Well known independent fly fishing tackle expert and Anglian Water employee Robbie Winram reviews the Defender waterproof clothing from Airflo – a range designed to combat the worst possible weather conditions.
There are three main elements to the new Defender clothing range: a wading jacket, three-quarter jacket and trousers, all at £69.99 each. They are made from a two-layer durable Taslan nylon shell fabric with reinforced ripstop nylon on the high wear areas such as the seat and knees of the trousers and across the shoulders, tops of the arms and the hoods on the jackets.
The fabric also has a DWR ﬁnish so water just beads off the outside, and all the garments are windproof, waterproof and breathable. The jackets have a polyester mesh lining except for the sleeves, which are lined with a smooth polyester fabric. The trousers have a polyester mesh lining from the waist to the knees and then the smooth fabric down to the ankles.
The wading jacket has a single full-length zip with a double stormﬂap: one has a rain gutter and the other folds over the top and secures with four Velcro closures and a metal popper stud both top and bottom. The zip tucks into a neat ﬂeece-lined chinguard to prevent chaﬁng.
The nice high collar is ﬂeece-lined and the ﬁxed hood can be rolled up and held in place with a large tab and Velcro closure. The hood has a stiffened wired peak and an elasticated cord and toggle lock adjustment around the face and on the back of the head to give a really good ﬁt.
The sleeves have an articulated shape for ease of movement when casting and end in a simple, lightly elasticated cuff with a Velcro closure. There are two pockets on the chest with large stormﬂaps and Velcro closures. These pockets are elasticated at the top and expand generously to take a good-sized ﬂy box. There is also a fabric tab and D-ring under each stormﬂap for tool and accessory attachment. On the front of these pockets are small ﬂat accessory pockets with water-resistant zips. Behind each cargo pocket is a handwarmer pocket, lined one side with micro ﬂeece, and there is also a single zipped security pocket.
On the back of the jacket is a full-width zipped cargo pocket with protective stormﬂap. Additional features include a large D-ring on the back of the neck and an elasticated cord and toggle lock adjuster around the bottom hem.
The three-quarter jacket has the same design features as the
wading version, but is longer and has a different pocket conﬁguration and an extra waist drawcord.
The trousers have a nice high back for extra protection from the elements, and partly-elasticated sections each side of the waist for comfort.
They also have belt loops and an elasticated and adjustable webbing belt with a quick release bayonet ﬁtting. There is a simple zip ﬂy opening with a protective stormﬂap, and a metal popper stud at the top.
The legs have a slightly articulated cut for good range of movement and expandable gusseted ankle cuffs with side zips and Velcro tabs and fasteners.
Two hip pocket feature a water-resistant zip, while the two thigh pockets have stormﬂaps and Velcro fasteners.
The Defender jackets and trousers will keep out the wind and rain, and offer good breathability considering they have that extra polyester mesh lining. This lining also provides a bit of extra warmth on colder days. I liked the well-ﬁtting hood and nice warm ﬂeece collar. Excellent value for money, especially if you take advantage of Airﬂo’s special offer – buy any jacket and trousers for £119.99 and get the Airﬂo Defender ﬂeece free.
Originally published in the December 2017 issue of Trout Fisherman Magazine, we have re-produced this review with their kind permission.
You can check out the Airflo Defender range of fly fishing clothing here.