ICAST: Inspired by Extreme Conditions
Jul 10th, 2020 by sworrall
Modified Jul 10th, 2020 at 11:12 AM
Inspired by Extreme Offshore Conditions
New fishing-focused, cold-weather FG350 Winter Angler Jacket and Bibs influenced by Gill’s expertise in severe marine conditions
Buford, GA (July 10, 2020) – Every new product has an inspiration. Some are introduced to hit a popular retail price. Others are merely degraded imitations of the real thing to undercut the market. Some bring improvements to their category. A rare few draw from years of knowhow to truly advance performance while improving the sport. Gill is the latter.
Since 1975, Gill has provided the gear boaters, sailors and anglers require to defy the weather, while maximizing the entire experience. Most recently, Gill leaned on the company’s celebrated history in offshore sailing and combined it with their authority in technical fishing gear to create the new FG350 Winter Angler Jacket and Bibs.
This is the most functional and versatile fishing suit ever introduced. An industry first, Gill fused the best features and performance of the top ice fishing suits with extreme raingear. You don’t wear your ice fishing suit on open water because it’s cumbersome and leaks. You don’t don your raingear on the ice for fear of freezing. Worry no more. Gill packs it all in the FG350.
Both the top and bottom are waterproof. Not water resistant. Not hopefully waterproof. But decidedly waterproof. Gill achieves this by incorporating an advanced and breathable 2-layer fabric waterproof system into both the jacket and bibs.
Bolstering the FG350’s waterproofness, Gill applies a durable water-repellent finish, which provides longevity.
It’s said that any system is only as good as its weakest link. In this application, that means no matter the waterproof rating of the fabric, if water makes it through the seams, the system fails. Gill understands this and eliminates weaknesses by fully taping and pressure testing every seam, head to toe.
Enhancing the suit’s strength, Gill employs reinforcement fabric on both the seat and knees to provide coverage and protection against severe surfaces. Tried and trusted for years within the marine industry, the fabric withstands the harshest of deck surfaces, giving the wearer ultimate peace of mind. The fabric is tested in the lab using 320 grit sandpaper for over 80,000 revolutions, ensuring it will perform above and beyond industry standards.
The FG350’s insulation isn’t run-of-the-mill, either. A specialty synthetic insulation is formed into measured sheets, versus loose insulation material sewn in that invariably migrates and bunches, creating cold spots. The insulated sheets are spread evenly across the bibs and jacket and sewn into the seams as anchors. Gill’s lightweight insulation also retains large volumes of body heat.
The FG350 Jacket anchors the two-piece ensemble. Rife with features and intelligent design elements, it has no rivals. Beginning at the top, Gill integrates its legendary Vortex hood. Known by mariners and anglers worldwide, the Vortex hood’s ingenious construction serves multiple purposes.
Gill’s imaginative Vortex Hood solves several issues faced by anglers and boaters. “Originally, we engaged with our team of pros who shared their issues. Many of them wear a baseball or trucker-style cap, hoodie, and then the waterproof shell with the hood up. Hoods inflate, caps fly off, so, we got to work on developing a solution,” says Matt Clark, Product Development Director, Gill.
“The Vortex Hood has a three-channeled construction with air chutes built into the hood itself. One goes over the top of the head and exits at the rear of the collar, and two vents down the side of the hood and out through the collar. You get a slipstream effect, allowing air to enter the front and exit out the back.
“Look at it in aerospace terms. With an airplane wing you get the vortex effect when wind travels faster over the top of the curved surface. So, over the top of the Vortex Hood wind speed accelerates and the air is sucked out the back of the hood.”
But when it’s exceptionally cold, like out on the ice, the last thing you want is wind passing through. To that, the Vortex hood features a high facemask with easily accessed double drawcords to secure the hood tightly around your face. Icy winds are kept at bay.
The jacket’s main zipper is carefully considered, too. A robust 2-way zipper is protected by a storm flap constructed of the same waterproof 2-layer material. The storm flap completely negates heavy winds from piercing through the zipper. Moreover, icy rain can’t freeze your zipper shut. The zipper is finished with a snap, too, holding the storm flap in place.
The FG350 Jacket sports a pair of roomy utilitarian chest pockets as well. With zipper closures and storm flap covers, the pockets yield ample space for essentials like a smartphone and fishing tools.
A major predicament with most cold weather jackets are cumbersome or ineffective cuffs. Angler arm lengths vary significantly, even for wearers of the same size jacket. Because of this, Gill builds in a secure, and highly adjustable cuff. It can be adjusted to accommodate everything from substantial cold weather gloves to merely the naked hand.
And, again, addressing waterproofness, the FG350 jacket includes a water-tight, PU inner cuff, which adds to the overall comfort proposition. Gone is the plight of water sliding up the cuff and wicking into your midlayers. Say goodbye to that familiar clammy feel.
Finally, Gill’s FG350 Jacket integrates an internal drawcord at the waist, letting you personalize fit, and at the same time keeping frigid air from funneling up and in.
The FG350 Bibs are as thoughtfully constructed as the Jacket, including the breathable, waterproof 2-layer fabric, fully taped seams, and insulating properties.
Functional features begin with full-length zippered legs, which are logically covered with double storm flaps. Sporting full-length zippers merits easy on and off. Get out of the truck and instantly and effortlessly slip into the bibs without removing your boots.
The Bibs sport extra-wide, adjustable suspender straps, too, easing the pains caused by typical skinny straps digging in. As well, the broad shoulder straps reduce the back and shoulder strain common from a long day on the ice or in the boat, as bib weight is more evenly distributed across your shoulders. The FG350 Bibs feature an elasticated strip on the backside above the hips, holding the bibs in perfect posture, while further lightening the load and reducing fatigue on the shoulders.
Just below Gill’s signature high-rise chest is an extra-wide, zippered cargo pocket with storm flap. Store, protect and easily access items like mini tackle boxes, leader line spool and fishing tools.
Realizing the rigors of bending and kneeling, and how lesser bibs can hike and pull, Gill incorporated performance-cut articulated knees. Meaning the bibs work with your body, not against it. The knees also feature abrasion resistant padding.
Lastly, you’ll appreciate the external D-ring attachment points for carrying critical gear like lanyards and fishing tools.
Both FG350 Jacket and Bibs come in Graphite and are available in sizes XS to 4XL. MSRP for the Jacket is $325 USD, Bibs $250 USD.
Gill’s new fishing-focused cold-weather FG350 Jacket and Bibs don’t imitate any other product on the market… except, perhaps the best features of some of their own, proven offshore and cold-weather designs. Their only inspiration is true angler comfort and longevity, drawing on technical innovation and proven expertise in materials and design to elevate the fishing experience in the nastiest conditions.
ICAST New Product Show Case: Ice Fishing