Skip to main content

12 Picks for the Best Cold Weather Deer Hunting Gear for Winter 2021-22

cathrinewalters/Getty

We all know showing up to the hunting stand ill-prepared can ruin a hunt.

That is why it is incredibly important that you have the right hunting gear with you, especially during the cold part of the season. I have hunted in freezing and below zero temperatures before, and I know as well as many of you that if I was not wearing the right clothes, my hunt would have been over much sooner.

So to keep you in the woods as long as possible and give you the best chance at a quality buck, here are 12 of the most important pieces of hunting gear for cold weather from head to toe.

Fleece Hat

Normally I always rock a trucker cap everywhere I go, and the woods are no different. Although when it starts to get below freezing, my head gets pretty cold. Your head releases a lot of heat, and the more heat you can trap, the warmer you will stay. 

Amazon

That is why I like to use a fleece hunting hat during this time of year. These come in many shapes and styles, but the most basic of them is a beanie/toboggan. Drake Non-Typical has a nice one on Amazon, which you can get in blaze orange if your state requires, or in camouflage.  

A Warm Balaclava

To be honest, I cannot pronounce balaclava, so I have always called these things a gaitor. They are an awesome hood or facemask that you can use to block the wind off your face and add a bit of insulation. These things are a saving grace in the cold. They keep you warm, conceal your face, and block your breath. Since hunting jackets typically have hoods, I like to use neck gaitors

Some hunters do not think about it, but a deer can definitely see your frozen breath while you are in the stand. So if you do not think it is quite cold enough for a balaclava, I suggest you at least get a thinner face mask that covers your mouth. I use this one during most of the season.

Solid Base Layer

A base layer is extremely important. If you do not use a good base layer, you will likely have to compensate with multiple extra mid-layers. I know because that is what I did during my early years as a hunter, and sometimes I had so many clothes on that I could not put my arms down by my side. 

Now I use an Under Armours 3.0 base layer crew neck and leggings. This base layer is an investment, but it is worth it. A good base layer is vital in the insulation process and without it, you just might be shivering in the stand. 

Heated Vest

A heated vest is a secret weapon that some hunters use on those below zero days. When it gets this cold, it can be hard to wear enough clothes to be warm, while still being able to move around and shoot. This is especially true if you are bow hunting. 

These vests go over your base layer and are powered with a battery pack. Think of it as a giant pack of hot hands all over your torso, and it feels just as good. 

Quality Mid Layers

Amazon

The next thing you need is a few quality mid-layers. For this layer I like to use some name brand pullovers, maybe a hoodie, and then a medium to light jacket to wrap it all together. You can easily put on over five pieces of clothing in this layer, but let me tell you, you are better off buying quality gear over quantity.

With quality gear, you can wear less gear and be warmer. I know it sounds backward, but it's true. Plus wearing less gear means you will have more mobility.

A Hefty Jacket

Sportsman's Warehouse

Your outer layer is one of the most important. It is the first soldier to take a hit in your war with the cold. A good outer layer will keep you warm, as well as dry. I try to make sure that my outer layers are water-resistant if not waterproof. You also want something that is going to do a good job of stopping the wind, which can make you much colder than low temperatures alone.

Good Gloves

Cabela's

Gloves are a must when you are hunting in freezing temperatures. Of course, you can get some giant and well insulated gloves, but are you going to be able to effectively grip or hold anything? You need a glove that is still going to keep you warm but will also still allow you to have most of your original dexterity. 

During most of the year, I wear some lightweight gloves, but around mid November they do not cut it anymore. So to beat the cold, and keep my dexterity, I use a pair of Under Armour gloves with an optional finger hood. This lets me keep my pointer finger out to feel my bow release or trigger. When it gets really cold, I wear a second pair of gloves on top of those with finger cutouts and optional mitten covers. If you don't mind having your fingers covered up, I would go with these windproof insulated Under Armour gloves.

Hand Muffs

Cabela's

If you like to wear as little as possible on your hands like me, then hand muffs are the ticket. This is a simple windproof insulated tunnel that you wear around your waist. When you are not holding your weapon, keep your hands and even some hand warmers in the muffs. They are super warm and will make you more comfortable in the stand.

Hand & Toe Warmers

Hand and toe warmers are a saving grace in the woods. Most of our strategy involves keeping in the heat your body produces, but you can not make enough heat to make yourself warm while you are sitting still in a tree stand. So these warmers are a nice way to add a lot of heat nearly everywhere on your body. Pick up a pack of these and put them in your gloves, shoes, shirt, and everywhere else.

Warm Bibs (Instead of Pants)

Bass Pro Shops

When temperatures drop, I much prefer to wear a good pair of windproof bibs over pants. This is because you can tuck almost all of your layers inside your bibs and stay extra insulated. You can tuck in a lot with pants, but it is much harder and not practical to tuck in everything. 

Wool Socks

I hunted for years without wool socks, and it always felt like I could never wear enough on my feet. Although with merino wool socks you will stay very warm. Plus a wool sock will keep you warm even if your feet get wet. I know I am not the only one with sweaty feet that freeze a few minutes after I sit in the stand. If it is below zero, I like to wear a normal pair of socks under my wool socks for an added bit of insulation. 

Insulated Boots

Cabela's

Socks are only half the battle, you also need a good pair of boots. A lot of people like to wear rubber boots while hunting, but when it comes to the cold, you just can not beat the insulation that you can get in a leather boot. 

A good pair of boots should be waterproof, well insulated, last for many years, and have good customer reviews. That is exactly what you will get with Cabela's Iron Ridge 800 Gore-Tex hunting boots.

Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our writers and editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

NEXT: HOW TO APPROACH 3 KINDS OF DUCK HUNTING WEATHER CONDITIONS

Related Videos

 

12 Picks for the Best Cold Weather Deer Hunting Gear for Winter 2021-22