Melbourne, Florida, August 1, 2014 – This is the 4th edition of the Central Florida Outdoor Recreation Examiner.
With ICAST only being a few weeks old, I am still catching up on all the great products of anglers and outdoor adventurers that were showcase for 2015. You can read my ICAST Summary article as well as my Best in Show Sunglasses by following these links.
“Best in Show" Sunglasses Article - ICAST Summary Article
To continue my ICAST coverage this edition will focus on outdoor clothing to include hats, Buffs, and clothing like shirts, pants and shorts.
As I walked the isles and visited booths, hats were the go to swag that many of the exhibitors were giving out. I was able to snag a few for my extensive hat collection. But these are not the hats I am talking about. I was able to find a few exhibitors that you may find interesting.
H2 Outdoors – This is a brand that is owned by Rachel Screen Printing in Portsmouth, VA. They are an online custom screen printing, embroidery and apparel company. On display in the H2 Outdoors booth were their line of H2 Outdoors hats which has the H2 logo stitched on the front of the hat. Their tee shirts with their unique water blast fish artwork are very interesting. I have not seen a fishing lifestyle apparel design like this before. Check it out on their YouTube video. If you are looking for a place to get you custom apparel and hats made, you might want check them out.
Get Reel – Get Fish – I can always depend on seeing this brand at ICAST. My friend George Mitcheson is the company president can always be found in his booth. George always has a great line of fishing hats. If you want a custom fishing hat or a hat with any other design on it, George can make that happen. He is located in Pinellas Park, Florida in the “Great Sunshine State”.
Now that I am done with the fun stuff, now is the time for some serious fishing apparel and hats.
Aqua Design – This company has been making camouflage fishing apparel, hats and accessories for some years now.
What I like about fishing camo clothing is that most anglers do not realize that in water fish can see a contrast difference between food they eat the background. That being said, one could assume that the same goes for an angler stalking their prey along a river bank, wading in a stream if a shallow flats. Knowing this it makes sense to me that to be a successful fish stalker; one would want to blend in with the background. The Aqua Design camo apparel, hats and gear will do just that.
Each year Aqua Design takes their camo line up a notch or two by adding new products. In their booth they had a display of all their most popular shirts and pants for men and women along with the Aqua Design “Big Wave Rash Guard” and “SunGuard Rash Guard” shirts. The Big wave comes in S to 3XL sizes and the SunGuard comes in S to 5XL sizes. I Wear a 3XL shirt and this is great news for big guys like me who wear shirts bigger than 2XL. Their Voyager Convertible Fishing Pants come in S to 4XL sizes. Another big win for the Big and Tall crowd.
They also have a new StormShield Pro Jacket for those anglers who like to fish during the cold months of the year. It comes in their Pacific Sand, Aqua Sky and Green Bayou camo patterns. You can get this jacket in S to 3XL sizes.
To round out my visit to the Aqua Design booth was their floating hats and what they refer to as their SunGuard Tube. I cannot tell you how many hats I have lost that were blown off my hear while speeding along in a fishing boat. By the time you get the boat turned around the hat has sunk. The Voyager and SunGuard Headwear all float. If you lose this hat it will not sink. The SunGuard Tube Pro and SunGuard Tube is a similar product to the original Buff.
And last but not least, if you have a product line that you would like to have a camo pattern applied to, get in touch with Aqua Design. They offer a licensing program to apply their camo designs to your products.
Madrone - This brand has an interesting startup story. Being just one year old, Madrone has a family history that dates back to 1990 when “Sunday Afternoons” was started by the owners who created the first adventure blanket. Trying to figure out what to do with the scraps from making the blankets, they created a hat to sell along with the blanket. The rest was history. Visit the “Sunday Afternoons” website to learn more about their products and their story.
Madrone was created by founders of “Sunday Afternoons” to create a special line of rugged, innovative headwear for male outdoor adventurers. This line is a premium product that provides a comfortable and secure fit, UV protection, Flo-Thru ventilation, moisture wicking and even sunglasses storage.
A family business based in Talent, Oregon, the Madrone’s crew is full of explorers, so the company’s mission is simple: Create headwear people want in their gear bags. Campouts, fishing trips and wilderness excursions are Madrone’s testing grounds. When the outdoor headwear revolutionaries at Madrone say they sweat the details, they literally do just that.
Each Madrone headwear comes with 7 standard features, UPF 50 protection, flow-through venting, water repellant fabric, folding brim, special sleeves to hold sunglasses, closed cell floating brim, and an anchoring system that is comfortable to wear.
There are three different headwear lines, Flyweight, Elemental, and Ironclad. The Flyweight Series is constructed from Madrone’s lightest weight poly microfiber fabric. The Elemental Series is constructed from a tough mid-weight fabric called Taslanized Nylon and the Ironclad Series is constructed from a strong technical nylon that gives the wearer head protection equal to the strength of burly canvas from a bygone era. The entire line up of Madrone Headwear has been designed with the outdoor adventure seeker in mind.
Buff USA - The buff phenomena began in 1991 in Spain when Joan Rojas invented the original buff. In 1992, he presented his collection of buffs to the sporting industry. Some 20 years later, the original buff design is replicated throughout the summer and winter sports gear providers. Building upon twenty years of innovative designs, BUFF USA had on display at ICAST some of their new deigns.
• Original Buff® | Stellar Blue & Orange
• Original Buff® | Shrubs
• Original Buff® | Earl Gray
• Original Buff® | Peacock
I personally do not use buffs to cover my face because I have a full beard that makes wearing a buff real uncomfortable for me. But if you are clean shaven, wearing a buff to protect your face from sun or wind burn is the right thing to do. I do wear my Buff to cover my head. It adds protection one does not get from sunscreen.
In addition to buffs, Buff USA has a line of great gloves. I have a pair of fishing gloves that protect the tops of my hands for the harsh Florida sunshine that are comfortable to wear in how weather. I also wear them when riding my mountain bike. A great all-around outdoor glove.
Wrangler Cargo Shorts - Wrangler jeans and other outdoor apparel has been a mainstay in the clothing industry as long as I can remember. Wrangler has a new pair of shorts on the market called the Wrangler Fort Worth Ripstop Cargo Short has a MSRP of $17.99. These shorts are perfect for the trail, this 100% cotton short offers a loose fit that delivers maximum comfort – with sturdy, tear-resistant ripstop fabric – and convenience. The Fort Worth Ripstop Cargo Short features a cargo pocket with a zipper closure, for added peace of mind. Hikers can relax and enjoy their time in nature, without having to worry about losing their keys, wallet and other important belongings. You can find these shorts at just about any retail store in your neighborhood.
Well that about wraps up my August 2014 Outdoor Examiner. This month I will be finding more outdoor gear and places to go to make this month more enjoyable. Remember it is hot out there. Drink plenty of water. If you need a new water bottle, take a look at the NATHAN BigShot Narrow Mouth with a MSRP of $12.00. Whether backpacking through rough terrain or just taking a short, leisurely afternoon hike, staying properly hydrated is a must. NATHAN’s durable, sleek BigShot water bottle features a tethered, sip-friendly, leak-proof narrow mouth, with a screw-top lid. Filling, sipping, carrying and cleaning on-the-go has never been easier!
Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.