I have always steered clear of men’s or unisex hunting apparel and gear because they’ve never seemed to work well for me. I am tiny and petite and would probably fit better in children’s hunting apparel than I would most women’s apparel. However, the Upland Game Vest X by AlpsOutdoorz has changed my opinion on men’s and unisex items. After wearing it this year on my annual pheasant and quail hunt at Heritage 1865, I was impressed and was left wondering why I ever tried any other upland vest in the first place.
Size and Fit
This pack would technically be considered a “one size fits all”, but it is adjustable via the straps in the front and around the waist. As I mentioned before I am pretty petite, (5’3”, 110 pounds to be more specific) and I was able to tighten up the straps to where the vest fit me perfectly. It actually fit me better than my Eddie Bauer upland vest that is designed specifically for women. I was comfortable walking the fields all day, no digging from it being too tight, and no bouncing from it being too large. It was just right.
I know a lot of women are probably going to be concerned about the horizontal strap across the front, due to a woman’s anatomy. I admit I was a little concerned about this myself before I tried this vest, but honestly while I was out hunting I was comfortable and didn’t give it another thought. These straps are high enough up on your chest that they shouldn't cause any issues. Someone bigger chested than me could possibly have an issue with comfort here, but it I doubt it. My advice would be to at least try it out, because the size is adjustable here too. I really don’t foresee it being an issue for most women.
Functionality and Features
The shoulder straps are ultra-thin. I was able to shoulder my shotgun quickly and comfortably without it hanging on the straps. This was another issue that I admit I was afraid I was going to have with this pack, but it exceeded my expectations in this area as well.
Two front shell pockets are large enough to accommodate an entire box of shells each. This was extremely handy in the field and is a feature that none of my other upland vests had. It was a nice change and yet another reason I don’t want to use any other upland vest or pack in the future.
Two flip down gun rests are included, as well as a lightweight vented back and waist belt construction. The flip down gun rests helped quite a bit with gun fatigue throughout the hunt. The vented back worked well to keep me from getting too sweaty or hot while hunting in the afternoons when it was warmer.
The game pocket on the pack is large enough to fit a limit of birds, if not more, and unzips for easy cleaning. I also brought some extra water bottles along and put them in this pocket, along with the limit of birds that were shot and had plenty of room.
One large rear organizational pocket
Two extra gear pockets
Two water bottle pockets
Two radio pockets
Weight: 2 lbs. 9 oz.
This vest exceeded my expectations and has changed my opinion on purchasing hunting items that aren’t made specifically for women. It was comfortable, lightweight, easy to shoulder my gun in and had all the bells and whistles, (plus some), that you would expect out of an upland pack. My favorite feature is probably the shell pockets. I love that the entire box of shells fits in each pocket, making it easier to stay organized and for me to re-load.
Ladies, if you’re like me and like to bring a lot of extra items along on the hunt, I highly recommend this vest. Not only do all of the pockets make it easier to organize everything you bring along, the shoulder and waste straps on this pack make it easier to carry a heavy load than with a normal upland vest.
Where to Purchase
You can purchase this pack at AlpsOutdoorz for $139.99.
By Andrea Haas