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Petzal's Take on Under Armour for Hunters

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December 08, 2011

Petzal's Take on Under Armour for Hunters

By David E. Petzal

Under Armour started as a manufacturer of gym clothes for people with 28-inch waists and 52-inch chests. Recently, they branched out into hunting clothes, and this September, I found myself in a hunting camp where I was the only one not wearing something from Under Armour. Shocked and appalled at how out of touch I was, I got hold of two items from Under Armour. One is the Men’s ArmourLoft Component Hunting Jacket,  and the other is the Men’s Big Shell Hunting Jacket . I’ve worn them in fair weather and foul in New York and Maine and Montana and Wyoming, and am pleased to report they’re nothing short of terrific.

The Component Hunting Jacket is designed to be worn under the Big Shell, or it can be worn by itself. It’s devoid of bells and whistles, and is extremely warm. I don’t know what it’s stuffed with—possibly the undercoats of musk oxen—but if you get cold wearing this thing, best see a doctor. Because the stuffing is so dense, it will not squash down into a fist-sized wad, but that’s about the end of its limitations.

The Big Shell Jacket, despite being labeled a jacket, is about parka length on a person of average height. It’s very light, folds into a small package, is cut quite full, and is very simple in design. There is no special pocket for your Lone Ranger Decoder Ring. Blessedly, it comes in loden green and not camo, which means you can wear it almost anywhere and blend in and you can wear it in the off-season as well. Under Armour says it is wind and water proof, and they are not kidding.

Combined, the Component Hunting Jacket and the Big Shell Jacket will prevail against just about anything. In Maine, I sat watching a hillside from 6:30 until noon on a day when when the temperature was 34 degrees and the wind was a steady 30 mph, gusting to 40. A doe wandered by and said:

“Moron, what are you doing here? I have to be out in this weather. What’s your excuse?”

As I had none, I went back to camp and took a nap. But I never got cold.

Worn together, these two coats will handle just about anything in the way of weather. They’re light, not bulky, and reasonably priced. The Component Hunting Jacket is $120 and the Big Shell is $170.

Comments (32)

Top Rated
All Comments
from MJC wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

But was there also the King of the Mountain, Queen B!tch Mother of All Wool Shirts on under all this? That's still the clothing item you've reviewed that I most want to get my hands on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from briarfire007 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

DP, what type of material is the component jacket made of. It looks like it might be a little noisy. Is it?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

If I own anything that is really good it ends up in the closet of one of my two sons. By those standards, the only Under Armour jacket I own must be pretty good.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sanjr wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I dont own any of the UA outerwear but I never leave home without the Cold Gear base layers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

This year I bought a good set of the UA outer wear for hunting. I've never had a season where I've been more warm or just all around comfortable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

My 21 year old athletic son is a big believer in UA and has spent many of his part time job pay checks on the stuff since he was in high school. 2 or 3 years ago he bought me one of their coats which has served much like DEP describes. I don't know what it is called but is a camo waist length item that is very suitable for layering under a parka or worn as the outside garment. Windproof and waterproof but not bulky. Nice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I have never seen anything in Tall sizes from UA, so that's out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RangerDansDrink... wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

UA makes a great florescent orange skull cap. Worn under a hunters orange ball cap and your head never gets cold.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

There's never a bad day when you got the right equipment. As for UA, I'll have to see before I buy it!

Had a Columbia Quad Parks in while in Alaska, worked fantastic. In fact, everything I bought from Columbia worked pretty good.

I hate short jackets, when you bend over, that gust of wind up the backside really wakes you up!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I don't care how good their stuff is, I have seen the Under Armor logo showcased on so many TV shows that I will never allow that logo to be seen on my person.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Anybody see the tragic irony of a company called "Under Armor" that makes outerwear?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Yep..UA is worth every penny..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Welcome to the UA age, DP. My daughters introduced me to UA a few years ago and it took me a while to check it out. I am now a user and it is good stuff. But, we have all done well with other products getting here. I still have a bunch of the old Eddie Bauer stuff when it was still Eddie Bauer - the 60s / 70s. Nothing, today, beats those products for dry cold, but down is not favorable to wet. I quit wearing wool - I don't remember how long back. Too heavy, too long to dry - when better fabrics came along. Especially when you are in the AK bush and do not drive home to a house or cabin each night to warm up and dry out. Still, looking back at the early/early days, north of 60, many survived with wool if not with furs. So, if nothing else the economy needs, constantly, a new something to sell to us consumers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

i used to only wear the cold gear as a base layer, but if i was every doing any hunting where i was walking such as bear drives or bird hunting and i started to sweat, it really gripped the skin and got uncomfortable. i switched over to cabelas thermals and i absolutely love those, better IMO then under armor thermals. however the under armor always kept me warm, and i did wear it for years for everything i did outside in the winter. so would i recommend it? i suppose, but i just like the cabelas thermals better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from argoman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

And a doe wandrered by and said: "it's a good thing you have a gun or i'd beat you up and take your Under Armour."

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Clay, I bought a Columbia Quad parka years ago in Cabela's bargain cave. I still wear it today for hunting and blowing snow off the drive way. IMO it is the best hunting coat made.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I haven't tried UA yet, but I'm gonna.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

My Christmas wish list has one item only under the heading of clothing...anything with the UA logo. It's pricey compared to most stuff but the quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten. On a day like the other day, temperature 18 degrees with a 20mph north wind, no one in our duck blind talked about how much money they saved on clothing, but it was acknowledged that "this UA is some good ****"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

The UA stuff isn't bad, but I worry about their going the way of North Face. That company has gone from fine down products, to pink fleecy things to wear at the mall.

Their first long johns and shirts feel better than their current ones.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from ja_demko wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

"Loden green?" Is that what olive drab changed its name to after it retired from the military?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from boof wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Under Armour Artic Beanies are great. I used to be all about Carhart for keeping my head warm, I am now a believer in UA. It is worth every penny.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Loden green is much darker and somewhat "greener " than OD.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Dave, glad to see there is someone else who doesn't want all their gear in camo. I always laugh when I look at pics in F&S of a guided muley or elk hunt and the hunter is head to toe camo and the guide is sitting there in blue jeans, worn jacket and a cowboy hat. I find a good green, grey or brown color works fine.

I've noticed the UA trend as well and have wondered if it's hype. I've had a hard time finding a good coat that I'll invest in for all the reasons you've mentioned. Thanks for review.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Good review Dave. I have mixed feelings about the UA gear I've tried. Some of it works great, some so-so. I think you're paying a lot just for the logo. I debated trying the base layers this year, but when I asked the employee at the hunting store what was the warmest she said "Avery brutal wear". So I went with that, paid $35 bucks for the set (top and bottom), the UA stuff was $50 each. The UA hoodie I have is the ONLY hoodie I've ever owned that ripped at the neck, its also the most expensive hoodie I've ever owned, go figure.

They're definitely the "best-marketed" gear maker, but I'm just not sure about them being the "best".

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I used the UA cold gear on an Idaho elk hunt in Dec and it was a great base layer. The hardest thing about wearing it though is seeing your fat ass crammed in it in the mirror, doesn't look like the models they use in the ads. Teamed up with Polar Fleece with a shell over it and you can tackle just about any minus temps. Another good outer rain jacket is one made for commercial fisherman that is perfect for outdoor people is Grundens brand. I've used it for 4 years of hard hunting and it still is like new. Has waterproof zippers on all exposed pockets and will keep out the driving rain. With all the great clothing they have nowadays there is no excuse for being cold when the temp drops down to O.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Personally I think UA gear is good, BUT, the price is insane. I think you pay far too much for the logo. You can find the exact same shirts, base layers, etc. at much more acceptable prices other places. I have not tried any of the outerwear, but I would be willing to bet the same would be true for that as well. Much like Nike, Addidas, et al the money is in the marketing. That being said, to each his/her own so if you like it, go for it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Under Armour "Always Lethal". Lethal underwear?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

To WA Mtnhunter:
You'd think that when you're rubbing elbows, such as UA, you'd have something in "Tall", but "No"., nothing.
Oh well, the old "Long John's" will have to do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

@ dale freeman,

One would think, huh?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Bought a UA hooded pullover, best $50.00 spent in awhile !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntinWV wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Ive had all of the cheaper wannabes and froze my butt off. When my buddy came up to me with a UA top under a fleece zip up after hunting for hours in 20 degree weather and said he had been toasty all day I knew it was time to switch to UA. I havent been cold since!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

If worn outside..the jacket, it looks to be NOISY..scratchy noisy against brush. Don't care for that aspect if it is. I make enough noise as it is. But it is exceptional clothing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

There's never a bad day when you got the right equipment. As for UA, I'll have to see before I buy it!

Had a Columbia Quad Parks in while in Alaska, worked fantastic. In fact, everything I bought from Columbia worked pretty good.

I hate short jackets, when you bend over, that gust of wind up the backside really wakes you up!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from argoman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

And a doe wandrered by and said: "it's a good thing you have a gun or i'd beat you up and take your Under Armour."

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

The UA stuff isn't bad, but I worry about their going the way of North Face. That company has gone from fine down products, to pink fleecy things to wear at the mall.

Their first long johns and shirts feel better than their current ones.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Good review Dave. I have mixed feelings about the UA gear I've tried. Some of it works great, some so-so. I think you're paying a lot just for the logo. I debated trying the base layers this year, but when I asked the employee at the hunting store what was the warmest she said "Avery brutal wear". So I went with that, paid $35 bucks for the set (top and bottom), the UA stuff was $50 each. The UA hoodie I have is the ONLY hoodie I've ever owned that ripped at the neck, its also the most expensive hoodie I've ever owned, go figure.

They're definitely the "best-marketed" gear maker, but I'm just not sure about them being the "best".

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Personally I think UA gear is good, BUT, the price is insane. I think you pay far too much for the logo. You can find the exact same shirts, base layers, etc. at much more acceptable prices other places. I have not tried any of the outerwear, but I would be willing to bet the same would be true for that as well. Much like Nike, Addidas, et al the money is in the marketing. That being said, to each his/her own so if you like it, go for it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from briarfire007 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

DP, what type of material is the component jacket made of. It looks like it might be a little noisy. Is it?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

If I own anything that is really good it ends up in the closet of one of my two sons. By those standards, the only Under Armour jacket I own must be pretty good.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sanjr wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I dont own any of the UA outerwear but I never leave home without the Cold Gear base layers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Anybody see the tragic irony of a company called "Under Armor" that makes outerwear?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Loden green is much darker and somewhat "greener " than OD.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MJC wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

But was there also the King of the Mountain, Queen B!tch Mother of All Wool Shirts on under all this? That's still the clothing item you've reviewed that I most want to get my hands on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

This year I bought a good set of the UA outer wear for hunting. I've never had a season where I've been more warm or just all around comfortable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

My 21 year old athletic son is a big believer in UA and has spent many of his part time job pay checks on the stuff since he was in high school. 2 or 3 years ago he bought me one of their coats which has served much like DEP describes. I don't know what it is called but is a camo waist length item that is very suitable for layering under a parka or worn as the outside garment. Windproof and waterproof but not bulky. Nice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I have never seen anything in Tall sizes from UA, so that's out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RangerDansDrink... wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

UA makes a great florescent orange skull cap. Worn under a hunters orange ball cap and your head never gets cold.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I don't care how good their stuff is, I have seen the Under Armor logo showcased on so many TV shows that I will never allow that logo to be seen on my person.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Yep..UA is worth every penny..

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dickgun wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Welcome to the UA age, DP. My daughters introduced me to UA a few years ago and it took me a while to check it out. I am now a user and it is good stuff. But, we have all done well with other products getting here. I still have a bunch of the old Eddie Bauer stuff when it was still Eddie Bauer - the 60s / 70s. Nothing, today, beats those products for dry cold, but down is not favorable to wet. I quit wearing wool - I don't remember how long back. Too heavy, too long to dry - when better fabrics came along. Especially when you are in the AK bush and do not drive home to a house or cabin each night to warm up and dry out. Still, looking back at the early/early days, north of 60, many survived with wool if not with furs. So, if nothing else the economy needs, constantly, a new something to sell to us consumers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

i used to only wear the cold gear as a base layer, but if i was every doing any hunting where i was walking such as bear drives or bird hunting and i started to sweat, it really gripped the skin and got uncomfortable. i switched over to cabelas thermals and i absolutely love those, better IMO then under armor thermals. however the under armor always kept me warm, and i did wear it for years for everything i did outside in the winter. so would i recommend it? i suppose, but i just like the cabelas thermals better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Clay, I bought a Columbia Quad parka years ago in Cabela's bargain cave. I still wear it today for hunting and blowing snow off the drive way. IMO it is the best hunting coat made.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

My Christmas wish list has one item only under the heading of clothing...anything with the UA logo. It's pricey compared to most stuff but the quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten. On a day like the other day, temperature 18 degrees with a 20mph north wind, no one in our duck blind talked about how much money they saved on clothing, but it was acknowledged that "this UA is some good ****"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ja_demko wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

"Loden green?" Is that what olive drab changed its name to after it retired from the military?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from boof wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Under Armour Artic Beanies are great. I used to be all about Carhart for keeping my head warm, I am now a believer in UA. It is worth every penny.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Dave, glad to see there is someone else who doesn't want all their gear in camo. I always laugh when I look at pics in F&S of a guided muley or elk hunt and the hunter is head to toe camo and the guide is sitting there in blue jeans, worn jacket and a cowboy hat. I find a good green, grey or brown color works fine.

I've noticed the UA trend as well and have wondered if it's hype. I've had a hard time finding a good coat that I'll invest in for all the reasons you've mentioned. Thanks for review.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dale freeman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

To WA Mtnhunter:
You'd think that when you're rubbing elbows, such as UA, you'd have something in "Tall", but "No"., nothing.
Oh well, the old "Long John's" will have to do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I haven't tried UA yet, but I'm gonna.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I used the UA cold gear on an Idaho elk hunt in Dec and it was a great base layer. The hardest thing about wearing it though is seeing your fat ass crammed in it in the mirror, doesn't look like the models they use in the ads. Teamed up with Polar Fleece with a shell over it and you can tackle just about any minus temps. Another good outer rain jacket is one made for commercial fisherman that is perfect for outdoor people is Grundens brand. I've used it for 4 years of hard hunting and it still is like new. Has waterproof zippers on all exposed pockets and will keep out the driving rain. With all the great clothing they have nowadays there is no excuse for being cold when the temp drops down to O.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Under Armour "Always Lethal". Lethal underwear?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

@ dale freeman,

One would think, huh?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Bought a UA hooded pullover, best $50.00 spent in awhile !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntinWV wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

Ive had all of the cheaper wannabes and froze my butt off. When my buddy came up to me with a UA top under a fleece zip up after hunting for hours in 20 degree weather and said he had been toasty all day I knew it was time to switch to UA. I havent been cold since!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

If worn outside..the jacket, it looks to be NOISY..scratchy noisy against brush. Don't care for that aspect if it is. I make enough noise as it is. But it is exceptional clothing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment