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Gear Guy

What are Frogg Toggs?

What are Frogg Toggs? I see them for hunting and fishing use, and they seem like a cheap alternative to Gore-Tex and its imitators. Is this gear good for long, sweaty hikes wearing a pack? Chris Norwood, Ohio

A: Frogg Toggs is a fairly new company (founded in 1996; that makes lightweight raingear that's very affordable—under $100 for most pieces. Their stuff is largely marketed to the hunting, fishing, and golfing crowd. Frogg Toggs—the clothing—are made of three-layer polypropylene that has "welded" seams (literally, melted together through the use of ultrasonic sound waves) rather than stitched seams. Products include a basic jacket ($40), a windshirt ($36), and several rainsuits for hunting or fishing ($100). The stuff is exceedingly light—ten ounces for the basic jacket—and completely waterproof. It's also pretty breathable, and although the material feels a little like heavy, soft paper, it's reported to be pretty durable. But, it's not really cut for high-performance outdoor use. While I haven't worn Frogg Toggs myself, other users complain about the oversized cut, the poor-fitting hood, and the lack of ventilation (e.g. pit zips).

That said, it seems ideal for occasional use when backpacking, and for more static activities like fishing or even hunting if you're sitting in a blind. I'm not so sure it's suitable for mountaineering, wilderness backpacking, and the like. Meanwhile, I'll have to actually get in one of their basic jackets to pass more conclusive comment in the future. But for $40 you can't go that far wrong!

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Lead Photo: courtesy, Frogg Toggs