Being cold is probably the worst part of hunting. Even on moderately cold days, it can start to feel a little more extreme if you are just sitting still and not up, moving around. Any whitetail hunter that has sat in a blind or stand for hours knows this well.
Once heated jackets made their way into the hunting world, I knew I had to get one. Even though I'm no longer sitting in the whitetail woods, hunting in Idaho is COLD! Spring turkey season usually means there's still snow on the ground. Fall elk hunting usually has below-freezing mornings and time spent sitting on a shady hillside. And during duck season, I've hunted many days in freezing temperatures and when snow is falling.
The thing with heated clothing is that it was always too expensive for me; I just didn't want to spend that much on it. And the hunting brands that offer it typically only have it in a camo pattern that I don't really prefer (I know, the camo pattern isn't that important!).
I recently found Heated Hunter and had the opportunity to test their GoHuntShell™ Heated Hunting Jacket. Just to be upfront, I did receive this jacket at no charge. However, I will give my honest review so other hunters can decide if this product is right for them.
I was able to wear and test the jacket out during Idaho's spring turkey season. The morning lows were in the 20s, and there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground, which made it feel much colder.
GoHuntShell™ - Heated Hunting Jacket
3 heating modes: Warm - 113°F, Comfortable - 95°F, and Energy-Saving - 77°F
Waterproof and windproof
5 heating zones
6 external pockets
Key clip in the front pocket
Adjustable elastic cords in the waist and hood
Size and Fit
I typically wear a medium jacket, but I received a large. Unfortunately, I didn't notice it right away, so I just kept it. The large actually fits well and is not too big.
I would consider it a mid-weight jacket. It's not bulky or too thick. And it was light enough to wear comfortably under my turkey vest during the spring turkey season.
The length of the sleeves was perfect for me. And the body of the jacket was long enough so that it hit at about hip level (for reference, I am 5'8" tall). This is great because it provides coverage in the back, even when sitting. The back is slightly longer and scalloped shape for better coverage.
It is a unisex design. The body of the jacket is fairly straight, which I prefer, so it does not have a 'curvy' shape that many women's jackets have. It had plenty of room inside once zipped up and did not feel tight around the chest or hips.
Overall, the jacket was comfortable to wear and fit well, even in the large size.
Heated Hunter does have a size chart on its website, so you can take measurements to see what size would be best for you. The high measurement for medium is the low measurement for large, which is why the large didn't seem big.
As I mentioned, I was able to test this out during turkey season when the morning temperatures were in the 20s. I wore a thin tank top and a thin long-sleeved camo hunting shirt under the jacket and my turkey vest over it.
The jacket has 5 heating zones: front belly area, upper back, lower back, and each sleeve at the elbow.
Once I got situated in my spot, I turned the jacket to the 'Comfortable' mode (medium heat). I wasn't cold yet and was still a little warm just from the walk up the mountain, but I didn't want to wait until I was cold. Within a few minutes, I could already feel the heat. It's subtle, so you don't just feel hot areas; it sort of radiates around and feels warm all over.
The inside lining is very soft, almost velvety, so that feels good against the skin if you wear short sleeves. The hood is comfortable to wear and has enough room so you can move your head around. It has an elastic cord, so you can tighten it if preferred. The jacket can also be zipped all the way up to provide coverage for your face.
As mentioned in the Fit section, the jacket is long enough so that it has plenty of coverage in the back when sitting. This is extremely important to me! I did not have cold air going up my back or sneaking down my pants.
The GoHuntShell has plenty of pockets, but they are kind of weird. There is a large pocket on each side of the main zipper in the front. The one on the right has a key clip loop and a small internal pocket (not sure what this is for, it's pretty small). The battery goes in the left front pocket; However, there is no pocket within the large pocket to hold the battery, so it's just there. Meaning when you put your hand in the pocket, the battery is there. If you leave the pocket unzipped, the battery could fall out; since it's connected to the wire, it wouldn't be lost but would just be hanging out. There are also pockets on the sleeves, one at the wrist and one on each shoulder. I put my keys in the one on the wrist and did not use the others. These pockets are actually a pretty good size but may not be functional for everyone. For someone with larger arms, the sleeves may fit tighter, so the pockets could be tighter and harder to get things into or out of. Not an issue for me personally, but I could see that being an issue for others. There is also a pocket on the lower back. It has two zippers, one on the left and one on the right, and is more like a pouch (like the front pouch on a hoodie). I did not use this pocket and am not really sure what it could be used for as it's low on the bottom, and anything in it would be sat on.
There is also an elastic cord around the bottom, but I did not need that, as it fits fine without cinching it down further. And a strap on the wrist to tighten it, if preferred.
The jacket is easy to use:
Plug the battery into the jacket with the built-in USB port and turn the battery on.
Turn the jacket on by pressing and holding the power button that is located on the upper left chest area. It will flash once it's on.
Press the power button to select the heating mode: red for high, white for medium, and blue for low.
As I sat longer, I did increase the heat to the high setting for a little while, then put it back on medium. I was also able to put my hands in the front pockets to keep them warmer. I was wearing gloves, but they were thin and not that warm.
Options and Price
Available in sizes small to 3XL (size chart on the website)
Available in the Heated Hunter camo
It can be purchased with or without the battery
As of writing, the GoHuntShell is on sale: $135 without the battery (regularly $200) and $159.99 with the battery (regularly $240)
Heated Hunter also offers free shipping, free returns, and a 1-year warranty.
I definitely like this jacket and would recommend it to other hunters. It fits well and is comfortable to wear as a regular jacket or when using it for the heating function. It also seems well-made and feels like a quality piece of gear. For hunting in Idaho, the camo pattern works well. I like that it is more brown and tan, not a tree-pattern camo. The price is comparable with other brands, and getting it on sale is a bargain.
Since I've wanted to try heated clothes for a while, I was excited to test this out. It did not disappoint, and I am happy to add this piece to my hunting closet. Since the jacket is mid-weight, I will be able to wear it during early morning elk hunts and when sitting and glassing, then stash it in my pack later in the day without it being too bulky or heavy. And this will be an excellent piece of gear for duck season since it is usually cold and occasionally wet and windy.
Heated Hunter also offers a vest option called the GoHuntVest™, which I may invest in later since I really like wearing vests for their functionality (warmth and movement). The vest is available in Heated Hunter camo, black camo, or plain black. Additionally, they have GoHuntGloves™, GoHuntSocks™, and GoHuntBoots™.
Check out Heated Hunter online at https://heatedhunter.co/.
Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting big game and waterfowl and saltwater fishing. She is a team member at Huntress View, Pro Staff for Browning Trail Cameras, and Pro Staff with Ridge Patrol Clothing. Follow her on Instagram @sarah.honadel.outdoors and @arrowridgecreations.