I have had a chance to compare the new Polar Fire ice fishing suit from HT, and I have to say, I am very impressed with this new gear. I currently own several suits, mostly because I am a gear junkie, and also because we can supply the clients we guide with warm clothes if they have none.
Current suits owned include Frabill Snow Suit, two sets of Arctic Armor (by I.D.I), a Vexilar Cold Snap suit and a StrikeMaster Hardwater Ware Polar suit.
I donít own any of the Ice Armor products, but feel I am familiar enough with them to offer comparisons.
The Polar Fire suit, for me, has all the features and then some, for the right combination of warmth, durability, function and style. The parka has several features not found on any of the other parkas I own.
I would compare the outer material to the Vexilar, Arctic Armor and StrikeMaster gear.
Popular features include:
Inner fleece lining which is soft, including the hood, BIG zipper pulls, removable hood, reflective piping and a long tail in back.
Now some features that NONE of my other parkas have.
ē Zippers on the side that allow a little more room to zip with that extra layer.
ē The inner waist storm flap is removable.
ē The fleece hand warmer pockets are REMOVEABLE, so you can just remove and wash them when they start to stink from shoving wet, fishy hands into them!
ē The inner neoprene wrist cuffs are adjustable as are the outer shell cuffs. You can stick your arm in an ice hole up to your elbow and water wonít get past your wrist seal.
As for the bibs, my favorite feature is the fact that the leg openings are wide, and there is nothing at the bottom of the opening to hang up on. Too many bibs have Velcro straps, and storm gaiters that make it almost impossible to get your foot through without hanging up on something. The Polar Fire bibs have a snap system to snug the bottom closed and that is it. (Unless I am standing in 12Ē of water, I donít see a real benefit to super sealing my pant legs, in fact I rarely use the gaiters in any of my bibs).
The Ladies version, while not including several of the features in the menís suits, is still a very functional, stylish suit that recently kept my skinny, Californian daughter in law toasty warm on her first ever ice fishing adventure! Its construction is excellent, and really looks like a suit cut specifically for the ladies.
Tom Gruenwald and HT have done their homework in the design of this Polar Fire clothing. Donít overlook them if considering new winter outerwear.