Best Cold Weather Hunting Clothes – 2021 Complete Round-up

| Last Updated June 14, 2021

Once the leaves change color, you start to notice a sharp shift as the air turns cooler. For hunters, it means more than pulling on a sweatshirt and thicker socks; it marks the need for warmer, weather-proof gear. 

Thankfully, modern cold weather gear offers a drastic change from what hunters used to wear. Now, you have plenty of options to stay warm and protected without restricting your movement or compromising your comfort.

Let’s take a look at some of the best cold weather hunting clothes to help you properly gear up for your next cold-weather adventure!

Comparison of the Best Cold Weather Hunting Clothes

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Made from waterproof material for increased protection
  • Inner fleece include for better comfort
  • Made from high-quality materials to last longer
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  • Comes with fleece insulation for improved moisture management
  • Polygene odor control technology for odor control
  • Large chest pocket with zipper included
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  • Best for the Money
  • Made from high-quality materials for better durability
  • Made to be moisture-wicking and breathable
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  • Best Base Layer For Cold Weather Hunting
  • Machine washable to easily keep it clean
  • Made from durable polyester and cotton material
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  • Best Cold Weather Hunting Gloves
  • Made to be water-resistant for improved comfort
  • Made with a genuine leather palm for better grip
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  • Best Hunting Socks For Cold Weather
  • Made from durable and lightweight materials
  • Can be washed in a machine for easy cleaning
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  • Best Hunting Bibs For Cold Weather
  • Full two-way leg zippers for quick fitting
  • A removable liner is included
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How to Dress For Hunting in Cold Weather

Cold weather clothing may not be as bulky as it used to be, but you still need to use the layering system. Like any cold weather activity, hunting requires protection against the elements and items that help manage your body heat.

The Base Layer

The best place to start is at the bottom, with the layer of clothing closest to your skin. A base layer needs to be sweat-wicking (absorbs extra moisture from sweating to prevent you from getting a chill) and able to retain your natural body heat. 

You want the base layer to fit snugly without restricting your movement or circulation. Usually, your base layer would be thermal shirts and pants, like long underwear. Don’t forget your socks!

The Middle Layer  

Often referred to as the insulating layer, the middle layer works hardest to keep you warm. The middle layer creates a pocket of air to circulate heat around your body. 

Your insulating layer should fit comfortably over your base layer with no baggy areas. Middle layers can be hoodies and lightweight jackets.

The Outer Layer

Your outermost layer provides the most protection from the elements, so you want it to be as weather-proof as possible. This outer layer of gear, like parkas and coveralls, needs to fit comfortably over the other two layers. However, you don’t want to feel restricted, so pick something larger than your usual size. 

Protect Your Head, Fingers, and Toes!

An uncovered head loses a lot of heat as much as exposed fingers, toes, ears, and nose can suffer frostbite. Make sure you have proper headgear, boots, and gloves to protect your most susceptible—and exposed—body parts. 

What Makes Hunting Clothes Great For Cold Weather? 

You never know what you might run into during colder months, especially in areas where weather is unpredictable and can change in an instant. When planning your hunting clothes for a trip in cold weather, you may want to cover the three Ws—warmth, windproof, and waterproof.

Warmth

We touched on the layering techniques to maximize warmth and control moisture. Try choosing materials that accomplish both, like merino wool or some synthetics. You can find almost any base layer clothing, from socks to headgear, made from merino wool or a synthetic to keep you warm and cozy. 

Windproof

No matter how warmly you’re dressed, severe wind can chill you to the bone. Choosing windproof items for your outer layers can keep the cold air out and preserve your natural body heat.

Waterproof

When it’s cold out, the last thing you want to be is wet. Selecting waterproof items, or at least water-repellent ones, can keep your inner layers dry and toasty warm. 

Since you never know when it will rain, sleet, or snow, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Thankfully, you can find many jackets, parkas, and coveralls that are windproof and waterproof!

Review of the Best Cold Weather Hunting Clothes 

Now that you know what to look for in cold weather hunting clothes, let’s take a look at some of our favorite products. We’ll break down why we love these items and how they stack up against the competition to keep you warm and dry.

Best Overall:
TBMPOY Outdoor Hiking Mountain Pants

TBMPOY Men's Quick Dry Ripstop Belted Mountain Fishing Cargo Pants(03 Thin Black,us S)

PROS

  • Fleece-lined for warmth
  • Elastic waist with a belt to ensure proper fit
  • Five pockets with zipper closures to secure items
  • Waterproof and windproof exterior that dries quickly
  • Slim fitting for comfort and flexibility during outdoor activities

CONS

  • Slim fit may not be comfortable for everyone
  • Pockets don’t hold a lot without stressing the zippers

What Recent Buyers Report

Looking through reviews, we found several comments about the look and fit of these pants. However, some reviewers noted that the slim fit didn’t work well for them, not that the pants didn’t fit well, but that they prefer a relaxed fit. 

Of note, several reviews commented on the incredible customer service offered by the company.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These trousers were made for the outdoors and they look the part. Rugged yet chic, these pants look and feel incredible. They come in a variety of colors and are lightweight enough to keep you moving. You don’t have to worry about troublesome friction or static no matter how far you walk, and they won’t wrinkle.

When you want to keep identification, keys, and even a little money securely on your person, you can use one of the five zippered pockets. Even though you probably shouldn’t pack them too full, you have plenty of room to secure your most important items.

Bottom Line

These pants keep the wind at bay and resist most precipitation to keep you warm and dry. The fleece lining is a nice touch that’s plenty soft and adds a layer of warmth to your gear. 

Runner-up:
SITKA Gear Men's Kelvin Insulating Hunting Jacket

SITKA Gear Men's Kelvin Active Jacket, Optifade Open Country, Small (30055)

PROS

  • DWR finish keeps you dry in light rains
  • Moisture-wicking fabric also neutralizes odors
  • Lightweight, breathable material lined in fleece
  • Zippered chest pocket and fleece-lined side pockets
  • Two patterns to choose from to provide camouflage in different settings

CONS

  • No hood
  • May be too lightweight 

What Recent Buyers Report 

Reviews on Sitka’s Kelvin jacket are overall quite good, with several comments about the comfort and lightweight feel. That said, some reviewers found the cut to be a little snug, especially for an outer jacket. People also note that it repels light rains sufficiently and holds up against burrs, brambles, and branches.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Lightweight, breathable, and water-repellent make this jacket a winner, even if it didn’t edge out our best overall. Additionally, with two color patterns to choose from, you can pick one that works nearly anywhere you want to hunt.

We also liked the cut and style of this jacket. It’s loose enough to accommodate base layers comfortably, but snug enough that you can wear it as a middle layer. The zippered chest pocket is a nice touch for smaller tools, like a range finder.

Bottom Line

If you want a versatile jacket that can be an outer layer on mild days and a middle layer on cooler days, you may like this one. It’s even water-repellent to stave off those long, slow drizzles.

Best for the Money:
MEETYOO Thermal Underwear Set

Men’s Thermal Underwear Set, Sport Long Johns Base Layer for Male, Winter Gear Compression Suits for Skiing Running Black

PROS

  • Protects against UV rays
  • Two-piece set-top and pants
  • Keeps body temperature stable
  • Sporty look in five different colors
  • Versatile—can double as PJs for cold nights

CONS

  • No fly
  • Sizing is problematic for some

What Recent Buyers Report

Even the people who reported loving this thermal underwear set mentioned issues with sizing. Though most reviewers felt they do a great job providing warmth and look cool, they just don’t seem to fit right. Several reviewers suggested it would be nice to buy the tops and bottoms separately to fix some of the sizing disparities. 

Also, several reviewers noted that heading to the bathroom was problematic with no fly.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Let’s just start by saying that these look sporty and comfortable at first glance. The colors are neutral, and there’s enough style to tell you that these aren’t your grandpa’s long underwear. 

Built to prevent chafing and other skin irritations, you can put these pieces to good use indoors or out. They aren’t bulky, making them a perfect base layer, and the unique design encourages proper airflow without chafing.

Bottom Line 

MEETYOO’s thermal underwear set does everything we’d like a base layer to accomplish, including moisture control and comfort. However, it could use a few upgrades to improve functionality for men, especially the addition of a fly. 

Best Base Layer For Cold Weather Hunting:
Duofold Mid-Weight Wicking Thermal Pant

Duofold Men's Mid Weight Wicking Thermal Pant, Black, Small

PROS

  • No tags to irritate your skin
  • Sweat-wicking to control moisture
  • Classic look available in four colors
  • Double-layer cotton blend material
  • Rib-knit cuffs around the ankle keep cold air out

CONS

  • Sizing is a little off
  • May be a little short in the leg for taller guys

What Recent Buyers Report

Most reviewers rave about the comfort and warmth these pants provide. A few reviewers even mentioned using them comfortably as a base layer in below zero conditions as well as for cold-weather PJs. However, several users reported some sizing issues with pant legs too short and too much distance from crotch to waistband.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Did Duofold give traditional long john’s a facelift? We think so. Aside from the modern color choices and updated materials, you can’t go wrong with this classic look that makes us wax nostalgic. 

Plus, the cotton-poly blend is comfortable and tag-free, so you don’t have to worry about chafing or skin irritation. The cuffed bottoms are a nice touch that you can tuck into or overlap your socks to create a cold-air barrier that keeps your legs warm.

Bottom Line

For those seeking an affordable update on a classic thermal pant, this may be the product for you. There’s nothing flashy about the look, but they’ll get the job done. 

Best Cold Weather Hunting Gloves:
Glacier Glove Alaska Pro Glove

Glacier Glove Alaska Pro Waterproof Insulated Glove (Black, Small)

PROS

  • Insulated for warmth
  • Windproof and water-resistant
  • Leather palm for comfort and grip
  • Exterior pattern camouflages your hands
  • Available in six different sizes to find the right fit

CONS

  • The lining isn’t sweat-wicking
  • May be too lightweight for some situations

What Recent Buyers Report

Reading over the reviews feels like watching a tennis match at times. Where some reviewers commend the warmth and water resistance, others claim these gloves just don’t do the job. That said, it seems that most reviewers felt excessive precipitation or sweating hands caused some problems with these gloves. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The camouflage pattern and genuine leather palm set these gloves apart from the rest. They are lightweight and comfortable to wear—as long as you choose the right size. We felt they handled well in light to medium winds, even with a sharp chill in the air, because they didn’t get too stiff and kept our hands warm.

Other than that, these gloves allow you to maintain a solid grip. They aren’t too bulky, so you don’t have any issues pulling a trigger. It would be nice if the lining offered better moisture control because it does appear that several users had issues once their hands sweated. 

Bottom Line 

If you need warmth and protection from the elements, Glacier Glove’s Alaska Pro may be worthwhile. They are affordable, well-constructed, and versatile enough to accommodate most hunting environments.

Best Hunting Socks For Cold Weather:
Carhartt Cold Weather Boot Sock

Carhartt Men's MED (US Extremes Cold Weather Boot Socks, BlackHeather, Shoe Size: 5-10

PROS

  • Machine washable
  • Choose from seven different colors
  • Cushioned for comfort with a reinforced sole
  • Ankle vents limit the bulk without compromising warmth
  • Synthetic blend material is moisture-wicking and odor-neutralizing

CONS

  • Some quality control issues
  • May need a larger pair of boots to wear them correctly

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of reviews commend the warmth and comfort of these socks. A few reviewers even addressed the few negative reviews about the lack of warmth with detailed explanations about how to wear them properly. Of note, these socks are marketed as men’s but several women reported wearing them comfortably for outdoor adventures.

Why it Stands Out to Us  

Between the selection of sizes and colors, comfortable cushioning, and sweat-wicking material, it’s tough to find much fault with these Carhartt boot socks. The ribbed cuff keeps them up so that they don’t bunch up in your boot and impact airflow. 

We feel it’s important to echo some of the comments from reviewers that addressed how to wear cold weather socks. These socks are thick, which means you need boots that can accommodate the extra material because airflow is critical in keeping your feet warm.

Bottom Line

Anybody looking for thick, warm socks for winter may want to consider Carhartt’s cold weather boot socks. They are versatile enough to wear around the house or on your next hunting trip.

Best Hunting Bibs For Cold Weather:
Legendary Whitetails Hunting Bibs

Legendary Whitetails Men's Huntguard Reflextec Bibs, Big Game 360, Small

PROS

  • Water-resistant 
  • Machine washable
  • Lining is removable
  • Available in six sizes
  • Several pockets for storage

CONS

  • Zippers could use an upgrade
  • Pattern isn’t the best for blending with the snow

What Recent Buyers Report

It was tough to find any complaints about these hunting bibs, aside from the zippers. Reviewers commented that though they are two-way, they are plastic and don’t hold up well. However, the vast majority of reviews comment on the superior warmth, storage compartments, and comfort. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We agree with the reviews on this one, it’s tough to find fault in terms of comfort, water-resistance, and storage. They are generally quiet when moving around outside, but may not blend well in the snow. 

One of the neatest features we found was the removable lining to accommodate warmer days. Though these bibs are heavy-duty, they are breathable and don’t restrict mobility. Additionally, with six different sizes and adjustable straps, they fit a wide range of body types.

Bottom Line

If you need an outer layer to keep you warm and dry, you may want to check out the Legendary Whitetails hunting bibs. They are versatile and do a good job of keeping you dry in damp to wet conditions. 

Wool vs Synthetic Hunting Clothes For Cold Weather—Comparison Overview 

Hunting clothes have come a long way over the years, in part due to advances in the materials. Many hunters face a choice between Merino Wool and Synthetic fabrics, which has led to a debate over which material is best. Let’s dig a little deeper so that you can decide for yourself. 

The Basics of Merino Wool

Merino wool is a unique type of wool from a specific breed of sheep (Merino sheep) in New Zealand. Unlike other wool, Merino wool is soft and comfortable (when processed properly). 

Additionally, Merino wool is naturally antibacterial and moisture-wicking. What in the world does that mean for hunting clothes? Well, not only does Merino Wool resist odors, it pulls moisture away from the body to keep you dry and cooler.

The Pros and Cons of Synthetic Materials

Synthetic material is a broad term that includes all manmade materials, like polyester and spandex. It’s generally used for active gear because of the lightweight, breathable nature. Most synthetic materials handle moisture well and dry fast. However, they don’t handle odors or odor-causing bacteria well and end up smelling.

Which is Better—Merino Wool or Synthetics?

It depends on the circumstances. If you plan to spend several hours in the cold or days on a trip, then Merino wool may be your best bet.

It’s better for layering and odor reduction. On the other hand, if you need to dry fast and plan on short hunts, the synthetic gear may be better. 

Merino Wool

How to Layer For Cold Weather Hunting 

Layering is perhaps the most important you can do to protect yourself on a cold weather hunting trip. By layering your clothes, you create room for air to circulate between the clothing and around your body, which insulates you and keeps you warm.

How to Layer For Stand Hunting In Cold Weather

It’s important to do layering the right way to ensure you stay warm, dry, and comfortable. Let’s start with prepping your upper body to withstand hunting in the cold.

  1. Base Layer Top—Merino wool or polyester/spandex blend to manage moisture. It should fit snugly but not tightly. Don’t forget to tuck your shirt in!

  2. Middle Layer Top—hoodies and pullovers made of synthetics, like fleece, provide insulation, comfort, and mobility. You can add lightweight jackets or as a second middle layer.

  3. Middle Layer Hat—a warm wool hat that covers your ears is a good way to keep body heat in.

  4. Outer Layer Jacket or Coat—a down or micro-down layer is a good choice because it’s lightweight but retains heat. Tip: make sure it has a hood!

  5. Outer Layer Gloves—should fit your hands well and have grip, but provide plenty of mobility and dexterity.

  6. Outer Layer for Wind and Rain—waterproof and windproof jackets and pants should be a size larger to accommodate the other layers.

How to Layer Legs For Cold Weather Hunting

Layering your lower half is similar to your upper half, but there are some slight differences.

  1. Underclothes—choose synthetic blends that fit snugly but remain breathable.

  2. Base Layer Bottoms—Merino wool or polyester/spandex blend to manage moisture. It should fit snugly but not tightly.

  3. Base Layer Socks—Merino wool is your best bet because they are antimicrobial  (prevents odor!).

  4. Middle Layer Pants—comfortable, breathable, and stretchy are key features, but zippered pockets are helpful.

  5. Outer Layer Pants—a down or micro-down layer is a good choice because it’s lightweight but retains heat.
     
  6. Waterproof and Windproof Pants—the down pants will keep you warm, but to stay dry, you need something waterproof.

  7. Outer Layer Boots—make sure you get waterproof boots that are large enough to accommodate the thickness of your socks and keep air circulating.

For more information on layering for cold weather hunting, be sure to check out this video:

Conclusion 

Dressing for cold weather hunting involves layering and choosing the right materials for your situation. While you can’t prepare for everything, you can do a lot to protect yourself from the elements. Hopefully, this guide provided all of the information you need to build your ultimate cold weather hunting outfit.

People Also Ask

We know there’s a lot to consider when it comes to your hunting gear, and maybe we didn’t answer all of your burning questions—yet. During our research, we found some common questions and answers that might help you decide on the best cold weather hunting clothes for your next adventure.

What Type of Fabric Keeps You Warmest in Winter?

The short answer is: it depends on the layer. Your best bet for a base layer would be merino wool or synthetic. For middle layers, you may want to consider a synthetic, like fleece, for insulation. External layers provide water-resistance and wind-resistance, so you want something that accomplishes both, generally a synthetic material.

Should a Base Layer Be Tight or Loose?

Neither. You don’t want your base layers to cut off circulation or hinder movement. If the fit is too tight, the base layer is as ineffective as if it’s too loose and baggy. To effectively manage moisture and body heat, your base layer needs to be snug.

At What Temperature Should You Wear Thermals?

It depends on the person and the wind chill. Some people need extra protection as soon as temps drop below freezing, while others can hold off until it drops around 10° or so. Keep in mind that you may want to consider thermal clothing anytime you plan to spend a few hours or more in below-freezing temperatures.

When to Buy Winter Hunting Clothes?

Technically, you can buy winter hunting clothes anytime, especially online. However, if you want to score the best deals and land some serious bargains on your gear, then you may want to shop in the spring and summer. Major retailers offer deep discounts on winter gear in the off-season to make room for new arrivals.

How to Stay Warm In Cold Weather Hunting

Staying warm involves more than the right clothing. You may want to consider some additional gear to keep you warm throughout your trip. 

  • Take cardboard to place under your feet. It blocks the cold, and it’s easy to find.

  • Keep disposable heat packs with you. Place them in pockets, especially around your core.

  • Use more than one hat to prevent excess heat loss.

  • Drink hot water to stay hydrated, which in turn keeps you warmer.

What to Wear Under Waders In Cold Weather Duck Hunting?

Layering is just as important with waders as any other outerwear. Start with a good pair of moisture-wicking long underwear, then pull on a pair of wool pants for warmth and comfort.



My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.