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Thread: Thoughts on Rivers West Gear...

  1. #1
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on Rivers West Gear...

    I've read a few posts on hear referring to Rivers West Gear and I just wanted to make a few comments without stealing other threads.

    Rivers West was a BIG NEW THING back in Michigan when they came out with it. Bow hunters, me included, were ecstatic about the stuff! It was supposed to be lightweight, quiet, breathable and waterproof!

    I was lucky enough to know a few folks who had purchased this somewhat expensive gear. At their expense<grin>, I learned that it is great gear…if you plan to stand in the rain for only a short time and/or you manage to keep the water off and away from the seams. When it does become saturated with water (and it will), you will appreciate the fact that you invested in a weight-training jacket because you will have about 50 (no scientific data to back that number up) extra pounds on your back to help prepare you for next sheep season. If you intend to use it the next day, be prepared to build a really big fire to dry it out because it is reluctant to do so easily.

    I am not up to date on the most current line, maybe they have since developed a better product (I hope so!), but the gear I have experience with was not worth the money. Sorry to be so blunt, but wanted to make folks aware of what looks to be attractive stuff.

    Anyone out there have a different experience, I’d be interested to know if they have improved?

    -Buck

  2. #2
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Rivers West

    I was one of the other posters. Your description of what happens when in the rain is what happened to me. The latest gear I used was made in the fall of '06. I checked some out recently at Sportsman W. and it appear to be the same product.

    Maybe great for snow and cold, keep it out of the rain.

    kingfisherktn

  3. #3
    Member wolfkiller's Avatar
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    Default It is

    Junk! Dont wast your money. It does not breathe. It gets water loged and stays that way. Layer with good synthetics and cover with HH rain gear.....
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  4. #4
    Member FALCON's Avatar
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    Default gaiter

    I just back from Alaska on my sheep hunt. Those gaiters were great climbing miles up the stream beds to the high country. Feet were dry the whole way up. Of course I wasn't wading thru the water, but they did keep my feet dry when they plunged in criss crossing the thru the rocks.

  5. #5

    Default

    I have an older model Rivers West jacket that I bought last year. I just happened to walk by a rack in SW and there were only a few left with a sale price of $70. I figured what the hell, the newer model is twice that why not give it a try. Last time I posted I didn't have nearly as much experience with this jacket as I do now, since I am a year into this jacket I will give you more up to date impressions.

    The jacket is light weight that's for sure. Not as light as fleece but lighter than Cabela's berber fleece. The reduced weight compared to my prior jackets is an incredibly handy feature when on foot for long periods of time. Heck, I used to wear carhartt's before I bought this jacket. So it was a welcome change.

    This may have changed with the newer model but my River's West jacket is not the most comfortable jacket to wear. The collar rides my chin, the jacket is about 2 inches too short for me, and the jacket seems to be tailored for man with a beer gut. Maybe River's West is targeting the middle aged over weight male? One day I may fit that description, bit until then the jacket isn't as comfy as I would like. That is not a deal breaker. It took awhile to get used to the fit.

    I don't use this jacket on long trips in the woods due to the fact that I have a daughter at home who requires my M-F attention. Planning a trip more than 2 nights long seems practically impossible lately. Day trips this coat has been great in adverse weather. As long as the sun isn't beating me, or I am on a hike where sweating is problem the jacket performs great. Since the River's West material doesn't breathe I will leave it at home if I will be exerting myself in warm conditions. Fishing trips on the river in my boat the jacket will always be packed. A T shirt and this jacket works great when the cold breeze of a glacier is just nippy enough to send a chill through your body. Wind doesn't penetrate the River's West material and it keeps heat close to the body. On the windy glacial fed SC rivers I fish it works out great.

    Rain: I haven't had the chance to test this jacket in torrential down pour for days on end. But what rain I have experienced on day trips has beaded off nicely. If the cats and dogs are falling I will wear my impertech.

    Overall I like this jacket, it's not perfect but for my intended uses it is almost ideal. While coyote hunting in the dead of winter I will wear a t shirt, synthetic long sleeve shirt, the River's West jacket, and my winter camo cover ups and I can dredge through the snow all day long in my persuit of fury creatures and stay comfortably warm. Dip netting the Copper River and Kenai when the temps were bone chilling it was a blessing. Trying to hike through the woods with weather around 60* and sunny this is not the jacket to wear. I wear this jacket more often than berber fleece, maybe that says someting. For $70 I would without a doubt buy this jacket again, but $150 is a lot to swallow for the short comings.

  6. #6
    Member fnd1734's Avatar
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    Thumbs down rivers west

    This stuff should be outlawed! A person buys it thinking it is the next best thing since sliced bread, when in reality it sucks. To be honest it is dangerous to wear this gear in Alaska. If you are wearing it around town and in the yard, great stuff. Don't bring it in the backcountry...

  7. #7
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    Default rivers west comment

    i have the ambush jacket and the all terrain pants--they are NOT a do everything fabric ---i ALWAYS have my helly hansen impertech in the pack for an waterproof outer layer---that said,the rivers west is very good----if you buy any ,make sure you get zippers under the arms and along the legs---these garments are warm---i also wear 1 less layer than i used to---nothing,repeat nothing,works in the alaska bush for everything!!!

  8. #8
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default

    I bought a River's West jacket before my haul road hunt a couple of weeks ago. It was comfortable to wear, but it was certainly warm. I don't think it breathes very well, and I overheated quickly. River's West might be decent stuff for colder weather (don't know yet) but it wasn't as great as I had hoped for my particular hunt.

    I never had a chance to try it in the rain. I wonder if a spray on silicon treatment (like Camp Dry) would help prevent water logged fabic.

  9. #9
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default applying water preventative thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    I never had a chance to try it in the rain. I wonder if a spray on silicon treatment (like Camp Dry) would help prevent water logged fabic.
    Might work Dan, but I would be real careful with that. My brother would know better, he's the chemist, but I have an inclination to believe that River's West has got some type of chemistry makeup in the repellent they use on their fabric. As I stated earlier...it does repel the rain, just not that well over a long period of time and not at all on the seams. I would give them a call before applying anything that might disrupt what repellent you do have there.
    -Buck

  10. #10
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    Default

    I too found the Rivers West stuff to be a bit warm when walking so I just didn't put it on until I got to where I was going. They have come out with a lighter weight version of their fabric so that might help with the heating-up problems. If I was doing serious backpack hunting I probably would shy away from it, but it works well for how I hunt at present.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

  11. #11

    Default

    Bought just the pants, one lighter weight and one heavier one. Both have the zippers on the side of the pant legs for ventilation which is what I liked. Figured I'd wear it with just synth undies or shorts depending on weather. If it's really raining I put on the HH anyway so don't expect to soak them. I like the neopreme anklets as well. Looked at and tried on some of the others that are recommended on the forums but each has a trade off as well. No experience with the coat

  12. #12
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    Thumbs down Save your money

    Tried the Rivers West coat and pants on two moose hunts. First year I did send the pants back in as they leaked pretty good around the seams. Coat got very heavy and was very hard to dry in the field. Second year was even worse. Rained on us for nine days and I gave up on it. I cannot depend on this type of raingear in the field. I am going back to impertech. This may be good for hunting the lower 48, but not up here in Alaska. (I gotta admit, their advertising was very well done.) “The best protection when it’s raining like hell”
    -“The best protection when it’s raining like hell”
    st year for 16 hours in pouring rain wearing their Ranger ATJ jacket and stayed perfectly dry”
    nly is this proprietary fabric breathable and absolutely waterproof, it is flexible, quiet, self-insulating (perfect for regions where the weather changes every other hour), and virtually puncture proof.”
    most functional and well-designed pieces of outerwear I have ever worn."
    tweight, quiet, and durable, (the H2P System) is made for bowhunters taking on the elements."


  13. #13
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Default

    I got their jacket going on two years now, and will not use it on extended hunting trips. It gets heavy when wet and doesn't breathe that well at all, if any.

  14. #14
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    Default No Way!

    I bought the pants and a good thing I brought my old gore tex camo's from Cabela's. Otherwise I would have been cold and clammy the whole trip while on the river. After two or three hours one morning I took them off and hung them on the tree and left them there till I got home and sold them for half of what I had into them. I was just happy to get some of the bucks back. I had my ol Hellys for the rain and was happy I brought those too!

  15. #15

    Default

    After reading my River's West accessment from 6 months ago I still agree with myself. But there are a few things I would like to add.

    No matter what the manufacturer says this is not a do it all type of garmet, IMO. Cold winds, light rain, and predator hunting this type of gear has excelled for me. While in Seward trying to snag kinds off the shore in heavy down poor the coat didn't fare as well as I had hoped. I also had the luxory of heading back to the cab over when I had enough rain, with my impertech and good gloves, I could have stayed out there all day.

    I think if the buyer believes River's West is a "do it all" type of gear they will be severly disapointed. It just so happens my Rivers West jacket completely suites my needs during my typical use. Will I buy the pants? Only if I spotted them at a screaming deal on the SW rack!

  16. #16
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    Default

    I bought the Rivers West LAW pants and jacket last year because it was advertised as 100% waterproof. Well it isn't. Mine leaked from day one. I called Rivers West to return it and was given a bunch of attitude on the phone. I won't buy any more of their junk. I also saw that they recently changed their warrenty from 10 years to 1 year. That says a lot.

    The only way to stay dry in pouring rain is non-breathable raingear ie Impertech. I love that stuff.

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