Best Hunting Apparel
Choosing the right hunting clothes for your trip is really important, especially in Alaska. Staying warm and dry while you’re in the backcountry is critical for your comfort and survival. The Editors at Hunt Alaska magazine have selected their favorite pieces. We’ve got you covered from heat to foot with the best hunting clothes and boots.
Muck Boots Women’s Hale Tall Boot
Our tester loves these boots; she reports they are very warm, tough, provide plenty of room in the calves, and kept her feet dry in the wettest conditions. Our tester has normal-width feet and these boots fit nicely. They are available in full sizes from 5 to 11.
Muck Boots Men’s Apex Pro 16 Vibram Arctic Grip All-Terrain Boot
These boots offer a range of possibilities for the Alaska hunter. Our Publisher, Marcus Weiner, wore them blacktail deer hunting in the rainforest of Prince of Wales, while in the blind hunting ducks and geese in the Pacific Northwest, and on a mid-November whitetail hunt through wet and cold conditions in Minnesota. They performed admirably. Consider them for a moose hunt where you’ll be sitting still behind the glass for prolonged periods of time; they’ll help you keep the feeling in your toes.
The 16-inch boot gives you plenty of coverage to forge through the bog, walk to your waterfowl blind, and is designed for hunters on the move, so the athletic fit allowed Marcus to cover ground. He commented that traction was excellent and that the boots felt responsive on his feet, which came in handy breaking through the dense forest on the Prince of Wales coast. Often agility is sacrificed for protection gained from a tall boot; in this case you get both.
Kenetrek Bridger Low
These shoes combine aspects of Kenetrek’s rugged hunting-boot tradition with features which make them a pleasure to wear no matter the application. With the Kenetrek KT-light outsole, we found traction to be reliable off trail in pursuit of deer. The footbeds in these hikers provide exceptional arch support, which led to longer days hunting. We especially liked how the lightweight leather and nylon uppers allowed heat to dissipate from our feet, and can’t say enough about how good these hikers feel. They weigh a scant 3 pounds per pair, and are available in medium and wide options in a good selection of sizes.
Kenetrek Ultimate Liner Lightweight Over-The-Calf Sock
Our Publisher Marcus Weiner reports that he hiked about 80 miles in these socks during hunts in 2022 and that they are simply awesome. He wore them on their own, and also under heavier socks. In both instances, his feet stayed dry and did not blister. This is quite a feat considering the terrain that Marcus conquered in these socks. Partnering them with the Kenetrek Corrie II Hiker, the combination performed flawlessly. These socks wick moisture, reduce friction to minimize blistering, are lightweight, and are made from a blend of synthetic materials to resist wear through. These socks will be on his feet for every major hike or hunt.
Darn Tough Hunt Sock (style 2013)
These over-the-calf socks are made of 79% merino wool, 19% nylon, and 2% LYCRA. Though marketed as a hunting sock, these are outstanding socks to wear under waders or while ice fishing as well. The merino wool keeps feet dry and odor free, and the high-pile construction makes them cushy and comfy. The footbeds are reinforced, making them very durable. They come in 6 men’s sizes, 4 women’s sizes, and 2 colors. These are Editor George Krumm’s current favorite for cold-weather hunting and fishing.
Kryptek Tactical LS Rugby
Our tester wore this shirt while spotting and stalking deer; he also wore it while engaged in Airsoft battles. In both cases his body temperature climbed, the shirt material wicked moisture from his skin, and heat was easily dispersed through the underarm mesh ventilation. The comfortable fit allowed him to move freely, and he made use of the sleeve pockets with zippered security pocket. The shirt is available in 5 patterns and 6 sizes
Stone Glacier SG Ram Wool Sock
These are calf-high socks made of Merino wool, polyester, acrylic and spandex. They are best suited for mild conditions, in the opinion of our tester. They are very comfortable, partly because of the excellent craftsmanship but also because of the invisible toe seam. For the average hunter, these socks will last for several hunting seasons. They come in a 3-pack, and have a lifetime warranty against all defects in materials and workmanship.
Kryptek Tactical 2 Pant
These pants were used in tandem with the Kryptek Tactical LS Rugby by our young tester. He spent time in the woods in search of deer, and engaged in many Airsoft battles with his buddies and local Airsoft club. The pants allowed him to carry everything he wanted, are comfortable, rugged and versatile. These pants are available in 4 patterns and 10 fitted sizes (waist x inseam). The adjustable waist band allows you to fine tune the fit.
Forloh Women’s ThermoNeutral Down Vest
This Made-in-America down vest is constructed with Perf-Weld and Activ-dri down, 2 technologies unique to Forloh. The designers put that technology into a mid-layer down vest ideal for layering, with a snug fit contoured to a woman’s body. This vest has zippered pockets, including a large chest pocket ideal for holding phones, permits and licenses.
SITKA Kelvin Lite down ¾ Pant
We tested the Optifade Open Country camo pattern, but it also comes in Optifade Subalpine. These have short legs that end just below the knee (just above your gaiters). They are super light (14 ounces) and pack down to almost nothing. Our tester wore them on hunts that ranged from -13º to 15º and they kept him toasty. The insulation is 900 Fill Primaloft Gold/down blend, with 60 grams of Primaloft Gold Active Insulation in the seat. This pant has a pair of 7/8-length side zips which can be opened from the top or the bottom to provide ventilation and which allow you to put them on without taking your boots off. They also have a zippered fly and nylon web belt.
Stone Glacier Grumman Down Pant
Publisher Marcus Weiner has been hunting hard over the last several years in Stone Glacier apparel, and he’s impressed with the quality and performance of their gear, and deems it Alaska worthy. This year he added the Grumman Down Pant to his system and thought they were great. In many spot-and-stalk hunts, you need to either hike then glass or glass then hike, and in both scenarios, you will want warm layers for when sitting still. Marcus also wears the Grumman Down Jacket, and then wears the M7 Jacket and Pants over both. The Grumman Down Pant is filled with 850+ fill power goose down, weighs a mere 16 ounces and packs down small into the included 9” x 4” x 4” stuff sack.
Ibex Men’s Wool Aire Hoodie
We were suitably impressed with the weight-to-warmth ratio of this jacket. It’s very lightweight yet keeps you quite warm thanks to Ibex’s merino-wool insulation. We wore this under a rain jacket during multiple fall trips and it was a great layering piece. If it’s dry and cool, this makes for a perfect top layer. The jacket stows into itself and takes up little space, which we really appreciate when packing. Ibex sells this jacket in 6 colors and 5 sizes.
There’s nothing all that exciting about a trucker hat, but this one comes in blaze orange, and since orange is required in some states, this hat will help you stay safe and legal. It features the Sitka logo on the crown, adding a little cool factor to an otherwise simply functional piece of equipment.
Stone Glacier SQ2 Alpine Gaiters
Stone Glacier’s SQ2 Alpine Gaiters are bombproof. At 17” high, they come to just below the knee for most hunters. The replaceable bootstrap is made of highly durable and super-strong Dyneema, and the hook-and-loop closure provides a custom fit, regardless of the number of layers of clothing or different boots. Stone Glacier advertises these gaiters as the last you’ll ever need to buy; we agree. Once properly sized (there’s a video on Stone Glacier’s website) they are relatively easy to put on.
The upper is waterproof and breathable, and the double-layer X-Pac waterproof lower means your lower legs will stay dry. They come in 2 sizes (large for boots size 10.5 and larger; medium for boots smaller than size 10.5). Editor George Krumm says these are the best gaiters he’s ever worn. Publisher Marcus Weiner has worn them on at least 6 hunts where the combined hiking exceeds several hundred miles, and he says they are living up to the hype.
Stone Glacier De Havilland Pant
These are truly feature-rich hunting pants. The Contour Waist allows you to adjust fit at the waist for an exact fit without any bunching that can produce discomfort under a pack waist belt. This is accomplished by moving the zipper panel (hook-and-loop fabric allows you to move the zipper up to 3”). These pants also feature Stone Glacier’s Stratum Layered Zipper System which allows a high degree of ventilation and temperature regulation during periods of high exertion. The pants are made of a blend of DWR-treated polyester, nylon and spandex which allows 4-way stretch. They have an athletic fit with articulated knees, and are knee-pad compatible (Stone Glacier’s P12 knee pads). They have front-facing cargo pockets which can be opened quietly. The De Havilland Pant is an extremely well-designed hunting pant.
Leupold Quick Thaw Insulated Jacket
Contributing Editor, Trip Tips Columnist and hunting fanatic Sarah Stallone shared, “Blue skies don’t last. When temperatures plummet, unpack the Quick Thaw Jacket to escape the cold. Incredibly lightweight, warm, and water resistant, this jacket deserves a spot in every sportsman’s go-bag. Us Alaskans have tried countless brands of puffies, but three things stand out with this unique synthetic insulation offering: IT’S TOUGH! I’ve never owned a puffy as tough as this one. It’s designed by sportsmen, for sportsmen—a perfect, stay-put hood shape and long arms with reasonable elastic cuffs keep the insulation down where others creep up or let the wind sneak in. It has 5 huge pockets. Not only can it fold up into the chest pocket for convenient storage, the other 4 pockets are ample in size and 3 are zippered for security. I couldn’t ask for a better field companion!”
Stone Glacier Cirque Jacket
The Cirque Jacket features a light, soft shell with Primaloft Gold insulation that provides loft and warmth even when wet. A well-designed hood and pit zips enhance temperature regulation. The Cirque can be worn as an outer layer, but it’s compact enough to wear as an insulating layer in colder conditions, too. Our tester wore this jacket on a windy Montana mule deer hunt in temps that ranged from -10º to above freezing, usually under Stone Glacier’s M7 Jacket. He stayed comfortable throughout the hunt, and the Cirque jacket played a big role.
Garmont T4 Groove G-Dry Boot
Our teenage tester used these boots for two purposes: hunting deer and participating in numerous Airsoft battles. He noted that his feet stayed dry despite rain and wet ground conditions. He said that they felt comfortable and he could run in them when trying to evade the other team’s snipers. When hunting, he was able to walk long distances while carrying a pack and his feet felt good. The 4-inch-tall boot provides a comfortable, stable and waterproof environment, all essential for the well-being of your feet. Trust us, it’s imperative that you care for your feet, especially on hunts that require long packs and challenging terrain.
Swiftwick Pursuit Hike Six Medium-Weight
After stomping around in the woods for several weeks in these socks, we appreciate their moisture-wicking properties and overall comfort. After many strenuous hikes over rough terrain, our tester reports that his feet did not blister. Merino wool and Olefin fiber combine in the footbed to keep your feet dry, warm and comfortable. Pursuit Hike socks are available in a range of cushion levels and cuff heights.
If you are looking for more of our recommendations for hunting clothes and gear check our Gear Shop archives.