I was shivering and Hank Cherry was complaining that he was already sweating. It was 8 a.m. at the McFarland Park boat ramp on Pickwick Lake and a bunch of us were putzing around, basically waiting for some improvement in the morning temperatures that hung in the upper 20’s.
Now, it’s not like Cherry and I live in vastly different climates. He’s from Maiden, N.C. and I’m from Tampa, Florida—but I’ve spent plenty of time in cold climates. The difference was our foul weather gear. I had a nice set of bibs and a heavy, insulated jacket, but Cherry was sporting StormR Stryker jacket and bibs—essentially a neoprene fortress that looks at cold, wet weather and snarls: “Bring it.”
Central to the Stryker jacket’s impressive protection is its Neoprene Core Technology, which features windproof and waterproof high-stretch materials sporting a water repellant finish and 3M reflective graphics.
On the safety side, the Stryker’s material adds nearly 5 pounds of positive buoyancy—something you hope you’ll never have to test, but a potential difference maker.
The Stryker is made strong with glued, blind stitched and thermal taped seams; non-corrosive waterproof central front and pocket zippers; and two interior cord locks Minding comfort and durability, StormR adds abrasion resistant material in high use areas, fleece lining, PU welded waterproof pockets, and adjustable wrists, waist and hood.
Later in my Pickwick Trip, I fished with local guide Jimmy Mason, who also wore the Stryker jacket and matching bibs. His impression:
“The StormR Stryker is an awesome cold weather jacket,” Mason said. “It’s very dry, wind resistant and super warm. It’s fleece lined so you don’t have to wear a lot of layers under it.
“From a cold weather standpoint, it’s the best jacket I’ve worn. In the mid 50s and below, it’s a great because not having to wear a lot of layers, your mobility is not restricted and you don’t have a lot of extra weight on you all day.”
Pressing him a little for his favorite feature, Mason offered this: “The hood is very well designed to stay up and keep the water out. With a lot of rainsuits, the hood flaps when you’re running and that’s how water gets in. The way the StormR Stryker jacket’s hood tightens around your head, so you don’t have water running around your neck and down your back.”
If you ever had a trickle of icy water sneaking down your spine in weather warranting a neoprene jacket, you know that’s no fun.