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Orvis Women’s Missouri Breaks Field Pant

Orvis Missouri Breaks

True, well-fitting upland pants for women are few and far between, and it seems like when a company makes a pair you love, they discontinue them within a year or two. Hopefully Orivs will keep these around for a while, because I quite like them! 

Made from tough cotton with tech stretch for mobility and reinforced at the front of the leg with cotton canvas for briar protection, these pants will definitely last in the most rugged terrain. The waistline hits mid-rise, not too low and not too high. As far as sizing goes, they seem to be a little roomy, so I would suggest ordering your normal size, as well as one size down, and returning whichever one doesn’t fit properly.

Available in both sand/dark khaki and brown olive, the Missouri Breaks Field Pant ring in at $129, a little bit of a hard pill to swallow, considering you’ll probably need more than one pair if you’re hunting multiple days, but these, in my opinion, are the best fitting women’s upland pants around, and you know what they say about supply and demand … 


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L.L. Bean Technical Upland Vest Pack

LL Bean Upland Vest

An uplanders’ gear vest is one of the most crucial items in his/her arsenal, and can make or break a hunt. Luckily the L.L. Bean Technical Upland Vest fits the bill for any serious upland hunter. Constructed of lightweight, rip-resistant material backed with polyurethane to keep moisture out, the pack is great for both warm and cool weather hunts. Not too heavy or hot that it makes you swelter while you’re walking through the uplands, and has adjustable straps at the shoulders and waist so you can layer warmer clothes or a jacket under it, if you’re in colder weather.  

For the uplander who puts a lot of miles on in a day, or even camps for multiple day-long treks, the vest is hydration bladder compatible (sold separately). A detachable gear pouch is located on each shoulder strap, great for holding dog electronics, a cell phone, or handheld GPS – although I removed the pouch on the strap of my shooing shoulder, so it didn’t interfere when mounting my shotgun. The waistbelt has two top-load pockets that each hold a box of shells, ensuring you have more than enough powder to burn. There’s a large zippered compartment to store your energy bars, emergency kit, knife, etc., and also features two side-mounted water bottle carriers for the pups’ hydration.

Available in regular and long sizing, the vest comes in at $149, a competitive price with other upland vests on the market. 


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LL Bean Vest

Merrell MQM Flex Gore-Tex

Merrell MQM

More than half of my season to date has been spent in the mountains chasing birds at elevation. I saw the MQM – Moving Quickly in the Mountains – and they got me with that marketing hook. When you’re chasing Chukar, moving quickly is a high priority. I have now worn these shoes for hundreds of miles in all kinds of terrain. 

The MQM are the lightest shoe I’ve ever tried hunting. I honestly don’t know what kind of dark magic Merrell has summoned to keep a shoe that appears mostly mesh both waterproof and durable. And though I’ve been on some extremely rocky descents, not once have I bruised a heal or arch. I even transitioned these shoes to the prairies and subjected them to the repetitive thrashing of Bluestem. They are starting to look a bit frayed, but the performance hasn’t quit. 

I’ll be purchasing another pair at the end of the season for the start of spring training. There is a women’s version of the MQM as well as a mid-height variation for those looking for a bit more ankle support – $140.


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Orvis Pro LT Hunting Shirt

Orvis Pro LT Hunting Shirt

Details. This shirt, along with most of the latest Orvis upland apparel, is all about the details. Stretch fabric, articulated elbows, fast drying with Polygiene treatment for odor control let you wear it on hot, multi-day treks, look great and not smell like garbage. 

Everything is low-profile, from snaps to pockets, so there is nothing to get hung up in the field. At long last the Orvis Pro line is bringing performance sportswear tech to upland bird hunters – $119.

Orvis 5% for NatureThe quality of Orvis gear speaks for itself. But if you need another reason to support the company, they give 5% of pre-tax profits to a host of conservation partners and individuals seeking grants for conservation projects.  In addition, since 2009 Orvis and their customers have raised over $1 million to help fund canine cancer research. 


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Orvis Pro Series Vest

Orvis Pro Series Vest

 

The upland game vest may be the single most-utilized piece of gear in upland hunting. Regardless the terrain, bird species, weather conditions…. the vest is always part of the hunt. Depending on the time of year, it has to fit over different layers, carry different loads, securely stow essential gear. And for me it’s gotta fit like a well-worn glove. The Orvis Pro Series Vest has multiple strap adjustments reminiscent of a backpack, so the game pouch and pockets ride exactly where you want them. No matter your frame size, this vest should adjust to exactly how you are most comfortable busting cover. Zipping pockets to lockdown keys, licenses and phones. An expanding game bag could carry a bushel of birds. The hydration bladder compatibility allows me to carry a gallon for dogs to extend our range on hot days. Beefy buckles and materials, lightweight, solidly stitched — this vest is gonna be a constant companion for the foreseeable seasons – $189 click here to learn more.

Filson Ultra Light Weight Jacket

Filson Ultra Light Jacket

 

Filson may have built their reputation on their indestructible Tin Cloth, but if they keep turning out jackets like this Ultra Light Weight made from ripstop Cordura® the mantle could be passed. For a weather-resistant jacket, the warmth-to-weight ratio is amazing due largely to the PrimaLoft Gold® Insulation which retains it’s insulating capabilities even when wet. Worn under an upland vest the absence of bulk allows you to stay warm without changing the mount or pull length of the shotgun for shooting consistency. Zippered pockets give another place to safely stow important items. And in the event you get too warm in changing weather conditions, the Ultra Light Weight Jacket rolls up and is unnoticeable in the game pouch. Most hunters will probably opt for the Field Olive but the Raven looks deadly with a blaze vest –  $295 click here to learn more.

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Lowa Irox GTX Mid

Lowa Irox

 

100% vegan boots. Let that sink in for a bit…….a hunter wearing vegan boots. Now what does that really mean? One thing I know for sure is when leather gets wet it gets heavy. And heavy feet aren’t good when covering lots of miles. Whether shale slides, gnarly grouse woods or prairie grasses, upland boots need to perform, preferably just a single pair. That’s a tough ask but the Lowa Irox GTX have risen to the task. Waterproof GORE-TEX® lined, fully synthetic, lightweight with toe and heel abrasion guards, a fairly rigid sole to protect from repetitious pounding. I’ve been impressed with the Irox performance and it may be the first season I can remember where a single pair of boots survives the entire gauntlet. Hardiest vegan we’ve ever encountered – $260 click here to learn more.

Filson Tin Game Bag Vest

Filson Vest

 

When climbing 70 degree inclines to chase Chukar to mountain peaks, I needed a lightweight, durable vest. The Filson Tin Game Bag is minimal and light with abrasion resistant and water repellant tin cloth. Two large shell pockets adorn the front of the vest, while a large game bag sits in back. Be warned: this vest is minimal so it does not have a designated water bladder pocket. However, I had no trouble carrying a two-liter water bladder for my dog, a water bottle for myself, and three mature pheasants in the game pouch – $110 click here to learn more.

 

Sitka Women’s Fanatic Hoodie

Sitka Fanatic

 

Gear fit for women is few and far between, but Sitka has broken the barrier by creating gear designed by women hunters. The Fanatic Hoodie is a perfect all-around insulation layer for chasing birds into the high country. The quarter zip hoodie is made of a spandex grid fleece that is breathable yet warm, wicks sweat and dries quickly, and helps keep odors at bay. I wore the Fanatic Hoodie for a week straight chasing elk and birds in Colorado and didn’t stink my hunting partner out…at least he didn’t say I did – $189 click here to learn more.

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