I cannot think of a time I have felt more bilked in my life than purchasing camo. It’s expensive. For the premium brands of camo, it is expensive.
For this post, my buddy Ricky and I have done a huge amount of research. We want to help you feel confident with the camo pattern that you go with.
We have some Realtree, Mossy Oak stuff, the store brand like Kilik, Sitka, Under Armour, and there are other brands: Kryptek, Kuiu, First Lite, etc. And we will talk about all of them and walk you through what we have learned.
What We Picked
For each brand, we picked out a whole outfit including pants, a shirt, hoodie, raincoat, and an insulated warm coat. It is amazing that you can find a whole set from Mossy Oak or Realtree for about $115 when on the other side of the spectrum, you could spend about $1000 on the Under Armour set.
|Mossy Oak/Realtree||Killik/Store Brand||Kryptek||Kuiu||First Lite||Sitka||Under Armour|
|Pants||Mossy Oak Hunting Pant ($27.04)||Axiom Pant ($54.77)||Valhalla Pant ($99.99)||Tiburon Pant ($139.00)||Catalyst Soft Shell Pant ($230.00)||Traverse Pant ($149.95)||Ridge Reaper Field Pant ($149.99)|
|Shirt||Ultimate Cold Gear Base Layer Top ($17.88)||Basis K1 Long Sleeve Shirt ($45.00)||Arma Tech Half Zip ($53.99)||Peloton LS Crew Shirt ($69.00)||Men’s LS Crew ($80.00)||Core Lightweight Crew ($69.95)||Ridge Reaper Crew Shirt ($24.92)|
|Hoodie||Realtree Performance Fleece Hoodie ($17.88)||Basis K1 Hoodie ($60.00)||Arma Hoodie ($101.99)||Peloton ZipT Hoodie ($99.00)||Klamath Hoodie ($130.00)||Apex Hoodie ($219.95)||Camo Fleece Hoodie ($159.97)|
|Jacket||Realtree Insulated Jacket ($19.88)||Axiom Waterproof Jacket ($99.97)||Cirius Down Jacket ($189.00)||Northridge Rain Jacket ($249.00)||Chamberlain Down Jacket ($200.00)|
Sitka Thunderhead Rain Jacket ($329.95)
|Gore Tex Pro Shell Waterproof Jacket ($380.00)|
|Heavy Coat/Puff Jacket||Mossy Oak Parka ($33.59)||Summit Puff Hunting Jacket ($130.00)||Anorak Jacket ($229.00)||Zenai Ultra Jacket ($199.00)||Vapor Stormlight Ultra-Light ($240.00)||Kelvin Puff Hoodie Jacket ($199.95)||Alpine Ops Parka ($280.00)|
There is a fairly large gap from Mossy Oak to Killik, then from Killik to Kryptek.
It is important to note that we do know this is not the perfect test. Each brand has several types of coats, pants, shirts, and hats. Plus, each brand’s quality is different. For example, Kuiu and Kryptek have expansive lines, so there is a variety of what you could find.
We tried our best to find the middle of the road for each brand. But really, what you should note is that First Lite is not always more expensive than Kryptek. Under Armour is not always the most expensive brand also. It all depends on the types of clothing you pick out.
Everything is linked in the description of the YouTube video that is linked below if you are wanting to buy any of the pieces we used.
My Hunting Gear History
Ricky and I have been hunting with our buddies since we were in high school! We started off wearing Realtree camo. You can get really good quality stuff in Mossy Oak and Realtree stuff. But you can also go to Wal-Mart and buy a $20 fleece that will not do very well.
Even in our Mossy Oak gear, we were still able to hunt effectively. They will still kill dear, elk, and bear. They are not as cool as the fancier brands, but they still work great. You will do just fine in the Mossy Oak gear.
I was really excited about Killik. You can see in the video down below that I am actually wearing a Killik shirt while filming! They make the comfiest shirts. Every time I go to Sportsman’s Warehouse, I buy a new Killik shirt because I have never worn something so comfortable.
Killik is Sportsman’s Warehouse’s store brand. Cabellas also has its own store brand that is comparable to Sportman’s Warehouse’s. It is a little more expensive, but it is still similar.
I love the pattern of Killik and the pricing is great! Before doing my research, I was excited to make a video about how great Killik’s hunting camo clothing is. Ricky and I were set to make a video about how people spend too much money on hunting gear and how you do not need to buy expensive brands. We were set that Killik was the best at a great price.
But, experience happened.
We were preparing for a very cold winter hunt and went to buy a puff coat or a rain jacket. As we searched, we found that it was hard to find anything because it was all sold out.
Also, their puff coat was not worth it. You could go without it because the quality was so poor. The coat Ricky picked up was the only one in his size and the stitching was messed up. It would not work as a coat.
Most of the Killik stuff that I picked out was great quality and worked great. But it was hard to find all of the pieces that I needed. So, if you kind find everything you need, go for it! But, it can be a struggle to find the gear in stock.
More Expensive Brands
For the particular hunt we went on to test the gear, we chose these clothing items because of availability. There were more options to chose from in general from the expensive brands.
I hunt a lot and really enjoy it. I am going to Africa, we hunt in Idaho and I went to Texas on a hunting trip. I want a system where I can buy a piece if I am going to Alaska for a hunt or going to Africa for a hunt. I do not want to switch camo and mismatch. I like to match!
There are many brands that make great quality clothing. It all comes down to which pattern you prefer. I really like Kuiu as a brand. I actually have their backpack that works really well, but I do not prefer their camo pattern. I really like Kryptek’s pattern. I think it looks really cool. It is a local Boise company, but the availability was really hard to find.
You will work through your decision of the higher up brands yourself, but what we do want to show you is the specific stuff we buy.
Here are the specific pieces we chose where you can go just about anywhere to hunt and be comfortable.
Starting at the top, here are some hats!
It all depends on your preference. I like to wear a beanie to look a little more redneck, while Ricky prefers a normal cap.
Under Armour has a really cool beanie that is reversible. One side is camo and the other side is hunter orange.
I really like the neck warmer from Sitka because you are able to pull it over your face and ears if you want. It is really handy to keep yourself warm. I even slept in it and it kept me warm.
Face masks can get wet and stuff and I found that I could keep this out of the way. I took it on a recent hunt we went on and we were in 14 inches of snow, so I enjoyed the extra layers.
Ricky does not like neck warmers because he gets too warm, sweats too much, and the neck warmer gets wet and he does not like it.
Both Under Armour and Sitka have great rain jackets.
I passed the Sitka Thunderhead Rain Jacket multiple times in the store, not realizing it was a rain jacket! It is so soft and relatively quiet. It almost feels like fleece. We had a lot of precipitation on our hunt and it was completely dry. I had no problems with this jacket. I would not want to wear this jacket in multiple days of a downpour, but it is perfectly rainproof. I did size up one size so I could wear the rain jacket over my coat.
I liked how quiet it was because I bow hunt a lot, so having a quiet jacket is perfect for that situation.
The Under Armour one Ricky picked is a little more plastic feeling, like a typical raincoat. Under Armour also has pants in the same gore-tex material. There was no moisture inside at all. He wore it most of the time without the warmer jacket he had, even though it was really cold and snowy because it held in his heat so well. Even though it is not super thick and insulated, it still did a great job keeping Ricky warm!
Let me tell you a tale. A tale of when I bought this coat. It is a women’s coat. I will admit it. Apparently, a Women’s XL is a Men’s Medium! It fit me perfectly, so I bought it! Leave me alone! It is a women’s coat and it works just like a men’s coat. It keeps you warm.
Anyway, I was really happy with the Kelvin Puff Hoodie Jacket because that is how I layer up when going on a cold hunt. On top of the puff coat, I will typically wear an insulated rain jacket on the outer, so if I do heat up, I can wear just the rain jacket as my one layer. I was very happy that I was not getting soaked when wearing it even though it is not rainproof.
Ricky found that the Under Armour Alpine Ops Parka is extremely warm. It is deceptive because it is super light, so he thought there was no way that that jacket insulates that well. It is light but so warm. It was so warm that he often ended up taking it off and wearing the raincoat.
Under Armour says it is water-resistant rather than waterproof and Ricky did not have issues of moisture breaking through. He did wear the raincoat the most, but it still worked. Ricky did not like how he could not wear a raincoat over it since it is a parka. If he did want to wear a raincoat over it, he would have to size up. The parka is the same size as the raincoat and it fit a lot looser than the raincoat.
Ricky said if he were to do it again, he would have gone with a raincoat and a puff vest, as he did not need both coats. The coat is rather pricey but is an awesome coat that will keep you warm and dry.
Both brands have several options.
I got the Sitka Traverse pants with kneepads. For hunting, I love kneepads! I started getting pants with kneepads when I was into photography and had my photography blog that took me around the world. Kneepads are so nice for photography and hunting because you are kneeling down all of the time. It makes it really convenient to have kneepads.
The pants do come with or without kneepads, but I chose the kneepads because of the durability. There is also a pad on the butt which made me feel like a white tail since I had a different pattern on my butt. I really liked the pants and found them to work great!
Ricky chose the Under Armour Ridge Reaper Field Pants that are wind stoppers and also are about $200. There is also a $350 pair and a $150 pair. The $200 pair he chose were great overall! They stopped the wind well and were moisture resistant.
The only problem he had was they tore on the leg within the first hour of hiking. A twig snagged on the bottom part of my pants and tore it the first time. They did snag a lot, so he had to be extra careful. Ricky liked these pants because they are fleece-lined. But, if he had to do it again, he says he would have gone with the $350 gore-tex waterproof pants with a Merino wool in between.
So there you go! We did a basic walk-through of the pricing and why we chose what we chose for a general set up you could take almost anywhere in the world to go hunting with. You could choose a lot of these and they will do well. Again, the links are in the description of the video below.