Here is why you should invest in hunting coveralls this season.
Hunting isn't an indoor sport. Conditions are rarely perfect. But you can't down that big buck while sitting on your sofa sipping hot chocolate. The most successful hunters are the ones who go out in cold weather conditions and make it happen.
But we get it, sitting in a cold, wet treestand can be a miserable experience. But it doesn't have to be with the right hunting gear.
If you really want to up your comfort and odds of success, a good pair of hunting coveralls can help tip the scales in your favor.
Most of you probably already own a pair of hunting pants and a dedicated hunting jacket. You might be wondering why you'd want to buy a whole new set of camo hunting clothing. To be fair, if you live in a southern climate you can probably get away with using those all season.
But, if you live in a northern climate where temperatures are regularly dropping into the teens or below, coveralls are a more efficient way to go.
The main reason for this is because your body heat has fewer places to escape with a good pair of coveralls. Many hunters focus primarily on their head, feet and hands. While it's true that you don't want to skimp on a good pair of hunting boots or gloves, too many neglect the core of their body.
There is some traditional thinking we need to combat here. Most people think that most heat loss is through the head. It's easy to believe that when you're sitting there shivering in the stand on frosty morning and your ears and toes are going numb.
But the reality is that you're probably losing more heat from somewhere in the trunk of your body. The human body's natural response to cold is to slow blood flow to the extremities in order to protect vital organs in your core.
If you're just wearing a jacket and pants, this heat can sometimes escape from the seam between the two near your waist, even if you don't realize it. In fact, it's easier to not notice it there because that's where your body is circulating more blood flow.
This is why a good pair of bibs or coveralls is favorable in extreme cold. There are less places for the heat to escape your core. Keep your body warm and it won't have to pull that heat from your hands and feet, thus keeping those warm too.
Qualities to look for in hunting coveralls
There are many different kinds currently on the market and you do need to consider a few things when selecting what coveralls to buy.
Is this going to be apparel strictly for late season hunts in the snow? Or are you looking for something you can wear from early big game archery season all the way to late muzzleloader? Are you looking for something you could use in other, warmer seasons like for turkey hunting? In that case, you'll likely be looking for something lighter where you can use baselayers like hoodies or sweatshirts underneath like this ScentLok Savanna Quick Strike uninsulated hunting coverall that also offers the benefit of scent control.
When it comes to insulation, most of the warmest hunting coveralls on the market today are using some sort of synthetic insulation. But down and wool are great considerations too. Keep in mind wool will be slightly more water resistant than down, but the synthetic stuff will often be lighter.
Speaking of water, how wet is the area you are hunting? Does it rain often? If so, how water resistant are the coveralls you're looking at? Try something like the Guide Gear waterproof coveralls above. They also feature a quilted interior that should make them toasty and warm.
Are you hunting a state like Wyoming where it's exceedingly windy? You'll want to consider something that's windproof like the below Redhead Silent Stalkers.
Some other factors people don't think about enough are things like zippers. Too often, manufacturers use very small zippers that can be hard to grip in cold conditions. Also consider pockets. Do the coveralls have ones large enough to fit all your necessary hunting accessories?
Then there's the sound factor. Some coveralls may make a terrible swishing noise when you're walking because of the material they're made from. You'll want to avoid those.
For extreme cold weather hunting coveralls, look at insulated coveralls like these Walls Insulated coveralls in a Mossy Oak camo pattern. Do you have to hike a long distance to your stand? Consider the flexibility and maneuverability of the material. Will it stand up to the thorns and briars in your area?
One last factor to consider is a hood. Not all coveralls come with one built in. But you'll find that most hunters who spring for one included like these Elk Fork coveralls from MidwayUSA, seldom regret it.
The hood on these coveralls is removable for when you don't need it. This set of coveralls also features leg zippers which can be useful for helping to get your boots on in the morning.
Hunting coveralls for youth
When trying to get kids into hunting, one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the cold. Children simply can't handle the cold as longer as adults, and many parents resort to using heaters or cutting the amount of time they spend in the woods down. Unfortunately, this could also hurt their odds of success.
Fortunately, manufacturers are realizing this and more are offering child sizes like the Wall's boys coveralls shown above in a Mossy Oak camo pattern.
Look for the same features you would for an adult pair of coveralls, just in a smaller size. If your child is warm and comfortable, the better the chances they'll sit longer. And the better the odds are they'll be hooked on hunting for life.
Sizing quirks with hunting coveralls
It really doesn't matter if you're in the market for women's hunting coveralls, cold weather hunting coveralls or hunting coveralls for youth, you're probably going to encounter some weird sizing quirks. Because apparently, manufacturers have a hard time figuring out how to size anything that's one piece. For the most part, you're probably going to want to size hunting coveralls on the slightly larger side.
It pays to leave a little wiggle room for you to put on extra base layers if temperatures drop to extreme single or negative digits. But keep in mind this isn't a hard and fast rule by any means. I've read plenty of stories of people who have ordered some new deer hunting coveralls only to be surprised when the legs are short, or the shoulder area is tight, or they're too slim of a fit.
Be sure to carefully read through online reviews. Usually, people have discovered these weird sizing problems already and have shared them online, helping you avoid trouble.