The best fishing shirt and layering apparel will protect you from all of the elements while outdoors in Alaska, even the bugs! These are the top picks from the Fish Alaska team.
Best Layering Apparel
Carhartt Women’s Relaxed Fit Midweight Logo Sleeve Graphic Sweatshirt
This iconic sweatshirt from Carhartt is the perfect solution for cold, dry weather. Although the inside is soft enough to wear without layers, the fit is large enough to accommodate under layers for added comfort. The drawcord hood and ribbed cuffs and waistband work together to keep out the weather, and keep in the warmth.
Forloh Women’s ThermoNeutral Down Vest
This Made-in-America down vest is constructed with Perf-Weld and Activ-Dri down, 2 technologies unique to Forloh. The designers put that technology into a mid-layer down vest ideal for layering, with a snug fit contoured to a woman’s body. This vest has zippered pockets, including a large chest pocket ideal for holding phones, permits and licenses.
Columbia Sportswear Men’s PFG Terminal Stretch Softshell Hooded Jacket
This functional 100% polyester interlock fleece hoody is comfortable and good looking. It’s treated with Columbia’s Omni-Shield repellency to fight water and stains. It has a zippered chest pocket and hand-warmer pockets and full-length front zipper. It’s a no-frills fleece hoody that makes a good layering piece under raingear, or as an outer layer in moderate temperatures and dry conditions. It’s also great for wearing around town. Our tester claims he wore this jacket a lot in the summer and fall, often under a rain shell.
FisheWear HaliBorealis Tunic Fishing Shirt
This shirt has the functional must-haves including UPF 50+ sun protection, quick-dry fabric, large pockets, and venting, paired with the classic tunic style. The longer back length keeps your bum covered, and the HaliBorealis print in the collars and cuffs flash a characteristic FisheWear design.
FisheWear Fish Camo Pocket Leggings
FisheWear offers these leggings with all of our tester’s favorite features: 3 pockets, high waist, wide waistband, and all black with a stripe of design down the sides. These leggings are stretchy and supportive enough to wear all day, and just the right weight for wearing under waders.
Columbia Men’s PFG Drift Guide Woven Long Sleeve Shirt
This shirt combines many features that make it handy for fishing. It’s water repellent and offers protection from the sun with a UPF 50 rating. Key features include: snap tab sleeve holder, sunglass cleaning patch, rod holder, and forceps slot in chest pocket. It’s available in 4 colors and 6 sizes.
Simms M’s Fall Run Insulated Hoody
This highly packable, warm hoody with Primaloft insulation makes a great outer jacket for 3-season use, and also serves as a great insulating layer under a wading jacket regardless of the season. The shell is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a DWR coating. The liner is made from 100% recycled polyester taffeta. We think adding a hood to their already great Fall Run Jacket was a great idea. For Alaska conditions, this is a great jacket. It’s available in 4 colors and sizes from small to 3XL.
Ibex Men’s Wool Aire Hoodie
We were suitably impressed with the weight-to-warmth ratio of this jacket. It’s very lightweight yet keeps you quite warm thanks to Ibex’s merino-wool insulation. We wore this under a rain jacket during multiple fall trips and it was a great layering piece. If it’s dry and cool, this makes for a perfect top layer. The jacket stows into itself and takes up little space, which we really appreciate when packing. Ibex sells this jacket in 6 colors and 5 sizes.
Ibex Women’s Shak Hoodie
Ibex has long been one of our favorite quality clothing choices. Their pieces are made with excellent attention to detail and will last for years. This 100% merino-wool hoodie is a great shoulder and winter season layering piece. The slim fit works well under puffy jackets and parkas, and the garment design allows a full range of motion for your upper body. The Shak Hoodie is another example of the level of performance we expect from Ibex.
BlackStrap Industries Men’s Brackish Top Hooded Sun Shirt
The Men’s Brackish Top Hooded from BlackStrap is made in the USA and features a 4-way stretch SUNsoft fabric that is ultra-lightweight, breathable, and UPF 50+ rated for sun protection (it blocks 97.5% of harmful UV rays). The full-contoured hood provides seamless neck, ear, and scalp protection. The relaxed fit and ultra-lightweight design combined with the evaporative cooling attributes are sure to make this your go-to everyday sun shirt for any outdoor adventure. We used this sun hoodie a lot this summer on warm days. It’s a good one.
Huk Women’s Spiral Dye Double Header
This long-sleeve, crewneck shirt from Huk is an excellent addition to the gear bag. It offers UPF 30 sun protection, and it combines stain resistance, odor resistance, and breathability all in one shirt to keep you safe from the sun, and from the smells particular to people who handle bait all day long in piscatorial pursuit. This shirt is light enough to wear on hot, sunny days, but also thin enough to layer when it gets cold. The Double Header offers a great combination of aesthetics and functionality.
Salmon Sisters Wild & Free Zip Up Hoodie
Alaska’s Salmon Sisters—Emma and Claire—burst onto the scene in 2012 with their unique take on fishing gear. This Made-in-America hoodie features a full-length zipper, ribbed cuff and waistband, organic and recycled materials, kangaroo-style pocket, and a graphic inspired by the ladies’ personal ethos.
Outdoor Research Women’s SuperStrand LT Hoodie
This full-zip hoodie from Outdoor Research is one of the lightest we’ve ever tested, weighing in at a scant 10 ounces. Despite its tiny weight, this hoodie is a useful layering piece when it gets cold, and offers wind and drizzle protection on those mild weather days. It uses both down and synthetic insulation. The combination of light weight and warmth makes this hoodie a particularly good choice for those who take small planes or long hikes to get to their fishing destination.
Grundéns Women’s Wordmark Hoodie
Grundéns has built a reputation for providing quality, rugged fishing gear. This classic hoodie features a super-soft feel, mid-weight warmth, and the iconic Grundéns logo front and center.
Salmon Sisters Fair Winds Tee
This tee from Salmon Sisters offers up a cotton blend of soft comfort, combined with a graphic typical of the sisters’ style—a reflection of their appreciation for all things natural and nautical.
Columbia PFG Tidal Tee II Long Sleeve Shirt
Columbia’s PFG line offers a wide variety of garments designed for the all-day, hard-core fisherman, who does not want to go home sunburned, windburned, and stinky. This shirt delivers. The Omni-Shade fabric offers up UPF 50 protection, long sleeves and a center back length of 26 inches to protect from wind and sun, and Omni-Wick fabric to keep you from stewing in your own juices all day. Columbia offers this functional beauty in 15 colors and 6 sizes.
Simms W’s BugStopper Hoody
If your fishing plans include sunny, buggy locales, then this shirt covers you in all the right ways. Simms put together a hoody that deters bugs, protects you from the sun, and has enough room in the fit to hike, cast, and land fish all day long. Even better, the garment is machine washable.
Huk Icon X Tide Change Hoodie
In the heat of summer, Alaskan anglers need protection from the midnight sun. And those same hardcore anglers like to make trips to warm-water destinations when the Great Land is locked under a crust of ice and snow. Enter the Huk Icon X Tide Change Hoodie. Made from breathable polyester with a 50+ UPF, you can stay protected from the sun’s rays while remaining cool in the heat. It’s available in 6 sizes and 2 patterns.
Columbia Sportswear Men’s PFG Skiff Guide Shorts
These lightweight shorts are made of 100% recycled polyester, so they dry fast. They are treated with Omni-Shield repellency to ward off water and stains, and have UPF 50 sun protection. They have hand pockets, a zipped security pocket, a snap-closure cargo pocket, and hook-and-loop closure back pockets. Our tester commented he frequently wears these under fleece pants on cool mornings, taking off the fleece pants as the cool morning transitions to a warm afternoon.
AFTCO Women’s Samurai LS Sun Protection Shirt
This lightweight long-sleeve shirt provides UPF 50 sun protection, stain release and quick-dry fabric, and an antimicrobial treatment to control odors—ideal for the sport fisherwoman. This shirt is long enough to cover your backside—even while casting—and the sleeves are long enough to protect your hands, while the thumbhole helps maintain your dexterity.