best hunting clothing for the money
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Best Hunting Clothing For The Money – And How To Create Your Wardrobe

Best Hunting Clothing For The Money – And How To Create Your Wardrobe

While some people may think that any old hunting clothes will do when you’re out on the trail, there’s a distinct advantage to purchasing real, quality hunting clothing.

For starters, these clothing items are made with the hunter in mind. They’re made to be durable in the brush, to reduce your sweat and odor when you’re on the trail, and to reduce noise which can alert prey to your presence in the area.

However, a lot of this gear can be pretty pricey, and it’s important to do your research before buying anything to make sure that you are getting high-quality gear that will last you for many seasons.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to give you our recommendations for the best hunting clothing for the money. We’ll talk about our favorite gear, and tell you what’s great about it.

To make this guide a little simpler, we’ve started with hand-picked hunting jackets from the top brands in many styles.

However, we’ve also included some other picks afterwards for base layers, pants, and other gear that we like from those brands as well!

Best Hunting Clothing For The Money – Editor’s Pick!

Sitka Fanatic Jacket


The Fanatic is one of Sitka’s most popular jackets, and its warm, quiet fleece ideal for harsh winter hunting conditions.

Here at O&A, Sitka is one of our favorite brands. They make impeccable gear that stands up to harsh conditions, and their quality can’t be beat.

We’ve even done a full comparison article for Sitka vs KUIU vs FirstLite if you’d like to give that a read, but anyway, on to our top pick!

The Sitka Fanatic jacket is a gore-tex Windstopper soft-shell jacket made from 100% polyester making this a good lightweight, silent and waterproof jacket that may be utilized in most hunting conditions.

Because of the breathable material, your temperature is maintained at an optimal level while you walk and stalk you prey. Due to the lowered temperature of your body, your scent is decreased similarly, which is important to remain undetected by animals in the area.

This jacket utilizes Sitka’s body-mapped Primaloft Silver Insulation to trap body heat in and is meant to seal out the wind. It also features a built-in zippered muff, which could be a finger-saver in the blistering cold.

So, what’s bad about it? While this jacket features an attractive Gore Optifade camo pattern to conceal you, and scent masking abilities to keep your body scent to a minimum, some hunters complain that this jacket is a bit noisier than they’d prefer. So, keep that in mind if this is a concern for you.


Sitka Top Picks


Fanatic Jacket


Timberline Pants


Lightweight Hoodie

However, this is a minimal issue, and the Fantatic is one of Sitka’s highest rated jackets for harsh climates. Plus, if you have issues with wool, Sitka makes a lot of synthetic gear that makes for a good alternative. Click here to check prices, reviews, and options.

PROS

  • Lots of pockets
  • Totally waterproof
  • Excellent durability
  • Keeps you toasty warm
  • Good wool alternative

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Layering can be difficult

First Lite Uncompahgre Puffer Jacket


This extremely versatile jacket is a bargain when you consider its many uses, and it’s a quality piece of multi-climate gear.

Looking for a jacket that will leave you feeling warm and cozy on your hunts? The First Lite Uncompahgre puffer can do just that. It provides excellent protection from the wind and the rain, all while maintaining a silent presence on your body.

This fantastic jacket from First Lite can be used as outer or inner wear, but you ought to combine it with something more water and wind resistant on days with a rough climate.

It’s the most effective hunting jacket if you do not need a tough shell. Plus, it’s designed with convenience in mind, and you’ll find helpful pockets in all the right places to hold your gear and keep it within reach.

However, what’s really great about this jacket is how versatile it is. It’s very lightweight, and it can actually pack into a small pouch when not in use! This jacket is excellent for spot and stalk hunting, shotgun duck hunting, upland hunts, and fishing, making it earn its keep on your sportsman’s wardrobe.

Unlike other jackets, it also allows for excellent range of motion, which makes it a favorite among bow hunters. It’s an extremely versatile jacket that will serve you in a variety of climates and situations, and it comes in several attractive colorways including First Lite’s signature camo, black, brown, and green, allowing for less conspicuous everyday use.

Really, the only bad thing about this jacket is that, since it’s a puffer, the outer shell is not very durable. You can easily tear it moving through the brush if you’re not careful. So, keep that in mind if you’re rough on your gear! It’s a fantastic jacket though with a bit of care.


FL Top Picks


Uncompahgre Jacket


Obsidian Pants


Furnace Long Johns

While some people are turned off by the price, we think that First Lite offers some of the best hunting clothing for the money because of their workmanship and quality materials. While you may save in the short term on discount brands, First Lite’s gear is built to last. Click here to check prices and reviews.

PROS

  • Great Multi-Purpose jacket!
  • Works in many climates/seasons
  • Good range of motion
  • Several colors available
  • High-quality
  • Great price

CONS

  • Shell can tear if you’re not careful
  • Hood is not removable

ScentLok Aero Crosshair Jacket


As you most likely expect, the ScentLok Aero Crosshair Jacket utilizes the company’s Carbon Alloy technology to contain game-spooking odors. It also offers cold-weather hunters a windproof membrane, an outer DWR moisture-shedding finish and a number of other weather-defeating features. This jacket is made with articulated elbows, telescopic cuffs and enough Thinsulate insulation to stay even the most temperature sensitive hunters comfortable when the underside falls out of the mercury.

Overall it’s an awesome jacket that’s stylish and thought through. It retains your body heat and saves you from the cold. If you’re using this jacket you won’t have any issue sitting outside in the early season. However, some hunters have complained that the stitching could be better, which means durability is a concern, and the waterproofing is not the best.

The price point for this jacket though is fantastic. If you’ve been spooked before by the high price of branded hunting clothes, then this brand will be a breath of fresh air to you. They offer exceptional clothing at a great price.


SL Top Picks


Scentlok Aero Jacket


Scentlok Attack 1/4 Zip


Scentlok Heated Vest

In addition, Scentlok offers several different camo patterns and harder to find sizing, which is nice. Click here to check reviews, specs, and pricing for this jacket.

PROS

  • Multiple pockets
  • Moisture wicking
  • Fantastic price point
  • Room for safety harness
  • Great color options
  • Odor absorption technology

CONS

  • Good for early season only
  • Stitching is weak, impacts durability
  • Not 100% waterproof

Nomad Outdoor Harvester Jacket


The Nomad Outdoor Harvester Jacket may be a blessing for those in our hunting community that were searching for a warm hunting jacket that doesn’t cost a small fortune.

It’s a loose fit that allows you to pile some extra layers on if it’s needed, but in most cases, that won’t be necessary. It’s windproof and includes a fleece liner on the inside, which adds lots of comfort to the jacket in cold or damp weather.

It also has adjustable sleeves made in a very raglan style which adds some range of motion, comfort, and also the possibility to tighten the jacket to your hunting gloves so as to remain completely protected from the elements and eliminate air gaps that allow your body heat to escape.

Oh, and if you want to get an even better deal on your hunting wardrobe, you should know that Nomad puts on killer sales. Patient hunters will be able to save big discounts on last season’s gear or during holiday specials. So, keep a look out. Or, join our mailing list to get these deals in your inbox.

This jacket is ideal for tree stand hunters, but it’s not the best for stalking deer. Some hunters who were surveyed stated that the jacket made some sound after you walk around with it. But for the price, features, and quality you get with this jacket, it’s certainly a piece you should look into for your budget hunter’s wardrobe.

PS. Nomad also makes a lot of their hunting clothing in women’s fits too, including the Harvester jacket, if you’re looking for something in ladies sizes for your hunting partner or yourself!

PROS

  • Wind resistant
  • Great design
  • Good insulation

CONS

  • Not quiet
  • Not 100% waterproof

Nomad Picks


Harvester Jacket


Stretch-Lite Pants


NWTF Cooling Shirt

Badlands Calor Jacket

It was only natural for Badlands to go from producing a number of the best backpacks on the market to churning out a number of the most high-performance hunting duds. This year, the company’s clothing line includes the Badlands Calor Jacket, a single-layer, lightweight, soft-shell offering that’s perfect for early- to mid-season hunts.

This jacket is wind and water-resistant because of its Teflon Shield + coating, and it’s bio-mapped to encourage mobility and promote proper temperature regulation while you’re on the trail of game.

If you’ll be hunting in an environment that calls for more warmth and layering, then we’d recommend going a size up. Otherwise, you may not have room for appropriate base layers.

Badlands provides some of the best hunting clothing for the money thanks to their excellent quality and competitive pricing. This means that even if you can’t afford a premium brand, like Sitka, you can still invest in quality hunting clothing that will help you to get the job done.

However, you should be aware that in order to strike a balance between price and durability, sacrifices have been made. Some hunters we survived are not impressed with the brand’s durability, and you may find that a pricier brand like First Lite or Sitka needs to be replaced less often.

Badlands Picks


Badlands Calor Jacket


Badlands Algus Pants


Badlands Algus Cooling Tee

PROS

  • Great camo patterns
  • Wind and water resistant
  • Teflon shielding
  • Scent-free
  • Warm and comfortable fit
  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • Not the most durable option
  • Doesn’t dry quickly
  • No hoody

How to create your hunting wardrobe

While for a normal wardrobe most people are concerned with color, style, and what goes with what, for hunting we want to focus on more practical markers. This means choosing clothing which fits the season that you hunt in and your hunting style!

Do you live in cold, moderate, or desert climate? Will you be dealing with a lot of rain or snow? Will you be doing a lot of hiking, or are you a tree stand hunter? These are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself before you go out and spend good money on hunting clothing that simply does not fit your situation.

Here are a few things to consider before making a purchase.

Material:

Your first concern should be material. Do you want synthetic or natural fibers? A natural fiber like wool can often mitigate body odor, because it naturally absorbs smells, but in many cases, it’s also more delicate. People who are rough on their clothes tend to dislike wool or ultra light construction gear for this reason.

Synthetics are generally cheaper, more durable, and can be just as warm if you go with a quality brand. However, most hunters like to at least go with a wool base layer, even if their other pieces are synthetic. This is, of course, entirely up to you.

Durability:

Nobody likes to have to constantly replace their closet. Before choosing a brand, make sure you know how delicate it is and what kind of care the fabric requires, because incorrect washing and drying can weaken it, destroying your investment.

For our reviews, we survey hunters who have used products in the field, but if you’re researching on your own, be sure to check the reviews for any statements about premature tearing, fabric piling, or quality control issues which could impact your decision.

The best hunting clothing for the money will obviously offer a compromise between durability and price. However, more expensive does not always guarantee higher quality or vice versa.

Temperature Rating:

How cold or hot does your area get? Even the best made hunting jacket will be a poor choice if you’re freezing in your tree stand because you purchased an early season jacket for a late season hunt!

However, some clothing items, depending on your environment, could pull double duty. You might even be able to use them for multiple seasons thanks to layering! So, keep that in mind if you’re building your wardrobe on a tight budget.

Don’t forget to pay attention to water and wind proofing as well, and remember that “water resistant” is not the same as waterproof. If your area experiences frequent rain, or snow, adding a waterproof hunting bib can help you stay warm and dry.

Comfort:

If your clothes aren’t comfortable then you’ll be in for a miserable hunt. They should fit appropriately, so there’s no chaffing, and your body heat is retained, and they should also be made from a good fabric.

Check for breath-ability, if you’re concerned about heat, and insulation if you’re more worried about being too cold.

Water/Wind Rating:

Just because a piece of gear is rated for cold weather does not necessarily mean it is waterproof or windproof. Some items are even rated as water or wind “resistant” but not PROOF.

Keep this in mind before you buy anything. For most applications, these items might be okay, but if you’re planning to embark on some serious cold weather hunting expeditions, you don’t want any nasty surprises. Check these specifications carefully so you’ll know if your chosen gear will live up to your expectations.

What pieces do I need for my wardrobe?

When building your wardrobe you should focus on pieces which can pull double duty. This means that these pieces would work in multi-seasonal situations as layers in the cold, or stand-alone pieces in lighter weather. In any case, here’s a hunting closet check list!

Look to acquire good base layers that wick moisture and keep you from retaining sweat and scent. This not only makes you more apparent to deer in the area due to the increased smell, but it also makes it very hard to stay warm.

You should then pair this with acceptable mid/outter layers which give you the appropriate amount of heat that you need. Choosing items which can be easily layered is your best bet for using pieces on multi-season hunts.

Lastly, don’t forget to invest in high-quality boots and socks. We’d recommend quality wool socks to keep your feet from sweating. Your shoes will, of course, depend on your enviornment, and you will likely need warmer boots for tree stand hunting than if you are walking around and generating body heat.

However, activity level is also a big concern. While something like Muck’s waterproof rubber boots are great for keeping dry and warm, they are not great for traveling any distance, especially if you need boots for rough terrain like sheep hunting. In short, consider your activity and location carefully before buying your boots.

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