Versatile wear for the field & street
Sportsmen appreciate versatility—the ability to adapt to different conditions and activities. As such, they like their gear to be multi-functional. For the same reasons hunters opt for versatile dogs and all-purpose guns, they like clothing that has more than one use. Take upland jackets, for example. When the weather cools, you need to pull on another layer over a briar shirt. But at day’s end when you head into town, it’s a pain to have to change out of something orange if you want to look street smart. Not only that, but when traveling, it’s not practical to have to pack different jackets for different purposes. Thankfully, clothing manufacturers have recognized this and begun making jackets that serve well in the field and out. We tried on a few of these “jack-of-all jackets” to see how they transitioned.
Made of two-way-stretch Cordura and lined with soft cotton, Duck Camp’s Brush Jacket has rugged good looks and the field functionality to match. The durable, water-repellent canvas outer repels brush and moisture and offers warm, stylish comfort. The jacket has a zippered front and storm flap with brass, quiet-snap buttons; large front bellows pockets for shells; and fleece-lined handwarmer pockets. Especially nice is the rear game bag, which not only is reversible—from orange to brown—but also is removable for street wear. Other touches include triple-stitched construction, a moleskin collar, wool storm cuffs, and interior and exterior security pockets. The jacket fits well and offers plenty of flexibility for a smooth gun mount. Color: Brown. Sizes: S through XXXL. Price: $249.
The Quilted Bomber Jacket from Kevin’s features an attractive, diamond-quilted outside and technical-microfiber insulation. It has a zippered front and an interior zippered security pocket as well as soft ribbing at the cuffs, neck and bottom. Two front corner-entry pockets are large enough to hold shells but, because they do not fasten shut, some likely would fall out. You also would need to wear a game vest to carry birds. This jacket was the lightest in the test and offered plenty of freedom of movement for a gun mount. It also seemed more appropriate for open fields than thorny cover. And it certainly looks sharp enough for an evening out. Color: Olive. Sizes: XS through 3XL. Price: $129.
Soft to the touch yet rugged enough to repel brambles, the Orvis Briar Jacket has a shell of micro-sanded, stretch-cotton Bedford cord and a warm lining of microfleece. Two zippered, side-entry front pockets are also fleece lined, as are zippered interior and exterior security pockets. Cuffs adjust with snaps, and there is a zippered front closure and Supplex-lined sleeves for easy on-off. The stretch fabric, gusseted armpits and paneled sleeve seams allow for freedom of movement and an easy gun mount, but you would need to wear a game vest to carry shells and birds. The jacket is plenty fashionable for street wear. Colors: Field Khaki (shown) and Charcoal. Sizes: M through XXL. Price: $129.
Made of 8-oz waxed shelter cloth, Tom Beckbe’s Tensaw Jacket can stand up to cold, rain and anything sharp and thorny. The cotton liner is colored to resemble Alabama red clay, and the stand-up collar lined with Bedford corduroy provides extra protection from the weather. The zippered front has a snap-closure storm flap; large front bellows pockets will hold shells; and there are handwarmer pockets and an interior storage pocket—although you will need to wear a game vest to carry birds. The bi-swing back and gusseted underarms provide for a full range of motion. The jacket also has rugged good looks to spare. Colors: Rye Brown (shown), Tobacco and Hardwood. Sizes: S through XXL. Price: $495.
Made from dry-finished waxed cotton, Avedon & Colby’s Estate Jacket has a diamond-quilted outer and a Tattersall cotton lining with mesh back panel. There are four front bellows pockets—the upper two backed by zippered security pockets and the lower two roomy enough for shells and backed by handwarmer pockets. Other features include a zippered front with storm flap, a corduroy collar and throat latch, a bi-swing back, two interior storage pockets and a zippered game pouch. A bit bulkier than the other test subjects, this elegant jacket would be more appropriate for driven shooting than busting brush. And it certainly would turn heads around town. Color: Olive. Sizes: S through XXL. Price: $445.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRIS SIEFKEN.