What is the Simms Hyalite Rain Shell jacket designed for?
The Simms Hyalite Rain Shell jacket is a multi purpose hard shell or rain jacket for anglers. It's longer than a typical wading jacket and is ideal for the bank angler, or even for wearing on the street.
It's very thin and lightweight, so rolls down into a very small pack and easily squashes into my sling pack, so I can put it on if it rains or if the wind gets too chilly.
What's it made from?
Simms don't appear to say what material the Hyalite jacket is made from. It's described as waterproof and breathable, and I can confirm that it is indeed both. It keeps the cold out and rain simply trickles straight off.
It uses a YKK waterproof zipper and nylon components, so it's corrosion resistant and won't rust if you wear it while doing a spot of saltwater fly fishing.
What features does it have?
There's the usual decent Simms hood with several elastic pull cords to help it stay in place, two side pockets with warm fleece linings and some basic but perfectly functional Velcro straps on the cuffs
It's no match for the Simms Guide Jacket, but it's less than half the price and less than half as bulky.
What colours are available?
There are two different shades of blue - Tidal Blue and Ocean Blue (which look near identical to me), a nice Dark Olive colour, a bright green Agave colour and a Clay colour and a Bright Red. The new season's colours have introduced a few extra shades.
I'm guessing that the non-stereotypical angling colours (i.e. bright red and bright blue) are less popular, because a few UK Simms dealers are heavily discounting them, which is why I picked up mine. In general, it's pretty rare to see anything from Simms discounted over here.
Can you get Simms Hyalite waterproof trousers to match?
Yes, Simms do produce Hyalite waterproof trousers, which they call "rain pants". Clearly, you'd look a trifle odd wearing these in a very bright colour, so they're only available in the more muted Dark Gunmetal colour. They look really smart, but at £130 they definitely ain't cheap...
Is it hideously expensive?
Compared to most Simms fishing products, the Simms Hyalite jacket is positively cheap. It's their entry level rain jacket and retails for about £150. I paid around £100 for mine, but my choice was limited to some of the brighter, presumably less popular colours.
I've been taking mine on most of my fishing trips this summer - mainly fly fishing, but also some lure fishing trips and a few days out on the Welsh coast trying for bass. It's also been worn on a few walks too, so you need not use it solely for fishing.
However, as nice as the Simms Hyalite Rain Jacket is, I probably wouldn't have paid the full price for one. But at £100 it compares to similar quality outdoor walking jackets, so it's not too bad really, and hopefully will last a good few years.