There is a good reason many of the old timers utilized horse flesh to haul their gear up the mountain. Gear back in the good ole days was heavy and awkward. Hunters would wear out a team of draft mules hauling equipment up steep mountain trails. Loading 7 days worth of provisions into a heavy frame pack resulted in a 100 pound pack weight. Those heavy packs took the salt out of even the toughest men. After ascending a rugged mountain with 100 pounds, there wasn’t much left in the tank to effectively hunt. Then technology happened.
Lightweight Hunting Clothing. Humble Beginnings
Mountaineers, technical gear junkies, and backcountry enthusiast begin to ask the question; “how do we make things lighter without compromising resilience and durability.” Gear geeks started experimenting with new synthetic materials that were lighter and stronger than previously used materials. An era of outdoor technology was born and has blossomed into….well, something pretty freaking awesome.
Advancements in outdoor gear date all the way back to 1855 when Ajungilak made their first sleeping bag, filled with reindeer hair & kapok. From 1855 Advancements moved along pretty slowly until the late 60’s and early 70’s when the development of several new synthetics catapulted the outdoor gear industry into major breakthroughs in lighter more resilient gear. Many new companies like Marmot North Face, Sierra Designs, & Gortex were born and begin producing high quality lightweight equipment. The rest you could say, is history!
Technology Happened! The age of Lightweight Hunting Gear is Born.
About 20 years ago the hunting community caught the technology bug, and to say lightweight hunting gear has come along way in the last two decades would be a gross understatement. Hunting gear is lighter and more resilient than ever and for the first time in two decades hunters have choices. Lots of choices. Consequently, performance hunting clothing twenty years ago offered few choices in Concealment patterns aka camo. In more recent years all that has changed. There are now many choices in lightweight hunting clothes offered in an array of camo patterns and features. So what’s the best lightweight hunting clothes? “Best” is an arbitrary word and when it comes to hunting clothing there are a lot of variables like weight, performance, and most importantly affordability. Gear that checks all the boxes won’t get you far if you can’t afford it. Most hunters live within a budget and really want the best gear for the money.
Lightweight Hunting Clothing by SKRE
When it comes to buying gear, I’m a no non-sense type of buyer. A few years ago I found a company that had what I was looking for. SKRE Extreme Mountain Hunting Gear was born out of the idea of creating high performance, lightweight hunting clothing at a responsible price. At the foundation of SKRE is uncompromised quality of materials, performance and craftsmanship. SKRE gear is crafted from materials that just work….and work well. No crafty marketing materials, graphs, pie charts or arbitrary ratings. SKRE lab is the mountains….the elements.
Misconceptions. Lightweight Cold Weather Hunting Clothing
There seems to be many misconceptions with lightweight hunting clothing. One big misconception; “because a layering piece is light, it’s probably not warm enough.” That may have been true decades ago, but the synthetics world keeps making materials lighter while maintaining, and in some cases increasing the grams of insulation. This bodes well for all of us. I don’t know a hunter alive that wishes to pack more weight, unless it’s protein and antlers. We start and end each day on our feet, so don’t make the mistake of thinking a few extra pounds won’t matter. Another reason I’m a big fan of SKRE is you get performance without the weight in every piece of gear they craft.
As a backcountry hunter, that is a pretty important to me. My pack weights need to come in under 55 pounds, which means I scrutinize every piece of gear I wear or haul in my pack. Another misconception is: If it’s light it’s probably not durable. Again this may have been true in the past, however, if material is going to make it in a day of competitive technological advancements it has to be durable. Hunters & outdoor adrenaline junkies have come to expect “having their cake and eating too”. Thanks to advances in technology, we can have gear that checks all the boxes. Lest we celebrate too early, these advancements in technology come at a premium. The old timer proverb, “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to performance gear.
SKRE. Quality & Performance at a Responsible price
As owners of SKRE begin laying the foundation of the company, they posed the question, “how do we craft lightweight performance gear that can be sold at a responsible price”. Compromising materials and quality would be out of the question. It was determined that one way to lower costs would be to use proprietary materials developed by some of the best performance manufactures in the world. This decision allowed SKRE to be more surgical as they designed and crafted new pieces. It also saved a lot of money not partnering with branded materials that came at a premium. After all, the branded companies produced materials that were proven to not have a performance & quality advantage over custom materials created by the best in the industry. Frankly, this is no secret, as some of the top hunting athletes in the world have concurred with the above statement.
Another way SKRE was able to lower costs is through a direct to consumer model. Brick & Mortar stores filled with glass cases, amazing taxidermy, expensive fixtures, and an army of well dressed sales people comes at a premium. Most retail stores usually get 40% margins or somewhere close to that number. That does not bode well for consumers. Believe me, the retail margin is passed on to the consumer. In contrast, a direct to consumer model allows that savings to be passed on to the consumer. I realize that Brick and Mortar stores give the consumer a more hands on experience, consequently, how many times have you visited a store and worked with a sales person that had zero knowledge about the products offered in their store. Happens all the time, right! At SKRE I get a live person on the phone that knows the product and knows it well. I always get answers, not a blank stare or a “I’ll get back to you”.
I don’t care how good a product is. It’s only as good as the company that stands behind it. This is why I am a customer for life. I give SKRE’s customer service a resounding 5 stars and I will provide a few good reasons why they get a perfect 5. First, they offer a sizing guarantee. They cover all shipping costs until your sizing is correct. They make it pretty darn easy to return something for a different size, by including a pre-paid shipping label with every package. If it don’t fit, stuff it back in the same bag or box, apply the pre-paid shipping label and a couple strands of tape. Click on the return portal on their website and fill in a few boxes and click submit. Boom, you’re done!
Other than dropping the package at the post office it’s really that easy. No phone calls to get a RA number. Second reason; they have a ‘No questions asked, No Hassle Warranty.” Seriously, there really is no hassle. All returns & exchanges are handled through their return and exchange portal. No phone calls with awkward explanation, where you feel like you are on trial. Finally, these guys are pretty good dudes who hunt all over the world in some pretty extreme climates. They are DIY hunters who consistently find success. I never feel rushed when I call and many times my calls conclude with the swapping of hunting adventures. Be sure and check out their adventures on IG and FB. They are hunters first, which is why they craft gear that is top shelf, lightweight, hunting gear. If you are on the fence about trying a new company, give SKRE a try. I’m confident you will be impressed.