Stone Glacier clothing review: essentials and more
When it comes to western mountain hunting, quality technical clothing is one of the most important pieces of gear you can invest in. In short, the right (or wrong) clothing can keep you comfortable and in the field longer or heading for the truck prematurely.
Unfortunately, for me, living on the East Coast, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity to actually try on good stuff in a showroom. So, I jumped at the chance to test out some of Stone Glacier’s essential pieces. If you’ve been wondering about Stone Glacier gear for a while as I was, I hope this article and the video that goes with it are helpful.
Check out my video review below:
De Havilland LITE pants
The Stone Glacier De Havilland LITE pants are a lighter version of their original De Havilland pants and are a great choice for early to mid-season hunts. Right out of the box, I noticed the general feel of quality and a few unique design features. First, the pants have a built-in belt (while still including belt loops), the crotch zipper attaches via heavy-duty Velcro to the front of the pants, and they lack a front button. This allows you to make minor fit adjustments, up to a couple of inches if you are in between sizes or as your weight fluctuates over the course of the season. The material is stretchy and breathable, but is still durable, and the pants are durable water repellent (DWR) treated for water resistance. The reinforced knees are designed to accept knee pads if you feel so inclined, and the fit is roomy, but not baggy through the crotch and butt area, where some modern hunting pants seem to be tight. When things get warm, you can open two large zipper vents on the side of the pants and get excellent ventilation. The last feature that I really like is the organizer loops inside the left cargo pocket. This keeps your phone in place and sitting vertically in your pocket, not sliding on top of your kneecap and getting in your way as you hike. There are several other little details that I mention in the video that make it obvious that Stone Glacier put a lot of thought into these pants, making them a solid choice, purpose-built for hunting and hiking.
Synthetic base layers
Lots of guys love merino wool, but after lots of time in the field, I have landed on synthetics for my next-to-skin and mid layers. I feel that they dry faster, attract fewer ticks, smell less and are just straight up more comfortable. These synthetic base layers have all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a high end garment, including thumbholes and a full zipper that turns your hood into an integrated face covering. They are also UPF rated and will keep you protected from the sun on early season or arid state hunts. However, for me, the most impressive thing about these layers is the Polygiene treatment. Real world example: I wore my Stone Glacier Synthetic Crew on two separate, very hard workouts that left it saturated with sweat. I then threw the shirt in my dirty clothes hamper for a week and forgot about it. When I picked it up a week later, it did not stink — like not at all…and yes, I wore it again. No exaggeration — that is impressive!
If you’re going to start with just one Stone Glacier piece to try out, start with the Helio Hoody. It’s one of those versatile pieces that you will be reaching for from the early archery season all the way to the late season as a mid-layer and maybe even around town. The strategically placed chest pocket is accessible even with a backpack on and the full half-zip makes it easy to throw on top of other layers with a beanie or cap. It also has thumb holes and a full zip hood to protect your face on those windy morning sits or during a stalk. The crosshatch fleece pattern gives excellent insulation while retaining breathability. And, really, it’s just cool.
Grumman down jacket
With the Grumman Goose Down Jacket, Stone Glacier has hit a unique spot in the market that makes this a strong competitor in the face of many other good puffy jacket options. The jacket boasts the same level of insulation (850 fill, DWR treated down) as the KUIU Super Down Pro jacket. However, because it uses a lighter material, it weighs about half of what the KUIU Super Down Ultra jacket weighs and it's much quieter. It is also priced $50 dollars under the KUIU Super Down Pro. To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to test it yet in cold weather, but I know several experienced hunters who practically live in this thing so I have no doubts about its performance. This would be an excellent option as a late season insulation layer and the warmth-to-weight ratio will keep this thing in your pack nearly all year around.
There are a few other pieces, like the De Havilland Jacket and the Zenith Fleece Jacket as well as some others I didn’t mention here, so make sure to check out the review video at the beginning of the article as well.
To wrap it up: it’s worth reiterating that it’s clear that the folks over at Stone Glacier have put a lot of time and thought into making technical clothing that’s perfectly suited for the rigors of mountain hunting. The quality, attention to detail and little design features make these garments stand out. The last thing I love about Stone Glacier is that their stuff performs great on the mountain, but ain’t too shabby around town either, so you can look good and support a hunting company even if your lady isn’t on board with you wearing camo on date night!