Clothing Materials that Make Sense for Mountain Hunts

Jul 3, 2023Gear

Modern materials offer hunters an incredible advantage over the old, non-breathable, heavy sleeping bags and coats. While wool and a few other materials have stood the test of time, investing in modern synthetics, lightweight down and specific textures for close quarters hunting is well worth the cost on serious mountain expeditions.

Many brands have warranties and it’s not uncommon to see a modern hunting outfit last for many years. Take some time to assemble your optimal outfit and incorporate the best materials for performance and hunting utility.

Mountain Caribou Hunting

Insulating Layers

It’s hard to go wrong with a quality down sleeping bag. They are lightweight, soft and extra insulating. Sleeping bags live inside of tents where they can stay dry however. Down jackets and pants are excellent insulators as well but beware of moisture. If the down becomes wet, it loses the loft and fails to insulate.

For outer insulating layers, a synthetic puffy coat combined with a waterproof shell is a great bet. Wool jackets are also great for staying warm and the material continues insulating with moisture present. Regardless of the insulating material chosen, it pays to have a waterproof jacket and pull over for the pants. Bibs are great for covering your layers and staying dry too.

Many of the modern waterproof pullovers are super lightweight and you can wear them out the door or keep them packed. On hunts that require bushwhacking through brush with moisture, wear your waterproof gear to protect the layers beneath. And lastly, when it’s flat out cold, use the waterproof overcoats that are designed to keep you both warm and dry.

Fast Drying Mid and Base Layers

When you’re hiking hard or enjoying a warm stretch, pack the outer layers and wear your base layers. If it’s chilly, you might go to mid-layers as well. Merino wool is an incredible material for these layers. Look to runners and endurance athletes who train outside in the winter. Many are wearing polyester or merino wool because the materials breath and dry quickly.

For mid-layers the same materials apply but might have a little fill material for more insulation. Fleece is also nice but avoid getting it wet. Ideally, you will wear the fleece when the sweat slows down and you want to warm up. It doesn’t breath well but is excellent for heat retention.

Soft and Quiet Materials

For archery hunting specifically, wearing soft materials is important. Abrasive fabrics might offer waterproofing but they also make noise. Ideally, you will have some soft materials to throw on for stalks. Get them wet if you must then change after the stalk ends.

Always prioritize non-abrasive clothing for those up close and personal experiences but don’t hesitate to throw on your insulators and hard shells for comfort while glassing, riding on horseback and moving with distance between you and your quarry.

Contact Us With Questions

For more gear tips, be sure and check out our Gear Page where we also have downloadable packing lists for your upcoming hunt. If you have further questions or need help, please feel free to Contact Us.

Written by Zach Lazzari 

Zach is an outdoor writer, fly fishing guide and hunting enthusiast. Follow Zach at