Without question a rain suit is absolutely one of the most important pieces of gear for anglers. It’s an anomaly as good ones are not cheap but they are purchased with the thought they are used sparingly. Typically, rain gear is like a good insurance policy, you are paying for a peace of mind. Some anglers will scrimp on buying one, but ultimately, the more you pay the better protection you receive.
When looking for rain gear I have 5 things that are most important to me. They are:
- Protection – will it keep you dry?
- Comfort – easy on and off and feels good all day.
- Dry Closures – Dry at the sleeves and zippered enclosures.
- Investment – If I pay top dollar, I want top performance.
- Breathable – Keep me dry and wick moisture out.
I have been wearing the new STORMR Fusion rainwear that won the Best of Show in Technical Apparel at ICAST 2014 and have found it a great addition to their line-up. It is both dry and warm but yet lightweight.
The STORMR Fusion suit is wind and waterproof and utilizes comfortable lightweight neoprene in the areas where range of motion is critical like the knees, elbows and wrist closures. The sleeves were ergonomically designed for better flexibility too. They call their rain gear VAPRtech, which stands for Variable-Stretch Advanced Performance rain gear, and is a lighter weight version of their STRYKR neoprene core suits but with all of the same goodies.
Skin tight anything doesn’t work for me. Sizing anything neoprene worries me a bit too but so far with two STORMR test suits both were sized perfectly and were easy to put on, take off and fish in all day too. Very comfortable. No binding of the bibs or jacket and the bibs didn’t pull down on the shoulders even a little bit. I really like the adjustable waist band too.
The jacket is very stylish with a slight taper on the rear, and the full length front zipper is dry as a bowl of fresh popcorn largely due to the storm flap built in behind it. . Although I don’t use jacket pockets all that much, they are plentiful and two pockets on the inside of the jacket are mesh but keep items like cell phones and wallets dry all day. STORMR provides two D-Rings on the jacket for kill switch lanyards or accessories. The jacket is complimented with safety 3M reflective graphics.
The hood of the jacket can be concealed or left out but my favorite part is how it blends with the neck protection closure. It free flows over the front collar closure even with the hood pulled up and tightened. The neoprene sleeve closures are snug but comfortable and you can reach into the water or the livewell without getting anything under the jacket wet. Some jackets from other providers use Velcro closures only and water can run down your sleeve. Having both eliminates that.
The bibs have large front pockets that I do utilize for clippers, sunglass cloth or even and a Cliff Bar. The large section of neoprene at the knees doesn’t bind with under clothes and/or jeans and the two D-Rings provided the can be utilized for tools or when you have the jacket off for the kill switch lanyard. The straps on the bibs adjust easily and are designed to rest tight against the back but between the shoulders and the neck so they won’t bind or cause undue fatigue.
I have worn the STRYKR Cold weather suit too and this one compliments it well. The STRYKR foul weather gear is for the coldest conditions and the STORMR Fusion suit fits the bill for the rest of the year.
I recently wore the Fusion suit in 84 degree weather all day during a day with intermittent showers and did not even notice I had it on. It was comfortable, not warm in the least bit, and I stayed dry all day. A perfect suit for those conditions.
These suits are expensive, but with proper care, they will last a lifetime of fishing. The Fusion Jacket and bibs retail for $259.95 each, but you can stay dry and comfortable no matter what the weather. To those of us that fish in all conditions, that is worth a million bucks.
You can find both suits at Tackle Warehouse and other retailers that carry Stormr gear.