Sometimes your hunting gear is less about camo in the woods and scent blocking and more about what it can logistically do for you. The best upland hunting vest might not blend you perfectly into your environment but should beat most of the classic hunting jackets in terms of convenience. There are many situations in which an upland vest is a great choice and if you know what to look for the price/ performance ratio can be incredible. Our buying guide and the reviews below should get you started and save you some time that you might as well spend out there dove hunting or waterfowling.
If this is the first time you are looking at some upland gear over fancy technology loaded modern hunting equipment, we’ve got you covered. We made sure to cover all the essential attributes that one should consider when choosing the best upland hunting vest and accordingly to that chose some of the top options on the market right now. There’s a pretty nice spectrum in the upland vests reviewed below, from bare essentials to some nice bells and whistles. Since the price reflects that, make sure you take a moment to think about what you actually need.
Color and Material
The first thing you’ll notice about most upland gear is the lack of camo patterns. In terms of color, you will mostly find earthy and olive tones combined with some patches of blaze orange. Oh no – you might think- then won’t the deer and birds see me? Birds maybe, but deer not so much. Keep in mind, the eyesight of deer sucks. Like really sucks. Worse than ours. On the distance you are going to shoot them from, you will look like a grayish blurry tree stump anyway, so no, you don’t need the newest camo pattern of 2018 to bring home some some dinner. Deer can’t see orange and as long as you don’t dress in blue, your color actually doesn’t really matter. Some states like Washington even require you to wear a certain amout of hunter orange.
Click here to check the regulations for your state.
When it comes to birds though, they are the complete opposite. While you might be proud on being able to read that street sign 30 meters away, the duck you are trying to shoot sees the beetle crawling over it. Since upland hunting vests aren’t made for staying perfectly hidden in a blind, this doesn’t really matter though and if that’s your plan, I recommend taking a look at our hunting jacket guide.
All in all the material used for an upland vest makes them a little tougher than a hunting jacket. Since insulation, waterproofness and breathability aren’t something manufacturers have to care about when it comes to upland hunting vests, you get tough and durable fabrics like nylon or polyester. No layers, no special technology, you really should focus on material that can take up some beating. Keep in mind that it’s definitely easier for a vest to get caught onto an unfavorably hanging branch while stalking through the bushes. Since a scent blocking technique on a vest would be pretty ridiculous, that’s also something you won’t find on our list.
Upland vests are going to double as a mobile storage unit for you. Many of them will brag about how many pockets they come equipped with and unlike most of the other marketing, that’s actually something you should care about. One of the main selling points of those vests is in fact the storage. Shells, a gutting knife, duck calls or whatever you can come up with, inevitable for your day of hunting should find a place in there.
Price should be last on the list but might actually be important for you. When it comes to upland vests, you don’t have to drop big bucks. You want it to last you and you want it to carry some stuff for you. Easy right? So don’t drop huge amounts on the vest when you could save that for something else and more fun. Decide for yourself what you actually need and what is just some fancy but unnecessary feature bloating the price. As with all hunting gear, if you want to, you can spend a little fortune but do you have to? Certainly not!
The 4 Best Upland Hunting Vests
After outlining all the factors we consider to create this list we more than sure that there should be at least one item on it that’s suitable for you. We made sure to cover all price ranges, from cheap but long lasting to a upland vest full of features and probably and overkill for most hobby hunters. No matter what you plan on doing the best upland hunting vest for your case should be listed below.
- Storage for up to 16 shells, easily accessible
- Padding for comfortable shooting
- Cotton canvas fabric for durability
- Includes bloodproof gamebag
This is a great upland vest choice for anyone just looking for a starter vest without too much fancy addons. It’s very sturdy with a durable cotton canvas designed to withstand quite some beating and padding in the right areas to improve comfort. The storage capabilities are effectively accessible and usable for virtually anything you might find yourself bringing on a bird hunt. The 12 inch deep pockets offer quite some room and in combination with the chance to store up to 16 shells this upland vest really fulfills it’s purpose. On the rear you will find a blood-proof gamebag to keep your catch handy without ruining any of the fabric. The bag is easily reachable from both sides and stays on your back and out of the way if you don’t need it. Around 500 square inches of blaze orange increases your visibility and safety when out in the field and depending on the type of hunting you do it should cover the mandatory amount. Always make sure how much hunter orange you are actually wearing and always check the regulations for your state.
One thing that should be mentioned, the sizing on this bad boy can seem a little off. It runs a little large. Depending on the climate you plan on hunting in and the amount of layers you plan on wearing, the right size may vary. If you plan on wearing less than 3 layers underneath, ordering one size smaller than usual should work out great.
- Two large front pockets plus game bag
- Elastic shell holders on the inside
- Padding for comfortable shooting
The cheapest one of the list and definitely the perfect option if you want to get the best upland hunting vest for the money. If you compare this one to the Gamehide vest the only major difference is the amount of material used and therefore weight of the product. As a result this upland vest insulates less but provides similar features. The elastic shell holders are now placed inside the pockets instead of on the outside which sacrifices a little storage room, but besides that they offer the same stuff.
The amount of hunter orage should be around the same and might be enough, depending on your state. The rest of the vest comes in a classic olive colored polyester and is pretty well made, especially if you consider the price. Stitches and seams are convincing and for less than 30 bucks you get definitely decent value.
In terms of sizing this upland vest is actually adjustable with bilateral straps. A great option if you want to wear all years around with a different amount of layers underneath.
- 4 big and 2 small exterior pockets
- 2 big and one small interior pockets
- Waterproof lining let’s you sit everywhere
- Compass and LED light attached
Our overall favorite! Fairly priced with a truck load of features, some more useful than others but definitely all nice to have.
Starting with the pockets this upland vest offers two big and spacey front pockets that close with a button and two slightly smaller front pockets that close with a zipper. This lets you store small stuff without the constant fear of losing it and the zipper itself brings us to the next feature: Attached to the zippers are a compass and a LED light. While not really necessary during the average bird hunt, it’s always nice to have both available constantly. On the inside you will find another two bigger pockets and one smaller that works perfectly for storing your car keys or your smartphone. For sure the most exotic feature on this west is the waterproof lining attached to its back. Ever came across a wet bench and felt like sitting down? Well now you can, even without getting wet! Sit where you want! You won’t even notice it when not in use and it’s definitely another really nice thing to have. The classic game bag on the back and a nice little ID holder on your chest round up this upland vest and definitely make it our favorite. In terms of color it definitely offers enough of hunter orange, but as always…. Check your states regulations guys!
The vest is true to its size so just get your usual size and you should be fine. Keep in mind that, like all the upland hunting vests on this lists, it’s designed to fit over several layers or a bigger jacket.
- 10 pockets and 3 compartments for incredible storage
- Shell loops at the waist
- Hydration bag capable
- Removable waterproof game bag
Last but certainly not least, the S-Class under the upland hunting vests. This one is definitely some next level and let’s be honest, probably an overkill for the average hunter. That being said, it’s definitely more than nice to have and if you want to treat yourself and get something special, this might be the perfect and best upland hunting vest for you.
If you’re very serious about getting yourself a quality product and don’t mind sinking some money into a long term hunting investment, then this vest offers everything you could possibly want and need. It’s got 10 pockets for some serious storage capabilities and that’s not even counting the 3 extra compartments. In addition to that you don’t even have to use those for shells since you got elastic straps at the waist. You get the idea, filling up this vest is probably more challenging than the hunt itself.
Want some more? This upland vest offers you the chance to install a hydration bag. Until this point you might not even know that you want one, but get that: Take a sip of your favourite drink without laying your gun down! Yes I said drink and not water, who says hydration bags are limited to that. There is also a completely waterproof and detachable game bag for you to carry all your goods around in. This is a vest is essentially a walking storage unit, who needs a truck?
Jokes aside, this thing is literally the best upland hunting vest we could find. Get this one and enjoy this great investment for the next 10 hunting seasons without ever feeling the need to replace it. If you have the money and feel like spending it, this the way to go!
So that’s it. Our list of the 4 best upland hunting vest. No matter what budget you got in mind there should be something up there fitting right in. Think about what you really need, what’s important during your average day of hunting and then buy accordingly. Even if you go for the cheapest option we made sure, that you still get quality if you trust us here. Hopefully we were able to save you some time researching that you can now spend on hunting. Waidmannsheil!