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Stoney Creek Shooters Jacket

Talk about a heavy duty, durable and robust jacket! The durable zips and double seaming ensure that the water won't penetrate to your under layers. The cuffs are made of wet-suit material designed to seal out water from trickling in and wetting your sleeves. And in terms of material strength, it will take the knocks while bush bashing, and the scratches while tahr hunting.

These water-proofing attributes have proven themselves on numerous hunts in wet weather. On one particular trip to the Wanganui River on the South Island's West Coast, the rain never eased. Not only did the jacket resist water from the skies, but it also repelled thousands of litres of tumbling, splashing water channelled down boulderous tributaries. Steep sided guts and gullies act like funnels during rainfall events, so we had to make do as this terrain often provides excellent chamois hunting opportunities.

On another occassion, Jullian Danby and I were hunting a narrow catchment near Fox Glacier when we came to a gorgy section in the side stream. We fully zipped our jackets up, tightended the hoods, and strapped our cuffs in preparation for the climb up the middle of a sequence of waterfalls. Endless bucket loads of water thundered upon us while we ascended the falls with our heads facing down for nearly 15minutes scampering for hand and foot holds.

At the top I was impressed at the relatively small amount of water [considering the huge quantities that passed over us] that had seeped up the sleeves. I was practically bone dry across the chest, back and shoulders, apart from a few inches of soaked sleeves as a result of placing my hands up hill in search of handholds to lever myself up the falls. Which in my opinion wouldn't have mattered if you had strapping tape over the cuffs... the water had that much force it would have seeped under any gap. At one point I considered opting out due to the shear power of the water.

My only criticism of the shooters jacket is its heavy duty nature, and lack of breathability. While it ensures that water never gets through the material, it also ensures that water doesn't get out - so sweating can be a problem. The other thing I didn't like about them was the hood - it could do with a bit more face and ear cover.

Overall I rate the Shooters Jacket:

Waterproofing: 4/5

Comfort: 4/5

Breathability: 3/5

Durability: 5/5

Stealth: 4/5

Ergonomics: 2/5

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