December 21, 2012

Simms Bulkley Jacket -- review

I fished for a few hours today and had all the water to myself. The fact that is was 19-20 degrees outside probably had something to do with the lack of people, though! But because it was so cold I decided that it would be great weather to test out the Simms Bulkley Jacket. I received this jacket about 6 weeks ago and I have been wearing it around town ever since, but I had not yet tested it on the water.

from Simms

The Bulkley Jacket is a premium wading jacket that also doubles as a really nice around-the-town coat. The jacket combines a Gore-Tex 2-layer shell, with the all-weather insulation of PrimaLoft One technology. The styling is quite svelte and modern, but also has true on the water practical usefulness.

Adjustable waist, cuffs, and hood keep out the wind and water. The inner lining is lingerie silky smooth  so there is no issue with getting your shirt sleeve into the coat -- there is no sleeve bunching here. The two external pockets are large enough to carry some serious gear. In fact, as a tenkara minimalist you could carry all you need in just one of the pockets! There is even a hook-loop patch on the left pocket for attaching a fly patch.

Right side


Left side

The jacket does have two fleece-lined hand warming pockets, but because this is a wading jacket you have to reach up pretty high to get your hands into them. I don't find this to be too much of an issue though, probably because I don't have rotator cuff problems. If you do, however, you may not be able to get your hands into them!

The PrimaLoft insulation is amazing. It is as light and compressible as down, but without the hassles. The weight to warmth ratio is phenomenal making this jacket the best I've used for fishing in really cold weather.

As I stated above, I wore this jacket on the river. The air temperature was 19-20 degrees F but with a slight breeze the wind chill was 15 degrees F. To test the jacket I wore a thin thermal underwear top then a turtle neck. On top of this I had the Bulkley jacket. Despite the wind chill, I was nice and warm, in fact, as I walked to another section of the river I had to unzip slightly because I actually started to sweat a little! I was warm all day; the jacket worked fantastically! The jacket fits either under or over my waders, is easy to cast in, and didn't impede my movement in any way that I could tell.

Around town the jacket is excellent as well. It is cut just long enough to work better than most wading jackets, as a casual coat that is, but not long enough to be a hassle getting into or out of the car. It is my new winter coat!

Conclusion: I really like this jacket for both around town and on the river. The amenities are just about perfect, although getting your hands into the warming packets may be difficult if you have shoulder issues. There is one downside to the jacket -- the cost. Like most things from Simms the jacket is expensive. At $279.95 USD you would think that it is made from imported silk and cashmere wool! But I'm hoping that, like most Simms products, it will be robust over time and last many, many years.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this article! Exactly the sort of review I was looking for fishing. I am always freezing! THANKS! I'm looking to buy this jacket.


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