Eight Top Choices in Foul Weather Gear, Part 2
There is a wide range of quality in foul weather gear, as well as a wide range of pricing. There’s no question that a $500 suit will have a lot of features not present in a $100 outfit, including durability, but the field is broad and you can find gear to match your needs no matter what your budget. Here’s a look at some that caught our eye from well-known manufacturers.
AFTCO’s Barricade line has three-layer construction, 20K waterproofing and 15K breathability at a competitive price. The jacket lists for about $250, the bibs for about $230.
The jacket also has what the company calls a “SpeedVent” hood, which is designed to prevent ballooning when an angler takes off for a high-speed run down the lake or bay. Elastic hem cinches allow fitting the bottom of the jacket close to your legs, and the “Double Dry” cuffs prevent water from seeping up the arms while casting or handling gear.
Zippers are often a source of leaking on some rain suits exposed to heavy weather, but the Barricade lineup has YKK AquaGuard zippers, which include a heavy polyurethane exterior coating that functions almost like the top of a zipping food bag to lock spray and rain out. They’re also made of composite that won’t corrode in saltwater.
The line is primarily for moderate temperature fishing and boating and typical fishing in weather that’s occasionally rainy.
For those who routinely fish in heavy weather, a step up to the premium Barricade Elite line may be in order. The Elite series has 100% nylon 4-layer construction to keep you dry and warm, even in the harshest saltwater conditions. It’s rated at 30K waterproofing and 7K breathability, maximizing the ability to keep water out and still allowing some sweat to escape. Water-resistant zipping interior pockets give protection for smart phone, keys and wallet. The jackets are priced at $449, the bibs at $399.
For those who routinely fish in cold, wet weather, from 50 degrees on down, best bet might be the AFTCO Hydronaut Insulated line. The fabric is two layers of nylon with a 30K waterproof rating, lined with a layer of polyester and a synthetic fill batting that adds lots of insulation without much added weight or bulk. The jacket lists for $269, the bib for $249; https://aftco.com.
FroggToggs makes affordable basic rain suits as well as bibs and parkas, with prices ranging as low as $40 for an Ultra-Light rain suit. These would be good utility suits for storage on-board to keep guests dry, and also do the job for casual weekend anglers and boaters. Their Anura HD line has a more durable build, with fully taped and sealed seams, splash-proof front zipper, zippered pockets at the sides and front and an adjustable waist with push-cord locks. It’s $130; https://www.froggtoggs.com.
The Gill’s Apparel line includes the Aspect jacket, ($250) which includes two-way volume adjustment Vortex Hood Technology that streams airflow to keep the hood in place when travelling at high speed, while the YKK AquaGuard front zip and storm guard keeps water out even on the move. Two-layer fabric construction makes this jacket light but solidly waterproof, and the soft touch mesh lining wicks moisture away from the body. The matching Aspect bib is about $200, and available in sizes to 4XL. The company offers a lot of useful information on foul weather gear technology on their site; https://www.gillfishing.com.
Grundens is a well-known name among offshore sailors and pro-mariners, providing a wide variety of durable but breathable foul weather gear of Gore-Tex and other fabrics. The Buoy X collection is their top-of-the-line series with rugged 3-layer construction with Tricot lining providing waterproofing with minimal bulk, available in international orange as well as gray. The hood includes a neck shield and draw strings for a close fit for high speed runs. It’s priced at $490 to $510, with sizes to 3XL. Matching bibs are $300 to $490. The company also several value-priced lines as low as $115 to $135 for bibs, $100 for coats. Neoprene waterproof non-slip deck boots are also part of the line; https://grundens.com.
Helly Hansen makes premium foul weather gear much appreciated among world-ranging sailors.
The Pier 3 Coastal Sailing Jacket is designed for inland and nearshore use, but it includes the SOLAS visibility necessities to assist in location in a man-overboard situation—it’s about $240. At the top end the company makes suits for ocean racing, with the Aegir line built of 5-layer breathable fabrics plus insulation and including face guard and multiple waterproofing solutions at neck and cuffs, priced at about $1,000
Huk’s Icon X Superior Jacket includes float technology and magnetic pocket flaps to keep valuables dry. It has 10 total pockets to store a bit of everything, and is reasonably priced at $225. The matching bib is about $220. They also make cut-to-fit rain gear for women including the $100 Squall jacket and a wide variety of general fishing and boating wear; https://www.hukgear.com.
Mustang Survival is known primarily for PFD’s and survival suits, but they also make a line of premium raingear, the Taku series. This top integrates with kayak skirts and both the men's and women's Taku Dry Bib to create versatile dry solutions. Trimmable latex at the neck and wrists with 3L Marinespec SP fabric creates exceptional waterproof and breathable performance. Velcro® adjustments on wrists and neoprene hem and an extended skirt for kayak compatibility allow for a customizable fit. A fleece-lined zippered kangaroo pocket can warm your hands and keep essentials secure.
Mustang Survival also makes the Hudson Dry Suit, for extreme conditions where staying dry is more important than avoiding a bit of sweat inside the suit. The neck seal provides a quick, one-handed watertight closure
This is a four-layer, completely waterproof suit with internal suspenders to help support the lower portions, a waterproof YKK zipper, watertight zippered pockets and neoprene padded booties. It’s relatively expensive at $1,099, but comparable to other waterproof suits for extreme conditions; www.mustangsurvival.com.
The Orca Ocean Racing jacket may be the most expensive foul weather gear on the market at a list of $1,700 for the parka. It’s constructed in 3-layer Gore-Tex PRO nylon 6.6 fabric which gives the coat high abrasion resistance, tear strength and low moisture pick up. The parka is reinforced with 3-layer Gore-Tex PRO fabric at the sleeves and lower back which gives a higher abrasion resistance.
The hood is constructed in a lighter Gore-Tex PRO fabric to make it less bulky when folded into the collar. It has an extra high collar for weather protection and the collar is adjustable with medical tape at the neck. The hood is lined with microfleece for comfort and has a welded hood brim with channels for water run-off. Center front zipper is a two-way waterproof YKK AquaSeal® zipper with large Hypalon pullers. Chest pockets also have YKK AquaSeal® zippers.
The parka has an integrated spraytop at the inside for extra protection with YKK AquaGuard®zipper closure and an adjustable collar. An adjustable neoprene skirt at the bottom makes for a close fit; https://sailracing.com.