March 12, 2013
WingWorks Ballistic Upland Vest Link to full article
Of all the great vests featured here, the WingWorks is my new favorite. Seemingly bombproof in construction, this strap-style vest/pack is sure to stand up to the wear and tear I put on my gear. Born of the hardscrabble chukar mountains and the high, dry prairies known to sharptail and Hungarian partridge hunters, the WingWorks vest features tough Ballistic nylon and cotton webbing with durable hypalon (a type of rubber) accents and heavy-grade hardware. (A Cordura model is available for $20 less.) The full, four-inch-wide waistbelt—similar to those found on backpacks—rides on the hips to take the weight of shells, birds, water and whatever else you’re carrying off of your back for less physical stress and more comfort. Hunters running multiple or big-running dogs in the early season will appreciate the amount of water this vest can pack, thanks to two pockets on the belt that hold 32-ounce bottles (included) and a third mesh pocket in the bloodproof rear pouch that accommodates a 54-ounce bottle (sold separately). Each front pocket is extra deep and has a hook-and-loop-secured flap that can be tucked inside the pocket for easier access to shells or other necessities. Additional pockets include one large and two small zippered pockets on the exterior of the game bag, and pockets for incidentals or a transmitter on the outsides of the shell pockets. There is a rear tie-down for extra clothing, fleece lining on the shoulder yolk and belt interior for added comfort, and plastic buckles that won’t scratch gunstocks. WingWorks vests are infinitely adjustable and adaptable to just about any bird hunting situation, and the company does offer customizable options. (The Website also has excellent tips regarding what items to carry afield and how.) Available in plain khaki and khaki with hunter orange. Price: $199 (Current Price $220)
WingWorks, 208-788-0729; www.wingworks.biz.
David Draper is Shooting Sportsman’s Field Gear Editor.