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The cold, wind, and rain are no match for the Challenger jacket from Simms, one of the world’s leading brands of fishing apparel (just check out their products in this review of excellent fishing waders for more examples).
For protection against the elements, this jacket is on another level, fully weatherproof and insulated, it’s designed to help you keep fishing for as long as possible.
The specially designed fabric has four layers for moisture-wicking on the inside and waterproofing out, and is filled with PrimaLoft Silver with a three-point adjustable hood to keep you dry, snug, and toasty.
Easily the best fishing jacket for cold weather there is.
Premium quality construction.
Zippered handwarmer pockets.
Fully taped seams.
Name to trust.
On the pricey side.
If you want to stay warm, dry, and protected as you fish well into the winter – then accept no substitute. This jacket proves why Simms is a company at the top of their game.
While it might not offer the insulation that the Simms Challenger can boast, I’ve included this Columbia rain jacket for its popularity and a ridiculous number of outstanding reviews.
And it’s an excellent, all-round wet weather garment in its own right, crafted from a waterproof nylon shell that will keep you protected even in the heaviest downpours.
Highly portable, it can pack down into a hand pocket, so you can easily store it in one of these fishing backpacks in case of an emergency.
The hydrophobic Omni-shield coating not only keeps you dry but clean as well, and to cap it all the choice of colors is like a packet of skittles.
Name to trust.
Very highly rated.
Abrasion-resistant chin guard.
Not the most breathable jacket out there.
Stylish, affordable protection and a great fit, Columbia has knocked it out of the park with this jacket. Suitable for all kinds of outdoor activities, the mere fact that it’s so portable means it would be rude not to own at least one.
Another wet-weather gear manufacturer that needs little introduction, Frogg Toggs are tried and trusted by anglers and fans of the great outdoors the world over.
Very affordable, their Classic Pro Action rain jacket is a no-nonsense choice for keeping the elements at bay.
Designed with water-resistant material, it features snap-shut storm flaps with a fully adjustable hood for extra protection, and it’s made with a breathable fabric that won’t let you run hot on more humid days.
The bomber-style aesthetic is fashionable, and the fit is true-to-size, so it’s easy to make your choice.
Name to trust.
Choice of colors.
The jacket is a little stiff – but that should loosen over time.
The bomber-style might ride up on some people.
A versatile, weather-resistant jacket with a stylish look, this is a great jacket for fishing from Frogg Toggs that you can take anywhere.
And don’t forget to keep your hands protected, too, with a pair of the best gloves for fishing – invaluable in good and bad weather.
Some days it isn’t just about staying dry; it’s about staying warm too!
With the Orvis Pro Insulated Jacket, you’ll hopefully be able to do both. There’s plenty of good things in this fishing jacket.
Well, for a start, it is really comfy. You will be moving a lot when fishing, so you need something that stretches and flexes with your body. This jacket features body-mapped stretch fabric for a great fit.
And there’s more.
Throughout, you’ll find 80g of Gold active insulation… Yes, even in the arms. This means that it isn’t just your trunk area that is kept warm.
One great feature I love is the waist drawstrings, this ensures that you get a nice and snug fit, and no annoying draughts can make their way up inside on those windy days.
And the best bit?
There is a large waterproof ‘security’ pocket inside the jacket. Why is this so great? Well, it is zippered, and when the jacket is not in use, you can stuff the entire thing into this pocket, zip it up, and you’ve got a compact little parcel that is the perfect size to store in a backpack or sling pack!
Warm and supremely comfortable.
Drawstrings for a customizable fit.
Easy to store and carry when not in use.
This is weather-resistant. It won’t keep you dry if there is a torrential downpour.
This is just the ticket if you are looking to layer up. The fact that it packs down to nothing and still manages to keep you warm with clever use of insulation makes it well worth a look, especially if you fish in the colder months on either side of the main fishing season.
Ok, I was moaning about not being 100% waterproof.
Try this on for size.
The ultralight storm jacket is made from 100% waterproof nylon. This is about as waterproof as it gets. Orvis have even been clever enough to feature a storm zip, keeping your bone dry during your fishing session.
Here’s the thing.
You know I’m a fan of clever storage solutions. This jacket stuffs into its own hood to form a hand-carry pouch. Perfect for if the weather can’t make up its mind. Speaking of the hood, it has a laminated brim that can be adjusted, no more annoying drips in your eyes.
But what about fit?
Listen, believe me when I say I know that we anglers come in all shapes and sizes. Thankfully you won’t have to worry too much about making a watertight fit. Both the hem and the cuffs are fully adjustable, perfect for keeping those drips away.
Oh, and for you fashionistas… It is available in a range of colors.
A great looking jacket.
Clever storage solution.
Easily customizable fit.
100% nylon can get a little sweaty. But that said, it does have a sport dry-touch interior.
This jacket is reasonably priced and should go a long way to keeping you dry. The jury is still out on how breathable it is, but provided you don’t ask too much of it, I think it will work well.
Designed to withstand the worst the elements can throw at you, the Stormr Strykr fishing jacket uses neoprene core technology to make sure the cold and wet stays out and the heat stays in.
The same material they use for wetsuits, it has superior insulating qualities while being super-protective without unnecessary bulk or weight.
And it’s packed with useful features, including an interior storm flap, adjustable Velcro cuffs, interior cell phone pocket, and two, fleece-lined exterior pockets with PU-coated non-corrosive zippers.
Arguably the best waterproof jacket for fishing on the market.
Glued and taped thermal seams.
Adjustable waistband and cord locks.
Choice of colors could be better.
For anyone even remotely concerned about poor weather conditions while enjoying the great outdoors – this is the jacket for you.
A similar model to the first Challenger jacket featured earlier in this review, the difference with this particular raincoat is that it’s more lightweight, without the padded insulation.
Ideal for three-season fishing or in windy, rainy conditions, it uses the same technology as its more heavyweight cousin, with four protective layers for unbeatable weather resistance and moisture-wicking breathability.
Completely waterproof, it has 100% taped seams, YKK zippers, and a three-point adjustable storm hood for when things get really nasty.
And it also features a kill switch attachment loop on the bottom of the hem for watercraft safety.
These guys think of everything.
Name to trust.
Outstanding weather protection.
Zippered storm flap.
Camo colors available.
Another top-quality offering from Simms, this is a more lightweight version of their insulated Challenger jacket, which is ideal for staying cool, or layering up in colder weather. Either way, it’s world-class.
This Cascades Sportsman’s jacket from Frogg Toggs is overloaded with features to help you have a successful fishing adventure.
There are no less than 18 pockets in total, making it one of the most practical fishing jackets out there, offering plenty of storage space to keep extra gear and tackle to hand.
It also has a built-in foldaway rod holder, D-rings for additional accessories, fully taped waterproof seams and heavy-duty front zipper with storm flap to keep moisture out.
Designed with anglers in mind, this is one of the best raincoats for fishing there is.
Name to trust.
Great price for what you get.
Adjustable tuck-away hood.
Elastic wrist cuffs.
Loads of storage options.
Only one color available.
Breathability isn’t the best.
A fishing jacket that’s designed to be a fishing jacket, the added features that cater to anglers are a great touch. Alternatively, you could always try one of these practical fishing vests for a more lightweight option that still packs in the pockets.
An article about fishing apparel without mentioning Orvis wouldn’t be a very good article at all, so thankfully I’ve included this wading jacket from the oldest mail-order fishing tackle retailer in the US.
And this is a prime example of their top-drawer quality, made with a highly durable, custom-woven, three-layer shell that is both waterproof and breathable, with fully taped seams, and a coating that repels moisture, dirt and stains.
Zippered hand-warmer pockets and a brushed suede chin-guard add more than a touch of comfort, and side zips offer easy access to waders with additional venting as a bonus.
Name to trust.
Premium build quality.
Rubberized tabs for fishing tool docking.
Integrated fly patch.
Rear D-ring for nets.
One of the most expensive options out there.
More colors would have been nice.
One of the best fly-fishing jackets around, this has been expertly crafted to cater for anglers – no matter how you like to fish.
You would expect nothing less from Ovis, but with a price-tag to match.
Based out of Colorado (as many quality outdoor brands seem to be), Spyder needs little introduction when it comes to skiing and snowboarding.
And while this Leader GTX jacket has been designed with the slopes in mind, there’s no reason it wouldn’t make an excellent angling option for maximum protection in colder climes.
The Gore-Tex fabric and toasty 100 grams of Thinsulate insulation will keep you warm and dry while maintaining breathability, and stretch-fabric allows freedom of movement that would just lend itself to long casts.
Full seam taping ensures nothing unwanted gets in, and you can enjoy a full day’s fishing without being at the mercy of the elements.
YKK Aquaguard Zippers.
Stylish, cutting-edge design.
Choice of colors.
Not strictly a fishing jacket.
I think this is a great all-rounder that will suit anyone who likes to fish and ski – as you certainly can’t knock Spyder’s pedigree when it comes to outdoor, cold-weather apparel.
Our final Frogg Toggs entry now with their oddly named Java Hellbender fly and wading jacket. Another garment designed specifically with fisher people in mind, it’s loaded with useful features that will make your day by the water a better experience.
Made with ultra-lightweight, water-resistant, breathable fabrics, you’ll be comfortable in even the worst weather, while the fully adjustable hood has an extended bill and tuck away collar for added protection.
And plenty of expandable pockets offer extra space to store your gear and keep fishing tools to hand.
Name to trust.
Neoprene and Lycra sleeve openings.
Large number of pockets.
Fold away rod holder.
Only one color available.
The zipper could be improved.
A fine wading and fly jacket from Frogg Toggs that offers many useful fishy features, an attractive quality design, and lightweight, breathable protection all at an affordable price.
Canadian outdoor brand Arc’teryx are one of the world’s premier manufacturers of the very best gear when it comes to protecting you from whatever Mother Nature decides to cook up.
The Beta AR jacket is one of their flagship products, extremely popular and highly rated in spite of being on the pricey side.
Made with GORE-TEX technology, it’s beautifully designed, coming just over the hip so as not to ride up like so many jackets tend to do when you’re layering for fishing.
And the hood and neck construction is probably the best in the business – there’s not much more that I can add.
Super-stylish design and fit.
Choice of smart colors.
No dedicated fishing features.
One of the best outdoor jackets on the market – if not the best – the Arc’teryx Beta is a tried and trusted staple in their already impressive range. This is some serious pro shit, and that dark moss color is just stunning for fishing.
While most of the jackets in this review are available for women (or are a unisex design) I thought I’d include a dedicated option for the fairer sex just to mix things up a bit.
Carhartt are well known for their work clothing line and rugged durability, and it transfers easily to this Shoreline fishing jacket that has been made with a nylon shell with a waterproof membrane.
The detachable, three-piece hood has a drawcord and barrel-lock adjusters for a comfort, snug fit, and fully taped seams help to keep the weather at bay.
Regular and plus sizes available.
Choice of colors available.
Sizing can be tricky – make sure you double-check.
A stylish and practical outdoor jacket that is versatile for all kinds of activities, it’s a great weight for fishing and layering underneath is easy. The lining in the jacket and sleeves will keep things breathable, too.
Famed Norwegian clothing company Helly Hansen are highly reputable when it comes to outdoor wet weather gear – specially designed to work on the oceans – and this deluxe rain jacket is no exception.
Made with their fully waterproof Impertech fabric, it offers unbeatable protection while still providing a full range of movement with its flexibility.
Hook and loop adjustable sleeve cuffs help to keep the elements out, while two waterproof pockets are ideal for storing valuables or sensitive items.
A generous cut will look and feel good on just about anyone, and the attached hood tucks away into the collar when not in use.
Name to trust.
Advanced wet weather gear.
Micro Weld seam construction.
Hand warmer pockets.
Back cape for ventilation.
On the expensive side.
Sizing might be problematic – make sure you double-check.
An iconic brand known for their world-class waterproof apparel, HH products are designed to take a beating. This makes for an excellent fishing jacket – or for any outdoor activity where there might be a strong chance of getting a soaking.
How to Choose the Best Fishing Jacket – A Buyer’s Guide
Check out the information below for additional help, hints, tips, and advice for selecting the right fishing jacket for you and your needs.
An FAQ section will mop up anything we might have missed.
Style of Jacket
Perhaps the first thing you’ll be looking out for is the style of the fishing jacket. We all want to look good in our new gear, and thankfully, with the products in the review above, you don’t have to sacrifice a sharp aesthetic for practicality.
But you do have to make a decision on how much protection you need, especially when it comes to the lining.
Are you looking for a lightweight rain jacket that you can whip out if the heavens open? Or, perhaps you need something that has substantial insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in?
Choose a garment that caters for your style, the type of fishing you’re most regularly enjoying, and the conditions you’ll be angling in.
Which brings us nicely onto the weatherproofing aspect of fishing jackets. By their very nature, these garments should be able to repel water, with materials and technology that will keep you dry.
But some jackets are more weatherproof than others.
Look for options that consist of multiple layers for the best possible protection. They will be able to offer a water-repellent or waterproof coating, simultaneously keeping you warm, but with breathable fabrics that offer adequate ventilation.
One of the biggest problems with inferior fishing jackets (or any jacket for that matter) is poor heat management that will have you sweating buckets even with little or no movement.
Remember, no garment is going to truly be 100% waterproof. They will let water in eventually – but some will last much longer than others if submerged, or in monsoon conditions.
We all know our own sizing, but when it comes to getting a good quality fishing jacket that fits, you should double-check with a tape measure following a particular manufacturer’s sizing guide.
It will likely vary from brand to brand, as well as where the garment is from.
That’s because some jackets might run small or large, or use a different sizing system, and many outdoorsmen and women like the option to layer under the garment if required.
If that’s the case, it might be worth getting a size up from your normal choice.
The very best rain jackets for fishing will come with a good selection of pockets and compartments in which you can store extra gear, tackle, valuables, or anything else you need to keep at hand.
Look for jackets that offer pockets with protected zippers or storm flaps to help keep water out.
Internal pockets will offer more protection to your valuables, such as cell phones, keys, and glasses.
If you’re concerned with the cold, fishing jackets with fleece-lined handwarmer pockets are a great option.
Everyone has a personal preference about pocket location – you’ll know what you need and can choose accordingly.
All good outdoor jackets should come with a hood – fishing jackets especially – as you never know when a shower or storm might hit.
There’s usually a selection to choose from, and you can opt for the type you prefer and are most comfortable with.
Foldaway hoods that can collapse down into a pocket around the collar are useful if you don’t like the bulk of a hood all the time.
Detachable hoods that can be removed completely are a nice aesthetic choice if you want to mix up your look – or don’t require the hood at all for a particular day.
Fully adjustable hoods that offer several ways to fit and form it around your head for extra protection are a great choice if you think you’ll really be battling the weather.
Look for hoods with an extended bill to keep your face properly protected.
And don’t forget about the collar and neck area – you need to make sure the jacket hugs there and keeps the wind and rain out.
Also, look for jackets with a comfortable chin guard – there’s little more annoying than when you’re all bundled up and you’re subjected to chafing against your skin and face.
Not to be overlooked, but the hardware of a jacket is very important when it comes to offering you the most reliable protection.
Good quality zippers, buttons, and other fastenings will prolong the life of the garment, as well as keeping you wrapped up against wet and cold weather.
Look for jackets with YKK zippers – as they offer durable quality fastenings that are satisfying to use.
Seams are just as important, and you’re looking for those all-important taped/heat-treated/welded seams that provide the best possible waterproofing.
Some jackets in the review are simply good-quality garments you can use for any outdoor activity – including fishing.
Others, however, incorporate additional features that are specifically designed to suit the angler.
Look out for jackets that have extra pockets or tool storage tabs in convenient locations. You can never have too many options for keeping your tackle to hand.
Some jackets have D-rings for extra storage and the ability to attach useful gear.
Net loops are useful for keeping your landing net to hand, and rod holders, carabiners or hooks are also a practical addition for the fisherperson, and make things particularly easy if you’re fly-fishing.
Outdoor jackets are most commonly sold in earthy colors of browns, greens, blacks, and grays.
Camo is a nice option if it’s offered – particularly if you want to use the jacket for hunting as well.
For fishing, having these muted colors is important, as fish – complicated as their vision may be – will still be aware you’re casting if you’re wearing a high-vis day-glow orange thing. You should do your best to blend into your surroundings.
Having said that, brighter colors are better for safety, so it really depends on how and where you’re angling if you want to go down that route for extra peace-of-mind.
At the end of the day, you’ll choose something that’s going to look good, regardless.
As with any jackets, you can spend as much or as little as you like – but the real trick with fishing clothing is that a garment’s level of water and weatherproofing will tend to drive the price up.
Which, when you think about the technology, materials, and design expertise involved – is fair enough. You only have to look at the likes of Simms or Orvis products to see what I mean.
That said, there’s no reason you can’t find a budget-friendly option that will still keep you warm and dry – and Frogg Toggs offer a nice mid/budget-range that won’t let you down.
In the end, buy the best you can afford and suit it to how often you’re going to use it. There’s no point having a $400 coat hanging in your closet gathering dust.
What is the best waterproof fishing jacket?
It’s a subjective question, as what I think is the best waterproof fishing jacket, another keen angler might think is terrible.
All the jackets in this review are here on merit – and they could easily be the best, depending on what it is you’re looking for.
If pushed, I’d lean towards any of the Simms or Orvis products, although I do like the Spyder and Stomr offerings, too. And anything by Helly Hansen is going to keep you fully protected in really bad weather.
What should I wear for cold weather fishing?
There’s a number of useful tips and techniques you can use for layering up in a bid to still enjoy fishing when the temperature drops. Having a good-quality fishing jacket is just the beginning.
Check out the video below for some expert advice on what else you might need before you venture out.
What fishing jacket brands do you recommend?
Ha! See the question above for the answer. But all joking aside, I’d heartily recommend all the brands in this review as top fishing jacket manufacturers.
Yes. Frogg Toggs is a great, all-round, wet-weather gear brand that offers products you can use for hiking, camping, cycling, fishing, kayaking, watching the game…just about anything outdoors you can think of where you need weather protection.
Best of all, they’re not that expensive, so you can get affordable gear that will get the job done with aplomb.
What is the best rain suit for fishing?
Good question. I would say anything that’s going to keep you warm and dry from head to toe would make an excellent rain suit.
Funnily enough, Frogg Toggs make some great budget-friendly options, so you should check them out if that’s what you’re looking for.
And have a look at this article if you’re in the market for quality waders as a solid option for weather and water protection when you’re fishing.
I’d lean towards the Orvil – as previously mentioned – and the Frogg Toggs strangely named Java Hellbender, which is another great fishing and wader jacket available for your consideration.
What jacket can I use for ice fishing?
Ahhh, so glad you asked. Head on over to this article on the best ice fishing jackets, if you’re looking for the same kind of quality, but with just a little bit more heat.
There you have it folks, the best fishing jackets of 2023 – certainly considerably better than the year itself has been.
I hope this review and guide has helped point you in the direction of your new gear – and let me know in the comments which one you’ve gone for and why. It might persuade me to make yet another final decision.