Phill Price tries out a ver­sa­tile and prac­ti­cal body-warmer from top NZ cloth­ing com­pany, Ridge­line

The ed­i­tors wears a ver­sa­tile gar­ment ev­ery shooter needs

Air Gunner - - Contents - www.high­land­out­doors.co.uk RRP £44.99

“this kind of de­tail that tells you that this gar­ment was prop­erly field tested”

W hat do you call these gar­ments? Are they waist­coats, vests, body warm­ers or gilets? What­ever they’re called, I think that they’re one of the most use­ful and ver­sa­tile items in the air­gun­ner’s wardrobe. On mild days they’re enough to keep you com­fort­able, worn just over a fleece jumper, or in re­ally cold weather they make a su­perb layer, that helps to keep your core in­su­lated, which is vi­tal to re­main­ing com­fort­able.

The Talon vest comes from Ridge­line in New Zealand, a com­pany that prides it­self on mak­ing tough, durable clothes de­signed with the hunter in mind. They might not be the most stylish, but they are most cer­tainly func­tional. They chose a soft shell fab­ric for the Talon that of­fers wind re­sis­tance whilst let­ting you move freely, es­pe­cially when mount­ing your ri­fle. In­side the soft shell is a fleece lin­ing that adds real warmth to the de­sign. In warmer weather, this might be a bit too warm, but as win­ter draws in it will be much ap­pre­ci­ated. Wind­proof­ing is very im­por­tant be­cause wind chill is one of the big­gest fac­tors in how com­fort­able you’ll be out in the coun­try­side. A bit­ing wind cut­ting through non­wind­proof cloth­ing drains warmth in­cred­i­bly quickly and can make you un­com­fort­able within min­utes.

PROP­ERLY FIELD TESTED

The drab moss green is a good choice for the hunter and blends well with camo shirts and trousers, yet can be worn around town with­out look­ing too ‘mil­i­tary’. I par­tic­u­larly like the zips on all three pock­ets so that when you get back to the car you still have your keys and your phone. I also noted so­phis­ti­cated de­tail­ing such as the small loop of fab­ric that keeps the cold zip-pull way from your throat when the col­lar is fully zipped up. It’s just this kind of de­tail that tells you that this gar­ment was prop­erly field tested in hor­ri­ble con­di­tions.

An ad­van­tage of soft shell fab­rics is that when worn un­der an­other jacket the smooth outer sur­face slides eas­ily against other fab­rics, so that you are less re­stricted as you move. This is good, prac­ti­cal think­ing you can em­ploy when as­sem­bling a lay­er­ing sys­tem.

I’ve worn the Talon on dry days rang­ing from 2 º to 10 º C and felt pretty com­fort­able on the move. I’ve also used it as a mid- layer, whilst wait­ing in a high seat for a cou­ple of hours, so I know how it feels. This is a truly prac­ti­cal item and one I’d rec­om­mend to any­body who spends time out­doors. It’s also an in­di­ca­tor that Ridge­line is step­ping up its game and mak­ing all those small de­tails count where it matters – in the hunt­ing fields.

A vest like the Talon is one of the most ver­sa­tile gar­ments you’ll ever own

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