I already own 3 pairs of FlyLow pants, but I had to use clip-on suspenders because I prefer bibs. I recently scored a pair of Baker Bibs and I'll probably never wear any of my other pants again. The Bakers are pretty much perfect. I'm 6'2" and 215 lbs, I wear XL in Chemical, Magnum, and Baker Bib.
FlyLow pants are so bomb-proof, even the most maniacal bushwhacking tree skier only needs one pair. But I keep buying updates as FlyLow makes improvements and adds features.
The 2012 Z12 has a serious design flaw in the brake. Second day with them I was taking a warmup run on a groomer. Heel twisted out (was set too low) and it blew the hinge rivet out of the proxmal side of the brake. Twisted the brake all to hell, brake didn't deploy, ski got away. Next day, after wiring it together with two cotter pins, I was in the backcountry and my guide told me he'd done exactly the same thing the first day he'd ridden his. BC is getting the brake replaced, but having this happen on a lengthy tour would really suck. Dynafit needs to redesign the new brakes.
I'm a hardcore AT guy. I love Flylow pants (I have 3 pairs) but could never quite love Flylow's Higgins jacket. I'm 6'2" 220 lbs, 46 inch chest. Higgins is only a shell, it is cut small, and by the time I put a few layers on underneath my XL Higgins, it fit me like Michelin Man. I could barely get the zipper up past my armpits.
The B.A. Puffy has solved this problem. The Puffy is cut slightly larger than the Higgins and has its own insulation, so I wear one less layer underneath. I now have plenty of room. I can zip a pair of goggles, my maps, and my GPS into the chest pockets and still get the main zipper up without fussing.
As with all Flylow gear, the construction is bomb-proof and the quality & detail is as good as anything on the market. The hood is helmet-compatible, even for my XXL 62 helmet.
The store was sold out of black so I had to settle for orange, but it's not as ugly as it looks in the photos. I rather like the orange now that I have worn it, and it's certainly more visible to your partner when bush-whacking in the backcountry.
The only thing I'd add to the B.A. Puffy would be a forearm pocket for "Ski Data" RF lift passes. In Europe and South America every resort uses Ski Data or something like it, so a forearm pass pocket is very convenient. But very few of the US and Canadian resorts have upgraded to RF passes yet, so I can see why Flylow left this feature out.
I have 4 pairs of AT skis with Fritschis, I never tried Dynafits because I'm 6'2" 220 lbs and I was, frankly, scared of the dinky little things.
Last week I was in Austria and a friend lent me a sicko-light AT rig consisting of TLT STs and Mustagh Superlights. I only got two days on them (using my Scarpa Spirit 3 boots), but they performed perfectly. I got a nice 25cm powder day, did some touring, and the bindungen did exactly what they are supposed to do.
They took a little getting used to and I'm still not 100% convinced. One thing that still has me a bit concerned is getting in and out of them on very steep slopes and in deep snow (cleaning ice out of the little toe indents on my boots). But the touring performance was insanely great. I saved about 3 lbs per foot over my lightest current rig and it TOTALLY showed in my uphill performance.
My Austrian friend told me "try these once and you'll throw your Fritschis in the garbage". That didn't happen, but I'm enough of a believer now that I'm going to buy a Dynafit rig to add to my quiver. I'm 50 years old so I don't huck and I ski well within my limits, so maybe the Dynafits will work for me in the long run. Perhaps someday the Fritschis will indeed wind up in the garbage. We'll see.
Let me preface this by saying I already own a pair of '09 Spirit 3, '08 Spirit 4, and '06 Denali XT. I ski with the black tongues on the Spirit 3 and Spirit 4 to stiffen them up. I have owned Garmonts and rented Dynafits, but with a wide, flat, large foot (30.0 / 12.5 US / 48 mondo) Scarpa is the boot for me.
The Mobe is evolutionary, not revolutionary, but it has a bunch of tweaks which make it far superior to any of the models I already have. (1) The inner "boot board" is a HUUUUGE improvement. That feature in and of itself is enough to upgrade to the Mobe. For the first time in a Scarpa boot, the floor of the boot is almost totally flat. I didn't have to mess one bit with the multiple shims and endless insole futzing necessary with my Spirit 3/4. I simply molded the liners and was ready to rock. The boot board brings the volume up to that of a normal boot, so no more multiple 1/8" shims necessary to bring the floor of the boot up to reduce the volume to normal. (2) The much-increased stiffness (125) doesn't (to me) make the boot much harder to walk in, but it skis WAY better. My first day out this week (first week of Dec in Ogden area) I climbed for 3 hrs straight right from the car, brand new Mobe's, no pain, one small blister on one instep. The snow was super-gloppy, on the way back down I really REALLY appreciated the extra stiffness. I didn't even need to buckle them down hard, I could cut through crud with the boots barely buckled without feeling wobbly in the least (skiing Scott P4 w/Fritschis). (3) The newest iteration of the walk/ski latch feels very positive and more substantial than the older Scarpa latch. (4) Intuition liner has been upgraded slightly with tougher materials and seems to have slightly higher volume than the older Scarpas (5) buckles are more like alpine buckles, thicker and more positive. (6) Power strap is wider.
Yes it's a little heavier than the Spirit. I'm 6'2" and 220 lbs so the slightly higher weight of the boot isn't as noticeable to me as to some of you lighter skiers. I will probably still use my Spirit 3 for days when I'm mostly hiking and when the powder will be light and un-chopped. On those days I also use a lighter ski, I've got a pair of Scott Powd'Airs and a pair of Coomback 188 for those hiking marathon days.
Love my Mobes, worth every penny.
While backcountry skiing in Chile, the (American) guide I hired was wearing FlyLow from head to toe. Having never heard of FlyLow (despite being a gear freak), I was curious and asked him about the brand. He had nothing but glowing things to say about it, and demonstrated some of FlyLow's unique features (such as pants with flow-through leg ventilation for bleeding off heat when skinning). During the days we skinned together, my clothing was never quite vented/sealed comfortably, his was always perfect for whatever situation we were in.
His FlyLow stuff was already almost two seasons old, yet had no frays, cuts, or repairs.
When I got back to the States I got on FlyLow's web site and ordered one of everything they make.
FlyLow is the opposite of most ski brands - no hype, just thoughtful design. By AT skiers, for AT skiers.
I agree with most of the other reviewers here. P4's are so good, they left me scratching my head....where have you been all my life? I am 6'2", 225, expert-level backcountry specialist. Am a ski snob / technogeek and try almost everything during the course of a season - Gotamas, Mojos, Wateas, Sugar Daddys. Mounted 191 P4's with Fritschi Freerides, Scarpa Spirit 4. I bought them on a whim, had barely heard of P4s. I was looking for a super-fat with a sidecut in the low-20's, was wondering if that would make a powder ski manageable inbounds, the specs looked good on paper. First day I went backcountry in snorkle pow and they were of course terrific, nice soft tips, easy turn initiation. 2nd day skied on slightly icy groomers at Deer Valley and they were STILL great, skied the hard snow like a GS ski about 88 underfoot. I could crank full-speed turns at around 80% before the arc started to break up. Came home and threw my Head SuperMojos in the trash can.
They're a bit heavy for major skinning days, simply because 191 x 108 is a lot of material. So I keep a pair of K2 Superlights around for those 4-hour uphill grinds, but once I get to the top I'm wishing I'd brought the P4s for the descent.
A truly amazing ski. I wonder if the engineers at Scott are really this good, or if they just got lucky. I may buy a pair of 191 Punishers next season just to find out.
I've skied on the same pair of Denali XTs (blue shell) for the last 2 seasons. I'm a large, aggressive ex-racer (6'2" 225). The Denalis are so good, I got rid of my alpine gear in 2005 and have skied only on Randonee stuff since then (Scarpa boots + Diamir Fritschi bindungen).
My Denalis are still perfectly adequate, but I needed a 2nd pair of boots for work, so I bought these. They are very slightly (3 oz) heavier than my Denalis, but have several nice updates: the forward lean adjustment bolt, a better strap on the 2nd buckle, a more solid walk/ski switch, Dynafit compatibility, and the dual tongues. The styling is a little sexier, but big whoop.
I agree with the previous post about "great for wide feet". My feet are like latke (potato pancakes), so Scarpas fit me way better than Garmonts. Probably not worth the cost to upgrade from the Denali to Spirit 4 for the newer, extra gee-gaws, but I'm 100% satisfied with both boots. Warm, too.
WARNING : Try these and your alpine gear will be up for sale the following week.
This jacket is far superior to the very similar Spyder Telluride, which I also own. The Jackson has pit vents, the Telluride doesn't. And the hood makes the whole collar area way more comfortable, whereas on the Telluride, the stubby collar stabs you in the neck no matter what position the zipper is in.
The collar on the Descente soft shells is way better than Spyder's stab-you-to-death collar.
Unfortunately, Spyder has eliminated almost all of their colors in the soft shell garments. You can buy any color you want, as long as it's black or brown. Yeccch.
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