Hunters Element XTR Extreme Hunter Jacket


Hunters Element XTR Extreme Hunter Jacket

For those who have read my Ridgeline Monsoon review – you will know, that while I like the jacket, I did want something lighter and more suitable for a layer based clothing system.

Ideally, I was after a hard-shell that was going to be light, easily packable, and obviously waterproof.

Again, like the Monsoon – I was keen on a smock design – as I would generally be wearing either my full pack or my front-pack over it, so didn’t need pockets down low.

I had liked the look of the Hunters Element products – they looked like a progressive company that were pushing technical garments rather than just creating more products to fit into the market.

Light Weight and Packable

Because I was looking at a system that would ultimately spend most it’s time in my pack (weather permitting) – light and packable was important to me. The XTR Extreme Hunter Jacket is certainly both. At 690 grams it’s light – and can roll down into about half the size of my Monsoon. This basically means it’s a no-brainer to include in everything from overnights to day walks – just-in-case things get a bit wet.


Waterproof and Quick Drying

Obviously, a hard shell jacket is fairly pointless if it doesn’t keep the water out. This jacket does.

The XTR Extreme Hunter Jacket is made of Hydrafuse PacSTEALH material. This material has a soft to the touch outer, not as soft as Brushed Tricot, but not as slick as GoreTex or Event. It means it’s a lot quieter than the Gore/Event fabrics, though not quite as quiet as the Tricot or Fleece would be. I don’t really view this as an issue – if I am wearing the jacket, it’s raining, so a little more sound is going to be covered by the rain coming down anyhow. Additionally, single layer fabric system that means the jacket can be lighter (no multiple layers).

I had been wearing it a lot, and the DWR (water repentance) has been worn in a few places – so I recently re-coated the jacket. Good as new!


Design and Functionality

As I mentioned, I like the idea of smock jacket designs – less opening for water to get into, less zips to rub against pack straps – so the design of the jacket appeals to me – 2 large pockets are big enough to store maps or binoculars without any issue, and are waterproof as well. The hood fit’s well and is adjustable depending on how tight a fit you like, and the cuffs and waist can be cinched down nice and snug if the wind gets up. Overall, I like the look of the jacket as well – I have it in the High Country Brown – which means I can just as easily wear it around town as I can in the bush without it looking out of place. This means the jacket is also ideal for trampers and backpackers that want a jacket that is technical, but not in the bright colours that many of the local manufacturers like to produce ‘outdoors’ clothing in. Not everyone wants’s to stand out.


Veil Camo

While I have mine in brown – Hunters Element recently also released the jacket in their new Veil Camo – a disruptive, high contrast pattern that heads away from the traditional hunters ‘photo realistic’ camo, and into the realm of digitally generated camo. I had been a fan of the camo’s coming through like ATACS FG, Kryptex Mandrake and Pencott GreenZone camos –  soana NZ version was welcomed – the NZ army has recently transitioned from their tradition DPM to a disruptive pattern – so it’s certainly looking like the way camo is going to develop.


In summary

I really like this jacket. I gave it a bit of grief recently by trying to push through some Bush-Lawyer – which has caused a few marks on it – but that’s my fault – a future article is going to discuss more about appropriate clothing for bush bashing – a technical jacket is not it.

Regardless, this jacket is coming with me whenever I head out – when the sky starts to open up, it’s going on!