Trekking into the wilderness in Alaska requires the best gear to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. Here are our favorite picks for the coming season.
These are the best hunting boots and apparel for 2021
Boots & Apparel
Under Armour Ridge Reaper GORE-TEX Pro Shell Jacket underarmour.com
We tested this jacket during several wet hunts in 2020. It performed very well, both to keep our tester dry and also protected from the wind. The shaped, drop-hood provides more than adequate coverage and is large enough to be worn over a hat. We like how the jacket incorporates a mock neck collar so that you can zip it up to under your chin which helps keep the water out. The jacket proved to be breathable, helping to release heat and sweat when packing out a moose.
Simms G3 Guide Riparian Camo Waders simmsfishing.com
We asked hardcore hunter and Hunt Alaska writer Eric Hershey for some input on items he thought worthy of awards. He shared, “These waders are a necessity for hopping in and out of swamps while searching for moose. Simms is the gold standard for waders with several layers of GORE-TEX, making them very durable but also breathable. Plus, the added camo feature makes them the perfect solution for moose hunting. During my Yukon hunt last fall, I wore these waders comfortably all day long even when I didn’t need them; I was always prepared to jump into a swamp after a monster moose.”
Muck Boots Men’s Apex Mid Zip muckbootcompany.com
These boots fit really well, are comfortable and fully waterproof. We used them on multiple adventures and wore them moose hunting. They held up well to the abuse, especially when packing out the 1200-pound beast. The boot features a lugged rubber outsole, dual-density insole, EVA midsole, breathable mesh lining and antimicrobial footbed insert. We like that they are relatively light, while remaining rugged and waterproof, and are easy to put on and take off with the integrated zipper.
Kenetrek Hunting Gaiter kenetrek.com
These gaiters provide excellent protection to stop water, snow, and debris from going into the top of your boots. They are easy to put on, stay solidly in place and are quiet. The top web straps with cam lock buckles functioned perfectly and allowed for adjustment. The bottom Hypalon rubber straps are tough and don’t collect snow, which we saw firsthand on a November elk hunt. We also wore them on a late-September moose hunt in really wet conditions, and they very much helped to keep our feet dry.
Stone Glacier M5 Jacket and Pant stoneglacier.com
This set is comfortable, waterproof, quiet, and breathable. We subjected it to weeks of southeast Alaska rainfall in 2020 and it kept our tester dry. The coyote color of the set blends quite nicely into the fall foliage. The articulated hood shields you from rain, and the well-placed jacket pockets allow access when wearing a pack. Full-zip sides allow you to take the pants on and off while wearing boots. We are impressed with this set, which weighs a few ounces past two pounds, and it’s now in the starting lineup for the next hunt.
Kryptek Women’s Valhalla Pants store.kryptek.com
The Valhalla pants by Kryptek are totally comfortable, packable pants that allow for maximum movement. The athletic-style Valhalla pant is made for exertion in warmer weather and includes a sweat-wicking feature.
Sitka Stormfront Jacket and Pant sitkagear.com
We tested this set in 2020 during wet, tough hunts for moose and elk and they performed great. First and foremost, they kept our tester dry, which is crucial for sitting for long periods in nearly freezing temperatures with rain. Second, they held up to some serious bushwhacking. And finally, after nicking them up a bit, our tester sent them back to Sitka and their customer service was top notch. He received the repaired pant in a short amount of time, and there was a hat included when they sent them back, which we felt was above and beyond the call of duty. Sitka makes great gear and supports it.