An Intro to Kryptek Clothing from an Eastern Hunter
By Glen Mullins, Rokslide Moderator
Being raised in West Virginia and hunting whitetail deer all of my life, I have worn various pass-me-down clothing from my dad, grandad, and uncles. As well as Wal Mart camo, and the cheaper Cabela's clothing. Emphasis was more on staying warm and dry rather than lightweight. While my dad's old SAF T-BACK jacket and overalls are very warm and keep you dry, they are heavy!! At one time I actually believed the thicker and heavier the clothing the better!!
I don't turkey hunt a whole lot so therefore most of my hunting clothing consisted of big, thick, warm clothing designed for stationary stand hunting. But then my sense of adventure got the best of me and I decided to go on a wild boar Hunt in Georgia in March with some friends of mine. This was a public land hunt, not the usual fenced-in type hunt that most people do.
Hunting wild boar down there is a spot 'n' stalk game involving a lot of walking, which I am used to, but what I wasn't prepared for was the heat in which we were hunting. There is a huge difference in the highlands of Virginia and southern Georgia in March!
So here I am in 80-degree weather and all I have are thick long sleeves that does not breathe at all! I made it through that four-day hunt and killed two decent public land pigs. I knew I was hooked for life on out-of-state adventures but I also knew I needed to expand my hunting wardrobe to better suit the conditions.
So off to the mighty internet and piles of mags I go, researching lightweight hunting clothing. Around this time I also started researching hunting out West as well. I came across this cool looking clothing and camo pattern called Kryptek. It looked cool, but man the price was definite sticker shock for someone who has worn their fair share of Wal Mart camo. Did I really need something like this? Was it worth the price tag?
Around this same time while researching DIY western hunting, I stumbled upon an internet forum known as Rokslide. I joined up and made a few posts here and there, but mostly read and researched. One common theme I noticed was that if you wear cotton out West to hunt elk on a backpack hunt, you will surely die!! lol
Then one day while glancing over Rokslide's classified section, a guy had some Kryptek clothing for sale in the Valhalla line. It was in my size and the price was good, so I picked up the pants and long sleeve shirt, and a Cadog Vest, too.
When I first received the clothing, I was skeptical. "Man this sure is thin— I'll have this destroyed in a season," I thought to myself.
I wore the Valhalla clothing on our next two pig hunts in Georgia and on the spring turkey hunts. And man what a difference it made—lightweight, breathable, and I didn't feel as restrained as it's very athletic fitting.
I liked the Kryptek clothing line so well, I picked up various other items: two sets of gloves, a Sherpa Hoodie and a pair of the Alaios Pants. I wanted to wear these bad boys whitetail hunting in the Appalachian Mountains and see how they do before I venture out to the Rockies.
This year I wore the Kryptek Clothing line during the complete Virginia Deer Season. We had rain, snow, wind, cold days and mildly warm days as well. I could not be happier with the performance of my clothing. It's lightweight, and with proper layering keeps me just as warm as the thick clothing of the past that I always thought I needed. I went on to wear the clothing on my Georgia hog hunts and all over Virginia chasing predators.
Oh yea, and on the durability I was so worried about? On all those hunts, I ran into my share of mountain laurel and briar patches and to my surprise, the "thin" material that I thought would crash has done great. My clothing looks as good now as when I bought it.
In summary, the Kryptek Gear answered the initial questions I posed to myself—I do need higher performance clothing and the price tag was worth it. I feel it has the potential to make you a better hunter by simply allowing you to hunt more comfortably, and hunt lighter which equals farther in the woods!!
Although, I personally have to watch for sales and clearances to pick up my gear, I do believe it is certainly worth the cost at retail. So much so that I am currently saving up for a set of the Aegis Extreme Bibs for hunting out East. I'm also wanting to purchase a Kryptek jacket at some point as well to round out my lightweight and extremely effective gear.
If you have any questions for Glen, click here