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Cabela's GORE-TEX® Guidewear® - a field-test review at Cabela's

Cabela's GORE-TEX® Guidewear® - a field-test review

Author: Frank Ross

For over a decade, I've been wearing Cabela's Guidewear and it was love at first storm. While my Guidewear has kept me dry in a variety of miserable fishing weather, the one thing that bothered me sometimes was the tendency of Velcro® to pull my beard. This minor issue wasn't enough to cause me to stop wearing Guidewear, but it was distracting.

Frank Ross fishes in comfort, with the flexibility, durability and top quality protection of Guidewear.
When I heard that the clothing design team at Cabela's had come up with a new solution for sealing out water, without using Velcro, I was anxious to get my hands on a set. With the first zip, I knew that I had finally found piscatorial paradise.

The secret to this remarkable new sealing solution, exclusive to Cabela's Guidewear, is a gutter system that is so effective no storm flap is necessary. It's used on both the parka and bibs for a total solution. Armed with this revolutionary new rainwear, I set out to test it on a fishing trip. As luck would have it, we had a great day fishing, but the morning that looked like rain early, turned out to be a beautiful spring day. It was cool and foggy in the morning, and the suit felt really good as we sped across the water just after dawn.

The breathability of GORE-TEX® kept me in my comfort zone long after the temperature started to climb. It was a cool spring morning, but soon the sun rose higher, burning off the fog and the scant cloud cover that had earlier promised rain. We were fishing so hard I didn't realize it was heading toward 80 degrees, yet I was still cool inside the Guidewear.

As the skies began to clear, it was obvious I was going to have to test the waterproof capability of this new gutter system in another way. Since rain in western Nebraska is a sometimes thing, often separated by months, a high-pressure hose seemed like a viable option. After extended blasts from a high-pressure hose, the Guidewear was as secure as the vault in Fort Knox.

You'll find the same foundation of solid technology, like taped seams and a true 100% waterproof GORE-TEX® soft shell. Special three-layer fabric construction bonds a high-performance 500-denier polyester outer layer, a GORE-TEX membrane and a soft fleece lining to create the complete package without a bulky feel. Guidewear is also available with Thinsulate™ Insulation, for anglers in the frozen zone.

Two front slash, fleece-lined handwarmer pockets behind two front bellows pockets combine with a rear pocket and dual-layer chest pockets for a total of eight pockets to hold a wide range of gear. Three additional inside security pockets keep gear like a cell phone or other personal items dry and safe. You'll find the D-rings handy for attaching and keeping accessories at the ready.

Even under the constant blast of high-pressure water, Guidewear maintains its tight seal.
Freedom of movement is critical to fishing, and articulated elbows maximize flexibility. I love the innovative "floating" stretchable GORE-TEX cuffs. They seal moisture out of the sleeves and prevent wind from blowing in as well. When it starts to rain hard, the three-panel/three-point adjustable hood will keep your head dry, and your hands fishing. The drawcord hem and adjustable cuffs combine for an excellent fit to keep out the weather, and with a proper layering system you can fish in any weather, no matter how severe.

So, Guidewear is the standard of excellence by which all other rainwear is measured; what else could possibly make it better? Glad you asked.

Spending a day of standing, casting and fighting fish takes a toll on your lower back. Even sitting and fighting fish can make your back stiff after several hours of heavy action. Cabela's Guidewear designers realize this and have provided a solution that will have you singing their praises. The wide XCS (eXtreme Comfort System) back-support belt is designed especially for use with the parka, and is Velcro adjustable for just the right amount of support needed. The three-point floating design clips into place and moves freely no mater which way you move. When not needed, the ends of the belt slip into stowage pockets to keep it out of the way. Nagging discomfort in the lower back wears on you, both physically and mentally. I found that the belt reduced mental fatigue, as well as made my back feel better at the end of the day. This belt helps big time, and it keeps my belly from sticking out, so it's a win-win situation.

I've got another fishing trip on my calendar. The bite may be on or off, but one thing for sure, it doesn't matter what the weatherman conjures up for a prediction. I can load up and hit the water without concern because of Guidewear. It's legendary rainwear that provides warmth with amazing freedom of movement in cold, damp conditions, and its 100% waterproof, breathable protection will last a lifetime of carefree fishing.

Click here to purchase Cabela's GORE-TEX® Guidewear® Jacket, Parka and Bibs.