The hunting industry is flooded with dozens of clothing companies, marketing their line of clothes to us, the outdoorsmen, but with so many choices how do we decide on what line or brand of clothes is best for our needs? It is simple; we rely on our fellow sportsmen to give good, honest, unbiased reviews of products so we can make informed decisions before spending our hard-earned money. This leads me to a review on why I choose SKRE gear. However, before I dive into my impressions of SKRE, I want to outline where and how I hunt.This information is essential when trying to make an informed decision.I am a Mid-West Whitetail hunter.I spend the majority of my time perusing deer on Public lands in the great state of Kentucky.Because I hunt public land, I do a fair amount of walking, getting away from the roads and other hunters. Having clothing that moves with me allowing me to be nimble is very important. Once I get to my destination, my time is spent 20 feet up a tree.Having a camouflage pattern that blends in to my surroundings is necessary.Mid-November rut hunts can be brisk; having a layering system that keeps me warm allows me to stay on stand for those all day rut hunts.These factors are what led me to put my faith in SKRE. After looking long and hard at the SKRE line-up I decided on the Hardscrabble series Pants, Jacket and vest along with Kaibab 170 merino top, neck gaiter and hat. My initial impressions of SKRE were warranted, here are my thoughts.
Camo: SKRE is a relatively new comer on the block when it comes to performance based hunting apparel. When navigating SKRE’s website the first thing that drew my attention was their Mountain Stealth camo pattern. A lot of thought and consideration went into the design of the two SKRE camo patterns. The patterns just plain work. Whether in the stand or on the ground doing some spot and stalk, the pattern blends in flawlessly. I liked knowing that it is a versatile workhorse of a pattern that will serve me well hunting in the Mid-West or out West chasing Elk or Aoudad.My hunting friends are so impressed with the MTN Stealth camo pattern that they have added it to their Christmas list!
Performance: Because I walk a fair amount getting into more remote spots, performance of my clothes is a very important factor.I want a garment that gives me freedom of movement when traversing terrain and climbing up, over and through the thick stuff. The anatomical fit of SKRE is second to none.There is no binding in the crotch or armpit areas, and it fits well through the hips, upper back and shoulders.The design and layout of pockets is excellent. Probably one of my favorite features is the dual pit zips to help exhaust heat when on the move and hold it in when stationary. The fabric used in the design of the Hardscrabble series is ultra-quiet unlike some of their competitor’s line up. If I had to nitpick, one area that I think could use improvement it would be the lack of a cuff system on the pants.If I wear my pants tucked into my rubber boots it’s not an issue but when I’m wearing hiking boots I like to be able to use a draw string or snap system to keep my pants tight around my boots, this is not an option on the SKRE pants. This minor issue can easily be resolved by getting a pair of the SKRE gaiters. I have worn the system in temperatures as hot as 90 degrees during the opening weekend of Archery season in Kentucky into the low 30’s in early December. The layering of the merino top coupled with the hardscrabble vest and jacket is comfortable for me down into the mid to low 40’s. Below that, I would recommend pairing the Ptarmigan ultra-down jacket with it for added warmth in cooler conditions.
Customer Service: In my opinion one of the most important factors when choosing a company to do business with is its reputation on how it treats its customers and how they stand by their products. SKRE is one of if not the best customer service programs I have experienced.Before purchasing my gear I noticed that SKRE clearly states how items are sized and how they fit in relation to your desired size.It’s good to know that they recognize that some items may run on the small size so they are transparent and are willing to allow you to exchange pieces as many times to get the desired fit at no cost to you, the customer.SKRE was very helpful when I called to ask a few questions I had on sizes and needs based on my style of hunting.After getting off the phone I quickly placed an order, and I am happy to say, I got the sizing right on the first try.You will be hard pressed to find another company that is as willing to help its customers get exactly what they need and at a price point that will not break the bank.Do yourself a favor; give SKRE a try the next time you are in the market for some new performance hunting apparel! You will not be disappointed.