Cold Weather Hunting Gear
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers, I hope you all had a great day with your families. For me, it was the first time that I had my two sons with me on Thanksgiving in a long time, and it was nice for us to be together. If only my daughter could have been here too, but maybe we’ll all be together for Christmas. Anyhow, it was a nice day with my sons.
It was an unusually warm day today for Colorado, and tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer, like in the 60’s. That’s Colorado weather though, just two weeks ago I was hunting deer in temperatures that hovered in the single digits or below. The point is that hunting and fishing this time of year exposes us sportsmen and women to a wide variety of weather conditions, and we have to be prepared for that.
Technology is constantly improving and evolving in our world today, and that applies to things beyond our smart phones, computers, and various devices, it also applies to the clothes we wear in the outdoors. When you are looking for cold weather gear for hunting, fishing, or camping, it can be confusing to understand what all of these terms mean that manufacturers use in their product descriptions. I can remember when Thinsulate and Gortex were the pioneers in cold weather gear, but there are new fabrics now that are thrown into the mix, and each have their own trademark, so it is important to understand what each of these fabrics are and what they will do for you. I will review the top fabrics on the market today that are included in the outdoor clothing you need for your wilderness adventures. In no order of preference or quality, here are the top seven fabrics used in outdoor clothing today.
Wind Stopper – Every square inch of the WindStopper membrane contains 1.4 billion micropores. The revolutionary structure is ultralight, ultrathin, and highly resistant to extreme temperatures. The microporous structure of the WindStopper membrane ensures maximum breathability; cold wind is kept out, but moisture can easily escape.
Gore-Tex – With over 9 billion microscopic pores per square inch, the Gore-Tex membrane prevents water droplets from penetrating while allowing water vapor from body moisture to escape. The result is an extremely durable, 100% waterproof that remains breathable when your adventure heats up.
Dry-Plus – Made of a thin waterproof membrane, Cabela’s lightweight, breathable Dry-Plus seals out rain and snow. Plus, this innovative fabric remains completely flexible in even the coldest conditions, making it ideal for all-season wear.
Merino Wool – Merino wool is the finest wool on the planet. It’s extra-thin fibers deliver unexpected softness and classic heat retention. Not only that, this wool draws moisture away from your skin, storing dampness inside its cortical cells. Each amazing fiber can retain up to 30% of its weight. This natural wicking effect keeps you dray, warm, and comfortable.
Polartec– Polarec provides long-term warmth across an extremely wide range of temperatures. Its hig-loft fiber pillars open space for thousands of air channels between your skin and the fabric. This body-length field of air is proven to retain more body heat, increase soothing airflow, and even minimize bulk and weight.
Thinsulate – The fibers in most Thinsulate insulation products absorb less than 1% of the water they come into contact with, retaining heat to keep you warm in damp situations. No other synthetic insulation performs better to help prevent heat loss when the conditions are less than temperate.
Primaloft – Made for high levels of outdoor activity, Primaloft is lightweight, incredibly compressible, and its high-loft qualities grab and retain heat quicker than ever. Beyond its thermal efficiency, its fine fibers provide superior water resistance and breathability, a combination that keeps you dry and your temperature regulated.
I know that’s a lot to understand, but understanding these technologies can really make a difference in what outdoor clothing you choose. For example, on the deer hunting trip that I took a couple of
weeks ago, which you can read about by clicking here, I was hunting in temperatures that were below zero with the wind chill, and I was completely warm with the Cabela’s Silent Suede Parka and bibs. I could write an entire article about that hunting gear, it was the best hunting clothing that I have ever worn in cold temperatures, and I will wear that same gear on waterfowl hunts this year.
When you are looking for outdoor clothing that will keep you warm, you need to understand all of the different options that are out there today. The most important thing is to dress in layers, no matter what products you choose, and to keep your head covered, as you lose 90% of your body heat if your head is not covered. Today’s technological advances in material for outdoor apparel is really amazing!