylow Baker Bib is an excellent option for dedicated skiers or snowboarders looking for a bib that can withstand harsh weather conditions and season after season of abuse. These bibs sacrifice some weight savings and breathability for durability and protection from the elements.
About the pants
- Brand: Flylow
- Model: Baker Bib
- Size Fit: Runs a little small. Size up if you wear extra layers but be weary of the inseam and choose a short or tall option if necessary.
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 210
- Pant size: 36
- Experience: 25+
- When I bought these: I bought my most recent pair in March of 2022. But my first pair was purchased in September 2017!
- Days used: 50+
- Where I’ve used them: Mt. Baker, Washington. Revelstoke, British Columbia.
- Weather conditions used in: Sunny days, pow days, “wet pow” days, and rain.
How it performs
What I was looking for
I owned a few pairs of bibs before I bought my Baker bibs but nothing quite left me satisfied. My previous bibs had worn out too quickly and I wanted something more long term. I was looking for a bib that could withstand seasons of abuse at the resort and would also work for some occasional backcountry skiing.
Why I chose this gear
I initially purchased the Baker bibs because I had heard of their proven long-term durability among ski patrollers. I wanted a bib – not a pant – because I really like the added comfort and protection from the elements that you get from bibs. I also needed something that would protect me from the inclement weather that we often get here at Mt. Baker. So I bought the bibs named after my local ski area.
What I love about it
- Comfort: The Baker bibs are extremely comfortable! I love the freedom of movement and extra protection from the snow I get from bibs compared to ski pants. I preferred skiing in these with a one-piece base layer underneath (like the Ninja Suit) for maximum freedom of movement.
- Warmth: They are warm but are not insulated. Skiers who prefer extra warmth will want to add a mid-layer underneath, but I typically skied them with just a baselayer. The ample room around the legs added a nice buffer of air for insulation.
- Waterproofing: The 3-layer fabric is treated with DWR and is very waterproof with a rating of 20k. The waterproofing can last for many seasons of use and is easily refreshed with Nikwax if needed.
- Durability: They are incredibly durable. My first pair lasted me 50+ days on snow, and they still looked new! The material doesn’t break down, and they are properly reinforced in all the right areas. I am excited to put my newest pair through the same paces.
- Ease of movement: They allow for more ease of movement than traditional ski pants, and I love the feeling of freedom they evoke. That said, there are some areas where the fit and range of motion could be improved. More on that in a little bit.
- Quality: All-in-all, they are a very-high quality product with well-thought-out features. The 3-layer polyester fabric with a waterproof and breathable membrane offers plenty of protection from the elements.
- Special Features: The beacon pocket on the chest is a nice feature and has a button snap closure as well as a secure plastic hook for connecting the lanyard
Issues I’ve encountered
- Fit: I think the fit on the Baker Bib is very comfortable and offers a lot of freedom of movement, but I do see some room for improvement. Around the midsection, there are velcro straps on either side that can be tightened to make the fits snugger. There is also some stretchy material on the back of the bib that allows for some growth, but the bib is still a little restricting around my ribs. I wish there was some of the same stretchy material on the sides of the bibs as this would allow for better movement and a more accommodating fit but would still be protected from the elements by my jacket. This is just a minor complaint as I find these bibs to be very comfortable!
- Breathability: These bibs are rated at 20k for breathability but compared to some other options; they are not quite as breathable. Despite that, I never found myself overheating, and I put a number of backcountry days in on them as well. I found the ventilation zippers to be more than adequate for my use–just be prepared to vent!
- Weight: They are definitely not a light bib and have some extra weight that can be noticeable when skiing in the backcountry. But having worn out lightweight bibs in the past, I have learned to appreciate the added weight and thus increased durability of the Baker bibs.
- Any workarounds? I suggest sizing up if you want a bit more room around the midsection. These bibs are a bit tight and not as accommodating based solely on pants size. Consider more room for extra layers.
Favorite moment with this gear
I took a trip to Revelstoke and spent all of my time there on a snowboard. These bibs were super comfortable on a snowboard and offered plenty of forward flexion. They kept me warm even though I was spending more time sitting in the snow than I would be doing on my skis! I put plenty of time on skis with these bibs in the past and was impressed by how well they held up against ski edges, but the range of movement and warmth needed for my amateur snowboarding in these was also top-notch!
Value for the money vs. other options
At $420, they are not cheap, but I consider them an investment into my future on snow. They last for many seasons and are properly reinforced in key areas to prevent them from wearing out!
I think the Baker bibs are a great option for dedicated skiers or snowboarders looking for a waterproof and durable bib that can take on harsh weather conditions and will perform for many seasons.