Today we’ll be breaking down the AFTCO Reaper Windproof Jacket. I’ve had this jacket for about a year now, and worn it in several different settings. There are aspects of the Reaper Windproof Jacket that I felt confident I’d like when first laying eyes on it, and then there’s one particular feature that I was hesitant on at first.
At the end of the day, I’ve been quite pleased with this jacket as a whole, finding that it’s comfortable, versatile, effective and efficient. Let’s take a look at why that is now.
AT FIRST GLANCE
I actually was given this jacket by B.A.S.S. to wear when covering tournaments as a freelance contributor for their organization (since AFTCO is their official clothing sponsor). When I first received this jacket along with an assortment of other AFTCO clothing, I liked the looks of it in-particular. It had a full front zipper, zippered pockets and a clean look to it that I figured would make it a great wear around town as well as in the boat.
I must admit though, I wasn’t really a fan of the “reaper” part of the jacket at first glance, that is the integrated face mask. It looked like it would get in the way when I didn’t want to wear it. And I figured it was kind of redundant, since I already own a couple balaclavas to cover my face in extreme cold conditions. Still, I chose this out of the items AFTCO and B.A.S.S. had sent over as the jacket to wear most of the time. And I found, in time, that my first impressions of the face covering were a bit askew.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH REAPER JACKET
I’ve worn the AFTCO Reaper Windproof Jacket in a wide range of settings over the last year. It’s come in quite handy on the water and as an everyday wear around town through the spring and fall. I’ve layered it over a hoody at times when the air temps were particularly cold, or when the wind was kicking. It’s held up well to its name in keeping the chill of the wind out. And though it is not waterproof, its proven serviceable in a light sprinkle and misty conditions when some heavier rain jackets would be a bit much.
But the one time when I really came to appreciate this jacket, and its built-in face mask, was during a trip to Chicago of all places with my wife for her work. We were on an architectural river cruise of the city (which I highly recommend). The wind was whipping and it was bitterly cold. Shortly into the voyage, I remembered the integrated face mask tucked behind my head. I pulled that bad boy over my face and instantly became the envy of everyone onboard, as I settled in and enjoyed the ride without fear of losing my nose to frostbite (slight exaggeration).
REAPER INTEGRATED MASK
Granted, you’ll unlikely find yourself on that same little boat in Chicago, but you will undoubtedly be faced with a cold wind at some point if you fish through the winter. The Reaper face mask is pretty sweet. It has a soft and comfortable inner-lining as well as perforated holes to allow for easier breathing and reduce the fogging of your glasses.
The biggest concern I had upon that very first sight of this jacket was that the face mask would be bothersome when it wasn’t in use, crowding the hood and annoying me. But, I honestly don’t even notice its existence when I’m not using it and it’s tucked away in the hood. The way AFTCO designed it, the mask retreats into the concave of the hood pretty evenly, kind of just adding another smooth layer to the inside of the hood when not in use.
INSIDE OF REAPER JACKET
Inside the jacket you’ll find the same soft “Hexatron™ fleece lining” that is present inside the face mask. This material is soft and comfortable on the skin, making this jacket a great wear over a t-shirt as well. There’s also a drawstring cord on the inside of the waist of this jacket, so that it can be tightened if desired, to keep the cold and wind out.
AFTCO did something I haven’t personally seen done by another company too, by adding perforation in the armpits of this jacket. These holes allow heat to escape the jacket and cut down on sweating. If it’s cold out and I get hot and sweat, and then that sweat cools, I’m miserable. I’m cold the rest of the day. So, I really appreciate what AFTCO did here to help the jacket release heat where needed to keep me dry and warm.
TRIMMINGS AND SPECS ON REAPER JACKET
There are three zippered pockets on the Reaper Windproof Jacket: standard hand pockets on each side and one pocket on the left chest. All of these pockets have a soft and warm lining as well as a weatherproof zipper. The same heavy-duty zipper is used on the front to close the entire jacket up.
There’s a drawstring cord for the hood that can be used to cinch it down. The hood has an adequate amount of space in it to accommodate anything from a hat to a hard face mask like the popular Save Phase masks. The sleeves also have adjustable cuffs that can be secured with Velcro.
The jacket is “constructed from a durable 3-layer stretch softshell ripstop” material comprised of 90% Polyester and 10% Spandex. Though again this jacket isn’t waterproof, it does have a Durable Water Repellent coating that will keep moisture out to some degree. This jacket comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes, as well as a standard and “big guy” fit, offering a great jacket for any and every angler.
ALL TOGETHER GOOD JACKET
Wether you’re looking for a good all-around fishing jacket, something you can wear around town or both, the AFTCO Reaper Windproof Jacket is a great option. This jacket is light weight, looks good, fits loose, offers protection from heavy wind and light rain and comes equip with added protection from stiff winds with the built-in Reaper face mask.
At $119 this is a reasonably-priced jacket for the quality. And with so many color and size options (literally dozens of possible combinations), AFTCO has a selection in the Reaper Windproof Jacket for everyone. I’ve worn this jacket personally in a wide variety of settings and it’s one I anticipate keeping handy for years to come— an easy product for me to recommend.