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Putting the vest to the test: Michelle Bodenheimer reviews Tanglefree upland game vest

During the last several years, I have been on a crusade to find the perfect upland bird vest. I have put many to the test, only to find them a bit too big or too small, too bulky, too flimsy, or simply too expensive.  I had been left to feel a bit like Goldie Locks … until the day I stumbled onto the Tanglefree upland game vest, which was just right!

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Looking good, right from the start. Photo courtesy of Shannon Salyer

It was by fate that my husband and I stopped by Fisherman’s Marine and Outdoor in Oregon City, Oregon, earlier this fall. While my husband wandered, I spotted the blaze orange Tanglefree vest. Although skeptical at first, I thought I would give it a try. I slipped on the vest and adjusted the padded shoulder straps and waistband to size. The two front pockets balanced perfectly above my hips, while the large expandable game pocket on the back fit snuggly (but not too snuggly) against my body. I was amazed at how comfortable the vest was to wear. I had good range of motion and did not have the “bogged down” feeling many other vests gave me. It was almost too good to be true. I was afraid to look at the price tag, as I knew the vest would certainly be beyond my price range.  Much to my surprise, it was only $39.99. Sold!

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Michelle Bodenheimer and trusty companion, Storm. We think he likes her vest, too. Photo courtesy of Shannon Salyer

Putting the vest to the test

The following weekend, I had an opportunity to put the vest to the test in the field. I had plenty of room for my cell phone and wallet in the interior zippered pocket. I trusted my valuables would be secure, and the coated canvas material would keep them dry. I loaded down the front pockets with a couple of boxes of shells and my first aid kit, and hit the field.

I had a great day, harvesting a number of large rooster pheasant and several chukar. The expandable pocket on the back of the Tanglefree vest had plenty of room for my birds. I was very impressed by how it evenly distributed the weight of not only the shells in my front pockets, but also the growing pile of birds on my back. At no time in our hike did I feel weighed down by the heavy load.

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Plenty of room to carry shells, but she wants a water compartment!Photo courtesy of Shannon Salyer

My only grumble is that the vest does not have a designated pocket for a water bottle, although there is plenty of space in the front pockets for a small water container. For my purposes, I simply put my water bottler in the expandable back game pocket, which worked just as well.

After chasing roosters all day, I was happy I had purchased the Tanglefree Upland Game Vest. The vest was durable, comfortable, and quickly proved itself to be “just right.”

The Tanglefree Upland Bird Vest can be purchased at Tanglefree, or from a retailer near you. MSRP: $34.99 -$39.99.

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Photo courtesy of April Mack

  • About Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer

    An experienced huntress, Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer has pursued big game, upland birds and waterfowl throughout North America and Africa. Although Michelle loves to hunt and shoot (both rifle and bow), her biggest passion in life is sharing her love for the outdoors with others. Michelle is the dedicated gear review columnist for Women’s Outdoor News, in a column called “Her Gear.” Michelle’s writings and photography also have been published in a number of outdoor journals, including On Target, Lady Angler, The Gun Dog Journal, The Shooting Channel and African Hunting Gazette. Michelle has been a repeat contributing guest on Outdoor GPS,a live hunting and fishing television program broadcast on Comcast SportsNet NW. When Michelle is not writing, she is serving her time as an outdoor educator. She is an active volunteer for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Outdoor Skills Program. Her primary responsibilities with ODFW are serving as a shotgunning coach and dog handler/guide for ODFW’s upland bird hunting clinics. Michelle also teaches regularly for Women in the Outdoors (WITO) and Becoming and Outdoors Woman (BOW) programs. She serves on the Pro Staff team for Cabela’s, as well as for the NW Ladies Hunt Camp, an educational outreach program hosted in conjunction with the NRA’s Women on Target Program and Extreme Desire TV, and is a member of the field staff for Próis Hunting and Field Apparel for Women. A current member of a number of national conservation organizations, Michelle is a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundations, as well as a life member of the National Rifle Association. She also served as a past director for the Southwest Washington chapter of Safari Club International. Take caution, however, if Michelle invites you along on a hunt. Having been stalked by a cougar and attacked by a cheetah, she tends to live life a bit on the wild side.

     

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