Top 10 Hunting Clothing Brands – A new brand aims to bring American-made, high-quality hunting apparel directly to hunters through both a physical store and an online presence.
FORLOH entered the yacht retail market last week, and the brand is ready to make waves. It brings a high-tech, family-friendly line to people looking for something different in the outdoors.
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And although the brand is new, it is coming to the market with a big launch. It opened a physical store over the Fourth of July weekend in Whitefish, Montana.
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Online, it launched a direct-to-consumer shopping experience. Men’s clothing is available immediately, with both women’s and children’s clothing arriving in August.
The made in America brand offers advanced technology intended to make hunting more comfortable and hunters more effective. And it is pushing top-of-the-line production techniques mostly dominated by Asian manufacturers into domestic factories.
Consumers will see high quality techniques such as sonic welded seams, metallized yarn, hydrophobic down, and waterproof-breathable membranes built with “pulse plasma” technology.
And every last seam, ingredient and stitch is built and manufactured in the United States, where the brand already operates five factories.
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“A lot of people told me it wasn’t possible to build high-quality, industry-leading technical apparel in the US, but when people tell me things like that, I love to prove them wrong,” said founder Andy Techmanski. “FORLOH is here to show that it’s not only possible, but it’s actually the better way.”
Had the chance to catch up with Techmanski and product designer Robert Yturri. Their no-holds-barred approach to technology included a litany of technical specifications we hadn’t heard before.
FORLOH builds its brand on “systems” of clothing. Hunting clothing systems are not new, but they work. And in this case, it is not the systemic approach that really levels the field, but the technique in it.
The Deep Space base layer series includes Trizar technology used by NASA for atmospheric re-entry. The shielding material is heat-reflective and uses emissivity combined with insulation to keep the wearer warm. The high emissivity fabric sends heat back to the wearer.
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It is comparable to treatments used on commercial windows that block heat from the sun on the one hand and emit heat from interior sources on the other. The brand uses this technology in its base layer. The material is also quick-drying and warm.
It’s also Polygiene-treated, as the carbon-based odor treatment doubles down on the already odor-fighting materials within the Trizar tech.
Step one layer away from the skin, and the specially treated Active-Dri US duck down and “Perf-Weld” sonic welding combine in FORLOH’s ThermoNeutral mid-layer series, bringing a down series like no other we have seen here.
The sonic welding component creates perforations at each weld, allowing the middle layer to breathe while still being waterproof. The baffles also hold air, reducing the loss of air.
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The brand claims that thanks to its welding and face fabric, its 650-fill down (the best it could source in the US) will compete with higher-air down in competitors’ products in terms of heat-to-weight ratio.
Finally, the AllClima line is where the outer layer launches more technical stories. FORLOH’s first-to-market Airadigm waterproof-breathable membrane touts some great numbers: 22k + / mm waterproof and 32k g / mm MVTR (moisture vapor transfer rate) with a 0.15 CFM air permeability.
These ratings mean the fabric is highly waterproof but also highly breathable compared to much of the competition. And while we haven’t tested these products yet, it sounds promising.
How did Airadigm achieve such a high waterproof rating at the same time as an excellent MVTR? Well, it claims to have created a new production technique called “plasma vacuum technology.”
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Essentially, it uses a large vacuum to pull a durable water repellent (DWR) finish through the garment, rather than layering it on top of the fabric. The result is an air-permeable, waterproof fabric that uses
It also treats every fiber of the membrane with DWR, which results in the claimed air permeability and waterproof numbers. Also, with less DWR needed, the garment is softer, smoother, and, for hunters’ sake, much quieter.
Typically, brands come to market with a men’s line, then slowly dip their toes into women’s lines with a small collection of gear here and there. Rarely do we see a real children’s line in the vast expanse of hunting gear. But on a hunt with his 4-year-old, Techmanski realized the need for a family-friendly kit.
“He was wearing a different camouflage than me, and he was worried that he would stand in front of the deer,” Techmasnki said, “If a 4-year-old can figure this out, why can’t we?”
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Currently, women’s and children’s offerings are on pre-order, but complete hunting kits for men, women and kiddos will be available in fall 2020. And the company is looking to release 6,500 SKUs worth of product over the next 18 months.
The high-end technology comes at a price, with base layers in the mid-100s and outer layers pushing the mid-400s. But they are not that far off from the prices of quality hunting gear currently on the market.
For the hard-hitting fighter, the technical specifications seem to be unlike anything they have tried in the field. And with three camo types to choose from, hunters will be able to match their home terrain.
Of course, massive field testing is on the immediate horizon. This fall, FORLOH’s gear will hit the woods for the first time. For a new company, it is a breathtaking moment. But the Techmasnki crew has certainly made the previous effort to turn some wild technology and bring it forward for hardcore hunters. men.
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A good hunting jacket fits into any system you are looking to build for your outdoors. It is clear that what works for people in the Midwest will not always cut the mustard in the high mountains of the American West, or vice versa.
Really, what you are looking to build is a system that fits your activities. Initial baselayers will combine with your midlayer and outer layer jackets to keep you warm, dry and comfortable in all types of weather conditions.
Editor’s Note: Most major brands have huge sales throughout the year. Black Friday, Memorial Day and Labor Day are great times to look for hunting jackets for men. In our opinion, it’s worth a few extra bucks for that coveted piece that will last for the foreseeable future.
The Sawtooth Hybrid ($210) from First Lite is a favorite among employees. And for good reason. The merino combination with DWR-treated nylon panels creates a jacket that is both forgiving of a lot of movement and tough when you’re chopping through brush or wood.
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It is also the best lightweight layering piece on the market. The jacket’s body mapping is intuitive and smart. A full merino back panel provides breathability where you need it most when you’re unpacking an animal or sitting against a tree.
It is comfortable, extremely light, and packable. You will find yourself reaching it on cool days on a run, or lying against a winter eel hunt.
It’s just a damn good jacket that will work for anyone no matter what you need it for.
What customers say: “This jacket was perfect right out of the gates. For the first hunt I used it in Ohio as the second layer of three. Then, I went on a hunt down in Louisiana and it was a perfect outer layer for duck hunting and deer hunting! Highly recommended.” –
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The Carhartt Stormy Woods Camo Jacket ($120-130) is a very affordable and waterproof option for hunters who might not want to drop $300+ on high-tech rain gear. But, high tech is still built into this tough and rugged jacket.
Built with Carhartt’s Storm Defender technology, the polyester shell is flexible, breathable and waterproof. The break-up Mossy Oak camo helps hunters keep a low profile. And classic Carhartt tailoring means plenty of pockets and room for layers.
The jacket cleverly tucks into its own front pocket for ease of storage, meaning it can live in your pack until you need it. And for the price, it’s a win-win for hunters who need a durable, versatile and waterproof layer at all times.
What customers say: “I really like this suit. It did extremely well in an absolute downpour while bowing. I love the fact that it rolls up nicely and is super packable when rain is in the forecast and you’re on your way to stand. It’s a bit loud, but overall it’s a great suit and I highly recommend it.” –
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KUIU’s Guide DCS Jacket is one of the best sellers in the biz. And with over 5,000 reviews landing it 4.8 stars, it’s an easy choice for best softshell. Wind-, water- and rip-resistant, this shell is built as a powerful outer layer to take on almost any conditions.
The Toray Primeflex fabric adds flexibility without losing breathability, and it’s backed with a soft microfleece for added insulation. Tons of pockets make storage easy, and an abundance of camo and solid options offer one of the widest color options in the industry.
The cut is athletic, and reviewers say that if you’re looking for a substantial layer, you’ll want to go up one size
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