2007 Guide: Camo & Rain Gear
September 28, 2010
Recent innovations in camouflage clothes and rain gear have made it easier than ever for sportsmen to stay hidden and keep dry. (June 2007)
Both camouflaged clothing and rain gear have followed similar paths.
Remember when camouflage came in one color and rain gear consisted of a piece of plastic that leaked at the seams? Now there are dozens of camo patterns, and the rain gear is well fitted and keeps you dry. Not only can active outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen stay dry in the field, but they can also be well concealed at the same time.
Let's look at some of the improvements and how they can help you.
The Mossy Oak Break-Up pattern has always been one of the most popular in the company's line, and three key elements distinguish New Break-Up from the original: extremely life-like images of leaves, bark and limbs; added ghost shadows for a more three-dimensional quality; and a completely new background of textured bark.
Mossy Oak has other options, too, including the Brush pattern that provides concealment in Western rangeland, mountain foothills and open cropland areas. There is also Obsession, with the same realistic limbs and ghost shadows used in New Break-Up, plus new, carefully selected fall-tone elements mixed with green leaves and vines. Shadow Grass is a pattern that provides highly detailed reproduction of grass blades and shadows, and is designed for waterfowl hunting in marshy areas, hunting doves in open corn fields and hunting big game in the open country. The new Bottomland pattern, meanwhile, features updates to the vertical bark pattern that helped launch Mossy Oak more than 20 years ago.
Unable to be found for a time, Trebark is being resurrected in the Outfitter Tuff brand clothing line. Outfitter Tuff clothing features the original Trebark pattern as well as the new Trebark 005, a computer enhancement of the original Trebark. The Outfitter Tuff product line is available only from its Web site (www.outfittertuff.com). Pants, shirts and bomber jackets are available in sizes small to XXXL. Fabric options include 100 percent cotton chamois and brushed cotton/polyester printed to protect from color fading; 100 percent brushed polyester; and a lightweight 100 percent nylon that is no-shrink, no-fade and dries quickly when wet. The bomber is also available in an insulated version that offers a 100gm Thinsulate lining.
Realtree recently introduced its AP and Realtree APG lines, the result of 20 years of camouflage research and refinement by Bill Jordan and Team Realtree.
AP stands for "All-Purpose." APG stands for "All-Purpose Green." Together, AP and APG offer true "season and region" versatility. AP is suited for fall, winter and early spring, while APG is designed for early fall and spring. And depending on time and terrain, the patterns can be mixed to better match your surroundings.
According to the designers at Realtree, 20 years of countless field tests and meticulous design and printing improvements have led to one simple truth: Mother Nature does it best, but Realtree AP and Realtree APG aren't far behind.
For the hunter looking for a great all-around camo that works extremely well in deciduous settings so common to whitetails, Seclusion 3D is a tough pattern to beat.
With its mix of greens, browns and grays printed in an open design, this pattern blends into forests, river bottoms and hardwoods. A slightly out-of-focus layer creates a realistic impression of depth. Its open pattern ensures that it stays hidden whether your quarry is at 500 yards or 5 yards, thus eliminating the "blob effect" at a distance but still having enough detail to look great up close.
Steve Johnson, the founder and president of Mothwing Camo, said through years of hunting and being an avid outdoorsman, he encountered many different species of moths that were virtually invisible against tree bark, leaves, grass and such. Having been infatuated with moths and their natural camouflage defense, Johnson envisioned a new camouflage concept based on the same cryptic colors and camouflage patterns of mimicry that allowed the moth's true concealment in nature.
The newest pattern is the Fall Mimicry, inspired by the Lystrosis moth's ability to remarkably mimic tree bark and autumn leaves. Fall Mimicry was designed specifically for the fall archery season in the hardwoods and timber areas. It will mimic tree bark and fall leaves with just the right amount of autumn colorations to allow you to disappear into the fall environment.
Natural Gear camouflage has a distinct vertical orientation, which helps the camo blend into the natural environment. With its soft, blurry edges that are hard to focus on, this camouflage confuses the identification process.
While the product line may expand, the pattern itself never changes. "Mother Nature's camouflage stays the same year after year," they say, "and so does Natural Gear."
Its newest pattern, Predator's Green Deception, emulates earth-tone colors and has a unique three-dimensional look that breaks up your silhouette.
The Deception pattern takes stealth one step further by making it hard to focus on your figure, therefore making it difficult to judge your exact distance. The Deception pattern works great anywhere, from the Northern woodlands to the Southern brush country.
Mad Dog Gear provides the best of both worlds by incorporating Mossy Oak camouflage patterns with Polymeric Alloy 2000, a membrane that is waterproof, breathable and windproof.
Hot on its list of new items is the Silent Shadow Plus 7-In-1 Parka, which sports a hunter-orange vest that zips into the parka or can be worn alone. With over 450 square inches of orange, this parka features tough Ripstop Tricot outershell, the Polymeric Alloy 2000 membrane, attached hood, chest pockets and two-way lower cargo pockets. The Hi-Count fleece-lined jacket features adjustable rib-knit cuffs and stand-up collar with a mesh lining. The fleece jacket zips out to wear alone. It also has YKK zippers, articulated elbows and cargo/handwarmer pockets.
Bass Pro Shops
If you want to travel light yet have all the benefits of heavier rain gear, consider Bass Pro Shops' Redhead XPR Gore-Tex PacLite rain jacket and pants. It is some of the lightest, most packable rainwear ever.
The Gore-Tex PacLite membrane is laminated to lightweight nylon, producing garments that are extremely breathable, compressible and durably waterproof. It contains a black layer made of an "oil-fighting" polymer, plus an added level of carbon. This unique layer allows perspiration vapors to pass through, yet it keeps body oils, insect repellents and many other environmental contaminants from altering the membrane's waterproof properties. It is designed to pack down and fit just about anywhere. The pants have a snap closure and belt loops, two zippered front slash pockets, one large cargo pocket, 10-inch leg zippers with storm flaps and snap closures.
Cabela's Rain Suede is available in three parts: the parka, pants or bibs. It is a quiet rainwear that offers a number of features and levels of performance.
To make this line of rainwear even better this year, Cabela's made it available with a ScentLok lining to prevent human odors from alerting game animals to your presence in the field. On the outside you'll find soft, quiet microdenier Rain Suede warp-knit polyester that makes this rain gear as quiet as old-fashioned fleece, yet it has virtually no flap, thus burrs, seeds and leaves will not cling to it. Because the fabric compacts easily, each piece can be rolled and stuffed into its own pocket for storage, but the ScentLok-lined versions are not packable.
What really sets this rainwear apart is the Dry-Plus laminate. This Cabela's-exclusive barrier is 100 percent waterproof and breathable to seal out moisture while still allowing perspiration vapor to escape. Every garment also has a moisture-wicking mesh liner.
Whitewater Apparel teamed up with Realtree Camouflage to offer hunters a good value in rainwear. The Transition 3 Parka comes in a hunter-orange camo pattern for white-tailed deer hunters.
This raincoat is 100 percent waterproof and breathable with RainBlocker protection. It has a zip-off three-piece hood with side adjustments, four front patch pockets with snap closures, two lower handwarmer pockets, elasticized wrist cuffs with Velcro closure, adjustable draw-cord waist, a grommeted rear license loop, full liner jacket with zip-off sleeves and two si
de-slash pockets. Teamed with the Drencher rain pants, hunters will stay visible to surrounding deer hunters, concealed to the game and dry from the rain.
Do you want waterproof and scentproof? You can get it with the ScentLok Supreme Series.
The Supreme Series combines the proven breathability of Gore-Tex fabrics with the science of ScentLok technologies for scent adsorption that allows big-game hunters to go whenever and wherever they want, regardless of inclement weather. The Supreme Series comes in Mossy Oak Break-Up and Realtree Hardwoods Green camouflaged patterns. Integrated shoulder straps allow the parka to be "backpacked." The pants have articulated knees for easy field movement and total stealth, and they are zippered for easy on and off in the field.
Rocky Outdoor Apparel
Certain hunters need rain gear that provides an extra bit of insulation. They will find that in the SwampStalker by Rocky.
This parka is guaranteed Rocky waterproof and adds a warm Thinsulate layer. For the hands, the parka has reverse-welt handwarmer pockets, two large covered cargo pockets and a left-side Napoleon pocket. Combined with the SwampStalker pants or bibs, hunters will stay dry and warm.
When you slip on a piece of Columbia sportswear, you can feel the quality. Fortunately for those of you looking for camouflaged rain gear, it is available in this brand.
Check out the High-Velocity Widgeon Shell, which features waterproof weather protection plus ventilation and a lined hood for warmth. It also has two zip-closed pockets, a double storm flap and self-draining cargo pockets.
Frogg Toggs became an instant hit with anglers when it was first introduced. The patented seaming process in this rain gear eliminates needle holes and possible water entry. Frogg Toggs are constructed with a patented process consisting of three layers of polypropylene material with a center layer of microporous film. Because the pores are 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, moisture cannot penetrate it. Not only is this rain gear light and easy to store, now it comes in camouflaged patterns as well.
Frogg Toggs took its most popular products -- the Pro Action Suit and Pro Angler Suit -- and partnered them with versatile camouflage patterns -- the Realtree Advantage Timber and Advantage MAX-4 HD.
Walls work wear has been around since the late 1930s when George Walls opened a retail-clothing store for men. Soon after World War II, he began manufacturing his trademark one-piece coverall that became a staple in the United States. Noting the need for rugged hunting clothing, waterproof camo apparel was added over 20 years ago.
Most fans of the outdoors will lean toward Walls' Duxbak line of rain gear. The camouflaged, insulated jacket and pants are of brushed micro-fiber construction with a waterproof breathable laminate.
Gamehide states, "Hunting wear is all we do," but they do have some great rain gear for anglers as well.
One of the benefits of the Stormhide Jacket is that it is short waisted, which comes in handy when wearing waders.
Their Wood Duck Jacket also has this feature, plus it is camo-patterned.
There are two areas on your body that require extra protection when hunting in cold conditions -- your head and your feet. For your head, you can't beat these two products by Avery Outdoors. One is the windproof and waterproof breathable fleece Yukon Hood and the other is their fleece Turtlehead.
The Yukon Hood is constructed from laminated 13-ounce fleece with soft tricot liner, and it offers head and neck protection from chilling winds while offering double-fleece protection on the lower half of your face. Elastic take-up strings provide a tight fit around your face.
The Turtlehead also is waterproof, windproof and breathable, and it allows the wearer the option of wearing a hat or cap. The main body is constructed from laminated 10-ounce polyester fleece on the exterior and 7-ounce micro-fleece on the interior. The "hood" top is made from stretchy Spandura nylon for a snug fit.
Both the Yukon Hood and the Turtlehead are available in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass and Duck Blind patterns, plus Break-Up and Natural Gear patterns.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mossy Oak: MossyOak.com, (662) 494-8859;
Cabela's: Cabelas.com, 1-800-237-4444;
Mothwing: MothwingCamo.com, 1-800-668-4946;
Natural Gear: NaturalGear.com, 1-800-628-4327;
Predator: PredatorCamo.com, (608) 787-0500;
Mad Dog: StearnsInc.com, (320) 252-1642;
Bass Pro Shops: BassPro.com, 1-800-227-7776;
Whitewater: WhitewaterOutdoors.com, (920) 564-2674;
Rocky: RockyBoots.com, (740) 753-1951;
ScentLok: ScentLok.com, 1-800-315-5799;
Frogg Toggs: FroggToggs.com, 1-800-349-1835;
Walls: WallaOutdoors.com, 1-800-433-2225;
Columbia: Columbia.com, (503) 985-4000;
Avery: AveryOutdoors.com, 1-800-333-5119;
Gamehide: GameHide.com, 1-888-267-3591;
Trebark: OutfitterStuff.com, 1-800-843-2266.