Saturday, December 22, 2012


I’m frugal. Okay, I’m cheap. The thought of shelling out hundreds of dollars for rainy day wear seemed excessive.

Whether or not it’s excessive, it is a lot of money. I could buy a very nice shotgun for the price of a quality rainsuit; several dozen coyote traps, a bunch of rod and reel combos - probably a one way ticket to Honolulu, if I shopped smart.

But when I turned “pro” and started taking people on Lake Michigan for hire, one of my first acquisitions was a Bass Pro XPS rain suit. What I then hoped would prove to be a worthy investment I now say is among my most important assets.  I love it and wear it on my boat everyday during the spring and fall, rain or shine. It’s the perfect top layer, warm and wind proof.

I would buy another one - probably.

But I might switch to a Frabill XFE Stormsuit. The folks at Frabill gave me one to try out.

Just my luck, it came during a drought year, one with record warmth. So it’s just been sitting there waiting for a suitable, rainy, dreary day.

Like yesterday!

By sunrise, the rain gauge showed over 1/2-inch and the drizzle was steady. Temperatures in the 40s. I had traps scattered over 4 farms and I’d need to attend to each one. Not just drive by and keep going if there was nothing caught. Each trapsite was water-logged. I planned to remove most of them.

The perfect test day.

My initial impression of the Frabill suit? It’s great. It fits great, it’s built for outdoor activities that require standing, kneeling, sitting down, climbing into and out of trucks, boats and onto ATVs. It features pockets inside and out, special spots for pocket cams, cell phones, extra protection at knees and elbows. There’s even a tiny towel on string inside for, ah, well, maybe to dry off your glasses?

The materials and workmanship look to be top of the line. At the end of the day, I was warm and completely dry. Will it hold up for the long run? Ask me in a few years, I’m betting it will and I’ll be putting that bet to the test.