1. Jetty and Stance Hydrus 2.5
$150/$130 | www.kokatat.com
The set is light and packable, so it goes with me everywhere. The Hydrus 2.5 fabric is certified waterproof and breathable; perfect for hot summer afternoons when thunderstorms are in the forecast. The Jetty jacket has a removable hood so it works as a splash top, too. Slipping into the Stance pant is like wearing your favorite chinos. Convenient pockets on the right thigh and left arm are sized to hold a smartphone in a dry case. Neoprene at the cuffs keeps out water without cutting off circulation.
2. Panga Backpack 28
$299.99 | www.yeti.com
Who needs a waterproof, rip-proof backpack that floats? Kayak anglers, of course. Yeti’s Panga 28 Backpack goes from the truck to the kayak, cutting time off my launch and keeping my gear safe and dry. The Panga 28 is built with Thickskin Shell, a rubberized, rip-proof, waterproof material. The Hydrolock zipper with ULock is guaranteed dry and airtight. Molded, ergonomic shoulder straps and a removable chest and waist strap are worthy of serious day-tripping. We loaded the Panga 28 with a day’s worth of water, snacks and gear then threw it in the ocean. It floats, too.
Costa del Mar
3. Sunrise Silver Mirror 580G
$259 | www.costadelmar.com
Sunglasses in the rain? Costa del Mar’s Sunrise Silver Mirror lens is specially designed for low-light conditions and improved contrast by allowing 30 percent light transmission. The lenses still cut 100 percent of damaging UV and HEV light to protect your eyes. Now available in top-of-the-line 580G, Costa’s glass lenses are crystal clear and scratch resistant while being lighter and thinner than the competition. To further improve wet performance, water beads and rolls off the hydrophobic lenses. Perfect for sunshine or rain.
4. Ultra Adventure Storm Hat
$54 | www.sundayafternoons.com
Sunday Afternoons calls their award-winning Ultra Adventure Storm hat, “the best rain hat in the world.” Fully seam sealed and waterproof, the hat’s wide brim and long neck cape act like a wearable umbrella. The cap fabric is super light and lined with breathable mesh material to stay cool and dry underneath. A cinch strap in the back keeps the hat secure and a UPF 50 rating protects when the sun comes out.
5. Traction UV Glove
$29.95 | www.mustangsurvival.com
Wet and wild is fine for fun and games, but fishing and paddling require solid grip in any conditions. Mustang Survival poured their experience in tactical gloves into a light, UPF 50 fingerless mitt. The cuff and thumb are extended for protection against abrasion. AX Suede patches on the fingers and palm improve wet grip without adding weight or bulk.
6. Terminal Deflector Long Sleeve
$50 | www.columbia.com
Staying dry on the inside requires a layer system to keep rain off and move body heat out. Columbia’s Omni Wick technology transfers body moisture to the outer layer of the fabric where it can evaporate through a breathable rain jacket. When the sun comes out, Omni-Shade Sun Deflector uses tiny titanium dots on the outside of the shirt to reflect light and heat. Why bother keeping precipitation out if it’s raining on the inside?
7. Fin H20
$89.95 | www.softscience.com
Ten minutes after Soft Science Fin H2O shoes arrived at the Kayak Angler office, the rain started. Soft Science took water shoes to the next level with their proprietary Trileon closed-cell copolymer that is lighter and more impact resistant than traditional foam shoes. The Fin H2O adds a stain-resistant microfiber upper to shed mud. Drain holes in the soles channel the water out of the foot bed for a dry ride.
8. Chinook Fishing PFD
$119.95 | www.nrs.com
One of the most popular fishing PFDs, the Chinook earned its stripes in all weather. The low-profile vest is packed with five pockets, knife, strobe, rod holder and tool attachments. Beauty is more than skin deep. The Chinook is covered with 400 denier rip-stop nylon, the toughest, lightest and most stain resistant fabric. Inside, PlusFit foam weighs less than two pounds and forms to fit the wearer. Cinch it down with six adjustment points, the shoulder straps tuck into holders to stay out of the way. When the forecast calls for rain, I grab the Chinook.
When it rains, this gear shines. Feature Photo: Natasha Burnley