Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Core4Element Clothing Review

I ordered my first set of Core4Element clothing back in September, using my Nevada mule deer hunt as an excuse for needing some new clothing (I was in fact due for some fresh camo though). I was originally looking at Sitka Gear, but I wasn't about to fork out that kind of money. At the same time, I wanted some clothing a little more athletically appealing than what most standard camo has to offer. I ended up finding some Core4Element Switchback pants on, a popular discount site that offers incredible deals on some quality gear. With the purchase of the pants I was offered a great deal on a C4E long sleeve shirt called the "Assault". What really pleased me about this stuff was the material, and the pattern- Mountain Mimicry. I received the clothing a short time later and it seemed to be of good quality. It didn't take long for me to order the matching Element jacket (which came with a free beanie) from the same site. As soon as I opened up the jacket, it was love at first sight. What an awesome looking, comfortable product! I had to go for a hunt to try all this stuff out. I went on a few local hunts for pigs, bear, etc. and I was very happy with the clothing. The real test was yet to come though, as my dad and I had our Nevada tags burning holes in our pockets.

We put many, many long hard miles in on our hunt. I wore my C4E gear the whole time, and here is what I thought of each item:

Beanie: Looks good in pictures, but that's about it. Too thin too keep you warm, and way to big for a size 7 head like mine. I wore it over my regular non-camo beanie (mainly just to complete my outfit). I call it my "beanie beanie", as it's completely useless without another beanie underneath. Keep in mind though... this thing came free with the jacket.

Assault Long sleeve Shirt: Very comfortable. The athletic cut was nice, as the shirt isn't real baggy in the forearms. You can slip through the brush with ease without your sleeves grabbing onto every little snag. Also, the sleeves are nice and long- something I seem to have problems with. I usually have to get shirts a size too big just so the sleeves are long enough. Not the case here. The extended neck coupled with a 1/4 zip was versatile. When the wind blew, I could zip it all the way up to keep my neck warm. The material is fairly thick, but much more breathable than I thought it would be. No front pocket, a minus. There is a zippered pocket high on the arm which is a cool idea, but you really need 3 hands to work the zipper. Or, you can reach down and bite your shirt to keep enough tension to work the zipper. Not real practical, but at least it's there. Also, some of the thread in the armpit and around one of the cuffs came loose. I probably lost about a foot per day of thread from these locations. That said, I really do like the shirt and would probably buy again.

Switchback Pants: These were definitely the most comfortable hunting pants I've worn. Also extremely light weight. The pockets are nice and deep, and the cargo pockets have a few extra zippered compartments which came in handy. The athletic cut was much more comfortable than regular camo pants, although I wished they were a touch tighter in the lower leg... but that's getting nit-picky. I didn't use the removable knee pads (didn't even bring them) but it's a nice option to have on the right hunt. Because of the knee pad option, the knee area of the pants are double-layered which is a great feature in its own right. There are no adjustable tabs on the pants so if they are a little loose, you must wear a belt. The structural integrity of the pants held up extremely well. One thing I was really disappointed with was that the camo pattern from the knees down was almost completely worn off by the end of the hunt. I guess walking through dense low sage was too much to handle. I found the material to be comfortable, breathable, and versatile in a broad range of temperatures.

Element Jacket: My most favorite piece of clothing I've ever owned. I love this thing! Warm, comfortable, great fit, etc. etc. The pockets are all in the right places. Waterproof zippers on pockets. Extremely comfortable velcro cuffs. Nice high collar for when it gets chilly or you need to hide your neck. I've worn this jacket a lot and not a single thread has come loose, and the camo has remained vivid. The micro-fleece like lining is great. All these great features and the jacket is still very light weight and low profile. It's not technically waterproof, but I've hunted with it in the snow and rain and been perfectly cozy.

Final Ratings (out of 10)
                        Comfort            Toughness           Looks             Versatility
Beanie                       8                         8                     9                         5
Assault shirt               9                         7                     9                         9
Switchback pants      9                          7                    9                         8
Element jacket         10                       10                     10                       10

1 comment:

  1. Todd - thanks for the review!

    Which size did you get in the Element jacket? It's on Camofire now and I'm thinking of getting one. I'm about 5'11" and 170 lbs.