By Ralph Stuart
This past September while wandering the aisles of the Orvis Game Fair, at the Sandanona Shooting Grounds, in Millbrook, New York, I was drawn into the booth of Hound & Hare. This Kentucky-based company sells “luxurious British yet uniquely American apparel and accessories,” and what had caught my eye was a stylish upland jacket that looked like it would weather cold days.
It turns out that the Cumberland Upland Jacket was made for just that: withstanding rugged hunting conditions in fine fashion. It was a collaboration between company owner and lifelong hunter Eric Nicholas and a British manufacturer of outdoor gear for special forces and the military.
Nicholas was kind enough to let me take a jacket for testing, and it served well during Maine’s mid-fall cold spells. The ripstop-nylon outer did a fine job repelling sticks and briars, and the fleece lining in the body, high collar and storm flap kept me warm and comfortable—even in wind. Generous-size front pockets have drain holes and snaps to secure flaps and keep them out of the way for accessing shells. There also are two handwarmer pockets, four inner zip pockets, a drawcord-adjustable waist, storm cuffs and adjustable wrists. On the back is a large game bag that can be unclipped for cleaning and two water-bottle pockets.
One downside is that the jacket is not waterproof, but I was told that a waterproof version is due out in 2020. I also mentioned to Nicholas that the jacket is stylish enough to be worn around town but, because the game bag is not removable, it might look awkward. He said that a jacket sans game bag is coming as well.
The Cumberland Upland Jacket is available in Coyote/Green (shown) and Orange/Green in sizes XS through XXL. Price: $375. For more information, contact Hound & Hare.