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Apparel Review


Be Ready for that Next Storm with Hodgman's H5 Storm Suit (continued)

Features: My favorite feature of the H5 Rainsuit by Hodgman is the well thought out placement of all the zippers. There are so many pockets and access points, it's very easy to get confused but there are conveniently place zippers in both the jacket and bib for you to access your pockets in the clothing you're wearing underneath. I don't know how many times I've had to shove my hand down the side of my bib to get out a set of keys, my wallet, or cell phone after I've put my rainsuit on. I took it for granted that was the case with this suit until I accidentally opened the wrong zipper and found I could reach the pocket in my pants underneath.

Zippered access in both the jacket and bib allow you to reach for items in your clothing beneath the storm suit


The one pet peeve I have with just about every rain bib I've worn is the need to disrobe in order to use the restroom. When you're fully layered up and snug in your suit, how inconvenient is it to have to remove your top layers so you can drop the shoulder straps on your bib to lower them far enough to use the facilities? Hodgman recognized this dilemma and designed their rain-bib to address this issue. That zipper on the front of the bib is backed up by the usual, waterproof gusset. However, that zipper works from both the top and the bottom.


No more disrobing just to use the facilities


Pull that front, waterproof zipper up from the bottom, reach down, and you'll find yet another waterproof zipper that gives you access to the front of your pants without having to take everything else off. It really is that simple. The zippers on either side of the bib also work in both directions giving you all kinds of options for taking the bibs off or putting them back on.


Sizing for Hodgman's H5 Rain Suit is true to industry standards

Design & Ergonomics: Sizing for Hodgman's H5 Rain Suit is true to industry standards. I take a medium in outerwear and the length and width of the bib fit me just fine. I can easily layer up underneath without feeling restricted. The same goes with the jacket. In fact, during the colder months, I often wore Hodgman's CoreINS jacket underneath the rain shell for extra warmth. On that front, Hodgman also makes a CoreINS liner for the bibs. I wore them once to check fit and comfort (both were very good), but removed them because I got too hot.

There are convenient D-Rings on both the bib and jacket to attach tools and your boat's kill switch


Both the jacket and bibs feature Velcro closures at the sleeve and pant legs respectively, so you can adjust the fit at these locations. I tend to keep mine rather loose unless there's a lot of rain.


If there's not a pending storm, another option for a jacket or mid-layer beneath the shell is Hodgman's CoreINS jacket

Price & Application: Given how well this suit is put together and how well thought out its design, I consider Hodgman's H5 Storm Suit is a premium offering. Its price point is somewhat reflective of that grade, but still less expensive than some of today's more well known names. Price for the suit is just under $600 with the bib and jacket retailing for just under $300 each.

Of course, the front zipper on the bib is backed up by a waterproof gusset



Hodgman H5 Storm Bib & Jacket Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This suit is put together really well. It isn't quite as refined as the Simms Challenger or ProDry but the H5 is built well 8
Performance Waterproof, comfortable, and warm - the bib is especially comfortable to wear all day long regardless of weather, the jacket has a bit of a bulky overall design 8
Price A great price point for a premium quality suit. There are a number of strong competitors in this space but few have been around as long as Hodgeman and the company has a proven history of delivering when it comes to price/performance 8.5
Features Loaded with features. After over a year with the suit, I'm still discovering things 8
Design (Ergonomics) Overall a comfortable package to wear and designed with enough room that it is comfortable to fish in and while it may seem like a small feature it is convenient that anglers don't have to disrobe to use the restroom. The Jacket is a bit bulky and not quite as comfortable as the bibs 8
Application The bib is great whenever it's chilly outside, not just wet. The jacket I'd only use if there is rain in the forecast 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Premium quality at mid-level pricing - Not as well distributed as the competition
+ Well thought out design for access to what's under the rain suit - Bibs are very comfortable but the jacket is a bit bulky
+ The bib especially, is really comfortable for all day wear  
+ No need to disrobe to use the restroom  


Conclusion: A good rainsuit is almost essential these days, if you're any type of serious angler. You never really know what the elements are going to bring during the winter months - give or take a few weeks in the Fall and Spring as well. But a good set of bibs can be even more important not just for the rain, but for those chilly mornings and days on the water. There's nothing like a bib to protect you from the wind and keep you warm during those long runs out on the water.


Hodgman's H5 Storm Bib stands up to the weather and keeps you comfortable in the process


As an entire ensemble, I really liked the H5 Storm Suit from Hodgman, but what I really liked was the bib. In fact, matched with their CoreINS jacket, that became one of my favorite "suits" to wear on the water over the past year. Hodgman has been around for almost a full century, with their current line of outdoor wear for the serious angler, it looks like they are poised to stick around for quite a while longer. While companies like Simms, and more recently Aftco, have been growing share in the premium foul-weather apparel market Hodgeman's H5 series reminds anglers that this company can play in the rain too. 


Looking for the Hodgman H5 Storm Bib and Jacket? Try the manufacturer's website: www.hodgman.com









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