LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
For years I relied on carbon clothing to help me fly under the whitetail radar. And while my experience wasn’t all that bad, the clothing that accompanied the technology left a lot to be desired. In short, I often found myself at the mercy of the elements. And while we all struggle with harsh conditions, unless you’ve chased whitetails in tough, mountain terrain (like me), you have no idea how important the “right” clothing really is. Enter Under Armour.
Before the start of the 2011 bow season I decided to do something I hadn’t done in 15 years….hunt without the assistance of carbon clothing. My decision was the result of wanting to find something better. I wanted (needed) clothing that not only allowed me to get closer to game, but also protected me from the elements and made getting to and from my stand easier. Essentially, I was looking for something that would make me a better bowhunter.
My initial results with UA Hunting gear speak for themselves.
I choose Under Armour’s Ridge Reaper series with “Capture” odor technology for my experiment. It proved to be superior in all categories; allowing me to move faster, hunt lighter and oh yeah, fill a couple of whitetail tags in the process. To say I was pleased with the results would be an understatement. My (hunting) life without carbon had proven NOT to be the kiss of death I had anticipated. On numerous occasions I found myself “upwind” of whitetails that faintly raised their heads for a moment then continued on their way.
For 2012, Under Armour ushers in a totally new technology to take their already proven hunting apparel to the next level—-aptly named Under Armour Scent Control. This new technology can be found on a wide array of hunting clothes and accessories. One in particular is The UA Rut Scent Control Jacket and Pant. With a name like The Rut, is there any question what conditions this suit was built for? But wait. Before we get into the details of this jacket/pant combo, let’s take a look at what all the buzz is about and what really sets this garment apart from all others on the market.
What is Scent Control Technology?
In simplest terms, UA Scent Control is made possible by combining two distinct elements; Synthetic Zeolites and Silver. Synthetic Zeolites mimic the radical organic compound found when molten lava hits fresh sea water. One of the only negatively charged minerals in all of nature, zeolites form interconnected channels, like a honeycomb, that trap and hold odor. Along with these synthetic zeolites, Under Armour Scent Control garments are fused with silver; which is one of earth’s most anti-microbial substances. This makes for the first and only “scent and silver” mixture….ever. Together, the two elements target human specific scents. Unlike carbon based products which generally mask any and all odors.
Carbons effectiveness is said to degrade up to 50% after just 5 washes. Under Armour’s Scent Control technology is said to be 99 % effective after 50 washes and is lighter, quieter, and longer lasting than anything ever engineered. Pictured here is The Rut jacket.
In addition, performance gear treated with this powerful combination is said to dramatically minimize your scent profile, getting you closer to game, and does so up to 10x’s longer than carbon. This highly rechargeable technology releases trapped odors during a normal wash cycle; as opposed to the highly controversial (high heat) recharging method of carbon. Simply wash and reactivate. It’s that easy. And, the new technology is available in Base, Mid, and Outer layer garments. So, no matter what the season or condition, you can enjoy the benefits of UA’s Scent Control gear.
Do you see Green? UA makes it easy to identify garments containing the new Scent Control technology. Just look for the Velocity Green UA logo.
The Rut Jacket Features
It’s obvious that the clothing engineers had bowhunting on their mind when they conceived this jacket. For starters, it is built to keep you warm while hunting during its namesake…..The Rut. Hunting during the breeding phase of the whitetail often means long, cold sits in a treestand under a variety of unsympathetic conditions. Lined with 355g fleece, this jacket is capable of trapping substantial body heat; allowing you to stay on stand longer. Ironically, it feels very lightweight and streamlined when worn; which is uncharacteristic of most cold-weather hunting clothes.
When not in use, the rear Harness-Compatible opening zips closed preventing body heat and odor from escaping.
Perhaps one of my favorite features of The Rut jacket is the built-in Harness-Compatible design that not only helps keep you safe, but adds to the jackets ability to keep your core temperature toasty. If you ever tried to wear a safety harness under your clothing while running the tree strap out the top of your suit, then you understand how much body heat can be lost in such a situation; not to mention how uncomfortable it is. If I had one complaint about the Ridge Reaper jacket, it was the lack of a safety harness opening in the back. But then again, it wasn’t designed with the treestand bowhunter in mind. The Rut jacket, on the other hand, definitely was.
Forget about your sleeve coming in contact with your bow string during cold weather hunts. The Rut jacket uses a sleeve compression system to further reduce the chances of contact.
One of the main problems facing bowhunters when wearing low-grade hunting clothing is the necessity to wear layer after layer in order to stay warm. The “bulk factor”, and how it will affect your shot, is a real concern when prepping for cold-weather hunting. The fact that Under Armour clothing keeps you warm without the bulk, didn’t stop designers from incorporating a built-in, volume reducing sleeve system which guarantees nothing gets in the way when the bow string jumps forward. Just in case you are wondering, UA did place it on the “outside” of the sleeve.
You can carry all the essentials on your back and keep the really important items within easy reach thanks to the strategically placed pockets on The Rut jacket.
What good are pockets if you must take off your pack every time you want to access them? Not much really; especially to a mountain bowhunter or anyone else who regularly carries a backpack. In fact, they quickly become a burden rather than an asset. The pockets on The Rut jacket are located such that accessing them while wearing your favorite backpack is as easy as working the zipper. Without a doubt, chest pockets are great for those pieces of equipment that need to remain close at hand, such as a rangefinder or grunt tube.
When the temps drop to the extreme level, tossing a couple of commercial hand-warmers into these kidney pouches can buy you a few more precious hours in the stand.
Years ago, in an effort to stay warm, I began using a “kidney-belt” of sorts. This homemade item was stuffed with hand-warmers and attached around my waist. And while the method worked, warming the blood flow in my kidneys seemed to warm me all over, the belt was bulky, awkward and was sometimes forgotten at home. Thankfully, some manufacturers began to see the advantages of incorporating this idea into their clothing line. Just for the record, I didn’t conceive the kidney-belt, hand-warmer idea. Nonetheless, UA has added this warming feature to The Rut jacket to prolong your time in the timber….and that’s a good thing. Rounding out the list of features is Under Armour’s signature Moisture Transport System, quiet fabric, and athletic fit. All of the above technologies can also be found in The Rut pant as well.
Two-way zippers mean you don’t always have to access your second layer by unzipping from the top down.
Because these garments are so new, literally hitting the shelves as I type, I can’t speak first hand on the cold-weather performance of this particular jacket/pant system, or the all new Scent Control Technology. But, having spent last fall testing UA’s Ridge Reaper clothing with “Capture” technology, and experiencing outstanding results, I can say without hesitation that I would expect The Rut lineup of clothing, (as well as all garments treated with the new Scent Control technology), to perform as advertised. In my opinion, UA has raised the bar in the scent control category of hunting apparel.
UA will also offer their Scent Control technology in a field spray. Perfect for boots, clothing, accessories, treestands, or anything else you take in the woods.
What I can say is that overall the look and feel of The Rut outfit is very comfortable as well as functional. From the ease of movement it allows while drawing my bow, to the strategically placed features, every detail has a purpose. That purpose is to make you a better bowhunter by allowing you to hunt harder, stay longer, and ultimately…..go undetected.