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Simms Guide Windstopper Jacket Review

Posted on January 28 2010

The river looks bad but the jacket works good.
The river looks bad but the jacket works good.

We like softshells because we think they’re a great compromise between warmth, comfort and breathability.  The fact is, most of the time you’re on the water, a true hard shell like Gore-Tex is more waterproof, but less breathable and comfortable than it needs to be.

We like hoods because they keep rain, cold air, wind and badly-cast flies off of our heads and faces.

Naturally we were pretty fired up a couple of years ago when Simms added a hood to their Windstopper Softshell Jacket to make the Windstopper Softshell Hoody.  It’s been a real favorite – comfortable, good in a range of conditions, mellow-looking…and it’s got a hood!

This year Simms came out with ‘version 2’ of their hooded softshell, and it’s called the Guide Windstopper Jacket.

If you like video reviews…here you go!  Look, every river around Puget Sound was high and muddy that day, so instead of fishing we figured we’d hang out and make videos about gear.

If you’d like to see the video in full HD glory, or if you’re viewing this in a reader or a newsletter, click here to see the video review on YouTube.

Here’s what we like about the Guide Windstopper Jacket.

  • It’s a little warmer than the Softshell Hoody.  In some areas of the jacket, the softshell material has been replaced by Windstopper fleece – which makes for more warmth and comfort, if a little less water repellancy.
  • It’s got 4 pockets that are easily accessible when you’re fishing.  To us that’s a good, but not excessive number.
  • The hood kicks butt.  It’s removable, although we probably won’t ever remove it.  It’s cut great, it’s really comfortable, and the stretchy non-adjustable shock cord seems to work just about perfectly, especially when you’re wearing a baseball hat.

At $249.95, this thing ain’t cheap.  But you know what?  We live in a part of the world where it rains so much that moss removal applies to our beards as well as our lawns, and we still wear softshells like this one more than our Gore-Tex.  A high quality softshell is going to treat you right, and we like this one an awful lot.

Here’s our product review policy and FTC disclosure.

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