What size do I need?
1) Waist size at the belly button is the critical measurement on the basic vest.
For most, the bottom of the vest belt buckle rides 1 or 2 inches above the pants top. If you top out of a size range, the shell pockets will start to move too far aft and this will interfere with pocket access. Ideal placement is opposite, under the line of the shoulders (or outside pants seam) or slightly forward of that line just short of interfering with the leg’s walking motion. If your clothing doesn’t change much, you use lightweight synthetics during cold weather, or don’t hunt in much cold weather, then staying with the smaller size is recommended. Since waist belts are interchangeable on the vests, a larger or smaller size can be purchased and periodically changed out if necessary. Takes a few minutes and a couple of tools.
Another way to approach fit is described at the bottom of the “WingWorks Vests” page, and involves taping the back part of the body at navel height to determine which pocket layout fits best of the 4 sizes of belt sizes.
2) Shoulder Harnesses
We’ve stopped selling the traditional 2″ strap vest harness in favor of the Sternum Strap style harness. The Sternum Strap Harness is available in M, L and XL. L typically fitting up to 6’2″, and XL for larger or heavier hunters. We recommend it for hunters who climb and sidehill, horseback hunters, and those who don’t want to be bothered with occasionally losing a strap off their shoulder. Narrow shouldered hunters may like this style better, and some just like the backpack style adjustment straps. All Harnesses are modular and interchangeable on any WingWorks Vests.
3) If youre not sure, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your basic height, weight and belly button waist size and we’ll recommend a size.
Or, we can determine your size by the data input on the order forms and send you the vest your measurements determine.
A few hints on fitting and trying on for the first time
1) Before trying on the vest! Fill the water bottles and put some weight in the game bag or shell bags. This will help you get a feel for where the belt and shoulder straps want to sit, and how tight. Shell bags should be on your sides, more or less opposite of each other. If they’re too far back you may need a larger size. The bottom of the foam belt wants to be an inch or two above your belt, snug against the hips. When there’s more weight in the vest, the belt should be more snug, with shoulder straps holding 15-20% of the weight.
2) Harness Straps? Don’t forget to adjust the straps on the back of the harness so the yoke center is an inch or two below the back of your neck. This will keep the 2″ straps adjusted properly on the shoulders, particularly for taller hunters. The Sternum Harness adjusts like a backpack using the 1′ straps in front. Snap the chest strap and adjust to comfort.
3) Bottle holsters too tight? They will be tight to start, but will loosen up after a few hikes with water in the bottles.
4) Shell pouches flopping? Try snugging up the 2″ strap from the shell pouches to game bag. Also make sure the water holster belt strap rides aft of the belt strap 2″ loop fittings on each side.
5) Straps too long? We overlength some straps to be versatile between sizes of vests. If they bother you they can be cut and should be melted on ends to prevent fraying using a torch or other flame. Don’t forget the extra length can be handy later in the year, and helps to tuck the end out of the way.
6) Can I remove the harness strap base bolts? Yes but there is Loctite on the threads so it may be some work. A 5 mm hex wrench fits the nut. Heat will defeat the Loctite if you’re careful.
7) If I don’t need the water holsters, can they be removed? Yes, just unthread the necessary straps and slide off, and rethread.