With Gore-Tex at the core, the innovation in the Under Armour Ridge Reaper gear is otherworldly.
The Under Armour Ridge Reaper line of hunting apparel has been around long enough, but this season was my first chance to give it a shot. As it comes to a close, I'm reporting back with my thoughts.
When I wore the Ridge Reaper Infil WINDSTOPPER Jacket, Pants, Mid Season Hunt Gloves, and the Camo 2.0 Cap during a trip to pursue pronghorn in Wyoming, everything fit in quite nicely with the surroundings and performed as well as could have been expected.
For starters, Under Armour's Ridge Reaper Barren camo pattern is uniquely mesmerizing, and it doesn't take much to envision how well it can work in a variety of environments. I can see using this in northern prairies, mountainous regions, late season timber, and especially southwestern deserts. There's not much green to be found, but it makes up for it in subtly.
While there isn't any inherent scent control tech built in (except for the hat), I didn't count that against these particular selections from the Ridge Reaper line. I'm not as strict with my scent as a lot of hunters are; I figure if things line up and they have a chance to smell me, game animals won't be fooled by the lengths I'm willing to go. All the same, if you're looking for a jacket and pants that are battling against scent, you you won't find it in these Under Armour apparel products.
And while there isn't an Under Armour women's version of the same Ridge Reaper gear, UA still deserves credit for the contributions they do make to the female hunting apparel market.
UA Storm Technology, said to retain breathability while still repelling water, is at work within the 100% polyester body of the jacket and pants. The Gore-Tex WINDSTOPPER technology did a great job of, well, stopping the wind. I've yet to be rained on while wearing it (knock on wood), but the material certainly seems like it'll stand up to anything short of a hurricane.
The brushed microfleece inner layer is super soft and stretchy, and with a long sleeve shirt as a base layer I felt really comfortable. It's probably not fit to wear during the early season, especially around where I live in Central Texas. But for mid and late season apparel, this is a fantastic hunting jacket and pants combo.
There are woven overlays that give a good amount of extra protection in spots that wear out the quickest. I wore them through respectful brush, but nothing truly thorn-covered or bramble-ridden to really give them the test. I'll admit they're far more durable than the hunting pants I've worn in the past. Why did it take so long for hunting apparel makers to figure this out?
It seemed like one or two crawls could do those old pairs in, but I have a feeling that number can be multiplied without worry if I'm wearing UA Ridge Reaper gear. The pants also had heavily articulated knees, which seemed like they provided as much flex as a pair of cotton sweatpants. I never felt like I was stretching seams or risking a ride up while bending over.
The big difference I noticed immediately was how quiet this apparel is. Gone are the days of "swish-swishing" through the woods. I know for a fact noise reduction is an expectation in hunting clothes these days, and Under Armour has taken this very seriously.
The one-handed hood operation took a minute to figure out, but now I think it's pretty awesome. There's a mock neck collar that some jackets neglect, and I've come to really appreciate. One Wyoming morning in particular was below freezing and windy, and there was no chill spilling down my neck or back.
The Mid Season Hunt Gloves were well-constructed, but they were a bit bulky. Any good pair of gloves that keep your hands warm will need to be shed before a bow shot or trigger pull, but these did seem a bit bulkier than I'm used to. Dexterity was limited a bit, and it's tough to say you'd be able to do much with your fine motor skills while wearing them.
That being said, they were perfectly warm, didn't bunch up, and had a genuine fit and feel. The WINDSTOPPER construction is also built in to the gloves, and there is a silicone imprint on the thumbs and first fingers.
The Camo 2.0 Cap seems average at first glance, but the UA Free Fit characteristics made it really comfortable. The unstructured front panels let the hat form to my head, and the low profile that resulted is just what I look for in hunting headwear. The 2.0 Cap does have Under Armour Scent Control technology working for it, and the built-in Head-Gear sweatband kept sweat from dripping into my eyes.
All in all, the Under Armour men's Ridge Reaper system I've been using this season really left me impressed. The jacket and pants are easily among the best I've ever tried on, let alone worn into the woods, and the hunting accessories are top notch.
The jacket rings in at $300, the pants sell for $280, the gloves are $70, and the hat has an MSRP of $24.99. Any one of them would be a great buy on their own, but as a system, this ranks up there among the best hunting clothing I've come across.
As they continue to dive into the men's outdoor sector, Under Armour is going to do what they've always done: Improve an idea, make a great product, and rely on feedback to continue innovating.
Whether you're making your way to treestands or glassing knobs, hiking in a steady rain, or packing out after a Rocky Mountain elk hunt, Ridge Reaper seems as though it will suit your needs. It suits mine, and I'm looking forward to using it for seasons to come.