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Apparel Review


HUK Takes Foul Weather Protection to the Next Level (continued)

Performance: With the effect of the El Nino ramping down in California we didnít get as much rain as I hoped for when testing the HUK NXTLVL, but I did get enough to fully experience the gearís capabilities. Paired together both the NXTLVL Jacket and Bib do an excellent job shielding anglers from both wind and rain, and as an added bonus I never felt really cold when sporting this kit.


The hood locks out the wind and yet provides good overall vision

The NXTLVL has a soft inner liner, something that a lot of other rain gear competitors do not include. This ups the comfort level of the garment and also provides some extra warmth. The HUK NXTLVL Jacket and Bib are among the most comfortable sets of foul weather gear that I have ever worn, and the kit never feels like it is restrictive to move or cast in. One thing I did notice is that when it does rain for extended periods the outer layer of the jacket does absorb some water, and though moisture never penetrated through the jacket that water does add some extra weight to garments and also took a little longer to dry.


In the rain the hood moves rain away quickly and is also not nearly as loud as other hard shell competing jackets

I think one of the reasons that the NXTLVL gear is so comfortable is not just the design of the jacket and bibs but that extra stretch in the material itself which allows anglers that additional freedom of movement. The amount of adjustments that you can make on both the NXTLVL. Jacket and Bib also make it stand out from the competition. You can adjust the waist straps on the outside of the bib to get it to fit more snugly, or for days where you want to remove the hood completely from the jacket it is as easy as unbuttoning and unzipping it, which takes only a few seconds.


An internal neoprene storm cuff helps lock out the rain beneath the adjustable strap

The hood is also one of the highlights of the jacket and is form fitting so it never feels bulky or obstructs too much of your peripheral vision. A shaped bill helps efficiently guide water away from your head and the collar features a venting system that allows wind to flow through the collar keeping anglers cool and helping prevent optics from fogging up.


These multiple panels on the collar provide venting

When it comes to storage the NXTLVL delivers as well and there are so many big pockets on both the jacket and bibs that it is easy to lose track of where you put your tools or devices. The good thing is that all of these pockets also do a good job keeping your kit both safe and dry. My favorite pockets on these garments are the chest pockets on the jacket and front above the knee pockets on the bib. Both are easily accessible whether you are standing up or sitting down, and can hold everything from pliers to plastics.


The NXTLVL suit never allowed water to get through but the outer layer does absorb some water and takes longer to dry than a Gore-Tex based garment

Finally it is worth noting that the material that is employed in the NXTLVL is very breathable, and though I felt that the jacket in particular provided a lot of warmth it never feels like your overheating. If you ever do feel like you needs to cool off quickly there are pit zips under the arms which will enable you to release heat quickly by venting.

Performance Ratings for Huk NXTLVL Jacket and Bibs

Wind
Block (1-5)

Water
Repellant (1-5)

Mobility(1-5)

Breathability (1-5)

Adjustability of fit 
(1-5)

Total

Possible

Rating
(=Tot/Pos *10)

5

4

5

  4

5

23

25

9.2


Inside the NXTLVL Jacket and Bib is a soft lining

Features: The NXTLVL is actually the second generation suit from HUK and the company has clearly learned a lot from their first version, and has vastly improved the ergonomics of this latest iteration to satisfy the needs of both freshwater and saltwater anglers alike.


Big buckles = good, easy to use and very reliable

Just as an example Pro Angler Skeet Reese wanted larger easier to access pockets above the knees that he could stow gear quickly and still access whether he was sitting in the boat and running from one spot to the next or standing up and fishing on the front of his boat. John Holschuh, Director of Product, at HUK responded by re-engineering the entire front of the bibs by putting those large reinforced pockets that I like so much, which are accessible in all positions, offer plenty of storage and yet stay out of the way when youíre fishing.

Features Ratings for Huk NXTLVL Jacket and Bibs

Convertible(1-5)

Fastened
Pocket
(1-5)

Waterproof
or Fast Drying
(1-3)

Adjustable
Cuffs
(1-3)

Insulation or UPF Rating
(1-5)

Total

Possible

Rating
(= Tot/Pos
*10)

N/A

4

3

3

4

14

16

8.75


The Huk branding on the NXTLVL Jacket and Bib are all reflective

Next Section: Comfort all day long

 

 

 

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