The Orvis Pro Wading Jacket is a waterproof/breathable shell designed for serious anglers braving nasty weather. I took it fishing in Montana for this review.
Orvis says the Pro Wading Jacket is “breathable, waterproof, weatherproof … ready to perform.” From amateur anglers to fishing guides, this jacket aims to help everyone defy inclement weather.
Spring fishing in Montana often means snow and rain showers – perfect for testing this uninsulated fly fishing shell. Swinging streamers and slowly stripping them while in the elements gave me a chance to gauge freedom of movement while enduring the weather.
Note: I will test the Orvis Pro Wading Jacket, $349, through the spring and summer and follow up with a durability review. For now, I have initial feedback on the jacket’s features and construction.
Pro Wading Jacket: First Look Review
The Pro Wading Jacket is one of three new additions to Orvis’ wading jacket line. The jacket’s core functionality is built from a breathable, uninsulated shell designed for fly fishing. A wet spring day with a temp of 33 degrees made for perfect testing on the river.
The less than optimal temperatures required I layer up for a full day of chasing trout. The true-to-size cut fit the layers well, and range of motion remained full. There weren’t any complaints while slinging bugs around in colder temperatures.
Orvis employed a custom triple-layered fabric for the outer shell. The polyester blend with PU lamination holds DWR treatment on the outer. The inner seams are taped to keep moisture out. Orvis claims ratings of 20K waterproofness and 15K breathability for the Pro Wading Jacket, suitable for modest exertion in low-humidity environments and cool weather.
This construction fended off a rain-snow-slush mixture and beaded up as perfectly as you would expect for the first outing of a premium jacket. My body also stayed warm while fully bundled in layers and casting and mending my 9-foot 7-weight streamer rod.
It’s easier than you’d expect to build up body heat, and the breathable jacket expelled it well. I look forward to utilizing this jacket through the seasons to see how well it performs in warmer weather with less layering.
Storage and Finishing Touches
The Pro Wading Jacket’s two vertical-zip chest pockets have more than enough room for fly boxes. Even with all the space, the jacket also has an “interior zippered security pocket” and an “internal power mesh pocket” for more storage.
For grab-and-go fly selection, there’s a small Velcro-style patch on the upper left chest. Tool anchor points are located on either side of the upper chest. And a D-ring – for net attachment – is located on the back of the jacket.
Orvis included microsuede construction in two main areas: the chest handwarmer pockets and the collar/neck region. These little touches brought welcome comfort while other body parts went numb.
And AquaGuard, applied to all the jacket’s zippers, held off external moisture incredibly well at all angles.
The integrated Dolphin Skin Cuff system was introduced to the Pro Wading Jacket to create a water barrier while landing and releasing fish. A thoughtful detail, though I can see the cuffs needing upkeep down the line.
Pro Wading Jacket: Final Thoughts
Pending further review throughout the seasons, I’ve come up with some conclusions.
The Pro Wading Jacket from Orvis has everything it takes to be an outstanding premium jacket. And the brand placed detailed features where needed and kept it simple otherwise.
The only negative is the significant $350 price tag. For a premium jacket, though, it’s about par for the course. Given that it has YKK AquaGuard zippers and a lot of thoughtful touches for the angler, it is a solid value.