If you love to hunt birds and are seeking to expand the game you hunt, you may have heard of upland hunting. Upland hunting differs from hunting other birds because it involves walking for long periods, seeking prey in cover, and then flushing them out into the open. This hunting requires special equipment, such as the upland hunting vest. If you’re searching for one, it can be difficult to sort through the many brands to find which is the best upland hunting vest for you. In this article, we’ve answered some common questions and compiled a list of the best upland hunting vests to help you.
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Upland Hunting Vest FAQ
What Is an Upland Hunting Vest?
An upland hunting vest is a specialized vest used by hunters who participate in upland hunting. Upland hunting is a popular form of hunting where the hunter pursues upland birds, which include pheasants, woodcocks, quail, prairie chickens, and more.
Why Do I Need an Upland Hunting Vest?
Upland hunting differs from other forms of hunting like deer hunting because most upland birds are in thickets or brush and have to be both scouted and then flushed out into the open, so it can take much longer to target them successfully. Unlike deer hunting or other game hunting, you actually want to stand out instead of blend into the environment so that other hunters can spot you.
Upland hunting takes place in a variety of different terrains such as open fields, high mountains, or even deserts. It’s important to have this specialized vest to be very durable and convenient for this type of hunting. Finally, most upland hunting takes place in the hotter seasons, so you don’t have to worry about breathability, insulation, or waterproofness like you would with a typical hunting vest or jacket.
What Should I Look for in a Hunting Vest?
When considering which upland vest to buy, you may notice that they don’t come in camouflage patterns. Most of these vests will come in an earthy olive or brown color, though many will also be bright orange. This is to announce your presence to other hunters who may seek to flush out prey in the area. Many states also require hunters to wear a certain amount of hunter orange, so most of these fall within those regulations, though always double-check to make sure.
How We Reviewed
We came up with this list of best upland hunting vests after researching upland hunting, different brands of hunting vests, and reading many positive and negative reviews of each vest to get a balanced view of each. After our independent research, we compared each of the vests based on their features, budget, and availability. Comparing across these categories allowed us to provide you with an accurate list of the best upland hunting vests as possible.
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Gamehide Switchgrass Upland Field Bird Hunting Vest
The Gamehide Switchgrass Upland Field Bird Hunting Vest is first on our list of best upland hunting vests because of its sturdy design and great storage. It is made from a cotton canvas fabric with excellent stitching, which makes it durable while keeping it lightweight and not too stifling for warm weather. It also features quilted shoulders for added comfort while shooting and comfortable padding.
The vest comes with two 12-inch front pockets, which provides plenty of storage place for your electronics and equipment. It also includes two extra-large zippered slash pockets that allow you to store up to 16 extra shells and front shell holders with a fabric gun protector. The rear-loading, blood-proof game bag on the back keeps your other clothing from getting ruined; it is detachable and machine washable.
It features a minimalist design and comes in either chestnut brown or a lighter marsh brown with 500 square inches of blaze orange to increase your visibility to other hunters. It comes in sizes S-4XL.
Wolverine Men’s Upland Sherpa Lined Vest
The Wolverine Men’s Upland Sherpa Lined Vest is made of a 100% enzyme-washed cotton cover with a 100% soft Sherpa polyester lining that makes it both lightweight and durable. Because of the cotton cover, it will conform to your body well without hindering your movements as you hunt.
It is machine-washable and designed with a relaxed fit and an extended tail that makes it highly stylish and even able to be worn on other more casual occasions. The interior chest pocket has a hook-and-loop closure, and it also has two lower welt-style hand pockets. There is an interior wind flap with a self-fabric zipper guard at the top of the collar.
It comes in black, dark brown, or dark gray and does not include any blaze orange in the color scheme. It comes in sizes M-2XL, and the budget changes depending on the size.
VISM NC Star CHV2942TO NcStar, Hunting Vest/Blaze Orange & Tan
The VISM NC Star CHV2942TO is one of the best hunting vests if you want a cheaper vest that still doesn’t skimp on quality. It has bright hunter orange on both shoulders, and the rest of the vest comes in a classic tan/olive color. The vest is made of polyester, making it durable and a little less insular.
It has elastic shell loops on the inside of the two large front pockets and dual-quilted, thin recoil pads to minimize shoulder discomfort while shooting. It comes in one size only and can be adjusted to fit you with the fully adjustable side cinch straps and shoulders; this also allows you to change the number of layers you wear under it to adjust for changing weather. This is a great vest for a very affordable budget.
Tenzing 962208 BV16 Upland Vest, Blaze Orange
If you want an all-in-one design and high-quality materials, the Tenzing 962208 BV16 Upland Vest may be the best upland hunting vest for you. This vest has it all, featuring a unique hunting bag design that allows it to maximize storage while not impeding your hunting. Though it looks like a hunting bag, it is a vest that provides everything you need to hunt.
It comes with 13 pockets and 14 shell loops, providing more than enough storage for all your equipment and electronics. Those 13 pockets also include two radio pockets. It has two load-lifter straps to keep the weight up and keep it tight to your body. It also has a water compartment measuring 10″ x 16″ x 1.5″ and an easily accessible game bag for you to store your birds. It is very lightweight, weighing just over three pounds despite all the features. It is a blaze orange color and comes in sizes XL and XXL.
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Mountain Pass Extreme Big Game Blaze Orange Camo Hunting Vest
The Mountain Pass Extreme Big Game Hunting Vest is another great hunting vest, especially if storage is a concern. It is made of windproof fabric and features a front kangaroo pouch lined with fleece. There is a large front cargo pocket with shotgun shell holders that can also hold your binoculars while they’re around your neck and two vertical chest pockets and rifle shell holders with a flap. It even has a large cargo pouch with backpack-like straps on the back of it for holding insulated clothing or game.
There is also a Mini-Mag flashlight pocket, a cell phone/GPS pocket on each side, two water bottle slots on the back, and a grommeted license holder tab. The sling gripping shoulder patches minimize discomfort from recoil, and it also has a safety strap slot on the rear neck. It comes in sizes S-4X, and the manufacturer states that the fit is a little big for each size. This vest truly has all the storage and features needed for a successful hunt.
Primos Gunhunter’s Vest
The Primos Gunhunter’s Vest is another of the best hunting vests if you’re seeking one that has good features without too high of a budget. It offers great storage with the two big button-close front pockets and two slightly smaller zipper-close front pockets. Attached to those zippers are an LED light and a compass which can come in handy while upland hunting. It also has two bigger pockets on the interior and a smaller one for storing a smartphone, walkie talkie, or car keys. It also has an elastic shooting stick pocket.
One of the most notable features of this upland vest is the pull-down PVC waterproof lining that lets you stay dry no matter where you sit, which is perfect for the variety of environments and weather you may suddenly encounter while upland hunting. It has a hook-and-loop fastener that allows you to store it inside when you’re not using it, so it won’t be in the way while you walk.
It also features a license tag holder and a game bag on the back, and a safety harness opening. The vest comes in hunter orange and comes in sizes M-3XL with the budget increasing for each size. It fits true to size, allowing you to wear layers of clothing under it.
Gamehide 3st Upland Front Loading Vest
Gamehide has another of the best upland hunting vests with the 3st Upland Front Loading Vest, which is made of a heavy-duty fabric with reinforced stitching that makes it highly durable, allowing it to withstand the briars and brush that you may encounter while upland hunting. It comes with quilted right and left shoulder patches for comfort while shooting.
This vest has large front dump pockets and shell pockets for good storage and quick loading. The game bag on the back is blood-proof, detachable, and machine washable. The vest comes in olive, dark brown, and marsh colors and has blaze orange on the back, shoulders, and front pockets for visibility. It is slightly oversized for wearing layers under it, so order a size smaller if you’re looking for a tighter fit.
Browning Pheasants Forever Strap Vest
The Browning Pheasants Forever Strap Vest features a heavy-duty design due to the 100% cotton canvas material it is made of. Not only is the material heavy-duty, but so are the straps and buckles on it to provide great durability and longevity. Because of the canvas material and the relaxed-fit design, this vest is also lightweight and movable, not hindering your ability to move from one place to another.
It is an all-weather vest, so it will be comfortable even in hot weather. It has two deep pockets with shell loops on the front side that allow for quick loading and thin shoulder straps for comfortable rifle mounting. The entire backside is blaze orange for easy visibility while the front side is a khaki color, and it comes in one size thanks to the adjustable straps and buckles. This may be the best upland hunting vest for you if you’re searching for something lightweight yet durable.
Badlands Upland Hunting Vest With Game Bag
We have another bag-shaped hunting vest in the Badlands Upland Hunting Vest, which is made of 100% polyester for durability. It has nine pockets, providing more than enough storage space for all your necessities, each with magnetic closures for silence. It also has three additional compartments and shell loops at the waist for easy reload.
It can carry up to a 2-liter water bag and also comes with a removable and adjustable waterproof game bag. Despite these features, it only weighs 2 pounds and 12 ounces. It comes in one size with adjustable straps for a good fit, tightness, and keeping the weight up. It comes in a blaze orange color with khaki highlights, making it highly visible.
TrailCrest Men’s Blaze Orange Safety Front Loader Vest
The TrailCrest Men’s Blaze Orange Safety Front Loader Vest is last but not least on our list of the best upland hunting vests because of its good, minimalist design and affordable budget. It is made of a blend of 55% cotton and 45% polyester, making it a great durable, all-weather vest. It has plenty of pockets and compartments and also has 12 concealed shell loops in the front pocket for easy loading.
The quilted shoulder patches add comfort while shooting and it also has a large blood-proof, waterproof game bag with snaps and a zipper on the side for an added extension. This bag also can be used as a pull-down waterproof seat. It has two grommet holes in the center on the back for your license tag. The entire vest is blaze orange, and it comes in sizes M-3X.
The Verdict: The Best Upland Hunting Vest
After comparing all the vests on this list, we pick the Tenzing 962208 BV16 Upland Vest as the best on the list. We love the unique hunting bag design and the excellent storage that includes 13 pockets and 14 shell loops. We also like the water compartment and the game bag that makes hydration and storing your catch easy. The durable material, lightweight design, and the blaze orange color round out this incredible hunting vest.
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This hunting vest is very expensive, however. If you’re seeking a more affordable alternative that still provides excellent storage space and great features, then we highly recommend the Primos Gunhunter’s Vest as a great option. Whichever you pick, you’re getting the best upland hunting vest for your next hunting trip.