Harkila Prohunter suit.
Made to the best standards from top-quality materials, Harkila’s Pro Hunter jacket, boots and trousers are designed for the serious deer stalker or country sportsman in mind.
Although having a good weight about them (the jacket weighs 1.6kg) once fully kitted up – I didn’t feel bulky or overly encumbered – the clothes in no way stopped me from clambering over walls, fences and walking the extremely hard-going ‘clear fell’ on the Forestry Commission land on which we were stalking. The Prohunter gear really has a bullet-proof feel to it.
The trousers and jacket worked exceptionally well in temperatures between 0-10C. On the Scotland trip, after an overnight frost I, spent several hours laying in a ditch-blind on the edge of a wood, overseeing a glade, waiting for a buck I’d seen previously to appear.
At no point did I feel cold or uncomfortable in the clothes, they have excellent water-repellent properties, and although the ground was cold and damp, I never felt it through the garments.
Both the trousers and jacket are made from a tough Cordura outer fabric with a Water Resistant Teflon finish.
They also have a GoreTex drop-liner which makes them both breathable and fully waterproof.
The trousers are amazingly comfortable and are fully waterproof, yet do not feel bulky or restrictive.
They have a rubberised band around the inside of the waist to stop your shirt pulling out during your hunt, which worked very well, and kept everything neatly in its place.
The trousers have the normal belt loops, as well as studs for braces if you should so choose (these can be useful when carrying a lot of heavy kit in your trouser pockets).
There’s also a D-ring attachment for penknives, keys etc.
The pockets themselves are well-designed, with the standard cargo pockets on the thighs and normal front pockets. There’s a rear zip-pocket at the back – all of which are roomy and well placed.
One of the thigh pockets has an internal section for holding your knife, which is velcro closing.
The trousers have an extra section of fabric at the bottom with adjustable ankle straps, which are fastened with the attached clips and then secured with press studs. These are to remove the need for gaiters over your boots and work very well, as I found out when plunging knee-deep into a hidden peat bog while on the Scotland stalk!
The Prohunter jacket is of excellent design and very warm and windproof.
The jacket features a double-ended zip with double storm flap, chin guard and press-stud fastening.
Pocket-wise the jacket is as well-stocked as the trousers.
There’s a small, zip-closing wallet sized pocket between the zip and the storm flap, inside the left of the jacket there’s a larger version, and inside the right there’s a normal pocket.
One very useful feature of this jacket was the dedicated radio pocket, which sits high on your left chest, is zip closing, and has a velcro tab to fasten down your radio’s aerial.
This kept the radio well out of the way – while still easily at hand when you needed it. Also the fact it’s closer to your head means you can hear when it’s on quiet, instead of having it muffled down in a trouser pocket somewhere.
The jacket features the usual main side pockets and the fleece lined hand-warmer pockets with zip closures.
The two main pockets are stud-closing, and have the ‘hold open’ straps, so you can keep them open when storing cartridges in there during a game or clay drive, so this jacket really is a great all-rounder.
Also on the front of the main pockets are additional zip pockets with elasticated bullet holders for 5 bullets (the trouser pockets also have similar).
The jacket’s waist and hem have the normal elastic draw-cords. These have their own locking clips, and, very usefully, Harkila have incorporated tiny little ‘pockets’ for the ends of the cords, so you can tuck them away and not have them dangling about. It’s the little features like this that make the Prohunter gear well worth the money.
The hood is peaked and zip-off. It is fully adjustable and GoreTex lined and gives you complete head protection – it’s very well designed indeed.
Harkila has produced the ultimate boot in the Prohunter, they are really designed for the sportsman who wants the best materials and highest standards of comfort and protection.
The boots feature the renowned Vibram sole – providing unprecedented levels of stability and comfortable fit.
The boots are GoreTex lined for all-weather protection and one feature I really noticed was the stability of the sole. They also have a heel-cup for stability, which came in real handy to protect the ankle area when traversing difficult terrain. I really wouldn’t have been able to walk across a lot of the ground without them.
During my time with the Harkila Prohunter gear I have not yet found reason to fault it. I’ve put it through all weather conditions, from freezing frost, to driving rain, and not found it to be lacking in any way.
In fact, I found it’s comfort and insulation from the elements quite surprising.
It’s incredibly well-designed stuff, and feels tough and more than up to the job.
It’s very comfortable gear, but can feel a bit weighty once you have the whole suit on – although you quickly stop noticing this once you get going as it allows great freedom of movement.
The only bad thing I’ve heard about the Harkila kit is the strength and longevity of the zips – although this came from two people in much older kit than I was wearing, and I’ve yet to have any experience of zip failure myself.
As a side note to this Harkila provide a 5-year warranty against fabric failure.
You can just tell the Prohunter gear has been designed with the aid of hunters, for hunters. It’s the practicality and little features that really make it excellent.
Well-worth anyone’s money.
Harkila Prohunter Jacket
Harkila Prohunter Trousers
Harkila Prohunter Boots