Maybe you can call me superstitious but I never go anywhere without a rain suit. A few weeks back, I spent seven days in Pauldin, Arizona and I couldn’t help but toss a lightweight rain suit in the bag. Okay, so I didn’t use it, but if I had left it at home it would have surely rained on us. I never get on a boat without one and if you fish with me, you’ll have one, too. In my mind, someone in the party without a slicker invites a downpour.
The Frabil FXE Stormsuit is a serious rain suit, and a little more sophisticated than the thin short-term suit I carried to Arizona. The jacket and bibs are made of tough 330 denier nylon. It’s waterproof, windproof, and DuPont Teflon-treated. It breathes thanks to an innovative mesh lining. Chris Leonard, of Frabill, explained how the system works: “The internal mesh lining promotes convective heat transfer from the body making this an ideal suit for warmer, humid conditions. The generous patterning allows room for layers on those cooler days.”
I particularly liked the one-way zipper. Two-way zippers are often hard to start in a hurry and I never use the lower opening capability. The four front waterproof pockets are also a boon. The upper ones are plenty large enough for a pocket camera or cell phone and the lower ones are conveniently placed to use for cargo or hand warming. I also liked the hood because the bill extends far enough to keep eyeglasses dry. The hood is adjustable three ways to get the fit right and keep water out when running into the wind. I liked the Velcro and zippered inner pockets and the tethered lens cleaner is a wonderful touch.
While many rain suits feel like you’re wearing a grill cover, the fit of this suit makes it quite comfortable. There is a bungee-sealable waist string, and the elbows and knees are ergonomically shaped for comfort. The knees on the bibs are also articulated, 500 denier nylon with removable pads reinforced for wear, and there are Velcro closures for the wrists to keep your arms dry even if you have to raise your arms. There are leg zippers on the bibs to allow pulling them on and off over boots, too. There’s a D-ring for clipping the kill switch lanyard, and a strip of 3M Scotchlite, something that could save your life by allowing you to be seen in the dark.
Image by Dick Jones