Best Foul Weather Gear - What makes it the best?

So being new to the forum and spending a lot of time on the water myself…

What is the best foul weather gear? More importantly… why is it (or what makes it) the best?

I’m not sure I’m a big fan of any of the foul weather gear out there. They just haven’t evolved much in 50+ years.

Hard to beet Helly Hansen…unless you’re in the arctic and then you have to move up to Mustang Suits.

As a former commercial fisherman I have to go with Grundens.

I used to wear Helly Hansen but now they seem concentrated on, whay they call “Lifestyle Clothes”. I’ve heard of Grundens, but what makes them so good?

Grundens = Durable!

I have yet to find foul wx gear that keeps you dry from the inside and/or out. You are either sweating like crazy because it doesn’t breathe, or you are drenched because your breathable gore-tex just gave up the ghost.

That being said, I second the vote for Grundens durability in the mid latitudes and Mustang suits for the brrrr zones.

Grundens! I’ve had the same set for 9 years of extreme abuse. Extreme 1600 bibs with sacrificial layers and Brigg 44 parka with neoprene cuffs. Helly Hanson is good if you need a lot of movement and flexibility. They are much thinner than the grundens and tend to allow much greater freedom of movement.

has to be grundens and xtra tuff boots for me.a little pricey but worth every penny.

Grundens is very good, and widely used by the commercial fishermen here in Maine. Another brand making inroads is Guy Cotten

I used to love those Guy Cotten boots with the foam rubber inserts. They were like walking on shag carpet all day as opposed to the white Cameron Reeboks which were like walking on two pieces of plywood.

As an Alaskan fisherman for many years I’d have to say Guy Cotton is the best. Unlike other rain gear, if you happen to poke a hole in them, the won’t rip.

And as far as boots, only xtra tuffs

Grudens wont rip.

And to the OP - You might want to get a marker and write “Gill” on your grundens cause thats the only brand yachties understand when it comes to raingear.

Grundens and extra tuffs… The Bering Sea Tuxedo. They will last forever. Also agree with the Mustang suit. Stearns makes one too. Generic name is PFD Type V Worksuit.

The worksuits are wonderful when its cold… Like slipping into a warm apple pie if you get my drift.

[quote=bob;30115] Like slipping into a warm apple pie if you get my drift.

Unfortunately I do get your drift, and I hate you for the mental picture it gave me… :eek:

Yours Truely,
Scarred for Life


[QUOTE=Capt. Fran;30046]I have yet to find foul wx gear that keeps you dry from the inside and/or out. You are either sweating like crazy because it doesn’t breathe, or you are drenched because your breathable gore-tex just gave up the ghost. [/QUOTE]

I’d have to agree with Fran and Jeff on this one as I’m not a fan of any of them. I’d like something dry, breathable and with pockets in the right places. Grundens may be great on a smaller boat but, on the large ships, I’m not that exposed to care so much but I also don’t want something made for Yachties. I guess I’m out of luck.

I have to side with the “yachties” on this one. I have never spent a pleasant moment in Grundens/Helly. Sweaty, sticky, overheated: if that sounds like a good time. . .er, ok it can be fun–but not on the back deck of a boat handling lines. True, salt destroys Gore-Tex eventually but not all gore is made equal. Kmart has $40 "breathable gear that may or may not last a hitch. You can spend $1000 for some Douglass Gill gear that is guaranteed for life to keep you dry but I wouldn’t expect it to survive the many snags on a work boat. Stearns has some heavy duty gear that is breathable (imagine Carhart crossed with you ski parka and bibs). I’ve seen some snowmobiler gear that is said to be indestructible–but very expensive. Me, I’m very happy with my Stearns gear. When it does get soaked (and let’s face it all gear does) it reedems itself by drying out in a reasonable amount of time. Turns out Gore drys faster the rubber.

Gore-Tex Pro Shell. You certainly pay a [U]hefty[/U] premium, but if you want solid all-weather gear with zero regrets, I don’t think there is any beating this stuff. Most of these jackets are designed for mountaineering, but Henri Lloyd has a line of Gore-Tex jackets for professional offshore racers. The pro-shell is Gore-Tex’s top 'o the line stuff, it has a heavyweight outer instead of that ultrathin material you’ll find on their paclite jackets usually reserved for backpackers and such.

I own a Henri Lloyd Race Jacket ($575, Landfall Navigation), and it is undoubtedly the best piece of gear I’ll ever buy for this profession. I’m a little ashamed to tell people I paid that much, but hey, when I’m working on deck for 3 hours straight in sleet/rain/snow mixture and 30 knot winds and still perfectly warm and dry inside my goretex cocoon, while everyone else was soaked through or their gear leaked 2-1/2 hours ago, its not so embarrassing anymore. The beauty of the material is its superior breath-ability, absolute waterproofing, absolute windproofing, relative lightweight, and it will never get soaked through or over-saturated like normal nylon laminates do. I work on offshore ATBs and it so far has failed to rip or tear on anything or show any sign of distress where I have abused it and I treat it like any other piece of PVC gear I’ve owned. Even my goretex pants, which are made from their middle of the road stuff (performance shell) has failed to tear or break in any way. That was a major concern of mine prior to getting the stuff. Can’t say enough good things about it, call it yachty gear if you must, thats ok.

What works well for me (Meaning it hasn’t ripped yet) is HH Roan Anorak top, a half zip pullover with neoprene cuffs or the Grundens equivalent. Stearns ripstop pants, and boots. My best boots don’t have a name on them but they are red & yellow, steel toe, and fit my wide feet!