The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

FlyLow Gear Baker Bib Review

Sturdy, highly-protective pants for those that wish to look like ski bum lifers.
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Price:  $420 List | $419.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comprehensive protection, many pockets, ski bum styling
Cons:  Stiff fabric, suspender buckles are uncomfortable
Manufacturer:   FlyLow Gear
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 9, 2019
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 12
  • Weather Resistance - 30% 9
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 5
  • Ventilation - 15% 9
  • Style - 15% 6
  • Warmth - 10% 4
  • Features - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Flylow Gear Baker Bibs are stout, heavy, and ready for the gnarliest of ski resort weather. They will hold up to use and abuse over the years. The style is bold but lasting. It is always ok to appear as if you ski all the time. The stiff fabric and large suspender straps and buckles compromise comfort for most, but many will justify these compromises for the protection and style. If you want the weather resistance of bibs but still want to remain comfortable, reach for the Top Pick-winning Marmot Discovery Bibs.

Product Updates

Since we tested the Baker Bib, FlyLow released some updated colors, one of which is shown above. Aside from colors, everything remains largely the same on this version; the only difference being that a new OmniBloq DWR coating was added, which is stated to last three times longer than the previous DWR coating.

September 2019


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
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Pros Comprehensive protection, many pockets, ski bum stylingImmaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy liningFashionable, carefully tailored, excellent weather protectionWarm, comfy, solid overallBib design, fully waterproofed construction, many pockets
Cons Stiff fabric, suspender buckles are uncomfortableExpensive, no bright color optionsMesh-backed vents, doesn’t have all the bells and whistlesLimited sealing of pockets, less effective ventsNot everyone likes bibs
Bottom Line Sturdy, highly-protective pants for those that wish to look like ski bum lifers.These are top of the line pants. The protection, fit, and comfort are unmatched. They are versatile, durable, and have a lasting style.Excellent, all-around ski pants suitable for almost all users.The top insulated ski pants for those who need them.This model does the difficult; they combine comfort with full-blown bib protection. In this subcategory of ski pants, these are our favorite.
Rating Categories FlyLow Gear Baker Bib Arc'teryx Sabre Pants Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants Spyder Dare Regular GTX Marmot Discovery Bib
Weather Resistance (30%)
10
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9
10
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10
10
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10
10
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8
10
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9
Fit And Comfort (25%)
10
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5
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Ventilation (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
3
10
0
5
Style (15%)
10
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6
10
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8
10
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9
10
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8
10
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5
Warmth (10%)
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4
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5
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6
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6
Features (5%)
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8
Specs FlyLow Gear Baker... Arc'teryx Sabre... Patagonia Powder... Spyder Dare... Marmot Discovery Bib
Main fabric Nylon 3L Cordura Nylon 3L 4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester 2L Polyester plain weave 2L 100% Nylon 2L
Insulation None Laminated fleecy lining Hanging mesh lining 3M Thinsulate Hanging mesh lining
Waterproofing Intuitive Oxford (3-layer) and DWR N80p-X Gore-Tex (3-layer) Gore-Tex w/ DWR finish (2-layer) Gore-Tex laminate and PFCecFree DWR (2-layer) Membrain 2-Layer
Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?) Bibs Snaps. Built-in elastic belt Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Snap/zipper fly with internal adjustment and removable suspenders Bibs
Weight (in pounds) 2.08 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.67 lbs 1.79 lbs 1.97 lbs
Weight (in grams) 945 g 600 g 756 g 811 g 894 g
# of Pockets 5 3 4 5 6
Vents? Inner and outer thigh zips, no mesh Exterior thigh zips, no mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Inner thigh zips, with mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh
Ski-specific features Attach to matching jacket Recco, fleecy handwarmer pockets, key/pass clip inside pocket Scuff guards, gaiters Scuff guards, gaiters, articulated knee, insulation on back for cold chairlifts Bibs, gaiters, reinforced ankles
Recco? no yes ? ? yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

FlyLow's Baker Bibs are stout. The "three-layer" fabric, waterproofed with FlyLow's proprietary "Intuitive" laminate, is sturdy inside and out and the construction backs it up. These are no-compromise bibs for burly weather and extended resort use. The pants are relatively heavy and relatively confining, due to the sturdy fabric.

Performance Comparison


On our weighted scoring rubric, as compared to the 11 other competitors, the FlyLow Baker Bibs sit near the bottom third. This isn't such a bad thing. Our product selection is thorough, eliminating the products that we know won't hold up. Every product we select for testing is a good choice and worth consideration. In a stacked field, it is no surprise that this heavy and sturdy product scores, overall, like it did.

When the snow is perfect  it doesn't matter what your pants feel like. This tester has forgotten all about the limited range of motion of the stiff fabric on the FlyLow Baker Bibs.
When the snow is perfect, it doesn't matter what your pants feel like. This tester has forgotten all about the limited range of motion of the stiff fabric on the FlyLow Baker Bibs.

Weather Resistance


This is the scoring category in which the Baker Bibs shine. Their namesake mountain is known for tens of feet of snow and occasional rain to the top of the lifts. These bibs can take it all. All the pants we tested are waterproof and breathable. What makes the Baker Bibs stand out is the sturdy fabric that holds up to wind and chair lifts, complemented by the bib-height to seal out drafts and leaks and excellent construction and waterproof zippers all around. The only pants that do even better are those that feature these same attributes and add in more sophisticated "durable water resistant" coatings. The DWR of the Patagonia Powder Bowl and Top Pick Patagonia Descensionist, for instance, leads the industry. With rubbing and extended use, liquid water will stop beading up on the surface of your Baker Bibs. It won't get through to the inside, though this soaked external fabric may make the whole garment feel colder and contribute to clamminess on the inside from condensation.

Fit and Comfort


Our testers were a little torn on the fit and comfort of the Baker Bibs. Everyone found them to be stiff and sturdy feeling. A few liked this "armor-like" feel, while most wished for more supple fabric. When sized correctly, it is interesting to note that the shoulder straps/suspenders have large plastic buckles that sit on or near the wearer's shoulders. With plenty of layers beneath, at a resort, this isn't a big deal. On more slender people, with few or thin upper body layers beneath the bibs, these buckles are uncomfortable against many collar bones. The effect is even worse when the wearer adds a backpack over the top. The sensation, under a heavy backpack, can be virtually unbearable.

If you're into bibs, but are searching for a comfortable pair of them, check out the Discovery Bibs from Marmot. The difference between the Discovery and Baker bibs in this area of performance is significant.

We found the fit of the Baker Bibs to be true to size. Stylistically they fit loosely around your legs. But the dimensions that matter are consistent. Other online reviewers suggest that the Baker runs both big and small. Could this be a quality control issue or an issue with crowd-sourced reviews? We have tested three different iterations of the Baker Bibs now, over four years and all in size medium and all on our 5' 10" 160# lead tester. He wears "Medium" in almost all clothing and found the Baker to be true to size in all three generations tested.

Ventilation


FlyLow pants are the only ones in our test group that come with vents on both the inside and outside of each leg. We dig this. Each leg gets cross ventilation this way. Both the Baker Bibs and the FlyLow Chemical Snow Pants feature this dual vent arrangement.

Two vents per leg more than doubles venting air flow. The swirling  "cross breeze" provided by FlyLow's dual venting is welcome when things really heat up.
Two vents per leg more than doubles venting air flow. The swirling, "cross breeze" provided by FlyLow's dual venting is welcome when things really heat up.

Further enhancing absolute ventilation is the lack of any mesh backing on these FlyLow vents. For maximum ventilation, no mesh is preferred. If you wish to have your vents open but slow the ingress of loose snow or maintain a little more modesty, mesh-backed vents are preferred. Overall, our team seems to prefer mesh-less vents like those on the FlyLow and the Arc'Teryx Sabre. The Top Pick Marmot Discovery Pants also have vents with no mesh.

Style


FlyLow is known for ski and snowboard clothing that aims for the "core" look. When you buy FlyLow clothing, you make a statement, and you say you wish to look like a skiing "lifer." This is a worthy pursuit and seems to hold up across the line of gear we have tested from FlyLow. The Baker is one of their flagship products, and the look is decidedly "ski bum casual." The color we tested for 2019 even looks like a slightly faded pair of Carhartt pants. Of all the pants we tested, the FlyLow Baker Bibs make one of the most decisive style statements.

The style of the Baker Bibs is casual  yet "core." The look and the mark both say "I ski a ton"  whether you do or not.
The style of the Baker Bibs is casual, yet "core." The look and the mark both say "I ski a ton", whether you do or not.

Warmth


These are shell pants. The only insulation value you get is that which is inherent with what is effectively a single, thick layer of fabric. These provide warmth in terms of protection from some convective heat loss, and they help reduce evaporative heat loss by keeping you dry. They provide little help when it comes to conductive and radiative heat loss.

Bibs over a ton of coverage and that coverage overlaps with even the shortest of ski jackets. For maximum protection  choose bibs.
Bibs over a ton of coverage and that coverage overlaps with even the shortest of ski jackets. For maximum protection, choose bibs.

The "three-layer" configuration ("three-layer" is the naming convention for a type of textile that laminates three different layers - shell, membrane, lining - into one fabric) is the least warm configuration for ski pants. Those pants that have a separate "hanging" lining provide a little additional insulation, while the warmest are those that have dedicated "puff" insulation built right in. For instance, we granted the Spyder Dare pants our Top Pick Award for their insulating performance. The Editors' Choice Arc'Teryx Sabre is built in "three-layer" configuration, just like the Baker Bibs. The Sabre gets a slightly higher warmth score because their inner layer is just a little fuzzier. That fuzz provides some warmth, theoretically and anecdotally.

Features


The Baker Bibs have a pretty good selection of features. The bib construction allows for more pockets, for instance. All the pockets are useful and well-placed. Our only wish is that the Baker Bibs had built-in Recco reflectors.

The Baker Bibs snap to FlyLow jackets to further enhance the weather protection.
The Baker Bibs snap to FlyLow jackets to further enhance the weather protection.

Best Applications


These are super-protective bibs for those that ski and ride in heavy weather and put in long days and seasons. The protection will last and last.

The inner cuff of the Baker Bibs is long and generous.
The inner cuff of the Baker Bibs is long and generous.

Value


These aren't inexpensive, but they are still about half the price of the Editors' Choice. The construction and protection will hold up for years and years of even heavy use.

Conclusion


If the style works for you, and you ride in rowdy conditions, check out the Baker Bibs.


Jediah Porter