Known for its off-trail clothes and accessories, the 509 Evolve series is designed to meet your needs.
From the outset, I would like to clarify that this is indeed an off-trail/hybrid combination. The non-insulated Evolve jacket is intended to give freeriders freedom of movement and breathable, windproof protection. I actually tested it in the Mont Valins mountains at -20 °C in strong winds, and it met the expectations as to why it was designed. To discuss this further, 509 uses its own 5TECH membrane in the manufacturing of its series. The sleeves’ design also allows the use of wide (trail type) or thin (off-trail) gloves that can be placed both inside and outside the sleeve.
The front closure system is water-repellent and provides an additional magnetic flap windbreaker at the chest area. The hood is extremely handy during frequent stops, and the jacket has enough pockets in the right places to put everything you need: cell phone, hat, small gloves, etc. Compared to its closest competitors, the Evolve jacket has a light inner layer that provides the superior insulation of a simple shell. Plus, the multiple openings and air intakes are well thought out and give meaning to the use that can be made of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the back skirt covering the buttocks, which proved to be particularly useful in icy weather.
Of course, it’s also important to remember to wear the Evolve with an inner layer and choose the right thermal clothing to suit your particular use. I myself use either a thin or thick Lifa plus an intermediate layer (softshell) underneath the coat and a dickey neck tube in extreme weather. And for those who are wondering if it’s possible to put a motocross-style deflector underneath the Evolve? The answer is YES!
In case you are planning a more trail-oriented or 50/50 hybrid use, I recommend the R-200 SERIES jacket, which is insulated with a retractable undercoat. By the way, I use this jacket on the trail, and it does the job! You’ll like the three front zippers that literally block the wind.
The Evolve bib for off-trail and trail use features the qualities of the 509 jacket. Black lined membranes at the buttocks and knees provide added protection against wear and tear. Protecting from impacts, the lower inner part of the outfit is also lined with soft pads on the knees and shins. Plus, there is enough space to fit rigid knee pads. Again, trail use requires a more insulating underlayment than off-trail use. Personally, during my trail outings in freezing weather, I use a thicker base layer with lined shorts.
In wet snow conditions, the 509 garments will keep you dry even in the worst conditions. Compared to Gore-Tex, the performance of 509 5TECH membranes is similar and is sure to shine for decades to come. From now on, no need to get the famous one piece to label yourself as a true backcountry purist! At this point, it’s a matter of taste and personal choice! One thing is sure, the quality of 509 products is well recognized, and the choice of colors offered by 509 (2021) is there to satisfy all riders!