Recently I received the Under Armour Stealth Reaper Extreme Wool Jacket and pants to review and test in Montana’s harsh mountain conditions. To be fair, Under Armour (UA) designed this system primarily for tree stand hunting in 0-55 degree conditions, I decided to put it to a little more extreme test. I tested the gear in four different endeavors: elk camp rifle season, whitetail stand hunting, goose/duck hunting, and late season cow elk spot and stalk. The test began in late October in the mountains and ran through the end of the year in the snow. I’ve beat the tar out of it, pushed it, belly crawled in it, washed it multiple times, and even wore the pants for chores.
First, let’s get some of the technical aspects reviewed and out of the way so we can get to the really important stuff: its performance in the field. The Jacket and pants boast a looser fuller cut for comfort, and exclusive ridge reaper camo designed with coincidental disruption technology and a “no background” color algorithm, blocking preys ability to see complete forms. I’m not sure what all that means, but the camo is adequate for the task at hand. The outer layer is comprised of UA Threadborne wool fleece that is breathable and repels waters. It is not waterproof. It contains PrimalLoft insulation 80g on the body, 60g on the sleeve. Scent control technology, however, I suggest you play the wind. Quiet construction to cut down on rustling and it is harness compatible. The jacket has a horizontal zippered breast pocket and two horizontal zippered waist pockets. The pants have two slanted hip pockets, two zippered cargo pockets, and one zippered back pocket, zippered legs for cooling down and putting on gear over boots. The pant cuffs are re-enforced to prevent boot pant contact wear. All zippers are y2k and heavy duty.
Test 1: Elk Camp Rifle Season
The first real test I put the Under Armour Stealth Reaper Extreme (UA-SREW) system through was elk hunting out of rifle camp. Temps were 20-35 with snow. I wore the gear a couple of times with backpack guiding clients several miles a day through the snow. The system was very comfortable and very packable, however, it was not compatible with the rigors of hiking several miles through inclines that a mountain environment demands. Frankly, the gear was too hot and had to be completely removed for cooling down. The pants were better as they provided a good warmth return for the weight investment. In that environment, I prefer a puffy jacket over the UA-SREW jacket.
Test 2: White Tail Stand Hunting
The second test came in the stand for whitetails on the river bottom. Here, the Under Armour Stealth Reaper Extreme system was much better. It kept me warm in 25-45 degree temperatures. I’m not much of a stand hunter, so after about an hour I found myself piling out and doing spot and stalk hunting, and the transition with the UA gear was seamless. Its lightweight, quiet, and comfort made in the perfect spot and stalk outfit. My only complaint is that the fabric picked up a lot of brambles in the swamp, which makes for a boring task of picking them out after the hunt. After several days in the stand and some filled tags, I was happy with the UA-SREW package. It also has a small covered opening that worked great for my stand harness.
Test 3: Goose/Duck Hunting
The third test came in the form of waterfowl season. I wore the outfit several times in the blind and in the field. One particular day on an open field goose hunt we arrived at dark and began to unload the trailer. It was a brisk 9 degrees but the birds had been hitting this field the day prior. There was very little ground cover, but the Ridge Reaper camo was a perfect match. We raked up some grass and ran our spread, careful to conceal ourselves as best we could. We lay directly on the ground for a while until the morning flight was over. After laying on the frozen ground for hours in nine-degree weather, I was perfectly warm. The cut and comfort of the garments allowed for easy swinging action on the birds and kept me completely warm. Two thumbs up for UA-SREW system on the bird season.
Test 4: Late Season Cow Elk Spot and Stalk
The final test came in the late season. With several inches of snow on the ground and temps around 5-15 degrees, it was time to fill my late season cow elk tag. I caught a herd of about 60 on a ranch I have permission to hunt. After carefully evaluating the setup, I realized it would not be easy to get on this herd in a wide open field. It is a special draw unit with weapons restrictions, so I had my trusty A400 Beretta shotgun in 12 gauge loaded and ready. I needed to get close, but with the herd in the middle of a wide-open field and lots of eyes and ears, I had my work cut out for me. I ended up spending five hours on my belly sliding like a snake through the snow, down tiny ditches, and grass clumps or anything else that would conceal my movement. Unfortunately, the elk got spooked by the neighboring ranch hand and off they went. After five hours of crawling on my belly and laying in the snow, my face and feet were about frozen, the rest of me though was dry and warm. UA-SREW system proved its worth.
Overall View of the Under Armour Stealth Reaper Extreme
The cons to the system are it’s too extreme for vigorous hunting. Also, it picks up briars easily and requires some effort to remove them. I would like to see either a hood or elevated collar on the coat, and an inside pocket for keeping a cell phone warm. I would also like to see larger belt loops on the pants for my tactical belt. The coat and pants retail at 199.00/ each, and as I usually do I will complain about the price in general, but in today’s market, it is really reasonable when compared to similar offerings.
My final analysis is I love the Under Armour Stealth Reaper Extreme system. When I first received it, to be honest, I was skeptical, not anymore. While it is not an optimal system for rigorous mountain hunting, it is a great system for stand and spot and stalk. I have even gotten to where I use the pants for my daily chores of feeding stock, splitting wood, etc. The warmth/weight ratio is great and I cannot say enough about the comfort and fit. The belly crawling I did on my ranch hunt requires freedom of movement in the legs and arms, and UA delivered. I can say with complete confidence, I recommend this system for stand and spot and stalk hunting. It is very quiet, comfortable, and warm.