Author Topic: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions  (Read 2411 times)

Offline jrjach75

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Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« on: Jul 19, 2020, 05:22 PM »
Fellow iceshanty user hardwater diehard asked for some info on this particular float suit. I started typing a personal message and decided to post it here in case it can help anyone else.

I needed a new suit, my old Eskimo Lockout is too big now. I saw this Ice Armor Ascent suit on clearance and was able to get the whole suit for under $100. I think it was $39 for the parka and $46 on the bibs. Walmart.com of all places.

I'm kind of thinking with the suit going on clearance, might be a waste of time doing much of a review if it's discontinued. If I do end up doing one, I'll probably do a video and put it on YouTube.

First impressions, it seems very close to the Striker suits. I read somewhere that the man who started Striker is now the head designer at Ice Armor, and I wouldn't doubt it. I don't know if baffled float insulation makes a difference, but this suit is very easy to move around in. That was the first thing I noticed when I put it on, no "crinkle" feeling either with the insulation.

Compared to my buddy's Predator bibs, the knee pads feel a little thicker, otherwise not seeing any huge differences. I think the strikers might have a couple more pockets, but the ascent has plenty.

Like I said before, I believe the Ascent suit is meant to compete with the Striker Climate suit. The removable liners are very warm, I don't think I'd use them unless it was below zero, or very windy. I'm glad it has vents.

Here's the removable liner for the jacket, it's fleece and could be worn as a jacket on its own.
The Ascent parka still has insulation inside, meaning this zip out liner isn't the only insulation.



Zip out liner on the inside of the jacket. You can see the drainage mesh on the bottom edge of the jacket, same as Striker uses:



The liner has this cuff, nice touch:



Front vent, these are the only vents on the jacket (one on each side). The retractable lanyard is a clue that you have the latest, improved version of the suit.



Bib liner. Attaches with a zipper across the top and snaps on the bottom.



Here's the bottom cuff. The inseam length is adjustable, you just fold it up and attach to one of the Velcro strips. I have them adjusted as short as they go.  I believe that gaitor is meant to keep snow out, and the short elastic straps with the snaps are in case you need to open it up a little bigger for larger boots.







Any questions, please ask.

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: Jul 19, 2020, 06:51 PM »
Very Nice Review :clap: :clap: :clap: Lil hint on the gator ..mine stuck out quite aways on my SI Predator bibs ..all I do is snap them shut and hike them up my Muck boot to the mid calf ..never had an issue getting unsnapped or working their way down . Thanks again .
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Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: Jul 19, 2020, 07:48 PM »
Hope I answered a few questions at least, I kinda rushed through that.

So are you saying with the gaitors, you are basically pulling them up and inside out? I wear a rubber striker boot, bibs now don't have gaiter, never had a problem with snow

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: Jul 20, 2020, 12:21 PM »
Hope I answered a few questions at least, I kinda rushed through that.

So are you saying with the gaitors, you are basically pulling them up and inside out? I wear a rubber striker boot, bibs now don't have gaiter, never had a problem with snow

Looks like the Assent bibs have a gator system similar to Striker Ice ... I will put on my bibs w/boots on ..snap close the gator ..then just hike them up half way up the boot toward my knee..since I have my inseam adjusted very high the gator sticks out ...quite a bit.. unless they are hiked up.



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Offline Gunflint

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: Jul 21, 2020, 03:48 PM »
Quote
I needed a new suit, my old Eskimo Lockout is too big now.

Congratulations! I work hard not to go the other way, my tendency is to need "Larger" clothes, not smaller.
Veritas Odium Parit

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: Jul 21, 2020, 04:59 PM »
Just a heads up on the warmth rating Striker Ice Climate w/liners installed is 10/10 w/liners removed 4/10 ..I would think the Clam Assent is very similar to be competitive . Also the Striker Ice Predator is rated at 7/10..and is comparable to the original Clam Blue Suit circa 2009 ..I would think Clams Rise suit is very compatible.
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Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: Jul 22, 2020, 07:56 AM »
Just a heads up on the warmth rating Striker Ice Climate w/liners installed is 10/10 w/liners removed 4/10 ..I would think the Clam Assent is very similar to be competitive . Also the Striker Ice Predator is rated at 7/10..and is comparable to the original Clam Blue Suit circa 2009 ..I would think Clams Rise suit is very compatible.

I think that sounds about right. I have hands on experience what the Predator (100g) and the Lockout/Trekker (60g). Just going off feeling side by side and trying on in my basement, the Ascent suit without the liners feels as if it has the same insulation, or maybe very slightly less, then the Trekker/Lockout.

Again, just my feeling trying on in the basement and not on the ice, the Ascent suit without the liners and wearing a sweatshirt and jeans underneath would be good to about 10į. Any lower and I think I would put the liners in but wear a t-shirt and some very light pajama type pants, I think it would be very easy to get overheated in the suit with the liners in if you were to layer much.

Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: Jul 22, 2020, 08:22 AM »
Congratulations! I work hard not to go the other way, my tendency is to need "Larger" clothes, not smaller.

Ha ha, mine was too for a long time. In fact, I found a whole new wardrobe in a bunch of boxes I had planned to take to Goodwill, clothes that I had outgrown fit great again.

My goal was to step on a scale and have the first number be a 1. Been a long time since I've seen that, and then I kept going, hopefully this suit isn't too big by the time ice comes.


Speaking of the sizing, for the Ascent suit, I am 5'10 and about 190 lb. I have a size large in the parka and bibs. It's pretty roomy, especially the bibs. The jacket I think fits just about perfect. I have the bottom cuffs adjusted up as far as they can go and the top straps also adjusted as small as they can go. There are belt loops on the bibs, but no belt included. I'm guessing that if you really need to you can run a belt of some type through those, not really sure. I think with minimal layers I could wear a medium in the bibs, but I  would worry it might be a little tight moving around in the jacket at a size M.

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: Jul 22, 2020, 08:54 AM »

Speaking of the sizing, for the Ascent suit, I am 5'10 and about 190 lb. I have a size large in the parka and bibs. It's pretty roomy, especially the bibs. The jacket I think fits just about perfect. I have the bottom cuffs adjusted up as far as they can go and the top straps also adjusted as small as they can go. There are belt loops on the bibs, but no belt included. I'm guessing that if you really need to you can run a belt of some type through those, not really sure. I think with minimal layers I could wear a medium in the bibs, but I  would worry it might be a little tight moving around in the jacket at a size M.

When I was that weight and height( loss some over the past two seasons) ..both large size bibs and jacket were pretty spot on ..same issues on the adjustable suspenders ..I thought about shortening them at times but haven't come up with the right EZPZ solution just yet ..if I do I will pass it along .Remember that loft creates heat ..that "extra" room is your friend . I wear a a hoodie and a vest for my upper body apparel most days its just right so I would not be able to scale down a size (large to medium)on the jacket as it would be too constrictive  .. as for the bibs ..maybe i could scale down ..I do have a complete SI Predator suit is size medium . one of the hardest parts about buying a suit( and clothing in general) on line is sizing...down right frustrating. 
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Offline DR.SPECKLER

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: Jul 22, 2020, 12:33 PM »
When I was that weight and height( loss some over the past two seasons) ..both large size bibs and jacket were pretty spot on ..same issues on the adjustable suspenders ..I thought about shortening them at times but haven't come up with the right EZPZ solution just yet ..if I do I will pass it along .Remember that loft creates heat ..that "extra" room is your friend . I wear a a hoodie and a vest for my upper body apparel most days its just right so I would not be able to scale down a size (large to medium)on the jacket as it would be too constrictive  .. as for the bibs ..maybe i could scale down ..I do have a complete SI Predator suit is size medium . one of the hardest parts about buying a suit( and clothing in general) on line is sizing...down right frustrating.
yes guessing sizing online is a guess.i jumped on the icerunner float suit for super cheap.i got in 3x because all my strikers are that size,however the Icerunner coat fitS great but the bibs dont.i cant sit unless they are unzipped.thought about altering the sides and adding a stretchy material in or losing about 25 pounds...Or selling them.lol the suit is brand new with tags still.i see icerunner is coming out with a 4x suit and maybe they will exchange the coat but doubt it because it was on super sale.

Offline Monticatgeek

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #10 on: Aug 06, 2020, 06:00 PM »
you got a once in a life time deal at that price. as far as I know the Ascent is not being discontinued unless they roll out a newer model of it at this years pro day. I should know more in the next week or so as to which suits will be offered and all the other new products for the year too.
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Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #11 on: Aug 07, 2020, 07:04 AM »
you got a once in a life time deal at that price. as far as I know the Ascent is not being discontinued unless they roll out a newer model of it at this years pro day. I should know more in the next week or so as to which suits will be offered and all the other new products for the year too.

It was probably just Walmart, doing Walmart things with the clearance. I've been watching prices like hawk a few different models of suits I was interested in thinking I'd get a deal in the offseason, and didn't see any other retailer discounting the suit that much. They also had the Rise, both pieces were about $135 total for a while. The Rise was at the top of my list originally, but I think the Ascent will be fine. My concern is overheating, that it's too much suit, but without the liners, it should work for me. Where I live, I'd think I only need those liners for a couple of those coldest weeks in the Winter. Most people around here wear the Predator, and the Trekker suit.


Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #12 on: Sep 09, 2020, 11:14 AM »
So, just an update. Clam did release their new 2020-2021 catalog and this Ascent suit has been changed, the version I got is no longer current. Probably the reason I got mine at such a sale price, and I'd look for last years version to continue to be clearance priced as the new version starts being stocked.

 It looks like the only changes are colors, and they moved/re-configured the pockets a bit. I think everything I mentioned in the review is still valid, just keep in mind if you are shopping new ones, they will be a little different. Personally, I like the looks of the one I got better but maybe that's just me. The insulation, flotation, outer and inner material all seems to be unchanged.

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #13 on: Sep 09, 2020, 11:40 AM »
Read some reviews ..seems some of the stitching isn't up to par   jrjach75 whats your take on it .
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Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #14 on: Sep 09, 2020, 02:41 PM »
Read some reviews ..seems some of the stitching isn't up to par   jrjach75 whats your take on it .

I looked it over really well when I got it, didn't see anything that would concern me, everything looked nice and straight. Double stitched where it needs to be, I didn't see any loose threads. Really, I think I'll have to report back in March on durability/longevity. I've only worn it around my basement, though I did try it on 4 or 5 times with various layers underneath to make sure sizing was going to be OK.

After looking it over real close I do have a few negatives. The velcro "patches" on the top flaps of the pockets are too small. Would prefer magnets or just a larger strip. Or even a zipper and snaps. I could see things coming out, even if they flap remained closed, if you were to bend way over, or if you were riding a wheeler out to your spot. The zippers all feel pretty good, but the main one on the front of the jacket is a double zipper, not sure if that is for venting or what, I would prefer just a regular zipper. Putting the jacket on, getting that double zipper seated and started takes me a couple tries, maybe that will loosen up with use. I still haven't figured out the belt loops on the bibs, I do wish they had some kind of a shock cord for waist adjustment like the jacket does, though that is a very minor complaint.

It's possible there were some improvements to the stitching on mine versus the suits from even the year before. One reviewer I saw didn't like the bib straps, he said they didn't stay in place and the rings on the front ends were able to rotate. On mine, there is a rubbery material added to one side of the straps to give them some grip, and that ring in the front is attached with a smaller loop to prevent it from rotating. That is why I mentioned the retractable lanyard on the jacket in the original review post, I believe this was only added onto the later, improved suits.

It's hard for me to compare stitching with my old suit, even though I had them side by side, the outer material on this Ice Armor suit is softer, less canvas feeling than the Eskimo suit I had, which is the heavier 600d material and the same as the Striker Trekker/Hardwater. Side by side they looked nearly identical as far as stitching goes.

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #15 on: Sep 09, 2020, 02:55 PM »
Thanks ..one of the videos I kicked across mentioned the Velcro ..couple of pieces of industrial Velcro may solve that issue . My original Clam Blue suit came with a belt ..sure you could find a web belt with buckle in the camping section of Walmart or Dicks Sporting Goods...some old hunting stand harness .
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Offline hawg

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #16 on: Sep 09, 2020, 05:17 PM »
I've never been to a style show out on the ice. The latest color has never mattered in my book, last years good deal is just fine. Looks to me like all Striker did was change color.

Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #17 on: Sep 09, 2020, 06:03 PM »
I've never been to a style show out on the ice. The latest color has never mattered in my book, last years good deal is just fine. Looks to me like all Striker did was change color.

I would agree, I noticed with some of the new pop up shelters, just color changes on some of the new ones. I mean, we all do probably know that guy who would buy something just to have the latest and greatest, but it ain't me.

Offline jrjach75

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #18 on: Mar 13, 2021, 11:23 AM »
Just a quick update after using the suit for a full season. Yesterday I washed the suit, and really gave it a good look over before putting it away for the season.

So far, itís held up really well. There is a little wear I can see on the knees, but thatís to be expected as I fish on my knees quite a bit. Not anything that looks like itís going to be a problem, just could see the material has a little bit of a ďfuzzĒ on where I kneeled down. All the stitching and zippers, Velcro, everything looks good. The only other real wear and tear I can see is on the shoulder straps, I can tell where my clasps were set, again, donít think itís going to be an issue.
 
I was in as cold as -20, as warm as 45, some rain, snow, and sleet, and lots of slush and water on the bibs from drilling holes. At the end of a weekend Iíd wipe the suit down on the outside with a wet rag, but otherwise didnít need to wash it during the season.

As far as warmth,  I did expect that Iíd be taking those liners in and out a lot, but really didnít need to until it was above 35 or so. On the coldest -10 to -20 days, I was good with poly base layers, a sweatshirt/sweatpants, and the suit. For the bulk of the season I wore a sweatshirt and jeans under the suit.

One thing I did do to modify the suit, I cut out the gaiters at the bottom of the legs. I wear pretty tall rubber boots, and snow getting into the top of them is not a concern. The bibs are too warm to wear while driving, so Iím putting them on in the parking lot, I wanted to just be able to throw the bibs on and go.

Offline hardwaterhonkey

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Re: Clam Ice Armor Ascent Suit - First Impressions
« Reply #19 on: Mar 17, 2021, 08:05 AM »
Very Nice Review :clap: :clap: :clap: Lil hint on the gator ..mine stuck out quite aways on my SI Predator bibs ..all I do is snap them shut and hike them up my Muck boot to the mid calf ..never had an issue getting unsnapped or working their way down . Thanks again .
The strikers have an adjustable boot seam that you can shorten up along the bottom pant cuff so your not dragging your bottom of the pants after the straps on your shoulders loosen up from walking miles

 



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