Bowhunting Clothing for Cold Weather

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Keep_Calm_And_Bowhunt, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Keep_Calm_And_Bowhunt

    Keep_Calm_And_Bowhunt Weekend Warrior

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    One of the biggest problems that I have while hunting is staying warm on those very cold mornings. I'm from the south, so the coldest that we usually get during the season is maybe 10-15 degrees in the last few days of the season, with it getting down to 7 one day last year.
    I am extremely lean in my body type, so I unfortunately don't have any fat to keep me warm.
    My general clothing for when it is very cold (in my definition of "very cold"), I will usually have
    2 pairs of wool socks on with toe warmers
    2 pairs of long johns
    A thick pair of wool sweatpants
    Some sort of pants that my father wears under his waders when fly fishing in Montana
    2 or 3 of those Under Armour early season turtle neck shirts
    A sweat shirt
    And this really big Cabelas jacket.

    My biggest problem lies in the jacket, it has wrist cuffs that are very tight, making it very uncomfortable to wear the extra layers of long sleeve shirts and sweat shirt, as well making wearing gloves uncomfortable.
    I just would like to find a good, warm jacket that is comfortable to wear while bowhunting and does not restrict my ability to draw back.
    Overall, what gear would you recommend for when the temperature starts to drop more.
     
  2. Kfili

    Kfili Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Holy crap thats a lot all at once. I get really cold too, but stay pretty comfortable in wool socks (i usually bring an extra pair because my feet sweat making things unbearable) heavy field and stream base layer, sweat pants, camo pants. Up top same base layer, long sleeve shirt, fleece zip up, then hoodie or jacket depending on weather. Throw in hand warmers as needed. Really the only thing that gets me are my feet, i need to try out those really good wool socks like smart wool or farm to feet.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Bowhunting.com Forums mobile app
     
  3. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    Sounds to me like you have too many layers on. Not only are they not working as intended but that has to restrict your movement, no?

    When it comes to layering I'm a pretty simple guy - base layer, insulating layer, outer layer. I typically wear a mid to heavy weight Merino wool base layer, a hoodie with thick pile fleece for my mid/insulating layer and then a jacket of some sort for the outer layer. Most of the year I'm good with a mid-weight jacket, but once it gets really cold you really need something that's wind proof. Wind will sap your heat awful quick during the late season. On the bottom I'm usually in two layers - heavy weight Merino wool and then my mid or heavy weight pants.

    For my feet I'm wearing a single pair of mid-weight wool socks, a standard hunting boot (non-rubber) with 400-800 grams of insulation and a set of boot covers with disposable hand warmers in them. Works like a charm. I also use a fleece hand muff with hand warmers in it as well. Helps keep my hands warm and when my hands/feet are warm the rest of my body usually follows. That system will take me down into the mid to high 20's pretty comfortably. Not for prolonged periods of time, but for a couple hours on those cold, frosty mornings.

    When things get really cold (teens and below) I'll add an extra layer both top and bottom. On the top I like an insulated "puffy" layer with Primaloft in it. They're pretty light weight and their heat retention is amazing. On the bottom I'll usually add a heavy weight synthetic base layer next to my skin and then my Merino wool goes over that to act as the insulating layer. Again, windproof pants are a must. If you can do bibs - even better.

    Now if all of that still doesn't work for you I'd look into a Heater Body Suit. I haven't personally used one but every person I know who has absolutely swears by them.

    All of that early season UA stuff that feels like spandex is worthless when it comes to cold weather. I wouldn't even bother with it. And when you say "long johns" what do you mean exactly? Not your dad's old white cotton weave ones I hope. If you're using those, throw them away as well.
     
  4. cdemarse

    cdemarse Weekend Warrior

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    I had those problems. Then I bought the first lite sanctuary coat and bibs. Now being cold is no longer an issue. The nice thing is it's not very bulky either and super quiet. Cut for archery. Great pocket locations. Harness pass through. It's just well thought out. It cost some $ but if I add up all the other gear I've tried and have it not work I could have bought 5 sanctuary sets lol.
     
  5. Coop427

    Coop427 Newb

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    I'd agree with Justin, that sounds like a lot of extra layers. I own several UA base layers as well and really only like them for early season. Their "cold gear" is not that great IMO. Any wind proof outer layer is going to make a HUGE difference. Personally I'd dump the early season triple layer of UA which is probably contributing to your restricted arm movement as well as adding bulk at your wrists and I'd switch to a thick base layer. I have a couple sets of Cabelas ECWCS (they're always on sale now) and they are pretty warm but I do find the under arms start to stink pretty quickly compared to any other type of base layer I've used. I'd like to find a thick set of merino wool base layers instead but they aren't cheap.

    For a jacket, I bought the Predator Stealth Micro Fleece jacket and used it last season in some brutally cold temps and loved it. It's wind proof which probably makes the biggest difference for me and has a nice thick Sherpa fleece inner lining. When it's really cold I add in an insulated vest under my outer jacket to keep my core warmer without adding bulk to my arms and restricting movement...big fan of a nice vest to keep you warmer. I also switch from pants and go to my insulated bibs which keeps the draft out and makes a huge difference.

    I also use a hand muff with hand warmers in it and am able to keep using my thin light weight gloves. I swear by hand muffs because I hate thick gloves. When it's super cold I'll throw two packs (4 warmers) in the hand muff and often times my hands are so warm they're sweating. Again, I go with a wind proof hand muff.

    Last season I bought a few different weights of neck gators. Never tried them before but now I'll never hunt cold season without one. It's amazing how much heat you lose through your collar area and I never really noticed until using a neck gator and realizing how much more comfortable I was. Since it's pretty cold where you are I'd suggest the Wooltimate gator from Cabelas or something similar to it. It was only $10 and just holding it in your hands will make you realize how warm this thing will be. A word of caution that I learned the hard way last year, check your anchor point with a thick neck gator or any bulky collars. I didn't realize it would get in the way (thinking it was below my jaw bone) and last year I missed a huge buck at a 15 yard chip shot because I couldn't get my hand close enough to my cheek. Now I just fold my top right collar down and keep that side of the gator down a little lower.

    For feet I wear thick quality merino wool socks and for the last two seasons I've been using the Thermacell heated insoles. They're pricey but when you can find them on sale you can save quite a bit and they've been a game changer for me. I also dumped my rubber Muck boots. Nice boots but no matter what I tried my feet would always gets cold. I assume because my feet sweat easily and would become too wet when walking to my stands and I'm doomed from the start.
     

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