There are few cures for the winter blues that are better than researching and buying new fly fishing and upland gear. I thought that I would make things interesting and do a ‘head to toe’ review of the gear and apparel that we used this past season. Today’s post will be the first of two installments, and will focus on the apparel that we wore in the field. Next week we’ll highlight the upland gear we used.
We hope you enjoy and please share your thoughts.
LL Bean Technical Upland Cap
My ‘go-to’ headgear for early season upland hunts.
As dedicated grouse hunters, we work hard when we hunt…trekking miles in search of that thunderous flush. I am a big guy and I get hot in the field…really hot…and need gear that breathes well to help cool me off. Inspired by lightweight running hats, this innovative does this extremely well, dries quickly, and provides excellent ventilation for those warm fall days. PS: As proof of my allegiance, I’m wearing the Technical Upland Hat in my ‘avatar’ pic at the bottom of this post.
LL Bean Technical Upland Shirt
Incredibly protective mid-layer that repels brush with ease.
This moisture-wicking upland shirt is yet another feather-in-the-cap for the hunting product design folks at LL Bean, and I would not change a thing. I wear it alone in the early season and on top of a base-layer on cooler days. The Technical Upland Shirt fits great and moves well – it does not inhibit the all crucial wing shot. I’ve never had a problem with this shirt and ‘bust brush’ with confidence when I have it on.
Filson Original Goatskin Gloves
A utilitarian upland classic that I carry with me all year long.
A good pair of gloves are a critical upland hunting accessory as they provide much-needed protection against brambles and critical shotgun grip. After an unsuccessful attempt with the LL Bean Technical Upland version, I went “back to basics” with Filson’s Original Goatskin gloves and have been happy ever since. They are well-worn from my days afield and everyday use…these are either on my hands or in my jacket pockets everywhere I go.
LL Bean Gore Tex Upland Field Pants
High performance upland body armor created by ruffed grouse hunters for ruffed grouse hunters.
The LL Bean Gore Tex Upland Field Pants are one of the best outdoor gear decisions that I have ever made…full stop. True to Bean’s near impeccable reputation for high performance gear, the Gore Tex Upland Field Pants are truly the grouse hunter’s Kevlar. For more please read our full gear review here.
LL Bean Gore Tex Upland Coat
A windproof, waterproof outer layer that is perfect for late season upland hunts.
Unlike the Technical Upland Jacket (click here for our review), LL Bean remained true with their Gore Tex Upland Field Coat. It is puncture-resistant, non-restrictive, and lightweight…and I never leave for a day of hunting without it. The coat has enough storage compartments and pockets to easily take the place of a strap-vest during the latter part of the season.
LL Bean Kangaroo Boots
These left me blistered, sweaty, and yearning for my hiking boots.
The LL Bean Kangaroo Upland Boots are the reason I wish there was a full-service LL Bean store near my home… I bought them “sight unseen” from the catalog and regretted every minute of it. Footwear is of utmost importance to the uplander – I go to great lengths to make sure that my feet are comfortable in the field. These failed me in almost every regard – a big miss (and I have fairly regular feet). Needless to say that I returned these and chose to go with my Merrell hikers.
LaCrosse Alphaburly Boots
A comfortable, lightweight boot that performs in all scenarios…except when it has to come off.
The boots more than live up to their purpose: they are comfortable, light, and are bomb-proof – a necessity when working the timberdoodle bottom lands. The only drawback to the LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro is that they are downright DIFFICULT to take off. For our full review of please click here.
Stay tuned for our review of the upland gear that we took afield this year. Please let us know your thoughts and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest!