Drake Non-Typical full layering system - Long Form Review

Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
70
As most people know, Drake has been at the top of the waterfowl gear market for quite some time! They also produce amazing Big Game gear with the Non-Typical line and it has come a long way in the last couple years. With the new offerings and the Elements Terra camo pattern offered in the newer gear I have put together a full layering system to use for both Midwestern whitetail hunting and the occasional out West trip and decided to give a detailed review since I don't see much posted on here about the gear.

Base Layers
Merino Wool Half Zip
Merino Wool pant

Review
These base layers are 190gsm and 19.5 microns. This yields a very soft base layer and what has become my go to all around base layer. Merino wool in general is light and thin for its warmth. While I do hope Drake comes out with a heavier version to compliment these as well, with the rest of the layering system I haven't found a heavier set to be a must have. They do a great job of regulating my body heat, limiting sweat on the hike in yet keeping me warm during the sit. So far, they are holding up well to several uses and washes.

Sizing
In typical Drake fashion these run on the large size. I suggest ordering down a size compared to typical clothing BUT the waist band seems to be true to size so if you are on the larger size of the waist measurement for your typical size I wouldn't drop down then. However, the band is plenty strong to hold things up but not so strong that it will be uncomfortable if it is a tad small for you.


Mid Layer/Early Season outer layer
Pursuit Full Zip Hoodie
Performance Full Zip Hoodie
Pursuit Tech Stretch Pant

Review
Pursuit Full Zip Hoodie
This hoodie has become the bread and butter of my system. I find myself wearing it in almost every situation. As an outer layer in warm-mild temps to a mid-layer when the temps get colder. The hoody has a smooth, quiet durable outer layer with a thing grid style fleece liner. With a hood and built-in face mask it does a good job of keeping the chill off. It is not a super warm layer which is why it works well as an outer layer on warmer days but does add a degree of warmth and just enough to keep the chill off when needed.

Performance Full Zip Hoodie
I originally started with this piece before "upgrading" to the pursuit hoodie. It is a great piece of gear that has a similar application to the pursuit hoodie, but it is more of a standard hoodie outer material (not thick but feels more like your everyday polyester hoodie than a technical polyester piece of gear). It has a similar fleece lining, but it is not the grid style. This hoodie was extremely functional, but it does pill pretty bad and is what really prompted ordering the pursuit version.

Pursuit Tech Stretch Pants
One of my favorite pieces of Drake Non-Typical gear and hunting gear in general to date! These pants are extremely comfortable, very durable and again, a bread-and-butter piece of my layering set-up. I wear these as my only pant for most of the season! The outer shell of them is probably my favorite part in the way it is durable yet flexible and comfortable. I really wish Drake offered a jacket in this exact same construction. The fleece lining is heavier than that of the pursuit hoody and makes them a bit warmer and more windproof. I will be ordering the regular camo tech stretch pant before scouting and early season hunting next year but once October hits these work great. They breath well enough to wear on warm-mild days and hold in the warmth well enough to get me through November barring any super cold temp drops.

Sizing
The new hoodies (pursuit & performance) stray away from typical Drake sizing. Both the hoodies are a much more athletic and slimmer cut. I encourage you to order your typical size or actually size up if you don't prefer slim fitting clothing. I find it perfect for reducing bulk, packing well and bow hunting so I don't have to worry about sleeves getting in contact with the string at any point.

The pursuit tech stretch pants seem to be more typical to drake sizing and I suggest the same as I did for the base layer bottoms. If you have room in the waist to size down, do it because they will be plenty long and have a more relaxed cut. I can only hope they eventually produce a more athletic cut pant in the future.

Insulation Layer/additional Midlayers
Endurance Vest
Endurance Full Zip
Pursuit Synthetic Down Full Zip

Review
Endurance Vest
The endurance line is designed to be a go to all around clothing line to be comfortable for most of the season. It seems to be just that. It would be a bit warm in the early season, perfect in the mid-season and a bit cold in the late season. I am a big fan of using a vest as a layering piece to keep my core temp up. All the endurance line has a 200g fleece liner which is pretty warm and wind resistant yet still thin and not bulky. Several times I threw the vest on over the pursuit hoody and was very comfortable in the mid 30's.

Endurance Full Zip
The same as the vest but with sleeves. LOL. Commonly this piece would get thrown on over the pursuit hoody and endurance vest to fight off that early morning or sun set chill and then could easily be packed away for my hike in/out.

The endurance tops are the lightest tops in the Drake line that include the MAGTHATCH chest pocket which is one of my favorite features.

Pursuit Synthetic Down Full Zip
A 140g synthetic down full zip. This thing is very warm for its packability. This my first year having a "puffy" and one of the pieces that I expect to use much more out west or on glassing days than in my typical whitetail adventures. When I really needed to fight off the cold this jacket was very effective, but as puffy layers go, they don't breathe well so it is simply a layer that goes in the pack on those cold days and only gets pulled out when needed. While I don't really suggest it being used as an outer layer for actual hunting, it does seem to be more durable and not quite as noisy as I expected.

Sizing
The endurance line is very typical Drake sizing and seems to run big. I encourage you to size down from typical clothing and just pay attention as mentioned with other items to the waist size.

The synthetic down full zip jacket is part of the new pursuit line so it is a very athletic and slim fit which I love. But if you like a more relaxed fit then I encourage you to order up a size.

Outer Layers
Stand Hunter Silencer Jacket
Silencer Bib

Review
Stand Hunter Silencer Jacket
This jacket is something that Drake carried over a lot of technology from their high-end waterfowl gear, added it to the quietest hunting clothing I have used, and made it great for cold weather big game hunting! It has a 400g fleece lining which does a good job of being windproof yet still not very bulky. While they do still offer a standard silencer jacket, the stand hunter version is an improved and refined version of that. There are some features I will never use myself such as the internal shoulder straps but for some people I could see how this would be nice. When layered under with just my base layers and pursuit hoodie I can stay comfortable on some very chilly sits. Add in the endurance vest, endurance coat or the puffy jacket and you'll be toasty in just about any situation! This jacket is becoming my new favorite as the temps continue to drop here in Michigan and will see a ton of use in the later archery season! Again, it is extremely warm and comfortable yet not too bulky like some others!

Silencer bibs
While I try not to wear bibs if I don't have to in order to reduce bulk both on my body and while packing in, these things are great for when the temps really drop! I am using them more and more as the season goes on and temps drop. They also have the polyester 4 way stretch shell with a 400g fleece lining that does a great job of being windproof and keeping you warm, yet not being too bulky! These over the pursuit pants and merino base layer will keep me comfortable for the entire season here in Michigan! Durability of the silencer stuff has always been amazing as I have a set of the original silencer gear that is 5 seasons old and still looks pretty much brand new. It is also just as the name suggest, virtually silent! I never even think about noise when I wear this stuff. Another awesome feature is that the legs zip/unzip 100% of the way from top to bottom. What I love about this is that I personally can wear a size small that fits me properly and not have to order a size up to factor in trying to put them on over top of my other layers. simply unzip them, put them on, wrap them around my legs and other layers and zip them back up instead of trying to stuff my legs through a properly sized bib and end up with my mid layers all bunched up.

Sizing
Again, all the silencer series gear is your standard Drake fit in which I suggest going down a size for most people unless you're choosing the pant instead of the bib and the waist band is what limits your size selection.
 
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Joined
Oct 29, 2021
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Closing comments and additional pieces of gear
In closing I am highly impressed with this stuff and would put it up to just about any layering system out there! I am extremely happy I went this route and like any hunting gear, it is a bit of an investment, but I saved some money compared to a lot of the other top of the line gear out there and this stuff has done everything I have needed it to and more so far. While there are additional pieces of gear that they make and a few I would like to try such as the ultralight performance pac waterproof shell and the storm front fleece layers. This system that I put together has been able to cover me very well this season! There are a few other options that could be used such as the stand hunter version of the endurance jacket which gives you the stand hunter features in the lighter weight endurance line, or the silencer vest and silencer pant which give you the added warmth of the 400g fleece liner in a vest and standard pant instead of bibs. I have an older pair of the silencer pants and absolutely love them, but the newer pursuit pants have taken their place on 90% of my hunts because I like that construction so much. While it might be a tad noisier than the silencer pant (which most pants are) the added durability and pocket layout outweighs the tiny bit of noise for me, and they are still extremely quiet.
 
OP
T
Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
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Updated with a little more info on the outer layers as I have put several more hours in them here recently with the cold Michigan weather.

Feel free to reach out with any questions about the gear. Throughout the process of putting together this system I have become very familiar with virtually every piece of their gear and am confident that you can build a system to compete with just about anything out there right now!
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
77
Great review. I have used Drake gear for waterfowl/ whitetail hunting and many pieces still look brand new and perform great.

I will say that their QC, specifically in the Non-Typical Line has been hit or miss. I have made several returns/exchanges because of loose seams and faulty zippers, etc. right out of the box.

It's odd. Many of their products are clearly well built and have quality construction, but others are clearly sourced very cheaply and obviously wont last one or two seasons.

The pieces that I wouldn't trade for anything: My MST Eqwader Jacket (going strong on 9 full duck seasons) and my MST Synthetic Pac Jacket (this comes with me on every single hunting trip). I have many of the Silencer pieces for whitetail hunting, and they truly are dead silent, but I'm not certain how long they'll be holding up. Avoid the "Hydro Hush fleece" at all cost (very cheap and thin material that will deteriorate fast).

Overall I would recommend them as a good value brand, just be cautious and examine it before you buy or remove tags.
 
OP
T
Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
70
Great review. I have used Drake gear for waterfowl/ whitetail hunting and many pieces still look brand new and perform great.

I will say that their QC, specifically in the Non-Typical Line has been hit or miss. I have made several returns/exchanges because of loose seams and faulty zippers, etc. right out of the box.

It's odd. Many of their products are clearly well built and have quality construction, but others are clearly sourced very cheaply and obviously wont last one or two seasons.

The pieces that I wouldn't trade for anything: My MST Eqwader Jacket (going strong on 9 full duck seasons) and my MST Synthetic Pac Jacket (this comes with me on every single hunting trip). I have many of the Silencer pieces for whitetail hunting, and they truly are dead silent, but I'm not certain how long they'll be holding up. Avoid the "Hydro Hush fleece" at all cost (very cheap and thin material that will deteriorate fast).

Overall I would recommend them as a good value brand, just be cautious and examine it before you buy or remove tags.

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the additional input! The 2 MST pieces you mentioned are some of my go-to's for waterfowl as well. Interesting to hear the QC issues as so far in all the pieces i own for whitetail and waterfowl both I haven't seen any issues. I haven't owned any of the hydro hush stuff but i do know they are currently "updating" that line and will be re releasing it at some point. Hopefully those issues are fixed.

My original silencer set has been through 5 seasons so far and still looks almost new so i am sure you will get plenty of longevity out of yours! Unless you are in some heavy briars in which i don't know of any quiet hunting clothing that ca hold up very well in that lol.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
77
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the additional input! The 2 MST pieces you mentioned are some of my go-to's for waterfowl as well. Interesting to hear the QC issues as so far in all the pieces i own for whitetail and waterfowl both I haven't seen any issues. I haven't owned any of the hydro hush stuff but i do know they are currently "updating" that line and will be re releasing it at some point. Hopefully those issues are fixed.

My original silencer set has been through 5 seasons so far and still looks almost new so i am sure you will get plenty of longevity out of yours! Unless you are in some heavy briars in which i don't know of any quiet hunting clothing that ca hold up very well in that lol.
specific to the silencer items: ive returned two sets of the pants bc of numerous loose threads right out of the box. Also the fly on the pants is a horribly cheap zipper that sticks and seems like its just waiting to fall apart. I also have a full-zip jacket that has a seams coming loose at the shoulder after two seasons (nothing a needle and thread wont fix). If the Silencer material itself wasn't so great, id have given up on it by now.
 
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