Pete Wadeson lists a selection of clothing that is well worth trying on
The Beretta Zambezi High GTX Boots
As the name suggests, these high leg boots will protect the lower calf and shin, yet still remain comfortable to walk in. They are manufactured with suede crust and Cordura Puma inserts that guarantee maximum durability.
The GORE-TEX Sierra More Season membrane means the boots are ideal for hunting in inclement weather. Importantly, the high-performance membrane is not only fully waterproof but also highly breathable. The upper might have a strange name (suede crust) but this also helps guarantee the exceptional control of the inner temperature of the boots, while the Cordura inserts maximize the resistance of the boot.
The Vibram Bossolo sole guarantees optimum grip on wet and uneven terrain. This is due to the deep-cut lug configuration, plus the heavy lug ridging applied to the sole under the toe and heel. It is superb for aiding the climbing or descending of wet, muddy hills. The cleats are well-spaced, making the Bossolo sole very easy to clean.
Also, Vibram Soles are made from vulcanised rubber, which is a much better insulator than felt. The Ortholite 2D/5mm footbed adds greatly to wearer comfort, as it cushions the foot as you walk. There is an all-round rubber rand.
The lacing system consists of 4x pairs of captive D-rings and 5x pairs of open hasps, which combined with the wellpadded, articulating tongue, gives the boots an excellent speed lacing system.
Aigle Huntshaw 2 MTD Asphalt Boots
The Aigle Huntshaw 2 MTD Asphalt Boots feature a split cow’s leather and polyamide upper, making them strong and durable, yet surprisingly lightweight. The strength of the boot isn’t compromised, due to the use of a synthetic support at the heel that extends up into the upper body of the boot. There’s also extra protection (stone guards) in other key areas, including the very generous toe section. Also, thanks to a welded MTD membrane, they’re waterproof, windproof and breathable. The insole is made up of a polyamide-lined foam base, which provides comfort and shock-absorbing properties.
The rubber outsole is an Aigle branded design that is a combination of deep lugs and cleats, clearly indicating a boot designed for rugged use. Cleverly, they have used a raised heel section in the outsole. This gives the foot a natural position for moving, which translates over to wearer comfort and a sense of greater stability as you walk.
The outsole also provides extra shock absorption and excellent grip on most terrain, plus the layout makes for easy cleaning. Lacing is catered for by 4x lower captive eyelets and 3x open metal hasps above.
The boots have rear pull loops and what is termed, adjustable elastic. The latter allows the body of the boots to flex, making them easy to remove or get into. This further benefits the wearer as it means the boot draws fully to the foot, giving an assured feel when worn.
Available Sizes: 6-13UK
Champion Berwick Fleece and Balmoral Jacket
A recognised clothing brand for over 30 years, Champion now offers quite an extensive range of outdoor and leisure wear. Here, I’m highlighting apparel that has caught my attention due to its obvious attributes and performance properties. To save on repetition, both featured are available in Navy and Olive in Sizes S – 3XL.
First up is the Berwick fleece. It features a 100% polyester bonded 320- gram microfleece build, 2x lower pockets with zips, a drawcord hem, plus a stylish top stitch pattern across the back and front of the shoulders. It also has a faux suede trim.
Alternatively, the Champion Balmoral has a breathable microfibre polyester shell that is 100% waterproof, plus has fully taped seams and a polycotton yard dyed lining.
The jacket has a strong double zip opening with a cover flap, plus heavy-duty press studs for closure. The high collar has a detachable, fully lined hood and the arms boast adjustable cuffs.
For storage, there are 2x inside pockets, 2x outer/ upper chest pockets and 2x lower pockets with extra side entry. All outer pockets have heavy-duty press stud cover flaps.
The Champion brand boasts a very good range of outdoor attire that’s generally termed as traditional country wear. It wouldn’t look out of place when worn casually at any time when the weather dictates. All are manufactured to a high standard and are incredibly well priced considering the quality and build.
Champion Berwick Fleece Price: £29.95
Balmoral Jacket Price: £49.95
Extremities Furnace Pro Gloves
Technical outdoor specialists, Extremities is a clothing accessories company that has focused purely on gloves, hats and gaiters since the 1980s, when they first began developing and designing them for mountaineers.
The Furnace Pro glove is perfect for the coldest and harshest of conditions. They are designed with Primaloft Gold Insulation, which offers high-quality thermal protection, while they’re also fully waterproof and breathable thanks to the X-DRY Membrane.
If that wasn’t hi-tech enough, the 30% wool and 70% acrylic mix used for the outer has a water-repellent treatment.
The gloves have a 100% polyester lining, PU leather palm and a touch screen thumb and forefinger. This enables smartphone and GPS usage whilst wearing them. This is due to the aforementioned areas of the glove being of the same material as the palm.
Another great design feature is the side zip fasteners at the cuffs. These afford a very comfortable fit and allow the gloves to be quickly and easily put on or taken off.
They also help with temperature regulation.
Extremities have got the perfect glove for really inclement weather. Plus, weighing only 91-grams a pair, they are not bulky and offer an impressive level of dexterity. A size chart is available on request.
Jack Pyke Argyll Smock
The Argyll Smock by Jack Pyke of England has a tough 3-layer build that consists of a 100% polyester brushed tricot outer, with a laminated waterproof membrane, plus mesh inner. The latter gives it ‘breathable’ properties, so the wearer won't feel damp or clammy. The generous, ¾ length design features an extra-long, baffled, rainproof front neck zip with press stud secured storm flap. There's also a high stand-up collar and removable hood with a toggle fastened drawstring and an adjustable peak.
For storage, it forgoes the usual large front pouch in favour of 2x upper crossover pockets and 2x lower angled pockets. All feature waterproof zips. This is the USP of the Argyll, resulting in it being a highly desirable and more versatile garment because the pockets are also deep, giving plenty of carrying space. Plus, they have a soft lining for comfort.
The generous cut makes it very unrestrictive when worn, easy to put on and remove and of course, operate in. Neoprene inner cuff bands provide comfort and protection from the elements, plus adjustable hook & loop fastened cuff straps also give extra protection from water ingress.
To tailor the garment to your build, there is a strong drawstring with an outer toggle adjustment just above waist height. The length of this smock ensures that the upper legs are also fully protected from the elements, which is a bonus. Colour and size options are Brown and Moss Green in S-XXXL.
Jack Pyke Countryman Fleece Jacket, Gilet and Pullover
The garments all come under the Countryman range and are manufactured using 300-gram thermal fleece. This mid-weight rating is a good compromise, as it is quite light in weight and affords the wearer a good level of protection from the elements while providing reasonable thermal properties. All have internal lower hem drawcords, and high, stand-up, extra-warm collars, due to the fleece material at this position being extra thick.
The Countryman Fleece Jacket has a full-length double zip opening, 2x lower zipped side pockets (with zip covers) and the action cut sleeves feature relatively broad elasticated cuffs. Nubuck leather piping is seen running up both sides of the zip and along the top of the collar. The design is such that it reaches down to cover the upper thigh area, yet doesn’t feel restrictive as you move. Plus, it gives a surprisingly high level of protection from the elements when worn as a stand-alone outer garment. There’s also a Countryman Fleece Gilet available, with the same pocket layout but without arms.
Alternatively, the Countryman Fleece Pullover features a generous zipped neck, high stand-up collar and Nubuck piping is once again applied on either side of the zip and around the top of the collar. There’s a well-rounded selection of colour options available in sizes S-3XL.
Price respectively: £38.95, ££31.95, ££28.95
Jack Pyke Technical Neck Gaiter
Most outdoor clothing companies offer neck gaiters, which are best described as a tube of fabric (usually fleece) that is designed to protect your neck and face from the elements, mostly the cold in winter or at night. They also prevent wind burn.
Now it makes sense, the thicker the fleece used, the less ‘give’. So when pulled up over the nose, heavier-duty ones can feel restrictive, but these high-insulating gaiters do have their uses.
However, the Technical Neck Gaiter has been designed to be lightweight and unrestrictive. This is due to it being manufactured from water-resistant and moisture-wicking, 100% polyester strip fleece. The 230-gsm fleece used also allows for a good amount of stretch while affording a proficient level of insulation. Also, when pulled up to cover the mid to lower part of the face, it allows easy breathing due to it having a nose and mouth mesh vent integrated into the build. Again, this gives a very unrestricted feel, making it very comfortable to wear.
When in position, the toggle fastened elasticated drawstring allows for easy adjustment. Also, the design is such that the front part of the gaiter reaches well down to fully cover the neck and can be tucked inside your upper garments. Another bonus is it can easily be folded and stored in a pocket when not required.
Ridgeline Ascent Soft Shell Jacket in DIRT Camo
The Ridgeline Ascent Soft Shell Jacket in DIRT Camo (the company’s latest digital camouflage) is manufactured using a stretch polyester/elastane soft shell outer, which results in it being water-resistant and highly breathable. Its 2-layer build includes a grid back fleece inner with 1000g of insulation and it boasts a waterproof membrane, plus it's treated with DWR. This helps moisture bead up and roll off the outer fabric.
The active fit, fishtail cut jacket fastens using a double YKK zipper with pull assists. A nice touch is that although the lined hood is fixed, the front fastens all the way up to a very high collar, giving full neck and chin protection when required. The hood is generously sized and can be cinched to the head using its 2x toggle fastened elasticated cord adjusters. There’s also an elasticated drawstring at the neck area, which can be used to adjust the height of the collar, plus the jacket boasts underarm vent holes.
Storage is catered for via a collection of well-appointed mesh-lined pockets. The 2x lower ones are deep and have covered zip fasteners with pull assists. The lower pocket on the left is complemented by an internal, open-top drop pocket, plus there’s a single, vertically placed chest pocket on the upper left. For even more versatility, there’s a zip fastened pocket on the upper left sleeve, with 5x internal cartridge holders. It's also available in Field Olive and sizes XS-5XL.
Ridgeline Microlite Quarter Zip Top and Hybrid Fleece Vest
The long-sleeved Microlite Quarter Zip Top is manufactured using a soft brushed knit polyester technical breathable grid fabric with an anti-bacterial finish. The importance of a brushed fabric is that it’s an extremely soft and comfortable techno-fabric, which feels good against the skin, while the brushing process also enhances the thermal insulation properties. Also, knitted polyester fabric is strong, more durable, weather resistant and fast drying.
The Microlite also has a ¼ zipped high neck to help regulate body temperature, plus has an anti-bacterial finish to minimise body odour and reduce the amount of washing required, plus a wicking finish to draw sweat away from the body, meaning you stay comfortable on the move. It carries a UPF+ sun protection rating and is available in DIRT Camo and olive.
Alternatively, the Ridgeline Hybrid Fleece Vest, though being a completely different garment, it’s still what you’d class as lightweight, and very useful for the times that extra protection is required. This hybrid Soft-Shell/Fleece has a scooped, long, back and skirt clinch, plus has a full zip opening and high collar. The contrasting Olive/Navy colour scheme gives it stylish appeal, but it’s still built to be as practical as it is functional. The combination of soft shell and fleece gives ruggedness and warmth all in one. Storage is catered for by 2x zipped chest pockets and 2x zipped hand warmer pockets. All the zips have pull assists.
Both are available in sizes XS-5XL.
Price respectively: £44.99, £49.99
Seeland Avail Jacket and Trousers
Manufactured from soft brushed tricot (a material widely used in hunting attire), Seeland has managed to produce a series of garments that aren’t heavy but still afford the protection required from wind and rain. Plus, they are highly breathable and very quiet in use. They also both feature Seeland’s 2-layer build, which includes the windproof and waterproof, SEETEX Membrane to keep you dry in all but the heaviest, prolonged downpour.
The Avail Jacket features a generously sized removable hood with an extended, curve-able brim. It also has a high stand-up collar and the hood, when attached, uses elasticated drawcord adjusters, plus a wide Velcro fastening neck piece.
Storage is catered for by 2x large front pockets and a radio pocket on the left/upper chest. All feature waterproof zips. There’s also an inside pocket with a press stud closure for items such as a mobile phone or rangefinder. The jacket has a 2-way heavy-duty zip opening with chin guard, Velcro strap cuff adjusters and an elasticated drawstring lower hem. All zips have cord pull assists.
The trousers have a metal button fastened zip fly, generous waistband and wide belt loops. Storage is catered for by 2x slanted front pockets and a large pocket on the left thigh, all featuring waterproof zips with cord pull assists. They also have well-sized Velcro adjust ankle straps.
Available Sizes: EU48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 & 60.
Price respectively: £149.99, £109.99
ShooterKing iHeat Vest
The iHeat Vest is a versatile garment that uses advanced technology to enable it to give warmth when required. The outer and lining are manufactured from 100% polyester, providing increased water resistance and added durability as well as longevity to the garment.
It also boasts a Shoottex membrane, which allows the garment to be partially waterproof (10,000mm W/R: 5,000G/ SQM/24hr) and 100% windproof, as well as highly breathable. Extra insulation is provided by Primaloft, which is evenly distributed around the vest.
The V-neck design has full front YKK zip access and features 2x zippered side pockets with pull assists. Plus, there’s an elasticated lower hem and arm holes.
The vest is heated by a standard 10,000m USB power bank (not included) that has its own very discreet Velcro fastened slip pocket at the back of the main pocket, which holds a connection lead with a standard USB connector. It’s this that connects to the power bank. When connected, it provides up to 10 hours of heat depending on the setting of the thermostat.
The light-up, push button, chest-mounted thermostat gives access to three pre-set temperatures (38, 46 and 52), all of which are carefully maintained via the vest's built-in sensor. The heat is cleverly distributed throughout the vest via carbon nanotube heating panels positioned on the lower back for improved effectiveness. There’s also a heat reflective internal lining that has a myriad of holes for breathability.
It comes with its own stuff sack for ease of transportation and is available in Brown Olive/ Black and XS-5XL.
ShooterKing Performance Fleece
Fleeces are one of the most common items of outdoor attire the hunter, angler, hiker or all-round outdoorsman can wear in terms of versatility and general usage.
When a fleece has the word performance in its name, then you can be sure if it is from ShooterKing that it’s something special and that’s definitely what the Performance Fleece Jacket is.
The Jacket uses a micro-fibre fleece fabric and has an anti-pilling treatment, which reduces fabric bobbling whilst keeping the wearer extremely warm. The shell fabric is 100% polyester fleece with a 100% polyester lining. There is also a stylish hard-wearing PVC trim fabric.
The lightweight design makes it suitable for everyday wear and it is the type of over-fleece that’s useful no matter what the season. It boasts 2x large and deep cartridge pockets, plus a heavy-duty YKK front zipper with pull assist.
There’s also a Gilet version of the fleece, which has the same features as the jacket. It has an internal coat hook loop and of course, being of the body warmer design has no sleeves. Both come in Blue, Brown, Burgundy and Green.
The Performance Fleece Jacket and Gilet are of a more traditional, ‘throw-on’ fleece design for when the temperature drops. They are very practical and useful. Both garments are also available in women’s cuts and sizes but the Gilet is only in limited quantities. Sizes S-5XL
Price respectively: £41.95, £29.95