HERE'S my short summary - I bought one of these get-ups and have been using it all winter long now. I really love it! It's like wearing a tailored ice shelter, plus we've had a lot of slush this season and I've been kneeling in water a lot. Bone-dry knees with padding! This is one of my better purchases, next to the underwater camera and the S-175 Bobcat (We don't ice fish with the Bobcat but we lift, dig and sometimes break things intentionally (and otherwise on occasion) - incredible, reliable, machine! -JB- 01-18-2006
OK - Normally, I don't get all excited about clothing. I like clothing for outdoor wear that does a good job and I know how to dress for lots of different winter activities including work and play. The clothing getup I want needs to breath, block the wind, and insulate. My favorite layering pieces are usually Ullfrotte' merino wool long underwear, then varying layers of polar tec (or fleece) depending on how cold it is, and then a nylon wind breaker. For pants I prefer heavy wool pants with a layer of Ullfrotte' long underwear if it's going to be cold out. Sounds simple enough and it's an effective way to dress for varying cold weather. In fact, the Ullfrotte' is SUCH good stuff and when combined with fleece and more wool, I saw no reason to change...UNTIL NOW!!!
I've been around lots of function specific outdoor clothing that addressed all activities from XC-Skiing, to hunting to canoeing and general winter. We've sold it for years - all sorts of different fabrics that perform differently in all sorts of weather conditions and temperatures. We're in the business of outdoor wear (for winter) and outdoor gear. I'll tell you right now that some of this stuff is excellent and my opinion of a lot of name-brand stuff is not always that great. In the past 18 years or so, I've seen or heard first-hand about clothing that's touted to be so fantastic only to find that it doesn't breathe, isn't waterproof or falls apart prematurely. Don't get me wrong - there are a lot of fine outerwear lines out there but I recommend that you don't get stuck on getting the ones with the most marketing, slick ads, and highest prices. Some of that stuff is over-hyped and WAY too expensive for what you get. You may not always recognize the name brand on some of our clothing lines, but unlike those big-box retailer, if we don't like it, we don't sell it.
Ice Fishing Clothing? At first I thought, "what else?". But then I did a little reading about new clothing made specifically for ice fishing by people who ice fish a lot. At first I thought I was looking at yuppie-wear as opposed to good outer wear. After all, how much different would ice fishing clothing be than my regular, tried and true get up? We decided to order some from Clam Corp. and check it out.
Well, like Christmas in November, the boxes arrived today and I dove in with my Kershaw Whirlwind. It's always like Christmas here at Red Rock with all this neat stuff arriving daily except for the fact that the senders of all of these "gifts" want us to pay for them all the time. Go figure.
When I got into the box of the new Ice Armor Ice Fishing Suits, I unfolded them with my usual skeptism about slick marketing and yuppie crap. Being that I'm really into ice fishing and I know what I would like myself, it didn't take me long to conclude that I sure liked what I saw. Windproof, breatheable fabric with lots of pockets that serve all sorts of different purposes from hand warming to holding my choppers, Ice Armor waterproof fishing gloves and tackle boxes. On the front flap over the left chest pocket, there is a synthetic fleece lure holder for your little jigs that you want to keep handy. When I'm sitting in my Fish Trap Guide shelter, it can be kinda dark, so finding those little jigs is now going to be a breeze! Another EXCELLENT feature is in the knees and butt of the bib overalls and that's the flexible foam padding that insulates you while kneeling or sitting. This was a brilliant idea. Being waterproof, you should be able to kneel in slush or sit on a wet seat after wrestling with a 20 lb. northern flopping around inside your shelter.
Well there are lot of other features that I liked in the Ice Armor Ice Fishing Suit like the roomy parka with ample derriere coverage to keep the screaming wind off of your backside. The bibs unzip all the the way up each leg so you can slip them on over your boots. Once you get them on, you can zip the legs and the cuffs shut around your pac boots for another great seal against wind. On the back of the parka, there is a reflective strip so if you are out on the ice at dusk, you can hopefully minimize getting plowed by a goofball on a snowmobile driving way too fast in the dark. The best part of this whole suit is that you can actually wear it all over the place, even while not ice fishing - if such a situtation presents itself. It's very roomy so you can get several layers underneath to match all temperature conditions.
From what I could see, this outfit has literally oodles of better features and improvements over anything else on the market and all for less money, too.
Addendum: March 24, 2008 I've now been using the suit (you see me in below) since I took these pictures about 3 seasons ago. I pretty much wear it every weekend for two days as I'm out making ice chips out of perfectly good ice. I still think it's awesome, plus I've worn it now for shoveling roofs, crawling around in slush and ice under a 3/4 truck with its rear differential frozen in the ice (not to mention the wheels and front cross bar, bash plates - that was a special day) and other assorted, less notable, wet, or extremely windy-cold, outdoor winter endeavors. This is one really great suit!
What a lovely, blurry photo! I'm gonna have to redo this one.
Here's the official features and benefits information on the Ice Armor Ice Fishing Suit from Clam Corp.
There is one more piece of well-designed clothing that is out of Clam Corp and that's the Ice fishing Jacket. This is a REALLY cool design! It has a nylon shell over the top of the entire fleec jacket to insulate and block the wind. It also comes with a removeable hood and is designed to fit under the Ice Fishing Suit with ease. It's costs less than what you'll find in a lot of whoop-dee-doo fleece jackets out there with NO windbreak.
I was so impressed with the Ice Armor Ice Fishing Suit, that the one you see me wearing above, is now mine. Yes, I bought a large suit for myself even before the lakes froze over. I'm pretty sure that I'll be getting the fleece jacket for Christmas as well. I just have to drop a few well-placed hints. This web page won't help me much because my wife rarely reads my website work. She finds ice fishing gear and clothing to be boring!!! WHAT?!?
I can't WAIT to go ice fishing again!!! -JB-