Rated 4 out of 5áby Jazeigh Nice fit, good capacity, plenty of orange.
This is a very solid vest, and a great way to carry gear.
If you hunt with a backpack, you may be able to replace your pack with this--if you hunt without a pack at all, you should strongly consider this as a great way to increase what you can effectively carry.
This will be the biggest deciding factor for most buyers. I typically wear L or XL when it comes to T Shirts, I wear XL when it comes to sweatshirts, and L or XL when it comes to jackets. I'm about 6'1", 215lbs, and about 46" through the chest making me pretty much a standard "Large" fit in most things. That being said, the "L" vest is what I bought--and I wear it cinched nearly as tight as it will go. It almost tends to run a little big, if you ask me, which I would suppose is due to the fact that it's meant to be worn over other jackets and outdoor layers. Maybe it has to do with body types, but I have other vests from LL Bean that are "M" and fit me, whereas other brands I need an "L" or even "XL" in some cases. The width is fine and the length is also fine--but this system definitely benefits from the Boa adjustments. It doesn't drape off your body or feel loose, since the vest zips up then buckles in two places across the front and also has the Boa system on each side to dial in (or out) for final tightness adjustments. I tend to wear lighter gear when hunting, but if I were to layer up I am sure the "L" would still have enough room. The biggest recommendation I can make is to try this on with your heaviest hunting gear, then try it on with your lightest gear. Make sure you can adjust it as tight as you'd wear it with both your "warm" and "cold" gear so you don't like it early in the season and hate it towards the end!
The materials are light enough without feeling weak or cheap. It is fairly quiet as well, since it's not a very rough texture. The buttons are a quiet style, which personally doesn't do it for me. I saw another reviewer say they didn't close very nicely--and I'd agree with this. They are easy to open with gloved hands, but not very easy to close. They are quiet though, and I suppose that was the goal in their design. The mesh that is the base of the vest is very sturdy and the bucked across the front seem strong enough. I've worn this out in moderate rain and it didn't seem to soak in much water or gain weight which anyone who has worn a wool vest can appreciate.
The pouch on the back can be removed. I kept it, and I stow a 100oz Camelbak in there which is too large. Realistically a 64oz is probably even a little big for it. I tend to fill mine about halfway then double it over and it fits well enough. I'd like to see the back either have a better PALS/MOLLE system to accommodate an external Camelbak (or other hydration system) easier. PALS/MOLLE equipment has become so common now that it seems like an oversight exclude it, and although the system on the vest does resemble it--the spacing is entirely too far to properly attach your own gear.
The Blaze Orange.
At first glance (online) I wasn't sure there was actually enough orange on the vest. In person it's actually much coverage than it seems in photos, and when you're wearing it, the black areas either blend into your base layers or are cinched up in a way that makes it seem like nearly a full orange vest. Don't be scared off by the look. It ends up looking nearly uniform blaze orange when you're wearing it.
Right or Left?
I'm ambidextrous, and can shoot either hand. But not while wearing this vest. You are required to select a Left or Right handed version--and the orientation of the pouches truly enforces this. It's not that big of a deal, but if you carry a radio or phone in the top pouch (opposite your shooting shoulder) then you will not be firing off-hand. This isn't really a downside, just something to know when wearing this vest.
When wearing the vest with a fairly full load (ammo in the pockets, cliff bar in the mid pouch, GPS in the other mid pouch, radio in the top pouch, camelbak in the back pouch) I felt the weight was distributed fine. I didn't feel overloaded, or off balance, and it carries nicely in the woods. Pushing through bogs and quite a bit of brush wasn't bad aside from the pockets with the quiet buttons. I did stop to make sure they were completely closed--so I didn't lose any of my kit. The mesh framework also helped from overheating when working through particularly thick areas in the woods.
Overall I'd say this is a 4+ out of 5 star product.
Like anything else, the way the vest fits will be subjective, and if you have the ability to get into the retail store and try this on (with both warm and cold gear) you'll be able to tell the proper sizing. The only things I could think that would really make this vest a bigger win would be a better PALS/MOLLE attachement system on the back and potentially even the front, as well as maybe a revision on the buttons. I'm not sure if there's a market for a more modular hunting vest (where users could add/remove pouches on the front and back) and I'm sure there would end up being more trouble getting enough orange coverage on the vest...but at the very least I'd like to be able to do more with the back of the vest. Even attached as tightly as possible it's not an ideal way to carry anything comfortably in the pouch that's provided on the back. I'll continue to use this until there is a better option--if one ever comes about.
November 13, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5áby OutriderOne Great Vest
I have been waiting for a decent "BIG GAME" hunting vest to come along and this one is it. I have been able to carry all my gear in comfort..... I had to make some minor alterations but other than that I'm satisfied. As to water my camel back fits in the removable compartment in the back.....It was nice walking up to a downed elk with everything I needed to start dressing out such a large animal with having to hump back to the rig.......A 2XL would be nice for winter clothes.
March 11, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5áby followthedogs BOA VEST BIG Game could be great!
This vest could have been a great one, however the pockets will not stay closed with the snaps that are provided. If you climb through the thick brush hunting the snaps on the pockets open.
I thought it would be great for bird hunting with your dog and electronic controls close to your heart. The top pocket closing system works great. Oh, no game pouch of any size.
February 2, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5áby Sugamaka Very awkward in the deer woods.
I hoped this vest would replace my fanny pack for carrying essentials for staying in the woods all day. I found all of the pockets reduced my mobility in the woods. The snaps were not strong enough to prevent release when crawling through tight thickets. I think they should be replaced with buttons. So many pockets made remembering where everything is stored a hassle. The absence of roomy pockets for gloves or hats put all the burden for storage on the back pack which was the only place to store another layer like a vest or shell.
November 20, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5áby Ken123 Color
Please make this and other pack vests in camo, I do not wear Blaze if not required.
November 7, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5áby Redarrow32nd Very Cool Idea
I've been looking for something like this for years! Very cool idea. Vest is very well made, materials are all top quality, fit (improved over old model) is great, BOA systems works as advertised, and lots of pockets. The upper R/H pocket does get in the way when shouldering a weapon, even when pocket is empty. So now I'm faced with a decision: Cut the pocket off or return the vest. Seems like such a shame to cut the pocket off but can't be missing the trophy of a lifetime because of a pocket. L/H upper pocket is Velcro attached. Make the R/H the same way and I'd give it 5 stars.
October 21, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5áby lakesidemaine Chest pocket gets in the way for me...
I had the first version of this vest and bought the New Boa design with the hopes it would have solved my main complaint with the old design, which is when shouldering a rifle (right handed,5'8", average build) the butt of my gun most often gets hung up on the right side pocket, unfortunately the New Boa design of the chest pocket is the same and I will be returning the vest. Other than that the vest is well made and has plenty of storage space and is comfortable to wear for extended periods. Also, it would be nice if they could add a pocket for a water bottle to this vest.
September 18, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5áby bugman50 Boa Technical Big-Game Vest
I haven't had a chance to use it since hunting season is still closed. I tried it on and it seems a bit balky but the fit is good and the boa works as advertised.
September 11, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5áby wisconsinhunter1 great vest
I had to return this product because it was too small. I would recommend that you increase the sizes to at least 2xl. In Wisconsin you have to wear heavy clothes, and the xl is just too small. You should also add a compartment for water bottles and hand warmer pockets. It is a great vest but just too small. If you can at least increase the sizes available next year, I will definatly buy one and recommend it to all interested.
August 22, 2013