A few years back we had some grouse/woodcock hunters letting us know they were accumulating a lot of branches and leaves in their long front pockets and wanted a solution. The Grouse Pockets were born from this with a fold over pocket flap that sealed out debris, and also reformatted to be closer to the body, shorter and come around in front if desired without hitting the thighs when walking. They can be used with or without the 32 oz bottle holsters, but without they help the hunter shrink the vest’s profile so hiking through saplings and undergrowth is a lot easier. For water replacement, consider a small hydration reservoir or 54 oz WW Bottle in the gamebag pouch to keep the profile down. The vest feels amazingly smaller in this configuration, but keep in mind there are no Molle panels on these so no options for extra pouches, holsters, etc. unless used with the XL Gamebags.
Pockets are about 9″ square, with smaller but adequate capacity for most grouse hunts, but they lack the Molle straps and add-on pouches of the long pockets. They’re a specialty pocket, and we don’t recommend them for hunters in the West and Plains country because of what you give up to the long pockets. Consider them as a change-out to customize your vest for seasonal grouse and woodcock hunting, unless of course that is what you mostly hunt.
To avoid confusion, these are listed here as an accessory to an existing vest, you may order them as part of a vest on the Ballistic Vest Order Page. The Medium will fit “waist at navel” sizes 29″ to 34″, the Large from 35″ to 41″, and the XL from 42″ on up. If you’re at the upper end of a size the pockets will be more to the sides than in front. Belts come with front harness straps installed so they can be changed out with other belts without tools. Snap fasteners on these towards the front on webbing so they’re easier to fasten. Regarding color options, the Acrylic Blaze flap material is not as durable as the Ballistic cloth underneath, but it does keep it’s color much longer than Nylons. If you hunt briars and real nasty cover, consider the non-blaze pockets which will wear much better than the blaze with the lighter overlay blaze fabric. The most important Blaze is higher on the body, the hat, sleeves and torso, so giving it up on the flaps isn’t much of a sacrifice to safety.