When it rains, it pours. During a downpour, nothing is worse than being unprepared because it can ruin your day on the water and leave you frustrated and uncomfortable. Knowing where to start the search for your perfect fishing rain suit can be overwhelming with all the options on the market. At AFTCO, we have fishing rain gear designed for light rain, steady showers, and heavy downpours. AFTCO has its anglers covered from top-of-the-line rain suits to everyday, lightweight rain jackets.
RAIN SUITS FOR LIGHT RAIN
Transformer vs. Mariner
The AFTCO Transformer Rain Jacket and Mariner Jacket are ideal for light rain with 10K waterproofing. These lightweight rain jackets are breathable to keep anglers comfortable and can handle light wind and rain on or off the water.
Like its name, the Transformer transforms because the jacket packs itself into its right-hand pocket. The Transformer is ideal for traveling and easily stores in the compartments of your vehicle's glove box in case of an unexpected shower. It's made with 2.5L fabric with two-way stretch nylon, so it's not stiff and moves with you. The Mariner is not packable, but it's made for the seafarer. It has 3L fabric, so it resists water longer. The Mariner is made to move with you and has armpit vents to keep anglers cool and sweat-free.
If you want more rain protection, opt for the Mariner because its 3L fabric resists water longer than the Transformer. Beyond that, both have Durable Water Repellent (DWR) and shock cord hood adjustments with zipper hand pockets so you can customize the fit of your rain jacket. If you prefer quick storage, the Transformer is the better option for you, and there is a matching Transformer Pant to make a complete light rain suit. Regardless of the style, both will protect you from light wind and rain.
Women's Option: For female anglers, AFTCO has a women’s cut of the Transformer Rain Jacket that offers the same features and benefits as the men’s version.
MOST POPULAR RAIN SUITS
2L vs 3L Rain Suits
AFTCO’s most popular rain jackets consist of 2L and 3L. The L stands for layer. A 2L jacket has two layers, and a 3L jacket has three layers. Starting with 2L, it has a waterproof membrane layer and a durable outer shell layer. The two layers are bonded together with pressure and heat. The outer layer keeps water out, while the inner polyester lining is breathable to keep anglers comfortable. The Hydronaut is a popular 2L AFTCO rain suit with a double dry cuff system, hook and loop adjustments, and a waist cinch adjustment. It also has a speed vent hood that’s 2-way adjustable to relieve strain on your neck. The Hydronaut is a 2L rain jacket that has matching bibs to make it a complete rain suit and protects you from the elements.
3L rain jackets are top-of-the-line and built to withstand heavy wind and rain. They are top tier because they are the most durable, waterproof, and breathable rain jackets. A popular AFTCO 3L jacket is the Barricade. It has an outer shell, a waterproof membrane, and an inner lining. The waterproof membrane is between the lining and outer shell to keep rain out. The lining is vital for comfort because it improves breathability, is soft on skin, and increases durability. Since 3L jackets have three separate layers, they are more expensive because the bonding process is longer and requires more attention to detail. The quality of 3L rain jackets speaks for itself and will protect anglers for years on the water.
When deciding between 2L and 3L jackets, consider how frequently you’ll be in harsh weather. For example, winters are freezing if you’re a freshwater angler in the Midwest. If that’s your case, go for the 3L rain jacket because it’s the most durable. If you’re an angler in a milder climate, use the 2L rain jacket for protection. Either way, 2L and 3L rain jackets will keep you dry and warm, especially if you gear up in the Hydronaut or Barricade.
TOP OF THE LINE SUITS
Barricade vs Barricade Elite
For avid anglers regularly taking on strong winds and rains, gear up with top-of-the-line rain suits. The Barricade and Barricade Elite were tested in some of the harshest conditions anglers face, including channel crossings. From freezing cold weather to scorching heat, these light shell suits don’t have heavy insulation. Despite being a lighter material, these jackets are still highly protective.
The Barricade is a 3L jacket meant more for warmer weather with its 20K water resistance and 5K breathability. It’s been a staple for freshwater and saltwater pros alike. Its shell provides 30K water resistance in a three-layer suit, providing longer-lasting protection from water. It has an Aqua Guard zipper chest, hand pockets, and an adjustable Speed Vent hood to keep the strain and pressure off angler’s necks.
The Barricade Elite takes the original Barricade to the next level with its 4L construction. The Elite is optimal for colder weather with its 30K water resistance and 7K breathability. The fourth layer in the Barricade Elite is a marine-grade layer, and this rain suit was designed to hold up against the toughest conditions. On the water, you face wind and rain as an angler. When running your boat and moving to different fishing spots, the elements become harsher and require extra protection. The defense is in the details, and with hand warmer pockets and the double dry cuff system, you’re covered. Even though the Barricade is a high-end suit with 30K water-resistance, the added layer in the Barricade Elite is worth the investment.
Another advantage of the Barricade and Barricade Elite shell suits is versatility. Anglers can layer up in the winter to stay warm and skip the layers in the summer on warm, rainy days. With its versatility, anglers can use their Barricade or Barricade Elite year-round.
Rainsuits can be an investment, but quality and durability speak for themselves. Instead of purchasing several low-level rain suits over the years, the top-tier Barricade and Barricade Elite will protect you season after season on the water. If you notice the waterproofing on your jacket is deteriorating, you can use Nikwax products. Also, check out the waterproof rundown guide to learn how to re-waterproof your jackets so they last longer. Take on a sprinkle, shower, or downpour with the AFTCO collection of rain suits, and best of luck on the water.