Review: The Ridgeliner Pro-Hunt jacket
PUBLISHED: 14:58 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:58 26 June 2018
The editor discovers the perfect 'crossover' garment, in the Pro- Hunt jacket from Ridgeline
We are finally leaving behind a seemingly endless winter, and emerging, blinking with appreciation at warmer, sunnier days. Mornings and evenings can still be chilly, but it’s definitely safe to stash the full-on thermal gear for a few months, and we’re not into shorts and T-shirt order just yet. What we need is a ‘crossover’ outer garment that will intercept those dawn/dusk chills, whilst not cooking us when the sun breaks through. Let me introduce you to the new Pro-Hunt jacket from Ridgeline. Here’s why I think this ‘super-fleece’ garment is a truly special piece of kit.
First, for me, whoever came up with the overall design for the Pro-Hunt jacket deserves a bonus, and its main features could have been taken straight from my personal wish list. I love the longer, draught-proof cut of the Pro-Hunt, which not only excludes those sneaky little breezes that can be uncomfortably nippy during the prime hunting times of the day, but also helps to keep me dry when I’m brushing against the tops of dew-covered foliage. When I use the Pro-Hunt in static huntiing, the extra length folds under my seat and forms a comfy capsule from which I can pay full attention to any incoming quarry.
Like the rest of this jacket, the double-lined hood keeps out the wind and weather, but it also does a fine job of shading my face when I’m hunting. The Pro-Hunt’s Prey Eyes – no, I don’t understand that, either – digital cammo is one of the most versatile patterns I’ve ever used, and for the dappled shade we’ll be dealing with at this time of year, it’s incredibly effective.
Then there’s the full-length zip, insulated by a popper-closed flap, which all hi-tech fleece producers should consider, that makes taking off and putting on the Pro-Hunt so much easier than heaving it over your head each time. I have other, excellent, fleeces but this one is simplicity itself to slip on and off, so it’s the one I use most. There are other reasons I wear it, though.
Pit zips are wonderful things, and a major blessing during warmer times, or when moving from place to place. Just open the pit zips to let out the heat, or drop the main zip a foot or so until you’re cruising at your preferred operating temperature.
Now add the zipped pockets, so nothing gets lost during strenuous manoeuvres in the field, the Velcro cuff closures for more insulation and temperature control, and a huge, lined pocket right across the back of the garment, and you have one of the most versatile items of clothing I’ve ever used. At £124.99, I reckon the Ridgeline Pro-Hunt jacket is a genuine bargain, too. Personally, I can’t recommend this jacket too highly.