Simms Hyalite Rain Shell Jacket Review

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Over the last few seasons, the Hyalite Rain Shell Jacket from Simms has become my go-to rain jacket for almost every summertime wet weather situation. The Hyalite Rain Shell is the lightest and most packable waterproof jacket that Simms makes, and also happens to be the most affordable. Its simple, waterproof/breathable design makes it a great choice for everyone from hike-in fishermen to drift boat anglers. I bought two Hyalite Rain Shells a few years ago to use as extras for my clients when unexpected weather rolls in, and they worked so well that almost every time I head out for a rainy day on the water, the Hyalite is one of the first things I reach for.


One of my favorite features of the Hyalite Rain Shell is its simplicity. The Hyalite is everything that I need and nothing I don’t. It has a YKK AquaGuard Vislon water-resistant zipper that keeps the water out when I take on a big wave in the raft or am getting sprayed on a long run in a skiff. The three point storm hood cinches down and creates a seal around my head to keep my top dry, and thanks to the locking Velcro cuffs, I can reach into the water for a quick second to release a fish or grab a snagged fly without getting completely soaked. The only pockets on the Hyalite are the two front zippered hand pockets, which allows me to wear the jacket comfortably beneath a PFD for big water fishing days.


When it comes to breathability, nothing is quite like GORE-TEX fabric, which is why all of the high performance shells from Simms are made with either GORE-TEX Performance or GORE-TEX Pro shell fabric. The Hyalite Rain Shell is made with a much lighter, DWR coated, nylon ripstop fabric that still blocks water and is still pretty breathable – just not as breathable as the legendary GORE-TEX fabric. The only time that I really notice this are when I am hiking fast and sweating in wet weather, so if you are looking for a jacket that you can wear while hiking up a steep trail, you might want to consider spending the extra money for a more breathable jacket like the G3 Guide,  G4 Pro, or Acklins Jacket.


The Hyalite Rain Shell Jacket could possibly be the best way to get your hands on legendary Simms quality and reliable waterproof breathability without going completely broke. At $149.95, even normal people like myself can stay dry while fishing in the rain.

If you are looking for a no-frills, ultralight, packable rain jacket that won’t leak and won’t cost a fortune, look no further than the Hyalite Rain Shell from Simms Fishing. I love mine and take it with me to the river every day. Be sure to visit the fly shop in Edwards to try one on and see for yourself how waterproof breathability does not have to break the bank.

Andy “Otter” Smith, Guide and Content Writer