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Fly Apparel Review

The Orvis Pro Guide Stretch Wading Jacket shields anglers from the elements


Date: 2/15/10
Tackle type: Fly Apparel
Manufacturer: Orvis
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

Orvis is well recognized for their fly fishing products and offers a complete selection of branded fly reels, rods and line, but what the company is probably best known for is their garments. No surprise then that the company has one of the most popular wading jackets on the market with the Tailwaters XT, and to follow up on that successful jacket the company hopes to up the ante with the new Pro Guide Stretch Wading Jacket designed for hardcore anglers and professionals that make their living spending the better part of the year on the river.


Orvis Pro Guide Waterproof Stretch Wading Jacket Specifications

Material Nylon face with nylon tricot backing
Colors Olive & Grey
Features Waterproof laser cut pockets, stretch fabric on shoulders, large waterproof pockets for storage, two way adjustable hood, dolphin skin cuffs, net snap, large pocket for lunch and water
Sizes S(34-36), M(38-40), L(42-44), XL(46-48), XXL(50-52) XXXL(54-56)
MSRP $329.99

Looking for a premium wading jacket? Orvis has a new garment for anglers looking for protection from the elements without sacrificing comfort

Impressions: So what are the key things you look for in a quality wading jacket? For starters it is important to decide just what conditions you will be using it in. Whether you plan to fish in warmer California rivers or in the middle of winter in British Columbia will factor into just what kind of wading jacket will meet your distinctive needs. To save money you will probably want to buy one jacket that will be able to address the coldest possible conditions you plan to fish in. Some jackets are big enough that they allow for layering, this is also something to consider if you only occasionally plan on fishing in extreme environments. 

Our opportunity to test the jacket in heavy rain came when fishing for Steelhead on the Smith

The next thing to consider is whether or not the wading jacket is really “waterproof,” most of the higher end jackets are but many of the cheaper ones are just “water resistant” which is ok for light rain but will do nothing to keep you dry if you encounter a downpour. When looking at waterproof jackets it is also important to see whether or not the garment is “breathable” as this will help you stay dry even when sweating under the jacket.

The jacket may not be made out of Gore-Tex but it does a great job keeping water out while remaining breathable

Finally you need to consider the layout of the jacket itself, are the zippers located in areas that are easy to access, is there enough storage for your fishing application and are there attachments for you to easily add options like lanyards or possibly even a landing net. 

The Pro Guide Stretch Wading Jacket is two tone in color...

Orvis addresses these factors with their new Pro Guide Stretch Wading jacket. This attractive two tone olive jacket looks and feels premium. The very first time I put it on it felt very light and didn’t make a lot of noise when I moved around. The surface material feels like a normal tightly woven fabric, more like the surface of a ski jacket than a traditional fishing jacket. Currently the jacket is available in only one color but does come in a wide range of sizes including: S(34-36), M(38-40), L(42-44), XL(46-48), XXL(50-52) XXXL(54-56).

The grey area is more stretchy providing extra room in key movement areas

Real World Tests:  The only way to really test the Orvis Pro Guide Stretch Jacket was to go out and go fishing in the rain. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate for months, not that I’m complaining about copious sunny days, but this was one time I wanted less than ideal conditions. That opportunity finally came when Steelhead season rolled around and we head to both the Smith and Klamath rivers for a few weeks of fishing. I tested the jacket in a number of different applications including fly fishing from a drift boat and wading as well as drifting roe with spinning gear.

Inside all the seams are sealed off

Time to get wet: The Orvis Pro Guide Stretch Jacket is both light and comfortable to wear, and early on I also learned that it also packs down reasonably well. This jacket is designed more for warm water fishing as there is little in the form of lining under the membrane, but it offers enough room inside the jacket to layer up with a warm fleece. I would consider this jacket for all but extreme cold applications where a thicker more heavily lined jacket is preferred.

With the cuff rolled back the Dolphin Skin cuff becomes visible

Next Section: How does the jacket handle the rain?









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