Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thoughts on Clothing Designs & Some Serious Bargains

There are a number of times over the years when I've looked down at what I'm wearing and realized how much nicer things are with well designed and produced clothing.

Earlier this year, when dropping and pulling crab pots on a glorious flat, calm Pacific Ocean, the spray and splash from the pots soaked most of the working area of the boat, and my Grundens bibs shook off the water like a seal. They are a simple piece of gear that do what they need too very well.

I've also ended up with a pretty good selection of Simms base layers, mid layers and outerwear over the years. One of the things that's always impressed me about them is that they combine good tech with design based on feedback from guides, dealers and anglers.

Just this week, our Simms rep passed through town with one of the product designers, who had been out a recent consumer show. We hadn't met before, but quickly got talking about what works and when the new spring stuff would be showing up. There's a lot to be excited about from them, as I was reminded this past week.

I've been fighting a sinus infection, and feeling kind of miserable. But, the dog still has to be walked, and when the rains started coming down a few 100 yards after the start, I threw the hood on my Simms jacket over my head, zipped up, and prepared to be reasonably uncomfortable for the next half hour. Turns out that I was needlessly pessimistic.

The newest jacket I have doesn't really look like rain gear in the strictest sense - it's a soft shell fabric that isn't bulky and moves easily with your body - stretching in the direction you need to move. As the rain intensified, all that happened is that the drops beaded up and fell off of the coating, while I felt warm and dry the whole time. The shape of the new hood was perfect - I didn't have to "turtle" my head out just to make sure no cars were coming at intersections. It just did it's job very well, without a lot of fanfare. And, it works out on the river, as well.

This Would Be Where the Bargains Begin
If you've been down to the shop this past week or so, you'll see we're still busily auditing and making sense of the extra stuff which came down from our Santa Rosa closing. (And you may have seen the 3 pallets and half dozen Browning Safes which showed up 3 weeks early - boy, when it rains it pours!) We've still got a bit of organization to go, but we've found some things which are hard to notice in the confusion, so I'm starting to list them here -

Simms Fleece Vests -
These are good mid layer insulating layers. I'd actually bought a bunch extra for the hunters as well, as these are a good, neutral brown color which won't spook game. Unfortunately, we didn't get them displayed in the hunting department, and no one seemed to notice them. They are a good quality, non-pilling fleece, but are not windproof (no fleece is unless you put a layer such as Gore Windstopper in it to do so). So, this is idea for calmer days, or for more warmth with a windshell or rain jacket. These were $49, but are now only $25.

Gamehide Sherpa Fleece Camo Vests -
These are ruggedly made, camouflage vests. They use a water repellent outer layer, have reinforcing on the shoulders and provide extra warmth with their buffed sherpa fleece insulation. Great for spring turkey season, where a little extra warmth is always appreciated. A couple of staff members feel they came in slightly undersized, so some hunters who are right on the edge of have ended up getting the next size up - trust what fits you, don't worry what the label says. These were $59, now only $30

Camouflage Waders -
It looks like there will be some minor changes to the boot styles of our neoprene and breathable camouflage waders for next fall - this means that everything we have left over needs to go away. Great waders, which work even if you don't need the camouflage. The breathable model has a waterproof front zipper which makes getting in and out super easy. Breathable $189, Neoprene $159 - both styles are now 40% OFF the original price.

Kent FASTEEL Steel Waterfowl Ammunition -
There's nothing wrong with this - I just need to reduce as much as possible before we store it for next season! Come down now for the best selection. Buy a case - take $20 OFF - you won't find a better price than this!

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