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Thread: Hunting Suits

  1. #1

    Hunting Suits

    I am going to be having a serious look at the CLA for a new hunting suit.
    I like the look of the Rivers West Ranger suit but not so keen on the price . Best part of 300. Reason I like them is;
    they have the ventilation pockets on the trousers as well as the jacket. Most of my hunting is on foot so need the ventilation when walking then to be able to sit on high seat or on grass etc etc for long periods without getting cold.

    My only concern is that most of my hunting involves creeping on grass over thistles, (memo to self don't forget gloves) stubble, etc and I need a hard wearing suit. For that money I don't want to be damaging it.
    I have a deerhunter suit which is great but I do not expect to last for years as it is showing some wear now after a year. I think the trousers are one of the important areas as I will be spending some time on my knees.
    Any opinions from anybody out there? Should I just buy some knee pads?
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  2. #2
    I have heard reports on rivers west suits that they are very good, being waterproof and warm, but as alot of your hunting is done by foot i personaly thing that a rivers west suit would be too warm for walking all day in.

  3. #3
    Maybe not for you but...

    I've been having a lot of success with mil surplus gear for stalking - windproof smock with wash in waterproofing has excellent wear resistance and is waterproof for 90% of outings. Plenty big enough for layers underneath and good ventilation with a lot less dampness retained than even with the best Gore-Tex coats. Add something like the German flecktarn Gore-Tex jacket which can be worn UNDER the smock (so you still keep all your pockets etc.) in really wet weather and you are set to go in terms of jackets. Total cost from ebay probably in the 20 - 30 range so if you wear them out you don't mind so much.

    I haven't completely solved the trouser problem yet but have also been thinking along the line of knee pads and might get some mil surplus ones for this coming season to try.

  4. #4
    What is "wash in waterproofing?" New one to me. Bit like Ronseal?
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  5. #5
    Take your pick from the Nikwax range.


  6. #6
    Really? Hmm, I will have a look at that. Never knew that sort of stuff would work. I presume you have to get a waterproof jacket first and this just makes it better, as washing it into the normal cotton trousers would be a complete waste of time.
    Had a mate who used to paint his tent with Ronseal and it did exactly what it said on the tin.
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  7. #7
    Like caorach I've been using some of the flecktarn milsurplus gear from eBay for summer and in-between seasons stalking - the Gore-Tex jacket, (10 or so), is something you can roll up and stuff in a fanny pack or roesack until the need arises. With the typical crap wet but warm weather we've been having lately I've been using a flecktarn smock, or bush shirt if it's really warm, that's had the Nikwax treatment and a pair of Harkila Oryx heavy duty canvas and leather faced trousers. The trews cost a fair bit but will take some really heavy abuse so should last a few years - and I saved overall with the flecktarn stuff compared to contemporary gear.

    Last edited by Orion; 18-07-2011 at 16:33.

  8. #8
    No Goretex waterproof jacket is 100% waterproof unless treated. and needs to be treated with a wash in and often i was thinking of a paramo but its a lot of money for stalking. The nikwax wash in's are very good.

    Caorach's idea about surplus works a treat but soak it in a bucket of Fabsil it will keep all but downpours off

  9. #9
    I love my rivers west stuff.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by The Singing Stalker View Post
    Really? Hmm, I will have a look at that. Never knew that sort of stuff would work. I presume you have to get a waterproof jacket first
    I didn't believe in it either but will relate my tale, sorry if it's boring but if it saves a chap a few quid it's worth it...

    I bought a British army DPM windproof smock off ebay for a few quid. It is a poly-cotton garment with really well designed pockets etc. for stalking it doesn't claim to be waterproof. It is robust, has a good well designed hood, has a decent zip that is easy to operate in the dark or with gloves and generally ticks all the boxes for stalking. The only thing is there is some velcro on the storm flap that needs to come off in case you bend over and "rip" it at just the wrong time, and some people may not like wearing DPM.

    I then bought some of the Nikwas wash in waterproofing for cotton (Amazon have the best price I think and sell it in 1 litre bottles which keeps down the cost of a few treatments over the year) and washed the windproof smock in it. I wasn't expecting much but was please with comfort, design and so on for fishing/stalking.

    My girlfriend has always wanted a salmon so I knew a man and picked a good day and out we went and down came the rain - me in my windproof smock. She had 5 fish in about 20 minutes, on her first ever time casting the fly, and all told we spent about 2 hours out in heavy Hebridean rain and to my amazement no leaks. The girlfriend screamed and jumped up and down a bit every time she hooked something but now thinks salmon fishing is easy and can't understand why people can sometimes go for a whole hour without catching one :-)

    Over last season I wore the smock while out stalking here in Ireland. Now, I didn't have a solid 12 hour day of rain but it got a good mix of average winter weather and still it didn't leak - my several 300+ coats were starting to look a bit worried having not been out of the house all winter. Then one evening I spotted a movement in the distance and spent half an hour crawling up a ditch, with an inch of water in it, to get a shot at the deer. The deer turned out to be a hare but no water came through the elbows of the cheap smock. This wasn't in the plan but I continued to be impressed.

    So, I'm not claiming that they are totally waterproof but what I will say is that for most stalking situations short of solid rain for hours (and my experience is that the deer are unlikely to move so the stalker is probably not out in such conditions) then the windproof smock is a really good solution, made even better because I recently saw a brand new one go for 7 on ebay though prices are usually a bit higher. When you combine it with a flectarn Gore-Tex jacket to be worn under the smock, so you keep all your pockets, you have all bases covered and all for a few quid. The reason I suggest the German flectarn gore-tex is just because the British version usually goes for more money on ebay than the German. I paid 13 for mine and it is good as new and rolls up into its own hood so it is always in the bag or car. The German sizes are a bit tight so that is the only thing you have to watch out for.

    Now, there is a new British windproof smock in MTP camo pattern and they were commanding something of a premium on ebay though the careful buyer could still get a new one for 20ish. I suspect that this camo pattern might be better than the DPM as it is not as dark, ideal for the hill or forest edge. However, the new MTP smock is made of a different material to my DPM one. On the positive side it is softer and so is quieter especially when pushing through forestry and the like but on the negative side I've found that it is not as waterproof and will leak after 2 - 3 hours of constant rain, especially around rucksack straps for example. Again this isn't a big problem if you have a gore-tex shell with you to put under the smock.

    So, all I can say is that I will be wearing the windproof smock again next season for my stalking and it works for me plus the cash you save would pay for a day or even more at red stags, also for the sake of literally 30 if you buy carefully it is well worth a try.

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