- Need to Stay Dry to the Skin
- Need to Protect Your “Gotta-Stay-Dry” Stuff
- Cannot be Big and Bulky
- Must be Affordable
One day in the early 90’s, I recall fishing the Redman Bass Tournament Series on the Arkansas River near Muskogee, Oklahoma, with Bassmaster great, Rick Clunn. That area was hit with a torrential rainstorm, but the tournament was set to go on. I found that hard to believe, but went with it and ran down to a local K-Mart nearby where I bought a rubberized rain suit to keep me dry. I figured I was all set, come muddy streets or high water.
What I didn’t know was that at 65 mph, rain drives right through most rubberized rain suits. I was wet to my skivvies in about 10 minutes! Rick was wet too, but it didn’t stop us from running 45 miles up the river to a favorite spot he knew. When we got there, I looked at my watch and realized we had 7 more hours of fishing to go! It was not enjoyable. My skin was a sort of bluish color when we finally got back to the dock and I stood in a hot shower for a very long time bringing my body back to normal temperature. We were both very close to hypothermic distress.
Since then, I’ve had a keen eye on rain gear because I learned so much that trip about how to get wet and stay wet. You need real rain gear to stay dry! So, I have watched rain gear develop now over several decades and can honestly say that today, we’ve sure come a long way.
Well-designed rain gear today really works. Technology fabric keeps us unsweated and dry, easily stows in nearly no space, and you can buy it in camo colors or bright/vivid colors if you like to sparkle from a distance.
Since I’ve tried them all over the years, I found the one that suits me right for any type of weather is the Frabill Series of open water apparel. What I like about their rain gear line is that you can buy the type of rain suit you need for the conditions you will face. Their gear comes in a Storm Gear Series rated F1 through F4 for literally any condition, and my favorite rain suit that goes with me everywhere I go, is the Stow Series. This includes a jacket and bibs to be complete, and they are inexpensive at under $80 each. In a pinch, this rain suit set keeps me dry in a moment’s notice.
I’ve watched my outdoor friends get their camera gear, wallets, cellphones and other keep-me-dry gear, get ruined by rain. All they needed was one of the Frabill Stow Series Jacket and Pants.
As the name implies, the whole suit is stowable and it literally packs back into itself. The left-hand pocket of the pants becomes its own storage. Same goes for the left-hand pocket of the jacket. Can’t get any easier!
The suit has lots of technical features too, but simply know that it is waterproof, windproof, breathable, is seam-sealed, has elastic sleeve cuffs so rain can’t creep in that way and comes with large pockets for your gotta-get-to stuff. That stuff and you are protected further by storm flaps and rain gutters. For safety, since this is not a hunting jacket, it is built with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material on front and back.
To learn more about the technical details, visit this link: http://www.frabill.com/apparel/open-water-apparel.html.