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February 04, 2013
Gear Test: Cold-Weather Body Suits - 0
by Bob Butz
Very few products marketed to hunters provide what is arguably the single most important factor that contributes to success—more time in the field. A selection of extreme-cold-weather “body suits,” however, delivers on the promise of comfort, functionality, and warmth—everything a late-season hunter needs to endure extra hours on stand in brutal weather. We tested two of the best last winter while hunting whitetails on the coldest days of the season in northern Michigan and coyotes on frigid February nights. Pictured: IWOM XT, left; Heater Body Suit, right.
Functionality: Due to the suits’ bulk, you should practice shooting in both (especially with a bow) before heading into the field. The Heater Body Suit, which comes with a safety harness (the IWOM features an opening for your harness tether), must be donned once you get into your stand, so expect to practice this maneuver, too.
Accessories: The Heater Body Suit doesn’t come with a hood, as the IWOM does, but does have a lot of nice extras. In addition to the safety harness, it features waterproof booties, a zip-on blaze orange overlay, and snow- and waterfowl-camo overalls for hunting in a variety of environments.
Value: Both garments feature durable zippers, heavy-duty stitching, and quality buckles. But the Heater Body Suit has fewer seams and zippers, and therefore fewer features that might fail. The Heater Body Suit, made in the U.S., is cheaper off the rack, too.
Versatility: The IWOM is waterproof; the Heater Body Suit is water-resistant. When moving between multiple predator stands or when hunting any game that could appear suddenly and allow only a fleeting chance at a well-placed shot, the freedom of movement afforded by the IWOM is hard to beat.
Winner: IWOM XT (4 to 3)
Heater Body Suit