Choko Design International (CDI) helped pioneer snowmobile suits way back in the 1960s. As the oldest manufacturer still in the business, Choko is known for high quality with a traditional approach to materials and construction. But now, IceRock apparel vaults CDI squarely into the 21st century.
Featuring exclusive Nortex waterproof, windproof and breathable shells, IceRock garments come in a variety of styles, insulation weights and colors. I never overheated to the point of perspiration while in my IceRock suit, and that’s unusual as I tend to sweat when riding hard in warmer weather conditions.
For the lower half, I went with the Intense High Bib with 100 grams of insulation and reflective silver striping. Calling it the High Bib is a stretch, as these bibs are actually half-height both front and rear, but that’s still better than what many vendors incorrectly call bibs that are really pants without the extra cold and wind protection above the waist.
This bib kept my thighs toasty warm, avoiding a problem I’ve occasionally had with other bibs, and I never was wet after plowing through billowing loose snow conditions. But what I really like about this bib is that they strike exactly the right compromise between comfort and ease of use, and features like pockets and padding on the other.
I generally prefer bibs not to have extra padding and few, if any, pockets because those features usually make the bibs clumsy. But not these bibs. The thin, lightweight and flexible foam knee pads are easily removable, but I left them in, and four zippered pockets were well executed.
Two bib-front pockets are handy for glasses, a cell phone, gas money and such, and also work better for trail maps than any of the jacket pockets. Hand warmer pockets store keys and other small items, and the leg zippers allow access to the front pockets of my jeans (yes, I am one of them), a feature that I absolutely, positively demand in my bibs.
And there were zero quality issues with these bibs. Overall, I rate the CDI IceRock Intense High Bibs as the best nylon bibs that I have ever worn.
So if you seek the best of both traditional and contemporary snowmobile apparel, take a hard look at CDI IceRock gear. It flat out works. For my review about the CDI IceRock Extreme Jacket, see the January 2015 issue of Snow Goer magazine.
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