TOBE’s Contego 3-in-1 Jacket and Hoback Bib Insulated at First Glance

TOBE, which is pronounced “too-bee,” is making a serious attempt to bring very high quality snowmobile gear options to North America. Their products are high end and offer well-thought-out features. TOBE may not be as well known as some competitors, but those who have experienced the culture and quality of their products will probably stay loyal. This season I have the privilege to test their Contego 3-in-1 Jacket and the Hoback Bib Insulated. My impressions in this article are after approximately 1000 kilometres of trail riding in various temperatures so far this year.

Contego 3-in-1 Jacket

First, I want to take a look at the features of the new Contego 3-in-1 Jacket:

  • 100% waterproof
  • 100% windproof
  • Adjustable and removable hood
  • Adjustable hem and collar
  • Converts easily to a non-insulated shell
  • Five exterior pockets
  • Inner goggle pocket
  • Kill switch D-ring in metal
  • Magnetic placket
  • Mesh-lined zipper vents on chest and back
  • Optimal breathability
  • Puffy jacket liner can be worn separately
  • Removable snow skirt

contego 3-in-1 jacket

Made for Trail Riders

I primarily ride groomed trails every season. TOBE began life offering snowmobile garments that were designed for more off-trail and “steep and deep” riders. I appreciate that they have now designed trail-riding gear that we need in the North-East. The Contego 3-in-1 Jacket is new for 2024.

3- In-1 is for The Harsher Climate

To use TOBE’s own marketing, the Contego 3-in-1 Jacket is designed “for the harsher climate.” The 3-in-1 description, however, is not just a marketing tactic. The inner liner easily zips out of the outer shell, enabling those three options. Worn together, they offer plenty of insulation for the harshest of temperatures. You can also wear just the inner liner as a separate jacket for those evenings away from your sled. The outer jacket shell, with Sympatex, is a Performance Jacket that claims to be 100% water—and windproof. It is also supposed to offer optimal breathability. The outer shell is also excellently vented (see impressions below).

inner liner of the contego 3-in-1 jacket
“You can also wear just the inner liner as a separate jacket for those evenings away from your sled.”

I respect TOBE for recognizing that trail riders need unique but also flexible gear. This covers a range of temperatures. The three options in the Contego 3-in-1 Jacket clearly meet our needs for multiple temperatures.

Sizing

The sizing is very accurate. I normally wear a size X-Large in my snowmobile jackets, but I ordered a size Large from TOBE. The Large fits me almost perfectly and I appreciate that the arms are not too long. I usually have that problem with all upper garments I wear—not TOBE. By the time I have a comfortable chest size in any jacket, the arm lengths seem fitting for a gorilla. Conversely, If I make the arms fit me, then the chest is too tight. TOBE’s sizing is so much better for me.

I did, however, forget to make an allowance for wearing my Tekvest. The size Large in the Contego 3-in-1 Jacket fits almost perfectly over my base layer. To be able to wear my Tekvest, I should have gone one size larger. Take this into consideration if you ride with a Tekvest—which I recommend. Next time, I will order an X-Large.

Pockets Are Appreciated

There are multiple pockets, and this delights me. When snowmobile touring, it is important to have enough places for everything you need quickly. Pockets need to be readily accessible throughout a day of multiple gas, food, and relais stops. The TOBE jacket does have one downfall, however. I am left-handed, and the Contego 3-in-1 Jacket only provides a zippered pocket in the lower left arm. This is a perfect placement for your wallet … if you are right-handed. If you are left-hand dependent like me, it is an unfortunate oversight.

left-hand side sleeve pocket on the contego 3-in-1 jacket
Zippered pocket on the left sleeve, ideal for your wallet!

Venting is Excellent

One of our riding days this season was warm (approximately 4 ºC). I was able to open the four vents quite easily in the outer shell while wearing the jacket. I left the inner jacket in while riding and found that the cooler air made the Contego 3-in-1 Jacket quite comfortable. This is a warm jacket for some of our coldest temperatures. Thus, the 3-in-1 design, with the venting in the jacket as a fourth option, gives riders versatility between December and April.

underarm vent on the contego 3-in-1 jacket
underarm vent for those warmer days.

Why the Hood?

I removed the hood from my jacket. I feel as though hoods are a holdover from the mono suits and their historical design. Personally, I do not know of anyone who rides trails that actually uses the hood on their jackets. My advice to TOBE would be to save manufacturing costs and eliminate the hoods on their trail focused jackets. This cost savings could be passed on to the customers at retail. I would be surprised if they received any complaints.

Graphics and Colours

It is nice to be able to wear a jacket (and bibs) that do not advertise. I know this is a subjective observation, but not everyone who sleds wants to look like a sponsored NASCAR driver. TOBE displays their logo discreetly. It does not “shout” at everyone you meet on the trails.

TOBE logo on the contego 3-in-1 jacket's sleeve

Hoback Bib Insulated

Now, let’s look into the features of the Hoback Bib Insulated:

  • 100% waterproof
  • 100% windproof
  • Adjustable suspenders
  • Full-leg zippers
  • Kill switch D-ring in metal
  • Metal hook and snap loop on boot gaiters
  • Optimal breathability
  • Three exterior pockets

Sympatex | The Best of the Best

I have historically worn bibs with Gore-Tex for over 30 riding seasons now. I do not like to get wet, anywhere, when riding. TOBE promises we will stay dry.

sympatex membrane on the Hoback Bib Insulated

The TOBE Hoback Bib Insulated is manufactured using Sympatex. This membrane promises to keep us 100% dry. It is also completely windproof. Note that the Contego 3-in-1 Jacket has the same claims. I have not been able to test this yet. Ideally, when trail riding (in the winter), we should not have to test the waterproofness. However, everyone who has covered lots of trails over many seasons knows those days happen.

Hoback Bib Insulated

Sizing—Large-Short | Somebody is Listening

I ordered a Size Large-Short for my Hoback Bib Insulated. What an excellent choice! Again, using TOBE’s own sizing guide. I am wearing a bib that is actually the correct length for my body, despite my waist-hips sizing. The possibility to order a short version of multiple sizes is very welcomed. As I stated earlier, TOBE is trying hard to bring very high quality sledding gear to North America. I believe TOBE is listening to their customers.

First Ride | I never felt Them

We all appreciate new things. But too often, these have to be broken in. The best compliment I can give to the Hoback Bib Insulated is that the first time I rode with them, I never felt them. They are extremely comfortable and feel broken in already. They are warm and easy to put on or take off. I like that the bib extends up my torso versus ending at my waist. This design gives the small of your back another layer of insulation.

Overall First Impressions

The TOBE Contego 3-in-1 Jacket and Hoback Bib Insulated are excellent choices for trail riding. They BOTH have many high-end features and I have not mentioned everything yet. I look forward to testing these two pieces for the rest of our 2024 riding season. This will allow me to complete a full and final evaluation.

Thank you to TOBE and to our partnership with Mountain Sports Distribution (MSD) for the privilege of evaluating their products. MSD offers a wide range of choices and provides excellent customer service to the snowmobile industry at ShopMSD.com.

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