Outdoor clothing manufacturer Ridgeline recently supplied Abela’s Hunt & Shoot with a complete set of Ridgeline clothing for a deer hunt in Southern NSW. On the hunt I was joined by Chris Lowe who is the general manager of Abela’s Gunshops.
Leaving early on the Saturday morning on our 5 hour drive we arrived at the hunting property with more than enough time to get settled into the cottage and go through exactly what Ridgeline had supplied us with.
Ridgeline Top To Toe Pack:
This pack was perfect for around camp in between hunts. It was the middle of Winter, there was snow on the mountain peaks around us and the top to toe pack was comfortable and warm to wear.
Ridgeline Recoil/ROAR II Camo Clothing.
Ridgeline provided me with their all new Recoil Jacket and Pants in their latest camouflage design Wapati Camo which seems to be designed for the more lush areas of Australia and New Zealand.
Chris was supplied with the ROAR II Clothing in the venerable Buffalo camo.
Both the Recoil and Roar are the Staple of the Ridgeline brand as far as being water and wind proof. With their three layer fully seam sealed design of the jacket the water proof rating is up around 10,000mm, with a strong zipper and storm flap we could hunt all day without the threat of getting wet and cold. The neoprene cuffs fit sung so there was no chance of rain entering via the sleeves whilst glassing and laying on the soggy ground. The large hip pockets provided plenty of storage for all our necessities.
The property we were hunting on was extremely wet on the ground, so much so you could only stick to driving on the tracks and even then it was extremely wet and muddy, it certainly gave my new Holden Colorado a workout in 4WD. We experienced temperatures below freezing up to about 12 degrees celsius and were not cold whilst hunting nor did we get too hot.
Due to the amount of water around; everywhere you sat, kneeled or laid was damp at best to sopping wet as if you were laying on a wet sponge. The clothing kept us completely dry and warm throughout the several days of slogging through the mud.
After carrying out a deer we had shot the outer layer of my Recoil jacket was soaked in blood on my back. After we got back to camp I hung the jacket up and hosed the blood off. This resulted in the outer layer of the jacket being dripping wet but the inside of the jacket was completely dry which is a testament to how waterproof these jackets are. The next morning after attempting to dry the jacket near the fire, the jacket was completely dry, with no blood staining and ready for the morning’s hunt.
When it comes to durability both the Recoil and Roar II camo clothing performed excellently and took everything we threw at it whilst keeping us warm and dry in the cold conditions. These garments are great outer layers which protect you from the elements.
We did find that the pants made some noise whilst walking. It was noticeable but definitely not loud and after a few more uses it seems that the clothing has quietened down quite a bit since brand new.
We were also supplied with Ridgeline Backpacks these were great I have the most experience with the Ridgeline Medium Hydro Day pack as I bought this bag as I was in desperate need for a dedicated hunting bag that can hold all the things I need whilst I’m out in the field.
I needed something that could hold a dSLR camera, a video camera, range finder, electronic game caller, ammunition and anything else I would need to go and film a hunt which this pack does with ease. In fact I could fit my camera bag in it and that holds my dSLR, my video camera and an additional lens in the 30L pack.
The pack is very comfortable and it is of sturdy construction. The zippers are of a good quality which is of importance to me as I absolutely loathe a bag with cheap dodgy zippers.
It has a waist and chest strap which keeps the bag from bouncing as you walk.
The pack features padded shoulder straps and a padded back that is made of a material that is meant to be conducive to air flow to keep your back from sweating too much. The padding is comfortable and is a big part of what makes this bag so good.
The bag has a compartment to put a water bladder in it but the bladder is not included. I feel that they could have added a few extra dollars onto the price to include the bladder with the back pack. It would have added a lot more value to it with something that would have just cost a few more dollars. Its not a big deal but just one of those fine detail things.
The bag also has a hi-vis rain sheath that will be handy when you get caught in the rain or when you are hunting around a lot of other hunters. It tucks away neatly in a small zippered pocket on the bottom of the pack.
Overall the pack is a good buy at around the $90-$100 mark. I can safely recommend it to anyone with little worry that they will not like such a versatile day pack.
Testing out the Camouflage.
Both the Buffalo and Wapiti camo designs were tested, they seemed to work great given the right setting but the important thing to remember is that camo is not designed to make you completely invisible but is designed to break up your shape and to not easily be distinguished as a human or something out of the ordinary.
We felt that the Wapiti camo worked great in lush settings and would be well suited to coastal and temperate areas where there is plenty of greenery around, that being said it also did very well blending into the shadows around trees and felled timber.
The Buffalo camo is perhaps a bit more versatile as it does very well in places where there is lots of brown yellows and green.
Both work extremely well breaking up your shape and to the human eye during a late afternoon of “hide and seek” with the camo both blended in well, whilst you could often see that “something” was there at a distance you couldn’t tell if it was a shrub or a person. Even with bino’s I saw exactly where Chris was sitting in the middle of a paddock but did not identify him I just thought he was simply a shrub until he stood up. If I were a game animal it would have been too late for me at this time.
Ridgeline Apache Boots
Stay tuned for a review of these, unfortunately we guessed our sizes and they were too small for us so we were unable to wear the boots during this review but we have the correct sizes now and will be writing a review on these as soon as we can get out and test them.
Overall the offerings from Ridgeline are exceptional, they are competitively priced, are of high quality and work exactly as advertised. After this review I have switched to Ridgeline camo from a competing brand due to how this hunting clothing performed out in the field.