IWA 2015 Clothing
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
Regular readers will know already how highly I rate Browning’s clothing range, and I was no less impressed by their offerings for 2015. There’s a great suit for stalking and general hunting called the XPO Light, and a radical-looking but supremely practical smock called the Featherlight Typhoon.
The XPO Light combines Realtree Xtra camo and olive panels for a hybrid look that does a great job of disrupting the wearer’s outline whilst retaining a classic aspect. It’s water- and wind-proof, and the jacket is also available in olive and blaze camo. For extra insulation you can zip-in a reversible olive/ camo or two-tone olive/brown or olive/orange Powerfleece too - or just wear either on its own.
The Featherlight Typhoon smock was inspired by a WWII SBS design, and has a distinctive diagonal zip that arcs across the chest from the collar to the hem, keeping the front free for a large central pocket and hand-warmers whilst removing the need to pull the smock over your head when donning or removing it.
A high collar that incorporates a peaked hood, adjustable cuffs with rubber tabs, PreVent membrane construction, and waterproof zips throughout keep the elements at bay, and a plain mid-olive colour means it’s as much at home on the street – especially with its radical looks – as in the field or on the marsh.
The practicality of Browning’s outdoor gear is a tribute to their own staff, whose expert input into its design is surely unparalleled in the industry.
This company not only makes some of the best guns in the world, it also makes some of the most fashionable and desirable shooting clothing; well what would you expect from an Italian company with this pedigree. With a huge range of smart formal hunting clothing in traditional materials, along with some very stylish yet distinctly practical shooting garments and accessories, you would forgive them for resting on their laurels. However, you would be wrong, as this year they were displaying a selection of their very modern technical clothing – and very nice it is too for those that are into the more arduous action forms of hunting.
This British outdoor equipment specialist (not to be confused with international shooting specialists Highland Outdoor) has had some success with its own Treedeep camouflage pattern that is now available in a whole range of practical garments including their Tempest Rain Jacket and Trousers, Odin Softshell Jacket, Gilets, T-shirts and much more.
Like their versatile and innovative Jervenbag – a combination bivvy-bag, poncho and jacket – the new Jerven garments on show, including a jacket and trousers, were very well thought out and designed for the harshest conditions.
The jacket has an insulating lining that wicks moisture away from the wearer, overlapping storm flaps up the front covering zips that allow access to the inner breast pockets without opening the main zip; zipped vents under the arms; upper radio pockets with antenna and cable passthroughs on both sides; large front pockets with fleece linings; a detachable drop-down skirt to the jacket to provide extra rain protection and to act as a seat; a removable hood with three adjuster toggles that packs away into the collar; long sleeves with Velcro adjuster straps that enable the cuffs to be wrapped around the hands like mittens; and so on.
The garments feature a fully-waterproof outer material in Jerven’s own mountain camo with a finish that is smooth enough to repel water yet soft enough to be stealthy. The shoulders have no seams for comfort and to ensure water can’t be forced into the jacket by pressure from shoulder straps. The trousers are of similar construction, with a high waistline and multiple pockets, but also offered are a pair of lightweight leggings that store in a pocket at the top where they fasten to a belt, whose open construction around the crotch is covered by the extended skirt of the jacket yet allows for free ventilation during exercise. An unlined version of the jacket is also available.
More unusual camo gear was present on the stand of SCE, a German distributor of outdoor and tactical gear. I hadn’t previously come across the Phantomleaf brand, and it still seems to be somewhat niche, but even in the hall the camo was remarkably effective at disrupting outlines and the urban and woodland suits looked light and comfortable to wear. There was no one to discuss patterns or products with when I passed by, but I’ll take a closer look next year, unless of course we see it here first.
Treesco is a major French manufacturer of hunting and outdoor clothing, with the Club Interchasse, Ligne Verney Carron and Percussion bands under its banner. Between them the three ranges cover a broad spectrum of price and applications and include some attractive options for game shooters and stalkers, among them CI’s Président and Percussion’s Rambouillet jacket and trousers, the former a new product that sports real (washable) leather trim, and the latter freshly restyled and upgraded for 2015, with the Rambouillet especially being offered at a fantastically affordable price.
Browning: http://browning.eu; (UK) International Sports Brands: 01235 514 550
Beretta: http://estore.beretta.com; (UK) GMK: www.gmk.co.uk (UK) Highlander Outdoor: www.highlander-outdoor.com 01506 438 438
Jerven: www.jerven.com; (UK) Tradewinds Outdoor: www.bushgear.co.uk 01795 534 343