It seems like there are a handful of companies that dominate the mountain snowmobile gear industry. We like to venture outside of just those brands to give other companies a try. So when I ripped my previous pair of pants, a pair of North Face pants which had a good run, I decided to test the HMK Cascade Bib.
Please note that we have no vested interest in HMK–if we ever do, we’ll clearly state any connection we have. We will stay as unbiased and neutral as possible. We simply want to pass on what we’ve learned. We also hope that you’ll share your experience with the products we review in a comment at the end of the review.
Cost: This is a hard question to answer. They are listed for $319.95 on the HMK website. I purchased mine on Amazon.com for around $230. If you look around, you can easily beat the HMK retail price.
Perceived Quality/Aesthetics: This pant looks really nice out of the box. It feels very high quality. It looks very good, but is not overly flashy…just the kind of look a backcountry mountain rider appreciates. The zippers and plastic parts look and feel strong enough to hold up for an extended period of time. But don’t be too enamored with the look of this product…
Comfort/Fit: I followed the HMK sizing chart which, based on my sizes, suggested that I get the Medium Tall. This seemed odd as I have never purchased anything with the word “tall” in it before. Sure enough, when the product arrived, it was slightly too long. Not to the point that I can’t use them, but I wouldn’t order that size again. Be aware that these run slightly larger than the sizing chart suggests.
Overall, I like the way they felt while riding. They allow a great range of motion and don’t limit any required maneuvers. The waist and suspenders are highly adjustable, allowing for whatever fit you prefer in those areas.
Features: The pockets are fleece lined and the chest pocket includes a bungee attached goggle wiping cloth, which is pretty cool. There are two pockets in front on the waist, one on the chest, and one on the right rear. The chest pocket feels too small. The front pockets are really deep, not my preference, but you decide. The zippers feel high quality and easy to use.
There are zippers down both sides for your ventilation needs. They are covered by Velcro flaps. Everything seems to be good here.
The buttons on the bottom of the pant are terrible. They are constantly coming undone. The buttons on the gaiter, intended to attach to your boot laces, are really low quality. One of mine broke on the first ride. HMK does include a few replacement buttons (that might be a sign??) with the pants. But I really don’t every want to think about replacing buttons unless I have gotten a ton of use out of a product.
Durability: We typically do not rate this category until after one season’s use. In the case of this product, we didn’t have to wait more than 4 rides. The knee ripped in two places. I couldn’t have been more disappointed. I have no doubt that they’ll replace the pants, but the damage has been done in my mind. You expect backcountry mountain products to be able to take a beating! I barely broke these things in and they are falling apart.
Final Thoughts: You’ve probably caught the vibe that I am severely disappointed by this product. Honestly, I was hoping that HMK products in general, and the Cascade Bib specifically, would be awesome. We’ll hold off judgement on the rest of the products, but from one mountain rider to another, I’d never recommend this pant. Sorry, just not up to the standard.
Let us know what you’ve experienced with this product in a comment below!
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