Editors Note: The following article appeared in the January 2021 issue of Snow Goer in our Cold Tested department. Each issue of Snow Goer features real-world tests of products for snowmobilers.

A day riding in the high mountain backcountry puts man and machine to the test. We battle the cold weather, high elevation, immoveable obstacles such as trees and rocks, and much more.

     One easy way to keep yourself happy out there is to ensure that you’re donning high quality riding gear during the adventure. Certain criteria must be met by that gear: Follow along to learn whether the 509 Evolve Jacket and Bib pass muster.

     First and foremost, it certainly must be waterproof. This 509 gear utilizes 5Tech fabric construction, 300 denier Cordura HP Polyester and Durable Water Repellent (DWR) to keep moisture at bay. Droplets follow the paths of least resistance such as seams, zippers and leg/arm openings to reach your body, so 509 tapes every seam to prevent this while the zippers are also fully waterproof.

     The arms of the jacket efficiently seal away snow via a wrist gaiter while the snowskirt is a highlight of this piece being large and snug to prevent snow from crawling up one’s back or front.

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     On the pant, the lower leg button snap had a tendency to pop open when the snow was deep on a cold day, and while this didn’t directly affect its waterproofing, the lower zipper would begin to ride up slightly.

     Second, if the gear works so hard to keep wetness out, it shouldn’t trap any of my self-generated moisture. Huge pit zips served to let heat out of the jacket, and can be positioned where you’d like courtesy of the dual zippers. Since the bib is a mid-height, it also has a layer of fabric over one’s chest, so allowing heat generated from within to escape was essential – which this Evolve set did very well.

      Third, durability is a must to resist wear against sled parts, tree pokes and even interior rubbing – but cannot become overbearing/heavy as a consequence nor should it become baggy. These Evolve bibs employ a 5Ride protection zone in the seat to prevent condensation or melting on the outer layer which is very effective (while adding minimal mass).

       Another neat feature of the bib are the elastic side panels to slim the shape of the chest – a very cool idea. The outer material of the gear has some stretch to it, which allowed firm objects to graze/grab and then deflect instead of puncturing. Not once did we worry about diving through dense timber and fear popping out on the other side with a tear.

      Thus, we’re happy to report that the Evolve Jacket and Bib combo served us well this winter and passed with flying colors. Even the pockets earned some extra points for their placement and feel of the brushed tricot interior.

Editor’s Note: Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.

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