The Russians say that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

That’s why I don’t agree with my friends in Arizona who say that the heat of their summer is just the obverse of the cold of our Midwest winters. Nonsense. You can only legally take off so much clothing in the summer, but in the winter you can pile it on until you’re warm. And, layer after layer, that’s what we do.

But at a certain point (think the Michelin Tire Man) it gets pretty bulky to fish. You still have to be able to wave your arm back and forth and bend over to net the fish. Warm without bulk is the key.

Enter the Orvis Pro Insulated Hoody to the rescue. This coat has the best weight-to-warmth ratio of anything I have ever experienced. To do this it uses two different types of insulation — 80g PrimaLoft Gold in the core, head and arm areas and with Polartc Alpha 80g in the side panels. It’s so light that the whole thing packs up into one of the pockets.

The hood is designed to mold around the head, so you don’t have to use a drawstring to cinch it tight. I’ve looked at most of the reviews online and, with the exception of a couple of goofs who ordered the wrong size and then whined about it, every review was five-star. Of course the best advertisement is that there is a current backlog on orders at Orvis, which suggests that word has gotten around how good this coat is.

— Jon Christiansen

By Trout Unlimited Staff.