Stealth Gear Ultimate Freedom Clothing
I've been very lucky to have received some Stealth Gear clothing, their Ultimate Freedom range. In the past I have used some of their other products so was keen to try out the new range. Being into wildlife photography you certainly need some protection from the elements. In most cases the available clothing is either not up to the task, badly designed or just looks totally daft. Much is aimed at the shooting or fishing markets so having a line of products designed as a folly by photographers is a refreshing change. So far I have only used the fleece in anger as it has been far to nice here in the UK to wear the trousers and jacket but here are my thoughts on the range so far.
As I have worn the fleece a few times lets start with that. Firstly is the look of the product, normally I would never wear anything vaguely camo as I just feel silly wearing it, but in this case it is quite a nicely designed piece of clothing. Not too long, quite tough and nice and warm. The little details have all been taken care of in a great package. With a minimalistic design it is kept comfortable and light. A good choice of materials too as it is nice and robust and waterproof. A real boon vs some others I have tried is the material is almost silent too. There really is nothing worse than creeping around the undergrowth only to scare away your subject with noisy clothing but there is absolutely no fear of that here. In the rain the outside doesn't instantly repel water but keeps you dry on the inside and dries almost as soon as the rain stops on the outside. It is a fleece material so that has to be expected to some extent but whatever coating it has does keep it almost dry while a membrane keeps you totally dry.
Next is the jacket, it is of a similar design to the fleece so works well in combination with it to provide enough warmth for those really cold days we sometimes get in the UK. Stealth Gears extreme range I found a little too heavy and also had too many pockets but the Ultimate Freedom range has changed all that in a very nice way. There are still pockets, but in this case just enough for the essentials. As a result of this and a change of materials you now have a nice light and comfortable jacket that keeps you dry and warm. It is also a little shorter than others in the range making moving around in awkward positions.
The trousers also stick to the nice and simple ethic. They do have more pockets including some in the knees where you can add and remove padding to make kneeling more comfortable. Around the ankles there is some adjustable closures so you can seal yourself in when needed or just be left loose. The waist is nicely elasticated making them comfortable to wear for long periods.
Overall I am very impressed. I would think nothing of crawling through the undergrowth in these knowing that both I and the clothing will come out the other end unscathed. I do not feel a complete fool wearing it and can just get on with my day comfortable, warm and protected from the elements.