Fishing expos are roaring back to life post-pandemic with ICAST 2021, held in Orlando, Florida from July 20–23. Kayak Angler editor Ric Burnley is on-site, walking the trade show floor for a preview of the latest and greatest in kayaks, tackle, accessories, electronics and more. Here are his picks for the best new apparel and accessories from ICAST 2021.
Best New Apparel and Accessories from ICAST 2021
Costa Del Mar Untangled Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar continued their winning streak at ICAST 2021 taking Best Eyewear with the new Untangled collection. Made of recycled fishing nets, the Untangled glasses include Costa’s best 580 glass lenses and recycled aluminum accents and hardware.
Not only are Untangled frames made of recycled plastic, but the glasses are completely recyclable. This year, Costa added models to the Untangled line with features pro anglers demand like wider side arms and ventilated nose pads.
Gill Xpel Fishing Apparel
One of the big themes at ICAST 2021 was clothing made of responsibly sourced materials. After 40 years in the performance clothing game, Gill is leading the way with the new Xpel line of sun shirts, shorts and gloves. Using a plant-based fabric treatment, Xpel garments shed water, blood, slime and dirt to last longer and look great. With 50 UPF, Xpel apparel sheds the sun as well as water.
I’ve been testing the Overton Fishing Shirt with Xpel technology. When water hits the shirt, it beads up and rolls off. The same with blood, slime and spilled coffee. The material is odor resistant, too. To stay cool, mesh vents in the back of the shirt release heat. Low-profile buttons don’t snag my line and the microfiber strip inside the shirt hem is convenient to clean my sunglasses.
Onyx Hydromax Jacket and Pant
Onyx Outdoors’ Hydromax Jacket and Pant caught our eye at ICAST 2021. Super lightweight, stretchable fabric is waterproof and breathable. The attached hood, elastic waist, hem and wrists with hook and loop adjustment protect against wind and rain. Pockets with waterproof zippers keep my hands warm and dry.
I like the zippered leg openings in the pants for easy on and off as the weather changes. The jacket and pant pack into an included stuff sack to stash in a hatch or gear crate. Ready when it rains and out of the way when the sun shines.
Mustang Survival MIT 100 Manual Inflatable PFD
One of our favorite new inflatable life vests was on prominent display at the Mustang Survival booth. The MIT 100 manual inflatable PFD features a reliable inflation system and lightweight flexible membrane for a comfortable fit with 22 pounds of buoyancy, more than most foam life vests. Now the MIT 100 is available in camo colors for blending in with the background.
I like a manual inflatable life vest for quick trips in sheltered waters. Inflatable vests are particularly popular in the heat and humidity that turn a foam life vest into a torture device. To maintain comfort, the neck of the MIT 100 is designed so it doesn’t rub against the skin. The prominent pull tab makes the MIT 100 easy to inflate and the soft, membrane is easy to rearm.
Gill introduces their new Xpel line of performance fishing apparel at ICAST 2021. | Feature photo: Ric Burnley