OUTDOOR GEAR: The Hunt for 4-Season Weather Gear

  • Hodgman H5 Storm Jacket and H5 Storm Bib
  • Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Core INS Bib Liner Pants
  • No-Nonsense, Easy to Use
  • Comfortable, Essential, Affordable and Effective

By Mike Pehanich

To choose the right gear…if you’re an avid four-season outdoorsman, the hunt for foul weather outerwear is never-ending.

Hence we return to the sportsman’s eternal quest for reliable weather protection in a selection of relatively lightweight apparel that satisfies a range of temperatures and conditions – and fits in a single suitcase or travel bag!

In late winter, Hodgman released an ambitious 4-piece mix of outerwear that just might simplify the packing decisions of many outdoorsmen.

Hodgman designed its new H5 Storm Jacket and matching H5 Storm Bib to team as needed with the new Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Hodgman Core INS Bib Liner Pants.

  • The 3-layer V-Tech™ H5combination provides comfort and versatility as an effective shell layer in inclement cold and delivers free movement and breathability as temperatures rise.
  • The latter Core INSjacket and bib combination comprises an extremely lightweight quilt style Thinsulate layer designed to zip and snap into the Storm Jacket and Bibs.

The modular foursome offers sportsmen comfort through a wide range of temperatures and storm conditions and the option, too, of wearing each item separately.

My first run with the H5 Storm Jacket proved ideal for testing basic comfort and design features. I ice-fished on a day that began below the freezing mark but warmed to the lower 50s before day’s end. With the H5, I wore the Hodgman Core INS Jacket and the matching Hodgman Core INS Bib Liner Pants. (The H5 Storm Bib arrived later, so I substituted a bib of comparable thickness to the H5 Jacket during this initial trial.)

The H5/INS combination was ideal that winter morning. I lugged gear and cut and cleared ice holes without chill or sweat.

Hodgman H5 Technology and Design 

My H5 Storm team still awaits the ultimate test of a brutal all-day rain. But simulated storm tests have given credence to Hodgman’s tech claims.

Will it keep you dry in a downpour without generating so much sweat that it negates the value of a “waterproof” outer layer altogether? Every protective garment has its tipping point, but Hodgman likes how it has tipped the odds in the wearer’s favor with the H5’s 3-layer V-Tech material and salient design features.

Hodgman states that its 3-layer V-Tech™ material employs “ultra-breathable vapor transfer technology with a hydrophilic membrane to pull moisture aware from the body.” The outcome is an outer layer with “breathability, abrasion resistance and waterproof protection.” Hodgman credits a “durable water repellant” (DWR) outer coating for one-way moisture passage – from the inside out. Simply put, sweat escapes to the external surface of the garments, but, like the rain, snow, and sleet trying to enter, it can’t seep back in.

Hodgman H5 Storm Jacket Features

Weather exposes the best and worst in outerwear. Flaws in design, material or manufacturing execution at pressure points, pockets, seams, zippers, and openings can create tiny leakage funnels. Hodgman’s design safeguards these junctures with fully taped seams, watertight cinch cuffs, and an adjustable dual draw-cord hem. The most critical design component is the 500-denier Cordura seat and sleeves.

Disclaimer: Our assessment of this new storm wear comes without the test of time and the effects of many wear and wash cycles on the garment.

The new Hodgman storm set provides some nice angler-friendly features that walk the line between functionality and amenity.

Face Shield Hood

Chief among these is the ventilated adjustable wire-brimmed hood and “easy stow” face and nose guard. The former facilitates air passage in the face of wind or 60 mph boat speeds without turning the hood into a ship sail; the latter provides effective face protection with a unique and secure design that permits unobstructed vision.

During a storm years ago, the zipper failed on what was then the most stormproof jacket in my outdoor wardrobe. The storm exposed that otherwise faithful garment’s – excuse the metaphor – “Achilles heel,” the absence of a back-up means of closure. My single-handed grip on my jacket was not up to the task of keeping me dry against a blinding sideways rain and desperate boat run to shelter.

The 3-layer V-Tech™ H5 combination provides comfort and versatility as an effective shell layer in inclement cold and delivers free movement and breathability as temperatures rise

Hodgman heads off such crises by adding a critical redundancy. The YKK Aqua Guard center front zip has a double rain guard, a series of effective loop-and-hook fasteners.

What’s a YKK zipper?

YKK stands for the company founded by Tadao Yoshida, Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha. Yoshida earned his fame creating customized zipper machines. YKK reportedly manufactures in excess of 7 billion zippers each year.

Hodgman designed its new H5 Storm Jacket and matching H5 Storm Bib to team as needed with the new Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Hodgman Core INS Bib Liner Pants.

Other features include low chest-positioned tool accessory D-rings for forceps, pliers, line clippers, etc.; a soft low profile anchor point for kill switch or small tools; a pair of YKK zip hand pockets that offer easy access to underlayers; two YKK Aqua Guard vertical zip chest pockets; and an inner security pocket.

MSRP Hodgman H5 Storm Jacket: $299.95

http://www.hodgman.com/hodgman-outerwear-jackets/hodgman-h5-storm-shell-jacket/1447400.html

Hodgman H5 Storm Bib Features

In its H5 Bib, Hodgman aimed to reduce or eliminate water seepage to inner clothing and the skin when sitting on a wet carpet or boat seat or kneeling on wet ice.  The bib incorporates a waterproof shell fabric with a 20k waterproof rating, selected to be effective in all-day rains. The 500 denier Cordura material used in the seat, knees and hem protects against leakage or absorption. The same hydrophilic laminate used for the jacket draws sweat away from the body.

What does a 20K waterproof rating mean?

In static-column waterproof testing, a one-inch tube filled with water stands vertically over the test material. The water’s height in millimeters when leakage begins determines the rating. A 20K rating indicates that the fabric can withstand a pressure of up to 20,000 mm before leaking.

I wear bibs most of the time in cold weather whether precipitation is in the forecast or not! (I’m a strong believer that keeping the lower back warm is critical to maintaining comfort when wind and a short column of mercury are in your forecast.) That’s why I place a premium on a bib that is easy to don, remove and wear all day.

I was impressed with the “articulated R.O.M. fit” that Hodgman boasts. In fact, I wore the bib at my desk and around home and office to test range of motion. I even did some high knee lifts and other calisthenics. Credit a tailored blend of breathable 3-layer waterproof/windproof V-Tech fabric and 500 denier Cordura material for seat, knees and hem for comfort and protection against the elements.

Two-way YKK leg zippers make access to pockets for phone, wallet, and car keys a breeze. These are particularly important features in this age of minute-by-minute photos, videos, text messages and business calls. The H-back elastic suspenders with Duraflex buckles are there for standard bib adjustment. But right and left draw-elastic waist adjustment straps secured by (“Super Grip”) hook-and-loop fasteners all but eliminate shoulder fatigue. Snap leg hems offer three adjustments.

A welcome feature in the Hodgman H5 Bib is its relief zipper. Ancient wisdom holds that when you’ve got to go, you gotta go! A bib that binds you like a straightjacket and takes more time than a mummy’s wrap to unpeel when the bladder is begging for mercy is hard to befriend. Thankfully, the way to relief is simple with the H5. No need to remove jacket, unhinge suspenders, and perform a balancing act on accordion legs when Nature calls. A series of quick zips and…hey, you’re good.

MSRP Hodgman H5 Storm Bib: $299.95

http://www.hodgman.com/hodgman-outerwear-bibs/hodgman-h5-storm-bib/1447399.html

Both the H5 Jacket and Bibs are currently available in Digi Camo Charcoal color in six sizes ranging from Small to 3XL.

The latter Core INS jacket and bib combination comprises an extremely lightweight quilt style Thinsulate layer designed to zip and snap into the Storm Jacket and Bibs.

A note on Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Bib Liner Pant

The cold weather versatility of this outerwear combination comes to fruition with the addition of the Core INS Jacket and Bib Liner Pant to the basic H5 Storm Jacket and Bib combination. These lightweight quilted layers, which can also be worn separately, feature Thinsulate Platinum Insulation fibers that Hodgman claims “are up to 10x smaller than fibers of other synthetic insulations,” and deliver double the warmth. Tune in for a detailed review of these companion garments.

MSRP Hodgman Core INS Jacket: $129.99

MSRP Hodgman Core Bib Liner Pant ; $129.99           

In its H5 literature, Hodgman invokes its “Grit Gear Commitment” – “Gear with grit and an iron clad development process that yields performance day after day for years to come and adds “…we don’t sell our gear until we’ve field tested it and beat it up to the point we’re absolutely sure that you can’t find a better protective garment.”

 

Hodgman gear is now being shipped to retailers across the nation and is also available online for ordering.  To learn more about new Hodgman gear now available, please click to visit http://www.hodgman.com.