TOBE Macer Mono Suit Review
I must admit that I’ve had a long-standing negative opinion on one-piece snowmobile suits—ever since the first time I saw one, really. Not for any good reason I suppose, other than the fact I thought they looked kind of goofy and most back then were a god-awful yellow/pink combo or something similar that made them easy to dislike. For those reasons alone I had low expectations and even less desire to try one out.
Then in mid-February it happened—I was issued a TOBE Macer Mono Suit from Mountain Sledder for some content gathering days, and have since put it through ten days of tree smashing, creek bashing, and getting stuck a lot. All the fun stuff. This has given me the chance to form an actual and honest opinion on wearing a mono suit.
So here’s my TOBE Macer Mono Suit review.
But first, let me explain the three stages of becoming a one-piece snowmobile suit guy.
Stage 1: Dislike. Much like white sunglasses, you’ll never see me wearing one of those—I’m a jacket and pants kind of guy.
Stage 2: Denial. Okay, I am actually wearing one now, but it’s just for today and I don’t really like it.
Stage 3: Acceptance. Two hours after leaving the truck. It’s so comfortable, I really like it. Oh no, I’m a mono suit guy now.
TOBE Macer Mono Suit Review
The TOBE Macer Mono Suit is a lightweight shell that’s made with 45K waterproof material called 2L Sympatex, which they claim is 100% water and windproof. With reinforced knees, shoulders, backside, ankles, plus a warranty for the lifetime of the product against manufacturer and material defects, what else could you ask for?
Fit and Features
The Macer is the first mono suit TOBE has offered with their new “athletic” (aka slim) fit, which is great for anyone who doesn’t have the belly shape of a balloon. At 6’4” tall and about 185 lbs, I definitely appreciate the new, slimmer shape. There’s still plenty of room to move around in the athletic fit suit, you’re just not swimming in it.
The arm length is perfect. The sleeves easily fit over and cover your gloves up to the bottom of the palm. The snow gaiter at the wrist has a built-in thumb loop if you’re into those. The collar height comes up to the bottom of the helmet and hardly leaves any place for wind to find its way through.
There’s also a zipper to enlarge the neck if your gullet is built like a brick. It neck material is soft on the skin in case you forgot your balaclava at home.
I’m wearing a size Large in these photos but an XL would probably be a better fit as the shoulder-to-crotch length is a bit tight on me. I’ve got a longer than normal back though (which is really great for yanking on skis).
Pockets and Vents
TOBE nailed it on the vent locations. I’m a sweaty SOB, but was actually able to stay cool and comfortable which comes as a surprise. The two thigh vents work great by catching tons of air when you’re standing up—simple, but effective. The two long chest vents run down from the nipples to the side of your rib cage, and easily allow heat out and cold air in.
There are five pockets on the Macer suit: a medium-sized one on each thigh, two large ones on the chest, and a small one on the left sleeve. The chest pockets have pockets within the pockets—double pockets! Maybe sleeve is a better way to describe it, but anyway, there’s a spot for sunglasses, phone, banana or any other smaller item you might want to keep from smashing around in the main pocket.
The only downfall on the chest vents and pocket location is if you wear a vest-style pack, they will be hard to access or possibly blocked, but that’s sort of always the case.
Waterproofness and Durability
Besides one 10 km trail ride that consisted of light rain and wet snow (which wasn’t an issue), I haven’t been able to properly test the TOBE claim of 100% waterproof, but also have no reason to doubt it. A full day of heavy, wet, constantly clearing your goggles conditions is the true test.
Even though the Sympatex material is lightweight and has 45,000 mm of waterproofing abilities it seems like it can take a beating. I’ve done multiple ‘Superman’ moves while wearing it—no, not the extreme freestyle trick you might be thinking of—my technique is to slip a foot off for some reason then get dragged beside the sled, bouncing around and smashing my knees on the running board. I ripped my last pair of pants doing this move, but the TOBE Macer doesn’t show a sign of damage.
Features I Like
It’s the small attention to detail that makes a good product great. The leg gaiters have the option to either grab the boot lace with a metal hook or you use the snap loop to make sure that sucker isn’t coming off all day. Not once did I get snow between my boot and pant liner.
The hood doesn’t get in the way while riding, but it is big enough to fit over top of a helmet, which is ideal when standing around on a windy ridgeline taking in the views.
Things I Don't Like
The only real downside I’ve found to wearing a mono suit is when you have a reason to take the jacket half of the suit off. Sure, the built-in shoulder straps keep the pants half from falling down, but the top just dangles there tickling the ground, so you have to tuck the sleeves into the waistline or tie them in a knot.
Also having to take a bumper dumper wouldn’t be the easiest thing I imagine. I actually know a guy who was wearing a mono suit and pooped in his hood accidentally. Oops.
TOBE Macer Mono Suit Review Summary
Up until now I’ve mostly worn high-end 3L GORE-TEX outerwear, which is the good stuff, so I have high expectations. I can honestly say that the TOBE Macer Mono Suit is a quality piece of outerwear that I’m glad to own. Coming in at around $1000 CAD, it isn’t cheap, but if you want to be warm, dry and look really, really, really ridiculously good looking, it’s worth every penny.
More Mountain Sledder gear reviews can be found here!