If you're in need of new boots or camouflage clothing for this fall I've recently tested two offerings that I can highly recommend. Both come from well-established companies that have produced many fine outdoor products over the years.
|The author is a fan of the lightweight feel of the Columbia Ridge Wool Jacket and Pants.|
Columbia Expedition Ridge Wool Jacket and Pants. This offering from Columbia is made of 60 percent recycled wool and 40 percent other recycled fibers, mostly polyester. This makes it lightweight so it doesn't hang heavy on your shoulders during long hikes and also more durable than wool.
I tested the pants and jacket in dense, sticker-infested cover and found it super-quiet for sneaking up on game. On a hunt in rainy weather, it repelled water well and allowed my heat and sweat to escape better than pure wool would have.
The jacket has two large pockets on the chest that are positioned diagonally for easy acess, two lower cargo pockets, two handwarmer pockets, plus another small pocket on the arm that makes a great spot to store your licenses, wallet, cell phone and other small items.
Both shoulders and elbows are reinforced, and the jacket had a relaxed fit for easy swinging on a pheasant busting out of cover or a buck you jump in a thicket.
The back is 32 1/2 inches long, so your backside won't get cold when you bend over. The pants have reinforced knees and a comfortable, relaxed fit. The lightweight line is great for all but the bitterest weather, say 10 degrees or colder. Even then it would work well if you wore a pair or two of long underwear underneath. And the lightness is just right for the majority of hunting situations or even cold weather fishing trips.
Irish Setter Treeline Boots. This brand new footwear from Irish Setter is aptly named. When you hunt at or above the timber line you are forging into some of the roughest, steepest mountain peaks a hunter can explore. That's what these ruggedly-constructed boots are designed to tackle. I didn't quite reach those lofty heights when I tested my pair, but they performed exceptionally well at slightly lower elevations in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.
The aggressive treads on the Vibram Summit Sole gripped rocky slopes and slippery hillsides firmly while the articulated heel provided strong footholds during steep descents. A Gore-Tex liner kept my feet dry in inclement weather and the nylon shank and polyurethane midsole made for a comfortable fit. Side-to-side stability was excellent, with no foot-shifting even as I walked at awkward angles down sharp slopes.
Irish Setter Treeline boots use the company's own premium SB Foot Leather and feature an abrasion-resistant rubber toe bumper to guard against damage to both the boot and your foot from sharp rocks. Seven and 10-inch versions are available. The taller one is lined with 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra Insulation. That space-age material traps air close to the foot for extra warmth, but is also lightweight and breathable.
After unveiling the Havoc last year, this company just continues to produce amazing new boots for hunters. The Treeline is a fine example of that.