Reviewed by CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
When I reviewed a set of Frogg Toggs Pilot II rainwear a couple years ago I wrote, “Frogg Toggs has to be the best name for rain wear ever,” and it still is. That set of rain gear has kept my butt dry ever since I got them and they are still my favorite for late spring through summer use. But they are relatively light weight and though they keep the rain out, they don’t add much to my comfort in chilly weather.
So when Frogg Toggs came out with their FTX Armor line last year, I was all in. Unfortunately, this product was one of the victims of the “supply chain” issues that plagued almost every industry so I wasn’t able to actually slide into my FTX Armor bibs and jacket until late summer.
This is not a “summer-weight” product. It’s designed to be a cool weather/cold weather suit. A fishing trip to the Pacific Northwest in late August gave me the perfect chance to slide into them and give them a solid workout. While the August temps here in the Great Lakes area were solidly in the upper 80s, coastal Oregon temps were 50s in the morning and 60s during the day. The ocean temperature was mid-50s so cool breezes while we were out fishing was the norm.
The FTX set is made with three layers. The outer layer is a tough, durable, breathable, tight-weave fabric. The inside layer is slick, thin, tricot/taffeta material that facilitates sliding the gear on and off. In between is Frogg Toggs’ DriPore Gen 2 fabric with a 15K waterproof rating and 10K breathability index. I wore the FTX, dock to dock each day I was in Oregon and stayed warm and dry all day and never felt hot and clammy.
I ordered The FTX gear large enough to couple both the jacket and bibs with a set of Frogg Toggs’ Grand Refuge Primaloft Jacket and Bibs. These can be worn as outer wear, but are designed to change both the Pilot II and the FTX jackets and bibs into three-season garb by adding an 80-gram layer of insulation. This makes them suitable for use on the ice; or for me, when I’m after those early March cohos and brown trout as soon as the ice leaves Lake Michigan.
Features like zippered handwarmer pockets, zippers with a hook and loop storm flap and D-rings for attaching accessories make it user friendly. I especially liked the neoprene cuffs at the wrists of the jacket which comfortably seals the sleeves from rain or splashes on the boat. I can slide into the bibs without taking off my shoes or boots, thanks to the three-quarter length leg-zipper along with the slick finish inner layer.
They are available in three solid colors – gray, black or medium blue – or in three camo-like patterns of blue, gray/black or gray/white. I chose the blue-camo (called Kryptic Neptune) FTX Armor. While nothing lasts forever, I expect these to be my rain gear of choice for a long time, especially since they come with a lifetime warranty. The warranty does exclude damage from chainsaws, fillet knives, alligator bites and other outdoor dangers, but send them in for a replacement if the material or workmanship if it fails anytime in the future.
Frogg Toggs FTX Armor products are available online at www.froggtoggs.com, at retail sources as well as numerous online outlets.