Gear Reviews
Krista Cato
Share

509 Stoke Jacket and Bib Review

One of the keys to being comfortable and staying safe in the backcountry is trusting your gear.

This season I have been testing out the 509 Stoke Jacket and Bib. This has been one of the most monumental snow years the Okanagan has seen, and I must say, the Stoke outerwear is earning my trust more and more with each ride.

Here’s my 509 Stoke Jacket and Bib review!


509 Stoke Jacket and Bib Review

Protection From the Elements

Growing up playing in the mountains of BC, I have learned the importance of staying dry. The only thing worse than being forced back to the cabin or to the truck because of wet gear is to be stranded in the backcountry wearing it.

This season I have had many rides in a variety of conditions and I am happy to say the Stoke gear is some of the most waterproof that I have used to date. It is rated 20K/20K waterproof/breathable and it shows.

The 509 Stoke Jacket and Bib faced a good test on my first ride of 2020, which was a deep one. We experienced three forms of precipitation throughout the day. At the trailhead, we unloaded in rain. Then, as we progressed up the trail it turned into freezing rain. In the alpine, snow was coming down hard, adding to the already handlebar deep blower pow from the night before.

509 Stoke Jacket and Bib Review on a snowy day

The snow just keeps coming this winter. Photo: Morgan Schunter

A few adventure-filled hours of stuck snow bikes and epic pow turns later I was happy to see that even though everything was frozen on the outside—my braids, goggles, gloves and jacket, I remained totally dry inside the 509 Stoke Jacket and Bib.

This is the first suit I have worn that features welded seams and waterproof zips and I cannot believe how well it preforms. The waterproofing of this suit definitely scores a 10/10.

Style

I usually prefer bright outerwear while riding my snow bike, but I chose black this season as my bike already has a very colourful wrap. I love the look of the black Stoke Jacket—it is timeless. It’s a little more subtle than the 509 Evolve Jacket and Bib styling.

I wear it while I am riding of course but I am also comfortable enough in it to wear it after the riding day is done. I’ve even found myself rocking it around my local ski village. It is quickly becoming my go-to jacket.

Tamara Goodridge

Room for Improvement

While it appears that the 509 designers have put a lot of thought into preventing snow from entering riders’ boots with hook-and-loop closures and gaiter clips, for myself on a snow bike, it is not enough to keep the snow out 100% of the time.

In other words, when I am seated on my snow bike, I find that my bibs ride up to the point that snow can make its way into my boots. I tried making adjustments to the bib and suspenders to accommodate for this and it helped some, but it wasn’t enough to stop the snow entirely.

For that reason, to those who spend more time on a snow bike than a sled, I would recommend trying a size up in pants to make sure there is enough length when seated.

Fit and Comfort

The material of the Stoke gear makes it one of the most comfortable two-piece suits I have owned. 509’s addition of stretch panels on the bib allow it to move with me as I ride. 509 uses a material they call 5TECH PRO, with the woven stretch technology—and I am a huge fan. It breathes, it stretches, and it does not weigh me down.

Durability-wise, I have worn this jacket and bib combo every ride so far this year and it still looks brand new. Durability has clearly not been compromised by the lightweight nature of this product.

As for fit, at 162 cm (5’4”) tall and 54 kg (120 lb.) the size small jacket and bib are a great fit (with the aforementioned exception of leg length while seated). When I wear the jacket, it feels as if the jacket moves with me.

Other Features

Bib Zips

As a woman, arguably the biggest struggle we have out there is with the backcountry bathroom solution. 509 has found it! The Stoke bib features a zipper between the suspenders and the pants that unzips all the way. It frees the pants from the bib potion and allows me to do the deed without the usual process of taking off my jacket, unzipping the bib, unzipping the pants and—quite literally—freezing my butt off! This nifty zipper makes it easy for ladies to do their thing in the backcountry. Thank you 509!

Full Leg Zips

This is a feature I have come to love in my riding gear. The last suit I wore had partial zips which are helpful, but the Stoke bib has zips that go all the way up the side of the pant. This allows me the luxury of putting the bib on to keep dry as I lace up my boots. The zips go high enough that I can gain access to my knees as well to put my knee pads on after suiting-up.

Pockets

The pockets on both the Stoke Jacket and Bib have excellent placement. The jacket has clearly been designed to be worn with a backpack, as I have full access to all pockets while wearing my Highmark Pro avalanche airbag.

There is a pocket inside the jacket designed for a phone, however, it could stand to be a bit larger to allow easier access without having to remove my gloves. That said, I prefer to keep my phone on the outside anyway, as I am often pulling it out to snap pics of my riding buddies.

509 Stoke Jacket and Bib Review_-7
509 Stoke Jacket and Bib Review_-6

509 Stoke Jacket and Bib Review Summary

Riding in the 509 Stoke Jacket and Bib outerwear has given me the confidence I need to know I will stay warm and dry every single day out in the backcountry. I put the Stoke gear on and instantly feel the quality and comfort of the suit. I trust that it will allow me to push the limits on my snow bike, and continue to grow with the sport.

Rainy trails, blower pow and bluebird cold snaps—the Stoke gear has me covered.

509 Stoke Jacket and Bib Review Group

Photo: Innerspace Watersports

 

– Brooke