Best fishing shirts and layering apparel are a must-have for any angler gearing up for a day on the water. The team at Fish Alaska shares their top picks.
Best Fishing Shirt & Layering Apparel
FORLOH Insect Shield SolAir Lightweight Pants and Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt
Bugs are a fact of life in Alaska. FORLOH’s lightweight pants and hooded long-sleeve shirt add welcome protection during the warm-weather months. These garments are treated with Insect Shield to repel bugs and work well whether you’re fishing, hunting, or hiking. They also have FORLOH’s new brrr Pro built into the fabric to help keep you cooler when it’s warm outside. With brrr Pro, the fabric also wicks away moisture very well. The fabric is treated with Polygiene Stay Fresh antimicrobial and Odor Crunch scent-control systems to help you stay odor free on extended backcountry trips or while hunting.
The pants feature UPF 50+ sun protection, articulated knees, gusseted crotch, secure hip- and seat pockets, belt loops, and YKK zippers. The fabric is a polyester/spandex blend making them elastic, lightweight and strong, and the pants are available in 2 solid colors and 2 camo patterns. The hooded shirt has the same fabric features as the pants, plus 4-way stretch for mobility and comfort. You could wear the hooded shirt as a lightweight base layer, and we often do. 100% designed, sourced, and made in America.
AFTCO Women’s Yurei Air-O Mesh LS Performance Shirt
The best sun protection is the sun protection you will actually use. This shirt provides UPF 40 protection, stain release and moisture wicking in a highly breathable fabric. Thumb holes make it easier to keep those sleeves down where they can protect your arms and hands. Available in 2 colors and 5 sizes, this shirt is both comfortable and flattering with an active fit that hugs your shape.
Columbia Sportswear Tunnel Springs Wool Crew Baselayer Shirt
We like merino wool base layers because they don’t irritate skin, and don’t stink after a couple days of use. Columbia’s Tunnell Springs Wool Crew Baselayer Shirt is a 60/40 blend of merino wool and Lyocell. It’s soft against your skin, wicks well, and is warm. This shirt comes with thumbholes, which are a nice feature though we don’t always use the thumbholes.
Minus33 Expedition Men’s Wool Full Zip Wilderness
This full-zip sweater is a new favorite. It’s warm, moisture wicking, odor resistant, fits well, and the wool is anti-microbial. We used it on 4 different hunts in 2023 and were very impressed. It will be part of our cold-weather fishing kit and on every cool- and cold-weather hunt going forward. Minus33 garments come in 4 different weights to accommodate a wide range of hunter’s needs.
Minus33 Expedition Men’s Mock Neck
This 100% merino wool mock neck shirt is the most heavy-weight, base-layer shirt our tester has ever worn. It’s well-constructed, very warm, wicks moisture, and like all 100% merino wool fabrics, it doesn’t stink even after a few days’ wear. This shirt works as a heavy base layer, or as a mid-layer. Flat-lock seams prevent chafing, and the tag-less label means no tag to irritate your skin.
Minus33 Expedition Chugach Men’s Zip-Off 3/4 Bottoms
The beauty of this expedition-weight, 100% merino wool, 3/4-length mid-layer is that it has full-length zippers so it can be put on and taken off without removing your boots. Just drop your shell pants, then put these on and zip the zippers, then pull your shell pants back up. It’s designed to be an insulating mid-layer, but it could be used as a heavy-duty base layer as well. Features include flat lock seams, zippers fully backed with fabric, hook-and-loop closures at the waist, fly opening, and a large gusset for ease of movement.
Columbia Sportswear Blood ’N Guts Stretch Short
These shorts are very comfortable and look good on or off the water. They are very light, but also strong and stain-resistant. The fabric stretches, which is probably what makes them so comfortable. In addition to UPF-50 sun protection, they have hand pockets, a zip-closed utility pocket, reinforced pliers pocket, utility loop, back pockets, and belt loops. Available in 2 colors, multiple waist sizes, and 2 inseam lengths.
Columbia Sportswear Titan Pass 3.0 Full Zip Fleece
This fleece from Columbia is a combination of function and practicality wrapped in a cute package. Zippered pockets, drawcord hem, and thumb-hole sleeves meet our tester’s needs, and the cute color choices combined with the body skimming fit make this a flattering choice for the ladies.
Minus33 Expedition Women’s Brushed Wool Hoodie
Merino wool is one of those things that nature does so well it has no credible alternatives. It’s warm, moisture wicking, anti-microbial, stays warm when wet, fire resistant, UV protective, and renewable. This hoodie has all of that plus an inside pocket to keep your stuff dry, and an oversize hood to cover a hat.
Duluth Trading Company Men’s AKHG Crosslayer Fleece 1/4 Zip Mock
This layering piece has a lot going for it: It’s heat trapping, wicks sweat, feels good, looks good, and is made from recycled materials. You can get it in 5 sizes and 2 colors.
Columbia Sportswear Blood ’N Guts Stretch Pant
These pants are made of the same fabric as the Blood ’N Guts Stretch Short, with the same features: UPF-50 sun protection, they have hand pockets, a zip-closed utility pocket, reinforced pliers pocket, utility loop, back pockets, and belt loops. They are extremely light for pants, are stain resistant, and very comfortable to wear during the warm months. Available in 3 colors and many waist- and inseam sizes.
FisheWear Steel My Heart Riffle Snap Fleece
This fleece features FisheWear’s newest pattern, Steel My Heart. Available in sizes from extra small to 3XL, with double-sided fleece and stretch binding at the waist and wrists, this fleece will keep you warm and cozy. Add a front pocket for your keys and phone and you’re good to go.
FORLOH Men’s Deep Space Base Layer
FORLOH is really making its presence known with many great hunting and fishing apparel products. This synthetic base layer is made of a polyester/spandex blend and features a NASA Certified Space Technology, Trizar, to capture and re-radiate your body heat and to help diffuse moisture caused by sweat. This base layer is suitable for both fishing and hunting, as both the top and bottom have Polygiene Odor Crunch + Stay Fresh to minimize odor. This base layer comes in many sizes and 6 different colors.
Ibex Men’s Shak Hoodoo Hoodie
This hoodie is warm, comfortable and well made. It’s made from Merino Ponti which is 100% merino wool and is double knit to produce a warm, rugged, well-made, insulating layer. We love this hoodie as a layering piece and it also works great as a top layer in cool conditions. The scuba hood is oversized and provides adequate warmth and coverage; thumb holes make it easy to keep the sleeves in position when layering. It’s available in 5 sizes and 3 colors.
Minus 33 Lightweight Acadian Men’s Boxer Brief
These 100% merino-wool boxer briefs are a fine choice for Alaska outdoorsmen. Merino wool keeps you warmer than other natural fibers, stays warm when wet, dries quickly and is far superior to cotton. The boxer briefs are comfortable and really held up well for our tester during weeks of intense exercise.