Thursday , June 29 2017
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Exterus: A review by Vagabond Fly

Nobody knows what it means… but it’s provocative

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Absolutely functional & technical apparel with massive crossover potential: this is a pretty accurate description for the entire range of Exterus technical apparel. It is a conclusion we have come to after extensive testing chasing Tigerfish on Jozini Dam, South Africa and on Alphonse Island Seychelles fishing the expansive flats of St François atoll.

Surfwalks & Miles of Sand

Two weeks on Alphonse Island means one thing… endless fishing, yes, but it also means endless sand flats & miles of daily walking.

This takes the form of trekking with the dropping tide having fun with bonefish to high-tailing it to the coral edge at low tide to intercept GT’s hunting out of the blue water on the waves.

Vagabond Fly Tip: Kudos to the Alphonse Fishing Company guides for this invaluable flats tip: long walks necessitate wearing shorts. Not the safest option for sunburn but a single session against the tide wearing parachute-like long trousers will cure you of that fear.

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Under these saltwater conditions comfort is everything. An ill fitting shirt, trousers or shorts will, not could but will, ruin your day. It is nothing short of imperative to pack only the most technically competent and comfortable clothing, and in Exterus technical clothing we found both.

Temperature & humidity

The temperatures throughout October in the Seychelles holds steady at an average of 26 degrees Celsius but it is the humidly nearing 100% that creates the discomfort factor. With limited wardrobe options (thanks largely to aircraft restrictions combined with the Vagabond Fly camera gear weighing in over 22kg’s) we were considerably grateful to the Exterus Sunniva LS & Spectrum LS shirts for:

  • Packing small – there are no frills or fuss when inspecting the Exterus range of clothing. This offers important value to the overseas traveller: they pack down small leaving space for other larger items.
  • Odour protection – we washed & wore the same shirts for days on end. Perhaps those around us would disagree but as far as we were concerned we smelled like roses.
  • Quick drying – passing squalls aside we were in and out of boats and the water throughout the day. There is nothing worse than dripping saltwater into your dry bag or worse… your lunch pack!
  • Sun protection – it would be fair to say the Vagabond Fly editors are fair skinned. Lathered in sun-cream is one thing, but having faith in the SPF protective qualities of your gear is another. We both returned from two weeks on Alphonse as pale as the day we left. Embarrassing yes, proven SPF definitely.
  • Comfort – the Walkshorts were our go-to shorts on the island. The mode of transport on Alphonse Island is by bicycle so between fishing, filming and exploring we turned more often than not to our workhorse Walkshorts.

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Anything to change?

Apart from owning a lifetime supply of the Walkshorts we would love to see Exterus offer a fitted version or slim version of their Sunniva LS & Spectrum LS shirts. And then ultimately some patterned prints specific for saltwater use. At the price though it would be rude to suggest such changes but hey, we can dream!

Special Mention

The Yakima Pants are extremely well thought out technical trousers. They offer exactly what you’d expect from a pair of fishing pants: hard wearing, quick drying, and lightweight. But the minor details set them apart. Deep pockets mean safety… shallow pockets are the curse of technical pants everywhere. The zip/velcro ankle cuffs help secure the trouser legs securely around your boot – a huge frustration of ours is the drogue effect from loose or unsecured trouser legs.

These bad-ass trousers will be totally at home in any and all fly fishing situations and when a few more colour options are available then even more so.

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Is the Exterus sun/saltwater range competing within a saturated market, yes! Do they have standout distinguishing features to make them a valuable contender for your hard earned cash, most definitely:

pricing apart, the high quality, hard wearing & customer support live up to the promises made by Exterus and we can wholeheartedly recommend the entire range. ­­­­­

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