February 1, 2013

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Jacket -- review

Last spring I was in the market for a new breathable waterproof non-insulated wading jacket. I have an ultralight one, from Dan Bailey, but I wanted one that was a little more robust and had more pockets. I had a lot of choices -- Simms, Cabelas, Orvis, Beans, Patagonia, to name just a few -- but they were all either too expensive, especially for the ones that were top of the line, or didn't have the features I wanted. Then I found a jacket with a funny name: Frogg Toggs Hellbender. It looked to be full featured but less than $80.00 USD -- yup, that's right, I said $80!! For that price I had to buy it and try it!




As I said, the jacket I bought was a Frogg Toggs Hellbender Wading Jacket. I have used it over this past year and I love it! I am amazed at the quality of this jacket. It looks and feels sturdy. It has all of the features that jackets costing three times as much have: an adjustable - stowable hood, large front pockets with smaller accessory pockets, D- rings for streamside accessories (like nippers), hand warmer pockets with waterproof zippers, a fully adjustable waist band, and even neoprene cuffs!  All that, and more, for less than $80!

The inside is fully seam sealed and the inside lining is slick (yet soft and comfortable), so getting the jacket on and off is easy. No shirt sleeve grabbing with this jacket!

The left breast pocket (and mini pockets) and left hand pocket

Adjustable waist and rod holder

Fully sealed seams on the inside

Neoprene cuffs!

How does the jacket work? Perfectly! It has kept me dry fishing hours in rain and wind. It is comfortable to wear -- loose fit for movement but not cumbersome. Also, the jacket appears to breath really well. I have not felt clammy or wet when fishing. The pockets are excellent in size and placement so that some times I don't even carry a chest pack. I put my fly box, tippet and lines into the ample pockets while hooking my nippers onto the D-rings and off I go. Very nice!

So, if you need a new breathable waterproof wading jacket and are not sure which one to buy, consider the Frogg Toggs Hellbender Wading Jacket. As you can tell, I am impressed by what you get for such a reasonable price.










13 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great jacket at a great price. Does the jacket fit true to size?

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    1. It seems to. I have a size large. I am able to wear a jacket underneath without compromising movement, but the Hellbender does not feel too big if I am just wearing a shirt either.

      -Tom

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  2. I've been wearing frogg toggs hellbender waders for three years now. I think they are an excellent wader for a really reasonable price.

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  3. Just been across to the USA from UK and bought one of these jackets on recommendations from Anglers I met on a trip, nice to read your review and hopefully it will withstand the weather over here in UK.

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    1. I'd love to hear how the jacket holds up to your UK weather, George. Please let me know.

      -Tom

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    2. Will do Tom Cheers George

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  4. I too am in the market for reasonably priced wading jacket and appreciate reviews such as this one in helping to make a decision. According to the Frogg Toggs size chart, the Large jacket should fit someone with a 46-48" chest and up to a 37.5" sleeve. Do you think these measurements are correct for the Hellbender jacket? Thanks.

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    1. I think they're pretty close. Mine is a large and is fit nicely but with enough room for some insulations underneath.

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  5. Is there a D-Ring on the back to accommodate a net?
    Great review!

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  6. Tom, I'm looking at buying this jacket. I have a 38" chest and want to know if I should get a medium or go to a large. I tried on a similar toadz jacket at Cabela's size Large and it felt a little too bulky and the medium seemed fine but I would like to layer underneath. Thoughts?

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    1. It fits a little large like other Frogg Toggs jackets.

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