Review: Nike Fit-Storm Rain Gear

Bring it on!
A box arrived a few weeks back with a weather report from the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black on June 20th, 2009.  61*, Heavy Rain, Wind Gusts up to 25mph.  A recent forecast I played in, raining cats and dogs, tornado like winds and 45*.  I’m sure there are worse forecasts that I have played in or that others have had the pleasure of enjoying the course to themselves on such a day.  But the key to such weather forecasts is how are you going to get through it? What are you going to wear to at least finish your round, and if possible, enjoy it?

That box from Nike was filled with all the tools needed to finish and even enjoy such miserable weather.  The shoes Nike Bandon Zooms,  Nike 2010 Storm Jacket, Nike 2010 Storm pants, Nike extreme weather golf gloves and Nike Cold Weather cart gloves.  The only thing missing was a hat, (thankfully, I already had a good Nike cold weather gear hat), but I would love to see Nike make a waterproof winter beanie to go along with this set.  Sometimes it is cold and raining, not always just one or the other.

The Nike 2010 storm jacket is going to be the most popular and often most purchased item.  Many people will get the jacket and skip all the other stuff, because they are most concerned about keeping the upper body warm and dry.  As a user of past Nike storm gear, I expected quality, but also wondered what improvements would be made.  It didn’t take long to find out.  The very first is that the new Nike gear is a little more stylish in the fact that it is simple and understated.  They are basically one color, black or red, with just some decal like detailing, but it is all very subtle.  The jacket is made of a much softer, quieter material, which was even more waterproof than the past Storm-Fit.  What I mean by that is compared to the old Storm gear,  which held the water a little on the outside, and you almost felt like you were getting wet, even though underneath you were perfectly dry.  The new Fit-Storm repels 99.9% of the water so you both feel and stay dry.  I used it on a day when there was no one else on the course and the pro shop attendant thought I was crazy, but 3 hours later I was as dry as when I started.  The zippers are some of the best I’ve used, they didn’t bind or catch any material, but went up and down without a snag.  The sleeves had big hand openings that could be tightened with Velcro.    The seam were all tape sealed on the inside making it very comfortable.

I took the coat and pants on my trip to Bandon.  They pack up small and unpack virtually wrinkle free.  The pants looked so good, my wife asked me where I got those new black pants, and they looked really nice.  Then I told her they were my new rain gear, she was impressed, as was I.  The pants are so comfortable in the new fabric, which is rather stretchy.  They are left long with adjustable hems on the bottom that can be snapped shorter and velcroed narrower.  The back pocket is designed to avoid water, so it is a vertical pocket. This took just a couple of attempts to remember, but once I got the hang of it, I liked the vertical zipper on the back pocket.  The front pockets are also zippered. These have a pocket and an inner opening to get at your regular pants pocket.  The problem I had was when I wanted to put my tees in my rain pants pocket, I missed and they fell out on the ground, since I hit the opening instead of the pocket.  This happened a couple times; thankfully I wasn’t putting my GPS in the pocket.  Maybe more user error than design issue, but still a concern.  I have tried on, demoed and used a number of rain gear sets, and this is the best one I have seen.  It is quiet, soft, stretchy, well fit and works like charm.  The other two items that came in the box I also find very useful.

The first would be the extreme weather golf gloves.  This pair of gloves is designed to be used in the rain, the wetter the better.  They are black and gray and have a soft, suede-like microfiber palm.  Once these get a little damp they grip like crazy.  No matter how wet the grip or how hard it was raining, the club was secure in my hand.  They were also surprisingly warm.  I expected that once they get wet my hands would get really cold, but they did not.

But to really keep your hands warm, some cart mittens were included.  These are oversized mittens that you can put on even with your regular golf glove on, or your all weather gloves.  They are waterproof and lined with a soft velour type lining.  They were great to have when it was 39* and a little damp.

Inclement weather gear is not always cheap, but sometimes you can’t avoid playing in the bad weather.  I had planned a trip to Bandon Dunes months in advance and glad I had the rainy, cold weather gear along so that I could enjoy my rounds, you just never know what the weather is going to do.  So I say to bad weather, bring it on; I’m ready to go in my Nike Fit-Storm Gear.

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