When I first opened and pulled the Talus ColdAvenger Hunter out of the box and took a good look at it, I was skeptical. I thought to myself, definitely something that is not going to work for bowhunting. With that in mind I put it in my gear trunk to wait for gun season and colder weather.
The perfect opportunity was presented during a trip to Kansas to film a deer hunt for my husband, Richard. The temperatures were dipping down into the teens and the area had already experienced snow the day before our arrival. I decided to field test the ColdAvenger Hunter on this trip since this was probably some of the coldest weather I would experience this season, or so I thought.
I took the ColdAvenger face mask out of the box and affixed the foam nose band to the interior of the face piece and pre-adjusted the valve. It would be my first time placing the mask on my face.
I was surpirsed to find the Duro-A polyurethane ventilator was pliable and the 380 gram fleece with the Predator Brown Deception pattern felt really soft. The mask had the perfect darting for a great fit and the fleece was very comfortable on my skin. The large Velcro pieces sewn into the back of the mask made it easy to get the perfect custom fit. The mask was surprisingly comfortable and made it easy to turn your head from left to right or to look up or down without the mask moving on your face. The medical grade polyurethane anti-microbial ventilator with an adjustable, removable interior valve allows customized control of air intake. The built-in ventilator’s function is to humidify dry, cold, inhaled air and to allow you to breathe freely during outdoor activities; keeping the air you inhaled 40° to 60° warmer to your lungs. The ventilator is intended to keep moisture away from your skin and is designed with cut out slits to allow air passage.
I spent the entire morning in a tree stand wearing the Talus ColdAvenger Hunter as Richard hunted and I managed the video camera; 5 hours total time. The mask had the perfect fit, was soft, was easy and comfortable to wear and was warm even with the temperatures in the low teens. The design made it easy for communication between camera person and hunter.
The major flaw in this product was the fact that a large amount of condensation built up in the interior of the ventilation cup and it dripped through the slits in the cup onto my coat jacket, camera and camera arm, which was a BIG issue for me since my face was dangling over expensive camera equipment. I wiped the interior of the ventilation cup several times with a napkin. After the first time I wiped it, I noticed that the wetness had spead onto the fleece at the chin of the mask, therefore wetting my skin and the area got bigger throughout the morning. The fleece did wick away some of the moisture from my skin; however the frigid air cooled the area so that it was somewhat uncomfortable.
I would not banish the Talus ColdAvenger Hunter or apply a harsh sentence even though it failed miserably for its intended use. I found the fit and materialmanship outstanding and the mask was more comfortable than any face mask I have ever worn, including neck gaitors. I feel with a little effort and the addition of an absorbant or saddle cloth type anti-microbial lining in the interior of the ventilator, this product could be an outstanding addition to any hunter’s gear.~Nancy Jo Adams, http://njadams1.wordpress.com/
*The Guru Huntress received this product from Talus for free.