While conversing with our new and repeat customers over the last 20 years, one question seems to be frequently asked- “Should I buy a blaze jacket or a blaze vest?” It’s a good question but my answer may surprise you. You should consider buying both!
Let’s look at the advantages of a big game hunting vest, even if it goes over your current blaze orange parka.
Everything is within easy reach causing minimal movement. Calls, gloves, snacks, shells and of course the trusty cell phone. It’s all right there for you should you need it. Vests usually have a much better pocket configuration than your standard deer hunting parka allowing you to store items more efficiently.
Once you harvest an animal, the work begins. Many of us have long drags to access roads, rivers, or camp. To be safe while dragging, we can remove or heavy blaze jacket and just use the vest. This makes a tough job a bit more tolerable, and hopefully less sweaty.
There is also an advantage in being able to take you insulated coat off in the stand and having the vest as your safety layer when the morning chill gives way to the warm sun.
No More Backpack?
Many hunters have started packing everything they may need into a blaze vest (knife, rope, binos, gloves etc.) and leaving the big backpack behind, especially if you are venturing deep into the bush. I thought this was nonsense at first but tried it with the Mountain Pass vest and really enjoyed the freedom and ease of movement through the woods.
Certain vests also have built in straps allowing you to carry exterior clothing while on the move. This is a great way to stay cool and reduce overheating as you walk to your hunting spot, letting you stay warmer on the stand for longer.
Good luck out there this fall and hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought on the blaze parka/vest combo! Either way, stay safe, warm and enjoy every minute of your outdoor hunting season.