Top 10 Best Thermal Wear for Cold Weather Hunting


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Temps can get seriously low when hunting in the winter and fall. Owning good quality thermal wear for cold weather hunting allows you to pursue game comfortably when it gets truly frigid and hunt later into the season. There’s some pretty incredible products out there for staying toasty in your tree stand, duck blind or while on the move through the wilderness. A few good layers can really change your experience out in the cold and allow you to endure whatever mother nature throws your way. Check out our top ten list of thermal wear for hunting for some top reviewed, high performance layers that will keep your body and mind sharp in the field this season.

1. Scent-Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Jacket

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Here’s a low profile, top quality hunting jacket by Scent-Lok. Scent-Lok is a top name in hunting wear because of the quality of their apparel and the practicality of their products’ odor absorption. Their hunting wear keeps your scent trapped and your body odorless in the wilderness by employing carbon alloy in the design. The process combines the power of activated carbon, treated carbon and zeolite to ensure the game you’re stalking will never smell you coming. This 100% polyester jacket is not the warmest jacket on the market for those truly freezing days hunting — but its rated to keep you comfortably warm down to around 30 degrees with some additional thermal layers underneath. This is a fitted jacket with tapered zip-up sleeves and light fleece underarms for maximum shooting clearance and mobility. Hunters of all kinds rave about the freedom of motion this jacket allows for — the cut is particularly effective for bow hunters. I think this would be an excellent jacket for waterfowl or pheasant hunts where you’re flushing birds and picking targets quickly. Reviews also insist this jacket is deadly quiet when stalking — so it’s a great jacket for any hunter who moves around a lot in the field. The material will shield against wind and light rain beautifully without weighing you down in a heavy garment. There’s even a safety harness access opening for tree stand hunters. If you need a cold weather jacket with a high range of mobility, check out the comfort, warmth and stealth the Recon by Scent-Lok provides.

Price: $125.39 – $189.99

Buy the Scent-Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Jacket here.

2. Ergodyne N-Ferno Wind-Resistant Hinged Balaclava

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When it gets seriously cold, you’re going to need some face coverage. Early mornings in your tree stand or duck blind can get pretty nippy, especially if you’re not moving much and remaining still. If your head and face are cold it doesn’t matter what else you’re wearing to stay warm — you need to maintain the temperature of your head to remain truly comfortable. This full coverage balaclava by Ergodyne is an affordable and effective option for a face mask. This is a versatile unit that can be worn a variety of ways from full face mask to neck gaiter. I think the option to drop this unit and reveal your ears without making a commotion removing it entirely is valuable when you’re listening for game in the field. When it’s fully deployed, this balaclava will cover your neck and face but still maintain breathability. It’s a stretchable warm fleece material that will fit any size or shape head — perfect for both men and women hunters of all sizes. The camo pattern is well reviewed by hunters and great for concealment in fall and winter foliage. When temps drop way down this season this balaclava might be the best $22 you’ve ever spent.

Price: $22.09 (15 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Ergodyne N-Ferno Wind-Resistant Hinged Balaclava here.

3. Scent-Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Pants

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Thermal pants are often overlooked and underrated. Having a warm lower half is just as important as keeping your torso and head warm when you’re stalking slowly or not moving at all. It’s important to have full coverage when braving freezing temperatures so you can focus on the hunt at hand and not on any particular part of your body. The Recon thermal pants by Scent-Lok are the perfect companion to the Recon jacket already listed. The odor containment technology employed with this product gives it the edge over other comparable hunting pants. There’s a micro tricot outer shell coupled with softshell panels around the knees making for some seriously stealthy quiet pants. The Sherpa inner fleece lining is what makes these pants so insulated and toasty. The polyester exterior also breaks wind and light rain beautifully, so a little added weather to the already freezing temps you are used to hunting in won’t bother you. The most pivotal feature of these pants (aside from the carbon alloy odor control) is the high rise back that covers your kidneys. It’s a simple feature that covers your essential organs to make all the difference in how your body handles the cold. Scent-Lok has also included six pockets with these pants for stowing all sorts of crucial gear on your person, a nice added touch. The 21 inch zippered leg openings add even more to the versatility of these hunting pants. The quality and durability of these pants will ensure they see a lot of hunting in their lifetime. Hunters of all kinds everywhere agree — Scent-Lok is the go-to on this one.

Price: $110.00 – $199.99

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Buy the Scent-Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Pants here.

4. Primos Stretch-Fit Gloves with Sure-Grip and Extended Cuff

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Primos Hunting Calls

Here’s an affordable pair of hunting gloves to add some warmth and concealment to your hands in the field. These are thin gloves you can actively hunt in, so they are not going to keep your fingers warm in below freezing temps. The warmth that these gloves provide makes them perfect for early bow season or spring turkey season. If you’re a bow hunter who has a hard time keeping their fingers comfortable during the fall, then these thin gloves could give you the added warmth you need without compromising your ability to shoot. These gloves have extended cuffs and are built tough, so they make a good option for moving through brush and briers regardless of the temperature. For just a slightly more heavy weight option meant for colder temperatures, check out these scent controlled gloves by Under Amour. Another option for really low temps could be to pair some liners or lightweight gloves with a pair of spacious hunting mittens.

Price: $10.35

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Buy the Primos Stretch-Fit Gloves with Sure-Grip and Extended Cuff here.

5. Smartwool Hunt Extra Heavy Crew Socks

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Smart Wool

Every hunter needs nice wool socks. Wool is the superior material for insulating in all weather conditions and is preferred by a ton of hunters. These socks are 73% merino wool and 26% nylon with bit of elastane around the cuff. These are extra heavy full leg and foot cushioned socks. They employ a flat knit toe seam and are stitched to endure some heavy trekking. A lot of hunters who have reviewed this product claim they’re the best socks they’ve ever owned — a bold statement for such an affordable hunting sock. If it’s important for you to be fully garbed in odor controlled hunting wear then check out these scent-locked wool socks by Darn Tough. There’s nothing worse than cold toes when you’re out hunting and nothing better than fresh new socks — so set yourself up for success this season and look out for your feet.

Price: $23.95

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Buy the Smartwool Hunt Extra Heavy Crew Socks here.

6. Scent-Lok Men’s BaseSlayer Lightweight Pants

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Here’s a great pair of thermal pants for a first layer. The BaseSlayer hunting bottoms by Scent-Lok are an excellent long-john option because they are both exceptionally warm and also employ carbon alloy technology to keep your scent trapped. The most important layers for odor absorption are the ones that are in direct contact with your skin, so this is a great item to start with if you’re looking to acquire some odor controlled hunting garments this season. These pants are 100% polyester and have a wicking treatment for moisture management. This is a layer you can be highly active in without getting too hot and sticky. Paired with the Recon thermal pants (item #3) this layer will keep you seriously warm in the coldest of conditions.

Price: $37.62 – $85.00

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Buy the Scent-Lok Men’s BaseSlayer Lightweight Pants here.

7. Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Yukon Expedition Crew

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Here’s a thermal top for the wool lovers out there. The Yukon Expedition Crew by Minus33 is a 100% merino wool garment great for cold weather hunting. This is a really soft thermal that feels nice on your body. Wool is the ideal material for wicking moisture when you heat up and for trapping your heat in when you’re inactive. For comfort in the field while hunting, start here. This product is crafted from 18.5 micron merino wool with flat lock seams, so it’s built pretty tough despite the softness of the material. This top is just over a pound so there’s a bit of weight to it — maybe not ideal if you do a lot of trekking while hunting but perfect for those long, cold intermissions in your duck blind or tree stand. Here’s a link to a pair of comparable wool thermal bottoms by Minuss33 to pair with this top.

Price: $71.96 – $115.99 (up to 25 percent off MSRP)

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Buy the Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Yukon Expedition Crew here.

8. Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Denali Expedition Full Zip

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Here’s a slightly heavier thermal top option by Minus33. This full zip 100% wool thermal is a very cozy item. It’s a fairly heavy top (20 oz) that will pair great with a hunting jacket. There’s a high neck for really trapping your body heat to your torso and thumbholes for some added warmth to your hands. I personally really appreciate having a bit of fabric over my palms when it’s nippy out — and having your hands in a sleeve with thumbholes while wearing gloves will keep any snow out of your sleeves. The zipper is pretty heavy duty on this unit and customer reviews insist this top is built tough. This is a great all around layer to own for an array of cold weather purposes and an excellent thermal top to hunt in. For the price, Minus33 has a an awesome quality wool product here.

Price: $89.96 – $120.49

Buy the Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Denali Expedition Full Zip here.

9. Scent-Lok Men’s Cold Blooded Jacket

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Here’s one more top quality hunting garment by Scent-Lok. The Cold Blooded hunting jacket is one of the best options out there for an odor controlled hunting top. This is a seriously warm jacket designed specifically for both stalking and waiting for game in the wilderness. This is a windproof and waterproof jacket, so if you can expect some wet and windy weather where you hunt this season this is a great item to own. The polyester material is both smooth and quiet, making for a silent garment when moving through the woods. The internal camo vest is lined with berber fleece for some pretty righteous warmth. This is the jacket to buy for some truly rugged and frigid hunting conditions. If you need a jacket that can withstand a hell of a beating and that will effectively trap both your heat and scent to your body, then look no further.

Price: $144.89 – $249.99

Buy the Scent-Lok Men’s Cold Blooded Jacket here.

10. MuckBoots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot

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Muck Boot

Here’s a seriously warm hunting boot option by Muck Boot that is perfect for the COLD weather duck hunter. These boots are rated to keep your feet warm in temps as low as minus 50 degrees F….sheesh! For those sportsmen chasing waterfowl in the northern states, these might be a must have item. These boots are completely waterproof, making them great for wading or trudging through creeks or wetlands. Alternatively, this is a very comfortable boot to wear and walk in all day — so if you’re doing a lot of hiking over any type of terrain this is an awesome pair of boots to own. The 8mm four way stretch CR flex foam construction of these boots ensures they remain comfortable despite their astounding thermal characteristics. The topline binding is effective at keeping the elements out and your body heat in. The molded synthetic outsole is what makes these boots feel so solid on your feet. Furthermore, the Achilles, instep and heel are double reinforced for added durability. For an affordable pair of hunting boots to keep you warm and dry in the most viscous of conditions, this is the pair to buy.

Price: Starting at $69 (up to 5 percent off MSRP)

Buy the MuckBoots Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot here.

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