Stealth Gear Smock – Review

Posted by Brydon Thomason on Sunday 29th May 2011 | Reviews

My introduction to Stealth Gear was with the Extreme Jacket Vest (and trousers). The jacket was like no other I had worn in terms of functionality, build quality and design. I had only been wearing the jacket for a matter of months when the Smock was launched.

Needless to say I couldn’t help myself and was enthusiastically intrigued to try it out, especially as the Smock was much more the style of jacket I typically prefer. I’m not entirely sure why this is maybe just the general fit that the style of a smock offers. In the past I have owned several ‘smocks’ of different designs, brands and materials.

When I unpacked it and before I had even tried it on I knew it would be my new favourite SG garment. The fact that it was noticeably lighter weight was the first thing I noticed and liked. One large pocket on the front replaced the many different pockets offered in the other jackets whilst there was splendid ‘hand warmer’ sized and lined pockets at either side. In short (and from a personal perspective) it was a much simpler and snugger fitting and slightly lighter weight option to the other jackets in the SG range.

The ‘kangaroo’s pouch’ style front pocket is certainly roomy to say the least and can easily manage mid-range sized lens and DSLR body. I personally however find it best for carrying my binoculars. I have lost count of the number of times I have laid off my bins whilst my adrenalin levels were peaking during a lengthy stalk (often crawling) especially whilst photographing Otters, only afterwards having to retrace my path to pick up my ‘bins’.

The only other two pockets are two small zippered breast pockets, either side of the neck zipper, which opens as far as the chest and I find is far enough. These two pockets are perfect size for all I often need/want to carry; my mobile (always on silent!!), spare battery, lens cloth and extra memory cards- inside the SG card wallet of course which is clipped into the small D rings and concealed inside the zipped pocket.

The Smock also comes complete with most other extras the other jackets have such as hood, mozzy/midge face net (which I use more for camouflaging my face), storm cuffs, removable elbow pads and has the same functional arm pit vents and side openings which I have open most of the time for crouching, crawling and extra venting.

I mention its lighter weight; this is because it lacks the multiple layers of material which the multiple extra pockets have on the other jackets. Most of the time I wear it (now bear in mind we are roughly 60 degrees north up here in Shetland!) either with just a T shirt on or just a long sleeve sweater but in winter it works brilliantly with the SG fleece. Needless to say, as with all the ‘gear’ the benefits of the forest green tones and the ‘rustle proof’ material make a world of difference when working with species as shy and secretive as wild Otters (both for me personally and indeed my clients when wearing the gear we supply them with on our workshops).

All in all it a fantastically functional, comfortable and brilliantly designed jacket – in my opinion the best one (or should I say personal favourite) in the Stealth Gear range.

Brydon Thomason