Testing the ârightâ rainsuit that works in a light mist or a heavy downpour isn’t exactly a science. You cannot test it in the garage or a ManCave in a controlled environment. You have to go out and spend time in a rainsuit when it pours, sprinkles and mists. Testing the suit in a heavy rain and while running down the lake never hurts either.
I have been putting the new Frabill F3 foul weather gear to the test the last few months and have been pleased with the performance. The 3-layer design keeps out moisture but allows for breathability on the inside.
Most new rainsuits will hold up to moisture standing in the shower in a simulated test but the best rainsuits perform well when they are put in motion. Bending the knees, casting, and jumping around from the front deck to the back and squatting or bending over and pulling a fish out of the livewell truly tests its meddle.
Even though this Frabill F3 suit is lightweight, it holds up under the toughest of conditions including rain and wind but more importantly cold air.
The bibs fit better than any others I have worn from Frabill, and they slide on an off easily due to longer zippers on the legs. The pockets on the bibs are positioned, on the front on both sides, perfectly and allow for cell phones, wallet and keys.
The crotch of the suit remains dry, even when running at high speeds in heavy showers. The adjustable straps fit snugly but do not pull down on your shoulders largely due to a support for those straps built into the back of the bibs. And excess strap length tucks easily into the front of the bibs keeping them out of the way both casting and pitching.
The leg closures below the rubberized double sewn leg zippers allow for a tight fit around the ankles. The padded knees work great for kneeling but are no so ridged to reduce a full range of motion. Although thin they are extremely warm and hold heat in nicely without being too hot on warm days. They are very comfortable.
The jacket has a perfect cut with a tapered back that sheds water even in a sitting position. The jacket looks great too and works well on days even when itâs not raining to shed off the cold or wind. Anglers can get a full range of motion with the jacket and the sleeve closures are snug and dry. The jacket has 2 sets of zippered pockets and also 2 D-Clips, one on the side and one on the front of the jacket, for engine lanyards or tools.
The aggressive closures on the wrists allow for a snug or looser fit and the beefed-up collar and hood can easily be raised to knock down wind and a heavy downpour. The neoprene sleeves will not let water run down your sleeves and we have even stuck our arms into the livewell without getting the undergarments wet.
The jacket also includes 3M Scotchlite reflective materials for easy visibility too.
Pockets and more
Pockets in the suit typically do not matter to most anglers when a rainsuit is needed but there is no question a lot of research went into them on the F3. Typically pockets mean leaks, zippers mean leaks and wrist closures mean leaks. But it seems this time around Frabill has conquered every location.
I utilize the pockets in both the bibs and the jacket and have yet to notice anything in them the least bit damp. They are positioned well and have an ergonomic benefit too as they are slanted where they should be and squared off in the best locations too.
All of the zippers work easily and are plasticized and double stitched to insure dry durability. The materials in this suit is super resistant to water and the water beads on both the bibs and jacket well after months of use. The jacket and bibs are rated for up to 15,000 mm of hydrostatic resistance with sealed seams.