Living in the Pacific Northwest in fall and winter (and sometimes even late Spring) requires clothing that is built for cold and wet – and that applies whether it’s for daily wear or fly fishing.
I’ve gone through lots of pieces of outerwear looking for something that is warm, windproof, waterproof, and with the two most important considerations: multiple use and comfortable.
I think I finally found what I’m looking for: the Simms Bulkley jacket. Admittedly, I’ve only used around town so far and it may take now until next fall to see how it works on the water. Nonetheless, I think this jacket is already a winner!
The jacket is a hip-length hooded jacket that combines a Gore-Tex 2-layer shell with PrimaLoft ONE insulation, the latter advertised to maintain 96% of its insulating capacity when wet. And the nice thing about this jacket is that the Primaloft ONE is also in the hood and sleeves. The insulation is such that it provides warmth with very little additional insulation required. Even for around town wear (i.e., minimal activity) I’ve gotten by with only a long-sleeved shirt – my arms always tend to get cold. I’d advise considering this a below 50F jacket. Above that temperature the jacket may keep you dry on the outside, but you will sweat (at least I did).
Fit is excellent. I’m 6’and about 195 pounds, and the Large fits me well.
The color is black, with only a subdued fly patch over the left pocket and the Simms brand over the right pocket to reveal its fishing nature. The jacket styling is relatively fitted, meaning it doesn’t hang like a big bag from your shoulders. The two large pockets work as well for cell phones and other electronics as they for large fly boxes. There are two hand warmer pockets that provide warmth; I really like the lining on the knuckle side of the pocket – there’s nothing worse than sliding your hands into a nylon lined pocket that chills the backs of your hands.
And one of the best things about the jacket is the price. At the time of this review it was only $279.95 USD – that’s a steal for what you get.