Reviewed by: Capt. Mike Schoonveld
For almost two decades the Bass Pro 100 MPH rain parka and bibs have been the rain wear against which other brands of waterproof, breathable rain suits were compared. You’d never hear the PR people from Brand X or Y raincoat company say, “just as good as” or “better than,” but at boat ramps and weigh-ins on rainy days, you can often hear comments by rain-drenched anglers like “Thank goodness I had my 100 MPH suit” or more often, “I wish I’d paid a bit more and gotten a 100 MPH suit.”
Almost 20 years ago when BPS first put the 100 MPH logo on their top-of-the-line raingear, Great Lakes Angler magazine was a start-up publication and I started the Tackle and Toys column. One of the first items I featured was a Bass Pro 100 MPH Parka and Bibs.
This is the first time I’ve ever written a repeat review of the same product. But after almost 20 years of service, it was time to retire my original parka and bibs and get a replacement. Both my first bruised and abused 100-miler and my new, still shiny parka and bibs are constructed using genuine Gore-Tex membrane, the first-ever waterproof, breathable material. Liquid water won’t penetrate it, it’s porous to water vapor.
When Gore-Tex was invented, the W.L. Gore Corporation made the marketing decision to only supply their revolutionary membrane to manufacturers who would use it in combination with top-shelf products. You won’t find Gore-Tex membrane in a pair of twenty-dollar boots or a $19.95 rain jacket or even a $99 jacket. Just having a product with Gore-Tex in it is a testament of quality. Bass Pro’s 100 MPH Rain Parka and Bibs are quality.
I’ve proven it for myself. I’m not a few times a year user. I fish on rainy days, I fish many other days when there’s a chance of showers and you’ll find me on the lake wearing my 100 MPH gear every time I’m out in March, April and May – even on sunny days. When it rains, they keep me dry, when it’s not raining, I wear them as a top layer wind breaker. The Gore-Tex ensures I won’t feel clammy underneath.
I often wear them while ice fishing and they’ve been my top layer in Alaska, on all five Great Lakes and on both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic.
My originals are frayed around the cuffs and have some stains that will never come out. That’s not age, that’s patina. I expect my new 100 MPH version will look similar 20 years from now.