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Apparel Review


 

HUK Takes Foul Weather Protection to the Next Level

 

Date: 6/12/16
Tackle type: Apparel
Manufacturer: Huk
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.53 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD!

Introduction: There are a lot of fishing apparel manufacturers out there. There are the long established companies that everyone recognizes, the niche companies focused on the lifestyle side of the business, and those companies that may be mature brands outside of the fishing arena and are trying to expand into the angling market. Where does Huk fit in? In many ways Huk breaks the mold and is a relatively new company that was founded by a number of previous Under Armour members with a focus on delivering their own unique take on fishing apparel.

 

Huk NXTLVL Jacket and Bibs Specifications

Material 100% polyester
Sizes Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Colors Blue
Features Jacket:
-100% Waterproof
-100% Windproof
-Non-binding 
-High stretch
-Front collar venting
-Reflective welding around water-proof zippers
-Hinged velcro cuff closure
-Internal neoprene storm cuff
-Removable hood
-Reflective branding for safety
Bibs:
-100% Waterproof
-100% Wind Proof
-Non-binding
-High stretch
-Zip Side entry
-Reflective welding around waterproof zippers and chest pocket
-Internal mesh chest pouch pocket
-Hinged velcro functioning internal belt
-Reinforced articulated knees
-Boot zip with secure velcro closure
-Reflective branding for safety
Origin China
MSRPs $349.99 Jacket
$349.99 Bibs


Wearing the Huk NXTLVL Bibs on the California Delta

Impressions: Huk, pronounced “hook,” burst onto the season just a few seasons ago and in that short span of time has become one of the most visible fishing apparel brands by working with some of the biggest names in the business when it comes to their prostaff, including KVD, Skeet Reese, Gerald Swindle, and Brandon Palanuik. The brand has quickly created a recognizable identity by partnering up with Kryptek, employing their military style patterns into their technical garments.


The most distinguishing styling element is the Kryptek Neptune camo pattern

The Kryptek patterns utilize a multi-directional design to effectively conceal in a multitude of terrains that either have a lateral or vertical flow. The bi-level layering of the patterns incorporate background transitional shading and sharp random geometrical foreground to create a three dimensional effect that is designed to provide concealment at both long and short ranges. There are multiple colorations all designed to help operators in the field better match their surroundings and these patterns range from the green “Mandrake” pattern for jungles and forests to the “Nomad” brown pattern which is good for dry barren regions.


Inside the jacket every panel is stitched and taped neatly for maximum waterproofing

There are four Kryptek patterns that Huk typically employs in their garments are the black “Typhoon”, dark blue “Neptune,” light blue “Pontus,” and white “Yeti” patterns. All of them are used on various garments in the Huk lineup ranging from sun shirts to boxers. The company’s flagship Next Level (NXTLVL) Kryptek All Weather Jacket and Bib are only available in the Neptune pattern to match the other dark blue panels used throughout the garment.


Early on during testing I was already impressed how comfortable the NXTLVL bibs were to fish in all day

Most foul weather gear suits look exactly like you would expect, like souped up rainsuits. The Huk NXTLVL jacket and bibs have a more athletic cut and the use of the Kryptek patterns gives the suit a very modern look and feel, offering anglers both performance and style in a suit that certainly looks ready to battle the elements.


Cold windy run? No issues for the NXTLVL suit

Real World Tests: To test the Huk NXTLVL Jacket and Bib I employed it on fishing trips from California to Florida, wearing it both rain and shine to see how it performed in varying weather conditions. I also tried to use the jacket in a wider range of applications beyond fishing to get a feel for just how the NXTLVL jacket would handle other outdoor sports when weather conditions were not ideal.
 


The NXTLVL suit provides some added warmth in the early morning

Quality/Construction: The Huk NXTLVL garments are built with 3-layer waterproof 10,000mm/breathable 5000g shell and the company tapes every seam and welds on the zippers to prevent any leaks, even in a deluge. The result are garments that are designed to be both 100% waterproof and 100% windproof. Unlike most competing garments the NXTLVL jacket and bib feel soft to the touch, more like a soft-shell, and actually have a level of stretch which is designed to improve comfort and mobility. Overall the construction of the NXTLVL garments is top notch, and we didn’t observe any loose threads or questionable craftsmanship.


Large adjustable cuffs with large straps make it easy to make adjustments on the fly

Quality Ratings for Huk NXTLVL Jacket and Bibs

Thread Work
(1-5)

Outer Material
(1-5)

Lining
(1-5)

Fasteners
(1-5)

Total

Possible

Rating (= Tot/Pos* 10)

5

4

4

5

18

20

 9


The same goes for adjustable straps on the bibs

Next Section: Next Level Performance?

 

 

 

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