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Upland Vest Packs - Buck's Bags

Upland Vest Packs - Buck's Bags

Postby Warrior372 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:42 pm

So I have been poking around looking at upland vests for about 3 years now. In the meantime, I have just used a blaze orange marmot hiking backpack which always seemed to be enough for what I needed - spot for a water bladder - my water, a bottle holder on each side - dog's water, zip pouches in the front on the waist belt for shells, spots for me to clip on my Dogtra and Garmin controllers and have easy access to them and a spot to put a raincoat, lunch, first-aid kit and other misc. I have looked at a lot of vests - Q5, WingWorks, various Cabela's, L.L. Bean, Filson, Orvis, Tenzing, and the Buck's Bags Vest. For what I want in a vest - the above list of stuff in the backpack - the Q5, WingWorks, and Buck's Bags vest have always seemed like the best options and they seem to get the best reviews. I actually live in downtown Boise, Idaho so Buck's factory is only a few miles from my house. Every year for the past 3 years I have walked into their factory store to scope out their upland vest and I have never walked out of there with one for a few reasons - 1) I was shocked to see a "Made in Vietnam" tag on a vest when I completely wanted it to be made in Boise, Idaho USA - because they actually make a lot of their products in Boise -- 2) They have a water bladder, but no water bottle holders and -- 3) My backpack seemed to be getting the job done.

So, I walked in the factory store today just to check things out - and see if they finally started making the vest in the USA (I know they use to make it in Boise) - conceding on the water bottle holders and just figuring I could throw a 60oz Nalgene in the game bag. As I was in the back of the store trying a vest on, someone from their sales department saw me and wanted to know if I needed any help. I kind of laughed and said, "Yes, you can! Can you get me a version of this vest made in Boise, Idaho with water bottle holders so I can carry more water for my dog?".
We chatted for a few minutes, as she bird hunts and has owned several American Brittanies, and then I asked if they had any type of water bottle holder I could have them stitch on/ attach. She then disappeared from the show room to go look around in the warehouse. About 10 minutes later she came out with a different vest - Made in Boise, Idaho USA with Bottle Holders on it - - - - and get this - - - - it actually cost the same as the one made in Vietnam! Needless to say - I bought it. I asked her where she found it and she said the grandson of the founder was in the back and told her there were a few boxes that met my requests back there.

It is a little different then the vest made in Vietnam - and the differences are all good ones!

- It has a much larger, more durable looking zipper on the front that stays locked at the top - the ones on the other vests are pretty small and frail looking and they actually started to come unzipped just as I was trying them on.
- It is all blaze orange versus tan with blaze orange pockets (obviously this is personal preference, but anything that decreases my chances of getting shot are always appreciated)
- It has the 2 water bottle holders - 1 on each side between the front pockets and the game bag. The water bottle holders are pretty tight - you cannot fit a Nalgene type bottle in them, but you can fit Camelbak Insulated water bottle. Right after I bought the vest I went to "bleep"'s Sporting Goods with the vest to see exactly what would fit. They are called Podium Chill water bottles - the 21oz ones are 9.5" tall and the 25oz ones are 10.75" - I opted for the 21oz because they are shorter and they did not get in the way as much as the larger ones. Any 3" diameter squeeze water bottle would fit.
- It fits true to size versus the other one which fit small. I am 6' 175lbs - 41" chest and 31" waist - and a Medium / Large fits me perfectly. There is enough adjustable space for it to fit me really well with only a t-shirt on and if I loosen it up I could fit several layers under it.
- Velcro Shotgun Shell Holders in the slide pockets behind the front pockets with flaps.

One of the biggest reasons I held off buying a vest - and was really holding out for a Buck's Bags Vest - was because of the closure system on the front of the vest. Every other vest I mentioned above simply clicks in the front with a buckle -- Buck's Bags Vests have two different heights you can run the waist belt clip at for more comfort and then on top of the buckle the vests actually zip with the heavy duty zipper and a flap velcros over the zipper - once fastened it almost looks like the front of a velcro weight belt but obviously it does not squeeze you unless you got too small of a size :) . This allows you to really adjust the vest to your body shape and what you happen to be wearing that day while keeping the vest where you want it. The chukar hunting in Idaho can get you into some pretty steep and sketchy hiking situations and the last thing I want is a vest shifting around on me.

So odd thing is that the sales rep was not entirely sure if these vests were new old stock - like I said they use to make them in the USA - or if these were the new vests that were going to replace the vest they have offered for the past few years made in Vietnam. Anyway, if anyone is in the market call and ask for Victoria. She is extremely helpful! I really like all of the features and they price out better the the other vests made in the USA - Q5 and WingWorks. I will report back once I have some time to use the vest with pros and cons to my previous setup. Then maybe closer to the end of the season I can also comment on durability and wear - although everything I have ever read about their vests leads me to believe it will be very durable! They run $150 plus shipping (although their website says $175 - like I said just call them) and if anyone calls to get one - make sure you ask for the ones made in the USA with bottle holders or you might get a Vietnamese one with no bottle holders.

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Warrior372
Rank: Junior Hunter
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:47 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Re: Upland Vest Packs - Buck's Bags

Postby LonesomeDove » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:08 pm

Thanks for this post.
I was just about to post something along the same lines. Been looking for a quality vest for a few years, and now that my GSP is about 1.5 years old, I need to carry water for him too.
I was really leaning between the Q5 Centerfire and the Wing Works. Any guidance there???
What about Tenzing?

The pricing is steep, but want quality that will last. I hunt chukar,Huns in Idaho and quail in Texas.

Wing Works says they are taking a break currently while they take care of some personal construction.

Thanks for any feedback.
LonesomeDove
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Re: Upland Vest Packs - Buck's Bags

Postby Warrior372 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:33 pm

LonesomeDove wrote:Thanks for this post.
I was just about to post something along the same lines. Been looking for a quality vest for a few years, and now that my GSP is about 1.5 years old, I need to carry water for him too.
I was really leaning between the Q5 Centerfire and the Wing Works. Any guidance there???
What about Tenzing?

The pricing is steep, but want quality that will last. I hunt chukar,Huns in Idaho and quail in Texas.

Wing Works says they are taking a break currently while they take care of some personal construction.

Thanks for any feedback.


So I got to use the Buck’s Bag Vest today and it was much better then using a backpack. I carried all of the same items in the vest that I normally do in the pack and the vest was barely noticeable. It really did a great job of spreading the weight of everything evenly. The 2 - 21oz water bottles for my dog were equally as unnoticeable while in the bottle holders.

I think the Q5 Cebterfire, Wingworks and this particular Buck’s Bags vest are all top notch. I am not really sure you can go wrong with any of them. The front fastening system is different on the Buck’s then the other two. Both the Q5 and WW just have a beefy buckle while the Buck’s has a buckle 5-6 inch zipper and then heavy duty Velcro over the top of the zipper. I was in some pretty steep terrain today and literally could barely notice the vest because it adjusts so well and sits more securely.

The Q5 and WW can hold larger water bottles - I could get 1 - 21-25oz bottle in each holder on the Buck’s - so depending on your water needs this could be big. Also the Q5 and WW seem to be more customizable in that it looks like you can detach stuff, attach other things and just generally move things around as needed. Also both make a lot of accessories that allow you to really customize it.

I think the Tenzing runs in line with the Cabelas, Orvis, and LL Bean. Again not bad vests, just different depending on your needs. None of these had water bladders and water bottle holders which took them on out the running as they did not fit my needs. If you want to check out the Tenzing and happen to be an XL - SierraTradingPost has had them on sale for a great price for a few weeks now - https://www.sierratradingpost.com/tenzi ... -prod436WG . If you end up getting any of the above - or maybe even one not mentioned here - I am sure others would enjoy getting feedback!
Warrior372
Rank: Junior Hunter
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:47 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Re: Upland Vest Packs - Buck's Bags

Postby Born2Hunt » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:58 am

Just went through the same thing and settled on the Wing Works after seeing a guy with one, and glad I did it is awesome. The fit is measured to you individually and has easy access with tons of room for birds. Also hold plenty of water and is made of material that will last forever. You won’t be sorry..
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Re: Upland Vest Packs - Buck's Bags

Postby oldbeek » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:38 pm

Lots of you younger guys are getting big bellies. I had a bucks bags built for my son at 5ft 6in with a huge beer belly. Had mine for 2 years and love it. These vests fit like a back pack and come in various sizes. Has a place on the left strap where I attach my Garmin 430 tracker.
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