Editor’s Note: Each regular issue of Snow Goer magazine includes evaluations of aftermarket gear in our Cold Tested department. This article first appeared in the November 2019 issue of Snow Goer.
With fear of sounding like I’m Forest Gump, “Momma always told me that if you don’t have anything good to say ‘bout something, just don’t say anything at all.”
With that mentality, I didn’t say much about Fly Racing’s first line of snowmobile gear when it was launched about eight years ago. The entry-level focus and especially the styling of the original SNX Snow line held little appeal to me, which was personally disappointing because I had eagerly awaited Fly’s entry into the snow market.
In a short time, though, Fly Racing has come a long, long way in the development of a full line of snow gear, including some higher quality lines like the Carbon Jacket Pant that were my protective companions in the winter of 2018-19.
The Carbon Jacket is an uninsulated design aimed at mountain riders or warm-blooded trail riders like me who don’t mind layering up underneath a protective shell. Its exterior is made from a Condura nylon material designed to be windproof and waterproof yet breathable. It certainly proved to be durable in its first year on the snow, yet if feels relatively soft and easily moved with my body. It’s also treated with a Hydraguard Pro waterproofing material, with sealed seems and quality Aquaguard zippers to further protect from the elements.
The cut of the jacket is somewhat thin – at 5 foot 11 inches, 185 pounds, I needed a size XL for its girth to fit over me and the protective TekVest I wear when riding, but that size choice resulted in sleeves that were a tab too long. Beyond that, Fly’s design team offered all of the fit-adjustable goodies – Lycra hand gators and Velcro cuffs at the wrists, draw strings on each side at the base and a snapping powder skirt at the waist. Four exterior pockets (two at the waist, one on the chest and another on the left forearm) were complimented by one small interior pocket plus two large interior pouches big enough to hold spare goggles. There’s also a removable hood.
The Carbon Bib with the same materials and treatments is also cut somewhat narrow – a size large fit expertly over my 33-inch waist, but there wasn’t a lot of room for me to grow horizontally. The cut to the crotch was pleasantly neutral – not hiking up nor feeling baggy. A removable belt added to the fit.
Both the jacket and bibs featured copious amounts of venting, with zippered openings of 10 inches on each side at the ribs, 8 inches on each bicep and 9 inches across the thighs, each with 2Cool Air Vent mesh backing that lets in air but not moisture.
Overall, I enjoyed the gear’s fit, feel, adaptability and durability. As with any uninsulated gear, proper layering underneath is key for warmth on brutally cold days, but with proper planning it kept me warm and comfortable all season.
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. 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.