You work up a sweat trekking around lower Cape York chasing pigs and scrub bulls. Particularly when the idea is to head out on foot to a nearby spot for a look but, when nothing materialises, you decide to keep going. And going.
That’s what I did and it turned out to be a fruitless walk, at least as far as game was concerned, but it was an excellent start to my assessment of Ridgeline’s lightweight clothing, which I’ve since worn in the heat and the cold on various hunts. It’s been through a good trial and I’m pleased with the outcome.
We’re talking about a shirt and pants from the Performance range: the Micro Lite quarter-zip top and the Stealth pants. In this case they’re both in the excellent Excape camo pattern but there are various options, including plain earthy colours.
As we move into the warmer months, they’re both an obvious choice for hunters, and that’s what this review will focus on, but they’ve also worked well in the cold, a point I’ll expand on shortly.
During those first few days near Cooktown, I wore the gear for three days straight without washing it and it was superb at keeping odour to a minimum, living up to its anti-bacterial promise. In fact, even after being bundled into my bag with all my other dirty gear at the end, it didn’t pong.
This means you can avoid stinking so badly your prey smells you too easily, and you can carry fewer garments if you’re out on a long hunt.
Both pants and shirt wick away sweat and dry quickly, for obvious benefits. The fabric lets the breeze through, which is nice when it’s hot.
Despite being a close-fitting cut, they don’t stick to you or restrict movement. Shirt and pants stretch, and you hardly notice they’re there.
The close fit reduces snagging on brush when stalking, and the materials are very quiet, both when you’re moving and when you’re brushing against leaves and things. It all adds up to excellent stalking gear.
With sun protection of SPF40+, you’re not going to burn. The neck of the shirt isn’t tall enough to reduce the need for a hat, though.
In near-freezing conditions, a set of thermals underneath made the world of difference. even in a chill wind, and of course a jacket helped no end. Ridgeline’s Ascent softshell jacket filled that role perfectly.
By layering you can make these Ridgeline garments work in winter, which may suit your budget if you have to make your gear work year-round.
While it’s very light material, I haven’t yet torn or damaged it despite a fair bit of use so far. No complaints about the quality. It’s so light that the top and pants pack up into about as much room as a set of socks and jocks.
There aren’t many pockets: two front pockets and one non-billowing thigh pocket in the pants, and nothing at all in the shirt.
You’ll pay about $100 for the pants and $80 for the Micro Lite long-sleeve top, which seems decent value these days. You’ll certainly be getting gear that does the job. This combo of Micro Lite top and Stealth pants is excellent for warm-weather hunting and can be used beyond that with other layers.
It’s super-quiet, very comfortable and can be worn over a several days without getting smelly. It definitely gets the thumbs up.
You’ll find it in many gun shops and online at ridgelineclothing.com.au.