Being a bit of a Simms tart I would tend to look at their stuff first when considering clothing purchases for fishing. So I looked and decided that the very thick end of £500 for the rather snazzy Goretex pro shell jacket was just mental for something I wanted for occasional use.
I wasn’t sure what to go for but then seen the special offer of nearly £130 off the Hardy EWS2 3/4 length jacket in Angling Active, though its also on sale around the same price in Glasgow Angling Centre. Clearly they are not this price for no reason, I guess there must be an EWS3 range coming soon. Frankly I don’t care if I have the latest thing or not as long as it works ( not where fishing tackle is concerned anyway). I often think new products are simply generated because they need a reason to sell more gear not because the older items are any less serviceable of effective. Yes products evolve but I would consider the new stuff when my old stuff wears out.
I was after a 3/4 length jacket as I usually wear my Simms wading jacket when fishing and while it owes me nothing, its waterproof and effective, its a bit on the short side for boat fishing and I needed something longer.
So I popped into Angling Active and had a look at the Hardy EWS2. Its a pretty heavily made coat, not as thin or light as many shell jacket designs which was exactly what I was after. Now these jackets ( like so much product these days) are made in China but I have to be honest and say the quality of the machining appears good. The jacket has more pockets than even I realised when I bought it, having two bellows pockets at the hip height, two fleece lines hand warmer pockets, a lower back gear pocket, and a couple of chest height pockets, one which would appear to be water proof, or at least out the way of the elements.
The jacket is lined and has a number of handy loops for hanging gear on. On the back is a net loop. The sleeves ave Velcro storm cuffs and wrist cuffs which help keep the wind out and to an extent keep your sleeve dry if you put your hand in the water.
I have worn it on a number of outings now and have stayed dry even on a recent trip fishing from a boat at a very wild Linlithgow recently when the weather was pretty bad. I was warm and dry in my EWS2.
The jacket also comes with a clear zip lock pouch for putting water sensitive items like phones and car keys in. I would not say you would want to rely on it keeping things dry if totally immersed in water but to protect against any water encroaching on pockets in total downpour saturation conditions I would say it would do the trick. Having destroyed an iPhone a while back just by it getting damp in my pocket in heavy rain, I would have been glad of this pouch then!
Zips are all top quality YYK.
In use to date I have never been wet inside the jacket and the hood has proven very effective at keeping out the worst of the winds and rain. I have noted some staining which I think is down to maybe fly floatant from my gink bottle rubbing off on the jacket and its left some pale patches though otherwise it seems unaffected ( Its the only thing I can think would cause the issue not yet 100% proven).