Reviewed by Capt. Mike Schoonveld

The Brella (a take off on “umbrella”) is perhaps the ultimate rain poncho. I’ll be the first to admit most rain ponchos are far from acceptable for fishing or most any other outdoor activities on a rainy day. The old, military style ponchos were big and bulky. When I was in the Boy Scouts I weathered (more or less) downpours in those Army surplus “shelter-halves” more than once. They were better than nothing.

I’m not so sure those thin plastic, “emergency” ponchos which fold into pack about the size of my smart phone are better than nothing. Most aren’t even as thick as a garbage bag. In fact, I’d rather fashion an emergency rain suit from a garbage bag as rely on one of those pocket ponchos.

The Brella is neither and it does fill a niche. If you are in a rain storm, suit up. Nothing is going to weatherproof you better than a quality pair of waterproof bibs and parka. However, if you are in a boat on a choppy day and a bit of spray is coming over the side the Brella may be perfect. I goes on easily and fits over anything. If you just need to run from the parking lot to the store on a rainy day or face any other situation involving a brief exposure to a shower or spray and you don’t want to slice up a perfectly good trash bag, give a Brella consideration.

It’s made of a fully waterproof, layered, breathable material like most high-end rain suits. It features a two-position hood either to maximize protection or to give adequate rain protection without hindering peripheral vision.

Stream fishermen wearing waders may find the Brella nearly tailor made for them on a rainy day. It absolutely won’t bind at the arms and it’s large enough to use over waders or a small backpack. The snaps along the bottom keep it from flapping loose in a breeze regardless of what’s being worn under it.

This is another  test product I regret showing my wife. She quickly absconded with the sample Brella provided for me and now I have to get another one for myself. Available at www.

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