Outwear Review: Bonfire Particle Pants

Written by JT on . Posted in Reviews


This year I picked up a pair of Bonfire Particle pants, pretty cheap. ($109.00) The specs on the pants are as follows:

-Plain Weave Fabric
-10,000 mm Waterproof
-Fully Tape Seams
-8,000g Breathability
-Shell Insulation
-Brushed Tricot Seat and Knees Lining.

This is my first pair of Bonfire pants, and really they aren’t bad at all. In fact I rather enjoy riding in them. They are baggy enough to move around in, and have consistently kept me warm, even on some 4 degree days. I do wear a pair of base pants underneath them to help with warmth on super cold days. The nice thing about Bonfire pants is it appears that the sizing is pretty much spot on. Usually snowboarding gear runs smaller than normal, but in this case sizing appears to be right on. If you’re a bigger waist 38ish, you can nab an XL and be fine, if you’re 40-42 you can nab the XXL and they should fit just fine. Again, try them on prior to purchasing if possible.

Onto some specifics. The taped seams are nice and do their job well. The pants kept me dry with no problem, and have held up well to some gnalry bails. So far, I don’t have any tears or rips in them, which was suprising. I’ll report back on how they stand up as time progresses. The pants have several pockets including cargo pockets, nice for storing lil items you may need. Bonfire include a very simple lining that acts similar to a pair of underwear, but that’s about where it stops. It’s a basic lining, nothing fancy, but it does get the job done.

The pants slip right over my boots no problem, and even with my short 30″ inseam they don’t drag on the ground when I walk. Your mileage may vary of course, depending on physical constraints. There is a multitude of color choices including, fire engine red, purple, lime green, an off yellow, and a few more to boot. Of course there is always the traditional black that a lot of people seem to favor. I myself opted for the lime green, that way you can’t miss me shredding down the runs.

Overall, the Bonfire pants are a great “bang for the buck.” Quality built, seem to last pretty decently, and fit just perfectly. I have to give props to the Particle pants for now. We’ll see how they hold up as I move onto A-Basin to finish up the season.

Binding Review: 08-09 Flow M9

Written by JT on . Posted in Uncategorized

Friday, I was stoked. The new M9s from Flow were being delivered by UPS! I’ve heard both good and bad, as always, about the M9s, and it appears everyone has an opinion on Flow bindings generally. Unboxing the M9s is pretty much the same as unboxing any set of flows. I found setting them up on my board to be slightly easier than the flight series, well in fact much easier. The M9s actually have ratchet style clasps making tightening the unistrap settings much easier and quicker.

The bindings themselves are much lighter than previous year Flow models, and it appears year after year, Flow continues to make continous improvements in performance, functionality and weight with their bindings. The M9 isn’t the lightest binding of the bunch, but is definitely an improvement in the weight arena. Getting in and out of the binding is much easier than the flight series. The highback appears to be better adjusted, and tuned more so for experienced riders. Getting out of any set of Flow bindings can be a PITA, but I found the M9 to be much easier to snap down than the Flight series. The one true beauty of Flow bindings for me is being able to quickly strap them on while riding the lift up to the runs. I just ride off of the lift, and hit the runs I want, without having to sit down and strap in. This to me is worth the headache of getting out of the binding.

Few notes about the bindings. Plastic baseplate, and upper leather unistrap. Strap latches are indeed plastic, but apparently can be replaced with metal latches from Flow. The M9 support cable is held into the baseplate with a metal cap held against the bottom of the base plate. I often wondered if the plastic would keep up, or maintain support for the pressure applied to the cable. Once I started riding those thoughts faded, but alas, I’m still curious to see how much abuse these bindings can take before the plastic gives or breaks allowing the support cable to come loose. I’ll post an update after more aggressive riding.

Onto some riding notes. First the binding provides good support and I would give it medium response. The highback is comfortable, and has nice padding, more so than the flight series. I would expect better performance from the M9 than the flight series, and I was correct in that assumption. Flow bindings are generally ridden a bit looser than standard strap bindings, which can catch some people off guard. I found this to actually work quite well for me, as the binding kept my foot where I wanted it, but didn’t restrict me from moving in ways which I’m used to. The ride is a softer ride, due to the padding included on the base of the binding, but isn’t overly soft. The rider still has a nice feel of the terrain and response of the board. I’m not sure I’d want to ride any style of pipe riding with the M9s at this point, due to the loose fit I found working on all-mountain. Perhaps tweaking the binding to accomodate a tigherfit, would bolster my confidence with them on pipe.

The M9s are a step up in the flow line-up and are indeed fun to ride. While probably not strictly a park binding, I wouldn’t hesistate to catch a rail, or jumps with them, although as I said, at this point I probably would avoid the pipe with the M9s. The price point for the M9s can range anywhere from $120-200 depending on when you purchase them and if you’re purchasing 08’s or 09s. If you’re looking for a nice all-mountain, decent park binding and are a fan of the Flow line, definitely check out the M9s.