Full-protection winter suits are essential for the serious, year-round angler. Pete McKenna investigates the Sundridge Igloo MK7 suit to see if it’s the bargain that the specification promises…

Nowadays, winter clothing is that good that there’s really no excuse for being cold on the bank. Nevertheless, one thing that can be said about a lot of the top-end winter suits is that they aren’t exactly cheap. If you want full weather protection with functional qualities, it’s likely that it’s going to cost a bit; the average price is well over £150 and sometimes considerably more.

Because of this potential deal breaker, it’s time to look at what some of the lower-end weather beaters have to offer, and all for quite a lot less.

This Igloo Mk7, from Daiwa’s sub-brand Sundridge, has definitely bucked the trend. It’s more than adequately equipped. In fact, it’s very good indeed and I have continued to use it regularly after testing. You won’t be paying more than £130 at the checkout, though. It’s also available for quite a bit less at some retailers, which makes it even more of a bargain. The suit includes the separate garments of the jacket and the bib ‘n’ brace, and when worn together they genuinely offer full protection from even the worst of the UK’s weather.

The material seems to be made of particularly durable stuff as well, so this is a good investment that will endure tough conditions and usage. I’ve done quite a lot of trekking through hawthorn recently and this stuff seems totally impervious to the sticky-sharp thorns. With normal, say, cotton-based fabric, I would literally have been stopped in my tracks and cut to shreds. The knees and seat area are also reinforced for added comfort and durability, which you’ll know is a big advantage if you’ve ever knelt down repeatedly in a gravelly swim.

Despite the lower than average price tag, all the additional features you need are still included. For a start, the suit boasts the essential combination of it being 100 per cent breathable and waterproof. Added to that, there are all the adaptable extras that you’d expect, including elasticated hems and multiple options for the wraparound hood. Warmth is certainly a trait that the suit isn’t lacking either. As well as being a great wind shield, each garment has a thermal lining and the hood and collar have also been fleece lined to reduce the amount of heat lost in the upper body. The lining of the cuffs and the pockets are also fleece to provide handwarmers for when it’s really cold out.

Finally, it also comes with four external pockets, two internal, and quality YKK zips throughout.

Overall, this suit represents good value for money. It’s sufficiently equipped for whatever conditions you are likely to face, and the price is right. What more can I say?