TUNDRA - AS TOUGH AS THEY COME!
If you’re anything like me you’ll have an expensive rain jacket or two in your hunting cupboard that have been badly damaged after being ripped on a sharp branch, or full of holes where you slipped over on rough alpine terrain.
Enter Stoney Creek’s new ultra-rugged Tundra jacket and overtrousers, designed specifically for harsh alpine hunting conditions – although they are of course suitable for hunting in all types of terrain and weather.
This Tundra gear is made from a heavy duty three-layer fabric: the outer, 500D Oxford Nylon; a breathable membrane; and then a 40D polyester mesh. The ‘D’ stands for ‘Denier’; this relates to the mass density and strength of the fabric when comparing deniers of the same material, and 500D for the outer layer is certainly getting up there for strength. This outer layer is coated in Teflon™ DWR which repels water, mud and blood. The inner mesh lining is treated with Ciba Antimicrobial to help prevent the garments from stinking after they’ve been worn by a sweaty hunter in wet conditions.
A key feature I look for on a decent hunting coat is a hood that can keep the weather out. The Tundra definitely meets that criterion – with a hood that has a peak and draw-cords so that it can be adjusted to give a tight fit around the face, and a volume-reducing cord on the back of the hood to give it a snug fit there, too. A full length YKK front zip does up to past your chin, so that gets plenty of protection, while a double flap, fastened with domes, then covers this main zip. The jacket is fitted with three external pockets and one internal pocket, the outer zips being waterproof. A good-sized chest pocket will hold those items you to want to access quickly and the two waist pockets are big enough for you to get your hands well into them. The external pocket zips have a pull cord attached for use with cold hands – nice touch – while the small internal pocket is for items like a cell phone. The sleeve cuffs can be tightened around your wrests with a Velcro band to prevent water getting in.
These are made from the same material as the jacket and come with a zip front fly and built in belt. A zip running from the ankle cuff to the knee means you don’t have to take your boots off to put them on – a very desirable feature. A double layer scuff patch on the inside leg at the ankles is designed to prevent damage when using crampons.
In the field
I used the Tundra jacket and overtrousers on trips to the Southern Alps and North Canterbury hunting reds, chamois and tahr, and on trips to the Rimutakas and Kawekas. Weather conditions ranged from blistering hot days to everything the weather could throw at me, and this is where the Tundra gear really came into its own. I kept dry and warm and found the big waist pockets great for getting my hands in, out of the weather. The hood design is excellent, allowing it to be drawn around your face so that as little skin as possible is exposed. In the Rimutakas I enjoyed being able to crash through windfalls and dense scrub with no worries about ripping holes in the Tundra gear, and this was the same for my trips into the Alps. The only downside with such ruggedly-built gear is that it’s is reasonably bulky and heavy in your pack.
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