Monday, February 7, 2011

Hunting Vest- Initial Evaluation Of WingWorks Upland Vest

I say this is an initial evaluation because I've hunted and trained my dogs with it for merely two days now.  The day this vest arrived via FedEx, I loaded up one of the pups that needed work and drove to a clearcut that holds three coveys of quail.  The terrain is steep to rolling with hardwood bottoms and trash left from the logging.  Briars, stumps and wood trash are the main obstacles to walking . 

 Immediately upon donning the vest with two full water bottles, I noticed the weight was carried on my hips vs. on my shoulders.  What a relief that will be for long casts sharpie hunting in MT or hunting Ruffs on the MN or WI trails.  

The water bottles (included- not shown), are also carried on the hips.  Gone are the days of water bottles adding weight to pull on the shoulders!  There are plenty of pockets for everything you can think of, including a special pouch for my Tritronics G-2 transmitter.  There are zipper pockets I used for license and money storage, space blanket, matches, etc.  The bird bag is spacious.  I have no doubt, I will be able to get a limit of pheasant in the back. The shell pockets are deep and hold at least two pen-raised quail for training in them (all I used that day).  They have a long cover flap that will secure itself inside the bag for easy access (nice touch!).    Initially, I fumbled around reaching in to the pockets, as they are located more to the side than on my filson.  One I got used to them, I found the arrangement much more to my liking.  They are out of the way of my legs high-stepping over logs and stumps.  

As you can see by the pictures, the blaze orange is visible from all sides, for safety.  The chest strap is comfortable and I like it a lot.  It keeps everything hooked together and secure.  The waist belt is wide and very secure.  I got the normal buckle arrangement, but perhaps would have liked the quick release buckle more.  This one has a slide through and latch combination which is a little cumbersome until you become accustomed to it.   One of the questions asked upon ordering is if you shoot right- or left-handed.  The vest is slightly modified for your preference.  I was impressed with the level of interest in the end user of the product.  My vest is the 1080 denier model. It is a little heavier than a small strap vest, but much more stable with room to hold everything you need for extended stays in the field- long casts with your dog(s).  This thing is industrial strength and will last me well into the grandsons of my top dog, Ace. I look forward to giving more feedback in the future.  My initial recommendation is:  Buy it! 

On a side note, I called Bob, the owner, with a few questions and caught him Chukar hunting.  My questions were answered while he was maneuvering his truck down a two-track in Idaho- now, that's dedication to his product!  One more pup hunted hard and well, but those Bobs managed to elude us.  We'll find 'em before the season is out.


Click HERE to get an update on this vest.