Härkila Pro Hunter suit - test and review
- Credit: Archant
Phil Price puts the Harkila Pro Hunter suit to the test to discover if it really is the ‘ultimate stalker’s suit’...
Since the day I first saw one, I considered the Härkila Pro Hunter suit the ultimate stalker’s wear. But that was without ever wearing one, and now I’ve had the chance to work one hard for a year, I’m in a much better place to understand if my imagined view was correct.
It’s a fact that this is a heavyweight, tough suit, despite being the lighter X model, designed to take anything that your stalking can throw at it and still come up smiling. I remember a friend who owned one saying that he felt like it was his suit of armour that would defend him from the worst the weather could bring, and the damage the thorns and stones could inflict.
Having almost a year inside my one now, I have to agree. It’s not the lightest suit you’ll ever try, but when the weather’s crap and you’re crawling through mud, you’ll be warm and dry, with no worries about the suit surviving the punishment. I made the choice to select the three-quarter length breeks to be worn with long, lace-up leather boots and gaitors, and the increased freedom of movement compared to full-length trousers was noticeable from the first step.
I found the suit very warm, despite it lacking any obvious insulation. Only light fleece layers were needed beneath to be comfortable, even in February sleet on a driving wind. The suit is lined with Gore’s latest waterproof membrane, and I’d say that it’s the best I’ve ever tried, by some margin. Alongside my winter stalking, I work my Labradors, picking-up on pheasant shoots where I get covered in mud and blood, so a weekly wash is necessary and the Pro Hunter came out looking like new every time. It does, however, take some drying, so don’t wash yours the night before a shoot and expect to wear it the following day.
Of course, a suit of this quality costs a pretty penny, but I consider it money well spent. It’s designed by people who shoot and understand our needs, so is as practical as you could ever wish for. It’s also tough, really tough – barbed wire holds no fear for this one.
A year down the road, my suit still looks like new after enduring another winter of hard work and abuse. I’ve been comfortable, warm, dry and enjoyed the freedom of movement this suit can deliver. If you have the funds and shoot hard whatever the weather, I heartily recommend the Harkila Pro Hunter. It’s a product you can trust and enjoy, whatever your day in the field brings.
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RRP: Jacket – £479.99; Breeks – £199.99