Gear Up For Foul Weather Fishing with Gill's OS2 Rain Bibs
Total Score: 8.08 -
Introduction: If you're a hard core fisherman, seldom do you let a silly thing like weather get in the way of your favorite activity. If you're a smart hard core fisherman, you dress accordingly. But up until recently for the freshwater angler, that meant purchasing store branded rain gear, garments from second tier manufacturers, or foul weather pants and coats intended for commercial saltwater fishing or snow sports. Missing were the quality, higher end foul weather clothes built for the more recreational minded freshwater fisherman. Granted, it was a matter of economics because let's face it, the majority of recreational fisherman are cheap and manufacturers were probably reluctant to present the market with high end rain gear that would cost upwards of a thousand dollars per suit when consumers could get rain slicks that do the job and come packed in reusable clear plastic bags for $25.
If you're a hard core fisherman, seldom do you let a silly thing
like weather get in the way of your favorite activity.
All that changed a couple of years ago when
manufacturers like Gill and Simms turned their sights towards a specific subset
of freshwater fishermen, bass anglers. Bass anglers have little problem spending the dollars on equipment and tools that prove their worth out on the water. In a foul weather suit, that means something that is comfortable to wear, protects you from the elements, doesn't get in the way of fishing, and isn't branded with the name of a company so as to give the impression you're swearing allegiance to their retail stores.
But up until recently for the freshwater angler, that meant
purchasing store branded rain gear, garments from second tier manufacturers, or
foul weather pants and coats intended for commercial saltwater fishing or snow
For Simms, it was a natural move. They already have an excellent reputation in the angling world from the product they manufacture for fly fisherman so tailoring rain gear to keep the bass fisherman comfortable and dry was just a matter of time. For Gill, a manufacturer who built their reputation in another water related sport, sailing, the angling world was a little more foreign.
All that changed a couple of years ago when manufacturers like
Gill and Simms turned their sights towards a specific subset of freshwater
fishermen, bass anglers.
We took to the water with rain gear, and specifically rain pants, from both of these manufacturers to see for ourselves whether or not the extra money needed to purchase their garments is worth the investment. First up is our look at Gill's OS2 Bib Trousers.
Gill OS2 Trousers
||Gill Laminated Fabric
XS - XXXL
||Adjustable Shoulder Straps, Fleece Lined Pockets, Abrasion
Resistant Panels, Adjustable Ankle Closures, Front 2-way zipper with Internal Gusset, Secure Multi-Tool Attachment Point
||Made in China
Gill as a manufacturer is still relatively new to the bass fishing market, but
they’re not new to us. We’ve been wearing and testing their gear for a couple of
years now and previously shared our views on two items, their Inshore Lite and Coast Sport Jackets. Both performed very well, but of course no rain suit is complete without a matching pant.
The OS2 bib pants come with adjustable straps...
Gill’s OS2 Bib Trousers sits about mid-level in the manufacturer’s tier of rain pants. As the name suggests, it is a bib style pant that comes up to about mid back and chest and features built in suspenders. Realistically, this is one of those products we mentioned above as being originally designed for the sailing world, but in Gill’s case, their product has a natural cross over to fishing as well.
... insulated pockets ...
Gill rates their outer garments by what they refer to as the “dot system”. The number of dots (up to five) helps guide consumers as to Gill’s design intent for the product. The system ranges from light duty shells (one dot) through extreme condition dry suits (five dots). The OS2 Bib Trousers are rated with three dots and are built for comfort in offshore, coastal sailing conditions and even overnight situations on the water.
... a cinch strap at the hems ...
Field Tests: From that rating alone, we already knew these pants were built for conditions far worse than we typically set out in during a testing run, but considering the conditions tournament anglers often encounter, it’s not too far off the mark. So we checked the weather conditions, geared up, and headed out on the water!
... a waterproof barrier behind the zipper ...
The Forecast: Our day on the water came with a forecast for sustained showers in winds up to twenty five miles per hour (25mph). Normally, this would mean cancelling our plans, but not this time. If we were really to put these suits to the test and find out how well they were made, we couldn’t ask for more ideal conditions.
... a two way adjustable zipper ...
Wind Resistance: I complimented the OS2 Bib Trousers with my Inshore Lite jacket reviewed in July of 2011. Similar to the Inshore Lite Jacket, the OS2 Bib Trousers are intended to be worn in a layering system as the last or top layer. Gill recommends a three layer system, but I simply wore jeans under my OS2s.
... and a Velcro loop on the
side for tools ...
The rain didn’t bother us until later, but the wind on this day blew from the very get go but thanks to my Gill gear I couldn’t feel a thing. Instead, out on the water, the first thing I noticed was how snug and cozy I was under the bibs and jacket. I wasn’t too warm, and the cold winds certainly weren’t getting in.
Checking out the tool strap out on the water.
Bib pants in general are warmer than standard pants because they do come up higher on your body. But unlike Ski Bibs, the OS2s aren’t bulky and they seem to have the right mix of breathability versus insulation to keep you comfortable.
The velcro strap makes it easy to attach a pair of pliers, clippers, etc..
Next Section: Bring on the Rain!