I am ( if you know me at all) a bit of a Simms tackle tart. I do like their stuff. However I do admit that some of it is a bit pricey ( some might say over priced ) as we seem to suffer from that age old issue where they translate the $ price into the UK £ price on a 1:1 ratio. Last year on my 50th birthday though, my colleagues at work clubbed together and very kindly gave me a gift. Knowing my love of fishing part of the gift was a Simms ExStream Hat. Had I been parting with my own cash to buy a hat, honestly I would have said it was too expensive as it retails at just 1p shy of a cool £50 at GAC, or a massive 4p cheaper at Angling Active. Surely too much for a hat? Now this is the man who has parted with just shy of £20 for a Simms cap…..twice! Again, over priced but there are something’s you just want. Actually the second Simms cap I got was a freebie I “purchased ” with my collected loyalty card points at Angling Active ( a good way to get something you would like but is maybe a little expensive.
In the true essence of irony that is winter fishing weather, last year was a wet mild affair and I never had any occasion to wear the hat, so it lay unused with my tackle, but it was often put in the car only for it to be an unnecessary accessory on the day.
This winter though has been a bit colder and I have therefore found ample opportunity to wear the hat, and finally get round to some sort of review. I have to say in short, I am impressed. Had I known before what I know now I would have to admit, its worth every penny and I would part with my own hard earned cash for one. It really is THAT good.
The hat has a Goretex shell outer which is obviously waterproof and breathable. The inner lining is fleece and I have to say incredibly warm. You lose lots of heat through the head on cold days and wearing this hat reduces heat loss to a minimum. When your head is warm, the rest of you feels less cold.
The hat comes in a one size fits all format, so you need to adjust it to suit your head, via the elastic pull toggle on the back. If you get this too tight you will get a sore head as the day progresses I find, and too loose you will feel like the peak of the hat is creeping down into your field of view. So its worth taking time to get this right. If you get the adjustment so its tight with the toggle just in the notch at the base of the skull, it sits comfortably all day. If you wear it higher on the head its apt to drop into the line of view over time ( I suspect due to the slightlly slidy nature of fleece in contact with your head. For those times when there is an icy blast coming down the river at you it has a pair of velcro ear flaps you can pull down and secure under the chin, toasty!