Simms recently released their latest wading jacket, the G3 Guide Tactical, as their newest edition to their highly popular G3 Guide series.
We were fortunate to receive an early release of the G3 Guide Tactical this past summer and after ample time to put it through the ringer, we’re happy to report that we think its a huge upgrade from the previous model, so today we thought we’d tell you why.
The G3 Guide series has been a staple for Simms’ high end wading gear for years, and with each new update to the G3 Guide wading jacket, we’ve noticed huge improvements in design. The G3 Guide Tactical is no exception.
When we first got our paws on the G3 Guide Tactical, we were relieved to see that Simms didn’t change some of the things we appreciated about past G3 models. The G3 Guide Tactical still incorporates the same bomb-proof hood design we’ve come to expect from Simms, and is still tailored with the same high-waist design to ride just above the wading belt while wearing waders. Also, like its predecessor, the G3 Guide Tactical doesn’t include ‘pit-zips’ under the arms – something we find to be more of a hindrance than help.
However, after spending some time with it, we were pleasantly surprised to see that some of the design updates included several of our favorite features found in other Simms models of the past such as their Slick Jacket and standard Guide Jacket, the most notable of which are as follows.
Flat Front (Spey Friendly) Pockets
When Simms first released their Slick Jacket in 2013, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one. Why? It was the first guide-tough wading jacket, able to tote a whole bunch of gear, without the big billowy front pockets found on most jackets. What’s wrong with big expandable pockets? Nothing really. But for anglers who like to fish two handed rods, where keeping your hands close to the body is important, big chest pockets can get in the way.
Enter, the G3 Guide Tactical. Stretchy outside pockets atop water resistant inner chest pockets still provide plenty of storage for gear, but with a flat face, so nothing to catch on those elbows or running line.
Improved Cuff Design
We’re sticklers on cuff design. As many times as we dip our arms in and out of the water over the course of a day, its often the cuff that dictates whether we spend the day warm and dry or cold and soggy. That’s why we love cuffs that can be cinched down tight and stay there for an extended period of time.
Past models of the G3 Guide jacket featured cuffs that could be easily cinched down but were positioned on the outside of the sleeve. The problem? While they did a decent job at keeping water out, they also did a good job at catching on things; wading belts, net bags, fly lines, often unfastening themselves in the process.
On the other hand, Simms’ standard Guide Jacket model featured a similar cuff tightening system, but positioned underneath the sleeve in a design they dubbed their ‘Shingle Cuff’ to allow a better seal against the arm, while also eliminating any catch-alls.
Wouldn’t it be great if they included the same design on the G3 Guide Tactical. Well, they did! And its one of our favorite features.
Lightweight Abrasion Resistant Fabric
One thing we noticed while running around gravel bars is how much cooler we felt over the course of the day. Looking cool is subjective of course, but feeling cool is not. In comparison to the Slick Jacket, we were amazed at how much more breathable we found the 3-layer GORE-TEX material used for the G3 Guide Tactical to be.
That could in part be due to the difference in weight between the two, as the G3 Guide Tactical is substantially lighter than the Slick Jacket, weighing in at 20 oz. compared to 27 oz., respectively. However, although extremely lightweight, the outer fabric used on the G3 Guide Tactical appears to be highly abrasion resistant as well, resembling an outer face similar to a rip-stop material.
The question that every gear geek like ourselves seems to ask themselves year after year is “do I really need another wading jacket?” Maybe. Maybe not. We can’t answer that for you.
However, what we can say is that if you’re in the market for a new wading jacket, we don’t think you can go wrong with G3 Guide Tactical. We think its a combination of the some of best features of several great Simms jackets of the past, all rolled up into one.
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