Shooting smocks to consider in a variety of price ranges, picked out by Sporting Gun and Shooting Times contributors

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The best shooting smocks should be tough, resistant to thorns and brambles and quiet. They need to be breathable, lightweight, windproof and waterproof of course.

In addition they should be comfortable to wear, easy to put on and take off, with room to put on layers underneath. If there’s a tail flap for sitting on to keep the wet out so much the better. (Take a look at our selection of the best waterproof shooting jackets here.)

It sounds like a tough call.  But we asked our contributors to pick out what they consider the best shooting smocks. They have worn them out wildfowling, roughshooting and crawling over heather whilst stalking. Then we picked out the ones we thought were worth writing home about. Read on for the best shooting smocks for hunting and stalking. (And whilst you’re at it, here’s our suggestions for the best shooting boots.)

What professional stalkers say about shooting smocks

The Shooting Show presenter and professional stalker Chris Dalton says: “I wear smocks for all of my stalking in preference to the more traditional type of zip-up coat. I find them more comfortable to wear and having no zips makes them more durable and waterproof – less areas to leak. I wear them all year round, generally with just a base layer if I am stalking but maybe with the addition of an extra layer underneath for a high seat vigil so they are good for all of the seasons. The other benefit of a smock is that they tend to be longer than the usual coat design and therefore cover up more of you when it’s wet or if you are sitting. I want them to be lightweight, waterproof and breathable with  a lateral, zip-up pocket  across the chest for storage and two angled hand pockets either side of the chest. My go-to smock for many years was the Deerhunter Avanti smock, however, Deerhunter have updated the Avanti  and my preference now is the ‘Pro Gamekeeper’ smock (see Chris wearing a Deerhunter Pro Gamekeeper smock in the video above.) (You might also like to read Chris Dalton’s guide to the best stalking kit.)

Best shooting smocks

1. Deerhunter Pro Gamekeeper Smock £123.10 – £316.24

Chris Dalton in the field wearing his Deerhunter Pro Gamekeeper smock

Chris Dalton in the field wearing his Deerhunter Pro Gamekeeper smock

Chris Dalton’s top choice

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Hood: Yes detachable
  • Pockets: Two zippered hand warmer pockets
  • Also available in camo
  • Sizes: M-XXL
  • Machine washable: Yes

+ Rated by professional stalker

+ Keeps you dry

– Relatively expensive

If you struggle to put on a smock, you may find this one easier thanks to the long waterproof zipper incorporated at the side, which lets you open it up more. There is also a waterproof zipper under the arms for ventilation if you find yourself getting warm on a stalk.

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2. JACK PYKE Galbraith Smock Waterproof Windproof Silent Hooded Jacket from £72.20

Galbraith Jack Pyke smock

Mat Manning trying out Jack Pyke Galbraith smock in Moss Green

Ideal for beating and picking up

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Hood: Yes, removable with adjustable peak
  • Pockets: Large front pocket with covered weather proof zip and two angled lower pockets with weather proof zips
  • Cuffs: Adjustable with Velcro fastening
  • Colours: Brown, English Oak Evolution and Moss Green
  • Sizes: S-3XL
  • Machine washable: Yes

+ Quiet

+ Brown, green or camo options

– Not breathable

– Comes up small so buy a size up

Sporting Gun asked reviewer Mat Manning to try this Jack Pyke Galbraith smock. His verdict? “Lightweight, quiet and stylish, it’s a great-all rounder that lends itself particularly well to those days when the weather could go either way… when it comes to keeping out the elements, the Galbraith delivers.”

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3. Ridgeline Monsoon Elite II Teak Waterproof  £228.08

Charlie Blance

Charlie in her Ridgeline Monsoon Elite smock

Best for easy movement

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Hood: Removable and stowable
  • Pockets: Two breast pockets
  • Cuffs: Neoprene
  • Colours: Teak and Olive
  • Sizes: XS to 5XL

+ Lightweight stretch fabric

+Robust

– Quite thin

– Base layers needed for warmth

The fabric used in this smock absorbs almost no water and dries extremely quickly. Charlie Blance who writes for Shooting Times says: “I’ve had a Ridgeline Monsoon Elite Smock for a few years now which I cannot fault much at all really, it has certainly retained its ability to keep the water out. It’s thin which I quite like as it doesn’t restrict movement, obviously you have to layer up underneath to stay warm though (or walk faster). I have a small man’s size, but the drawstring around the waist makes it slightly more fitted and saves me drowning in material.”

Sporting Gun’s Adam Cope put this revamped smock through its paces. He said: “I can’t fault this product. This top has been used all year round and I don’t go out to work without it. A good price for such a well-made product.”

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4. Hoggs Struther Waterproof Smock Field Jacket   £93.45

Hoggs of Fife Struther waterproof smock field jacket

Hoggs of Fife Struther waterproof smock field jacket

Best all-round choice

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Hood: Yes, fleece-lined
  • Pockets: Two zipped side pockets, large zipped chest pocket
  • Cuffs: Velcro fastening
  • Colours: Olive , Green
  • Sizes: XS to 3XL

+ Reasonably priced

+ Keeps you dry

– Not everyone likes a hood

– Very plain design

Charlie Blance again saying: “I also have a Struther Smock Field Jacket from Hoggs of Fife – this smock keeps the rain out quite well but it certainly gets heavier when wet, that being said it is considerably warmer than the Ridgeline. It’s my go to if I expect to be sitting still for a long time. The ‘kangaroo pouch’ on the front fits large binoculars quite nicely, keeping them dry and clear in harsh weather. Though listed as a man’s, they provide both XS and S sizes which makes this a decent choice for women looking for workwear too.

And for silence? Charlie comments: “The Struther was pretty much silent straight out of the gate.”

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5. Swazi Rifleman Gen II Smock £339 

Swazi Rifleman Smock

Swazi Rifleman Smock

Awarded best shooting apparel of the year in our 2019 Great British Shooting Awards.

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Hood: Yes, with wired peak
  • Pockets: Chest pocket
  • Cuffs: Elasticated
  • Sizes: S to XL

+ Weighs just 295g

+ Brown, green or camo options

– Ultralight fabric is delicate and could rip

– Pricey

Made from Swazi’s Aegis Strata fabric, the Rifleman is light enough to carry all day for hunters who want to climb high and fast, but still performs in wet weather and packs away neatly. A scalloped tail adds extra protection in a downpour.

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More shooting smocks to be considering

We haven’t tested out the below but we know they have a strong following, so may well be worth a closer look.

5. Swazi Tahr XP Smock £384

Weather protection for the serious hunter

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Hood: Rolls into its own hood for easy storage
  • Pockets: Handwarmer chest pockets
  • Cuffs: Adjustable Velcro
  • Sizes: S to XL

+ Super silent fabric

+3/4 length zip makes it easy to take on and off

– Pricey

– Just one colour available

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6. Harkila Mens Orton Packable Smock £143.95

 

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Hood: Yes and stowable
  • Pockets: Handwarmer pockets plus large front pocket
  • Cuffs: Adjustable Velcro
  • Sizes: S to XL

+ Packs into own front pocket

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7. Percussion Highland Smock Khaki £85

Percussion Highland smock

Percussion Highland smock

Ideal for rough shooting

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Breathable: Yes
  • Hood: Yes and stowable
  • Pockets: 2 side pockets, zipped front pocket plus PVC lined game bag
  • Cuffs: Adjustable Velcro
  • Sizes: M to XXXL

+ Built-in game bag

– Not the warmest

– Just one colour available

+ Machine washable

Soft and silent fabric make this ideal for stalking. It is waterproof with taped seams and has a breathable membrane. A PVC-lined game bag is in the back.

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So what should you choose?

Charlie Blance says:  “Both the Ridgeline and the Struther are relatively quiet which makes them ideal for dens or close quarter stalking – the Ridgeline was slightly noisier when new, but after a month or so of wear the ‘crunchy’ aspect seemed to disappear, the Struther was pretty much silent straight out of the gate. Though I personally prefer the Ridgeline out of the two because I find it more comfortable for walking distance, both smocks have served me well on hill, farm and forest.”

On the other hand, Irish based stalker and Shooting Times contributor Barry Stoffell commented: “I can’t stand smocks! I have tried a number of them, and still have a few from my years in Scandinavia, but in the temperate climate of Ireland they simply don’t work. Stalking in my case almost always involves significant physical exertion to get into position, and I have yet to find a smock that didn’t turn into a sweat-bag, despite numerous vents, zips and other gimmicks.

“I found them very comfy in the field in Sweden and Norway in subzero temperatures, but here they just proved to be a pain in the backside.”

This article was originally published in 2018 and is kept updated.