A good rainsuit is worth its weight in gold if you spend much time on the water fishing. Whether you're running down the lake in a bass boat or walking the banks, rain is something you're going to have to be ready for if you fish a lot or if you're not always able to go fishing when the weather is nice because of work or family obligations. So having good quality rain gear that will keep you warm and dry is paramount to making the best of less than ideal weather conditions.
Carhartt sent me one of their Force Extremes Shoreline Angler Jacket and Bibs sets this spring, so I've spent a lot of time fishing with the suit in various conditions from freezing frost to summer downpours and everything in between. Here are the features of this rain gear and my thoughts on them.
A brand that has a reputation for long lasting durable clothing
Carhartt is famous for making heavy-duty, long-lasting work clothing. So I was really interested to see how they adapted that heritage in apparel to functional rain gear for anglers.
The stitching on the Force Extremes Shoreline Angler raingear is very heavy duty with reinforcing on the inside.
Heavy duty construction
The whole Carhartt Force Extremes Shoreline Angler suit is what I would call a medium weight suit. It's not insulated. But it is is double sealed, made of a heavy duty 2 1/2-layer membrane with their Storm Defender breathable technology and Rain Defender water repellent.
Very good performance from front to back with fit and features
I get very tired of having to settle for rain gear that is made for 5-foot, 4-inch guys that weigh 140 pounds. I've received rain gear in the past that was so tight I felt myself falling over all day because all the blood in my body was squeezed up to my head. That has a lot to do with how a rain suit is cut, where expandable areas are stitched, etc.
I was pleasantly surprised with how the midsection of the Carhartt Force Extremes Shoreline Angler bibs were cut and expandable. Because you don't want rain gear to be too baggy or it will pool water on you in the places where the suit piles. But you also don't want it to be so tight that you feel like it's going to rip when you go down on the deck to land a fish or have to get in the floor and retie a lure in a torrential downpour.
The Force Extreme Shoreline Angler jacket also had several expandable and cinchable areas to allow for free movement but also to make the suit fit closer to your body, which can also help to keep you warm.
Storm Defender breathable design
The Carhartt Force Extremes Shoreline Angler jacket and bibs feature useful and practical pockets, access, double-taped heavy zippers, sealed seams, larger cargo pockets as well as hidden soft pockets for valuables like sunglasses and cell phones. Along with the FastDray with 37.5 technology that they say makes it their fastest drying rain gear ever. Which is good because suits like this will sometimes get heavier in a torrential rain. I didn't have any issues with this suit leaking but I do recall it feeling a little heavier on me in a very heavy rain this summer. But it dries up really fast so it never seemed to be an issue to me.
Neoprene soft sleeve cuffs to stop rain and dripping from running up arm
The sleeves on the Carhartt Shoreline Angler jacket feature a sealed softer neoprene inner cuff that keeps water from running back down your arms while holding the sleeves comfortably to your arm in windy conditions. I've also pulled them up over my hands on occasion to knock a bit of wind off my hand.
Arm pit vents to aid in breathability in warmer conditions
One feature I liked on the Carhartt Force Extremes Shoreline Angler jacket is the zipper underarm vents. In warmer conditions, you want your suit to vent after having to put it on in a heavy rain or those warm dewy mornings where you don't want to sit down on anything that is wet everywhere but you also don't want to get to hot. So being able to vent the jacket is a nice addition.
Several key adjustments on hood keep it secure on your head at high speeds
The hood on the Carhartt Shoreline Angler features 3 stretch cord clasps to enable you to cinch your hood on the sides and back to keep it from catching wind and blowing up on boat rides or windy conditions.
Heavy duty reinforced double taped zippers are very waterproof
The zippers work really well. They are tight but easy to zip with pull cords in wet conditions and keep the pockets very dry in wet conditions.
Added fold over designs on zippers also helps keep water out
The Carhartt Force Extremes Shoreline Angler jacket features lots of small details like over lapped zipper covers. These seem like nothing, but if you really start to pay attention to where rain suits leak, it's usually where a zipper starts or stops or a sleeve has a small opening.
Bibs are very comfortable without being too bulky
The Force Extremes Shoreline Angler bibs are very comfortable, easy to get in and out of and easy to keep closed up in wet conditions.
Good movement and "business access" for quick release in down pour
The "business access" came in handy in very rainy conditions where you don't want to unzip your jacket fully and then zip your bibs down to handle on the water relief.
Heavy duty buckles are easy to get together and straps can be adjusted one hand on the fly
The Force Extreme Shoreline Angler bibs
Cargo pockets are good and feature drain holes
The large cargo pockets on the Force Extreme Shoreline Angler bibs feature a double velcro top flap and a drain hole in the bottom to help the suit dry out fast if water should get in them in very wet conditions.
Legs zip up to the knee and are sealed on the seams and at points of creasing in various positions
The Carhartt Force Extremes Shoreline Angler bibs zip open to the knee to help you get them on over boots. As you can see turning them inside out, they feature a breathable technology and a quick drying technology as well as reinforcement in key areas where the suit will flex and bend as you move around and bend down in a boat, on a bank or on the water.
It's a comfortable suit with room to layer underneath without being overly bulky
Matt Lee has worn the Force Extreme Shoreline Angler suit on the Bassmaster Elite Series this year as well as in his fun fishing around Alabama.
Heavy duty stitching and construction
I've always been proud to wear certain logos. I don't know why, but I've always liked the Carhartt brand because it seems synonymous with hard work and no BS. Something I like to think my rain gear is when it comes to me not getting swamped in a down pour and keeping myself warm. The Force Extreme Shoreline Angler has been easy to layer underneath to stay warm and conditions and enough to keep a heavy rain off of you in the summer.