New for last winter, the Outpost is Fly Racing’s line of affordable gear aimed at riders east of the Rocky Mountains, with 200 grams of insulation in the body and 150 grams in the sleeves of the jacket to make riders comfortable on long, cold days spinning the track on the trails. Though available in brighter colors, I opted for the more understated black and grey combination.
For riding in the Upper Midwest, this gear worked quite well. I used it in a variety of conditions, including a frigid, two-day, 400-mile adventure that included trail riding and ditch banging in temperatures that plunged to minus 15 degrees F. The jacket was warm and comfortable, with soft fabric adding a degree of luxury and a good fit overall – with arm and torso lengths that fit me expertly. The outer fabric did a great job of knocking down the wind and repelling moisture. On warmer days in the mountains, the jacket proved to be too warm – even with the vents open. I longed for a Western-focused shell with a removable liner, but then again that’s not where this jacket’s targeted.
I appreciated the subtle black and grey jacket for its timeless style. It does not turn many heads, but it is very practical. The black fabric in the belly area – where folks most often get their jackets dirty – is a wise idea, and the jacket and bibs match just about any sled’s graphics. The wrist closures were well sized, usable and functional. Reflective Innolite piping was more than adequate for night riding.
The matching bibs feature 185 grams of insulation and a smart design that includes Cordura fabric on the inner leg panels for added durability. Other features included a wide band of elastic on the sides to allow extra room, a Velcro flap over the side zippers for warmth and a main front zipper that goes down very low to make trailside restroom breaks easier.
Overall, the gear seemed well made and well designed, but it wasn’t flawless. The jacket’s main YKK zipper failed twice. The zipper handle broke and would not release the zipper to allow me to lower it. I was sent replacements, but they broke too. After the second re-placement I was careful when operating the zipper, it now works OK.
EDITORS NOTE: This story first appeared in the Cold Tested product testing department of the December 2017 issue of Snow Goer magazine. To regularly see in-depth sled reviews, aftermarket product tests, destination stories, Flashback vintage sled articles, informative how-to stories and much more, subscribe to Snow Goer.