Rivers West Ranger Jacket & Trousers
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
As some readers might know, I’m not the greatest fan of camouﬂage clothing but it does have its place within hunting. So after a long conversation with Richard Lee, the man who imports Rivers West into the UK, I started on some long-term testing. Seemingly having taken the UK market by storm, Rivers West have designed both garments and a stretchable, ﬂeece-like material that many of the other manufacturers are now trying to equal whilst a switch to Mossy Oak Break-Up Inﬁnity camouﬂage has allowed the American based company to add some tweaks to some already impressive garments.
Versatile Ranger kit
Given the fact when it comes to hunting with a riﬂe I spend equal amounts of time on foot, seated, or on the back of a quad, Richard decided that the new Ranger Jacket and Trousers were the ideal combination along with a Lumber Jak shirt and Apex base layer. Reason being the trousers ﬁt quite high whilst the jacket’s shirt tail design meant the integral seat cut would work well for both high-seat work and whilst sat on my trusty Polaris, the shorter front giving the legs full, unrestricted movement since the jacket doesn’t drag on them.
Manufactured from what Rivers West call’s their LAW H2P System, this medium weight ﬂeece fabric is as near indestructible as I’ve encountered – you can drag it against barb wire or heavy thorns without any negative outcome. And if you do manage to tear it, Rivers West will either lend you a new garment whilst they repair it or give you a new one as part of their 10year water and windproof warranty.
Ultra soft to touch and lightweight to wear, starting with the detachable adjustable ‘Horse Shoe’ hood, this can be worn with or without the optional Ball Cap that comes in the exact same ﬂeece material, the hood’s design means that no matter how tight or loose you need to wear it, aperture doesn’t restrict vision in any direction whilst wearing the cap means the ﬂeece on ﬂeece effect holds hood and cap exactly where you want them.
The Ranger Jacket itself features a high, soft collar that keeps cold winds and driving rain at bay whilst the neoprene ‘Sling Gripper’ patches on both shoulders means riﬂe slings, binoculars or anything else you want to carry stay exactly where you want them without having to constantly adjust them or heft them back into place. Besides the two internal pouch pockets, two expanding outer pockets are complimented by two breast pockets along with a small one on the left sleeve. A heavy-duty zip and press stud storm ﬂap closures and seals the jacket whilst elasticated cuffs keep the wearer’s arms fully protected.
High cut with a fully elasticated waist, the Ranger Trousers are a positive homage to pockets. A pair of deep ones on the waist is backed up by one on each leg along with back pockets one of which is divided into two for carrying magazines, ideal for those who carry large capacity riﬂe mags. If two aren’t enough, a similar slim pocket repeats on the right leg. A useful feature is the extended zips from ankle to knee that allows unrestricted access when either lacing up or removing a pair of boots, the large ﬂap ensuring no dirt is transferred by having to drag the legs over muddy footwear.
Unusually, given that most manufacturers are at pains to emphasize their material’s breathable qualities, Rivers West does not, this modern ‘moisture out – cool air in’ osmosis system often the cause of leakage according to Rivers West. So to combat the heavy-duty rubber sealed zips and encapsulated seams both the jacket and trousers come complete with a system of small ventilation zips that can be opened or closed to allow the ﬂow of cooling air as required. As unusual as it may seem the idea works extremely well.
To wear the full Ranger outﬁt is comfortable, ﬂexible, warm, silent at all times and most of all waterproof. What at ﬁrst seems to be too little clothing, especially on cold days, soon proves otherwise, even frosty morning needing nothing more than a cotton shirt and normal under clothing to remain warm and comfy. Likewise, when the torrential rain kicked in whilst riding back down from a high moor back to the farm yard, not a single droplet of water was able to pass through either jacket or trousers even when I was travelling at thirty miles per hour. Then, when the weather got slightly warmer, replacing the Ranger jacket with the Lumber Jak overshirt proved an ideal lighter weight hunting combination, ideal for a late evening session on crows, the Merino Wool Apex base layer is an ideal extra layer when you need to ﬁnd a balance between the two outer garments.
The Rivers West Clothing Was Brilliant – But Mark’s Still Not Totally Won Over To Camo!
Its not often I can actually say this, but each and every Rivers West garment exceeded its manufacturer’s claims. The jacket, trousers and cap are 100% waterproof and to date indestructible, whilst the shirt and vest add to the Ranger outﬁt’s versatility and practicality all of which come together to form a hunting suit that has almost limitless applications. The Mossy Oak Break-Up Inﬁnity camo is no doubt effective, as proven by its popularity with serious hunters, but I’d still ask Rivers West to produce the Ranger suit in a plain green version too - for those traditionalists among us who prefer not to wear camo all the time.
Price wise the Ranger jacket retails for £179.95, the matching trousers for £134.95. The cap cost an additional £19.95 whilst the Limber Jak shirt and Apex vest are £59.95 and £44.95 respectively. For further details on the new Mossy Oak Break-Up Inﬁnity suit, the full Rivers West range and a full listing of UK outlets visit www.riverswest.co.uk, or call them on 01524 548060.