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A Hunters Review Of The HSF Stealth Evolution Camouflage Jacket and Trousers

Like so many hunters, I have previously opted to wear British Army Surplus DPM. That is, until now, with the addition of the HSF Stealth Evolution Camo Jacket and Trousers to my 'wardrobe'.

Why the change? Well not only have my well worn and now very faded field jacket and trousers finally and inevitably reached the end of their life, but the change of the seasons has prompted something of a re-evaluation.
It occurred to me that some of the most adept and best camouflaged of natures creatures, predator and prey alike, change their colour in accordance with the environment. Take the Arctic Hare, Ermine, Stoat and Ptarmigan for example. With the onset of winter they will shed the summer coat not only for a thicker warmer one, but often a white one to match the changing background.
It was painfully obvious to me that as the leaves have fallen just how light, not dark, the woodland has become. The predominantly dark green and black Army DPM has become a hindrance rather than a help with concealment. My shape quickly and easily recognisable against the white grey of a more often than not cloudy sky as well as the pale white trunks of the numerous and currently abundant Ash trees.
It is true that muted colours are considered to be adequate for most quarry. In fact, only until fairly recently, it has to be acknowledged that that was all that was generally available. Whilst numerous manufacturers including HSF offer 'Drab Olive' or similar dark greens or browns, when the construction of a hide is not a realistic proposition, I'd like to feel my clothing is doing the very best it can in minimising detection from this nervous bird.

According to the manufacturer – “Designed to blend with a multitude of winter and spring landscapes the HSF Evolution pattern features detailed and defined textures along with true to life colours, leaves and branches. Perfect for blending with hedge rows and light woodland the pattern is based around a neutral brown pallet enhanced by bark textures and shadows that help to break up the human form. Recommended for deer stalking and decoying”

This is exactly what I had in mind! For winter and spring, a pale light pattern, returning to the deeper tones of green and brown come the summer and autumn. But how does the HSF Evolution pattern Jacket and Trousers fare against their predecessors?

Now a factor not adequately addressed by my garments in the past, and one the HSF clothing has performed admirably, is protection from the elements.
Should rain or wind arise unexpectedly, it was often simply a case that I got cold and/or wet. Now I have something that is water, wind proof as well as breathable, unlike Surplus waterproofs that always retain a clammy cold wet film of sweat. This very unpleasant occurrence is countered, and a measure of warmth also given, by a fleece lining that is included in both jacket and trousers.

There is also a factor of movement here. With the Stealth Clothing, I do not have to compromise my concealment grappling with layers just because our notoriously temperamental British climate is doing what it does best! A nice inclusion, for concealment as well as weather, is the removable hood attached with a solid zip. The opening can be adjusted by the elastic minimising exposed hair and flesh.

A zip at the front of the jacket is covered with a flap that is buttoned shut using sturdy 'poppers'. Either side sit deep 'cartridge' pockets of ample proportions. Whilst I would prefer them to be fastened with a button or poppers, I had to keep in mind the price and acknowledge that the velcro does do the job and keep their contents secure. Noisier than alternatives it may be, but I don't foresee me rifling through my pockets just before taking a shot.
Above the pockets, below the breast, are two handy pockets that are perfect for slipping cold hands into, another thoughtful and welcome addition that makes this jacket invaluable. At the end of each sleeve is a generous run of velcro allowing infinite adjustment to the dimensions of the wearer and excludes those unwelcome drafts.

Moving to the trousers, we have two deep hip pockets, one large rear pocket on the right buttock and two more cargo pockets. These pockets, one by the side of each knee are fastened by strong, well attached buttons keeping all within, in!
Good belt loops ring the waist band, with adjustment allowed for by way of a buckle and nylon strap each side, the ends of the legs can also be sealed using the ribbons provided to tie off.
In instances that movement is required, such as when stalking, it is often a challenge in and of itself to navigate your way through 'land mines' of twigs and other surprises. Whilst perhaps not as quiet as standard trousers, the Evolution ones are surprisingly muted considering the waterproof coating described best as a barely audible 'brush' as one strides.

Whilst the clothing is without doubt superb value for money, performing exactly, if not better than described, it is the pattern that sets this product apart. Upon inspection, we have a smattering of brown and green leaves both in focus and slightly blurred, and in the background the darks of barks and branches. To my eye, the species depicted seem to be birch which accounts for the very pale overall hue and I suspect that this would blend well in the light surroundings of Ash which is so prevalent. My suspicions were confirmed.

I have, so to speak, jumped the gun rather, it still being early autumn as I write this. At present the pattern is still far too light, there are still swathes of brown leaves on the ground and a lot of die hard greenery on the branches and in the hedgerows. That said, I'm sure with frost and, dare I say it, snow just around the corner this pattern will come into its own and perform admirably. I have no doubt whatsoever that buyers in more northern regions will benefit greatly indeed from this pattern and certainly will not be disappointed by the capabilities and protection this clothing offers. It is sound advice with any cold weather clothing to layer your clothes underneath, as this is an outer layer, be sure to purchase a size that will accommodate a thick jumper etc without becoming tight.

In summary, this pattern is definitely a winter one that will keep the wearer dry, warm and concealed in environments where common alternatives (mine being British Army Surplus DPM) will fail miserably. I, for once, cannot now wait for those short, cold, grey days with a smattering of the white stuff on the ground as I await the roosting pigeons! The clothing itself is well crafted with the welcome addition of numerous features ordinarily found on garments many times its price. At just £29.95 for the Jacket and £29.95 for the Trousers from Stock And Tackle (, this outfit represents a veritable bargain!
If the buyer is accurate in the assessment of his needs and shooting environment, I see no reason why he shouldn't find his needs met by the HSF clothing range, either with this pattern or one of their many others.

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