APLS OutdoorZ Upland Game VestX review

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mnaj_springer
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APLS OutdoorZ Upland Game VestX review

Post by mnaj_springer » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:42 am

Ok. So I said in another thread that I would review this product at the end of the season. Well it's not the end of the season, but I feel I've used it enough to give a serviceable review for people interested in this. So here it is!

I’ve only had this vest for one season but I put a fair amount of hours in with it on. So the only thing I can’t really speak to yet is durability/longevity. So I’ll break it down into pros and cons.

Pros:
1. Extremely comfortable! The pack design does exactly what I wanted and distributed weight evenly and secure. Felt like it was hardly there!

2. Tons of storage/organized. I could really pack a lot more in this than other vests I’ve had. It was really nice.

3. Stays secure. I didn’t think of this before I had it, but I realized that previous vests shifted a lot as I moved through the grouse woods, especially going over or under things, and the Alps stays put. It was actually nice because I never had to worry about stuff falling out.

Cons: (I may get nitpicking but it’s because I like the best overall)
1. Waist strap set up/design.. Ok, so the length of the straps are for a LARGE dude. I’m average sized (5’10” and 195 pounds) and there was a ton of extra strap. So much strap that I had to use some clips to manage the extra straps. But despite that, a large guy may not like where the pockets are on the strap... some pockets are too far toward the rear to be easy to reach, such as the water bottle pocket, and to a lesser extent, the ammo pocket. I can still reach it, but I could see a bigger guy with less range of motion struggling.

2. Game pocket... the game bag is plenty big enough, but the access to the pocket is a little too narrow when wearing the pack so same issue as above. I can bend my arm to put the bird in, but I have good ROM.

3. Gun rests.. It is advertised as having gun rests (for the stock/butt) on the waist strap. The drop down gun rests they have are a little too short and skinny to be really useful... but honestly, I don’t use them. I just played with them. Maybe someone who does a lot of posting for pheasant drives would use them, but then again that guy doesn’t need a pack like this since he’s not really walking a lot.

Overall, I really liked it! For my hunting style, the comfort, storage, and security FAR outweigh the nitpicky cons I found. But I could see how it may affect others. Seriously, I can't stress enough how comfortable this pack is. No more shoulder or back aches from the weight of birds/gear like my previous vests had. Being comfortable is a big thing for me because it lets me hunt longer, enjoy the hunt more, and when I get home and need to chase a toddler around and all the other household chores need to be done, I'm not sore and exhausted.

I would recommend this vest/pack to most anyone with an average or smaller frame. I'm a 34" waist guy with broad shoulders. Again, average sized man. So if you're average or close to it, this would serve you well, especially if you do a lot of walking while hunting. ON THE OTHER HAND.... if you're a heavier dude and/or you have limited range of motion, I would not recommend this vest. It will fit you, but it would make accessing some pockets or putting game in the bag more difficult than you'd like. If the manufacturer was able to change the set up slightly on the waist, moving everything a little bit toward the front, and make the opening to the game bag slightly wider, I would recommend this for anyone who puts some miles on while hunting!
“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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oldbeek
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Re: APLS OutdoorZ Upland Game VestX review

Post by oldbeek » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:50 pm

Bucks bags from Idaho is also a nice vest. They make various sizes. Even a size for short guys with a beer belly. Fits like a back pack. Lots of storage.

Robbw
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Re: APLS OutdoorZ Upland Game VestX review

Post by Robbw » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:57 pm

Spot on review. I have one and I'm one of the fat guys so some of the pockets are pretty useless because they are too far back. Maybe they should have somehow made pockets removable along the straps.

Oh well.

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SwitchGrassWPG
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Re: APLS OutdoorZ Upland Game VestX review

Post by SwitchGrassWPG » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:52 pm

I too have one. The "gun rests" are useless. If you bend over with shells in the side pockets, they fall out. Waist straps are way too long.

It is a very comfortable vest. The mesh pocket on the shoulder strap is good for an e collar transmitter.
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mnaj_springer
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Re: APLS OutdoorZ Upland Game VestX review

Post by mnaj_springer » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:08 pm

SwitchGrassWPG wrote:I too have one. The "gun rests" are useless. If you bend over with shells in the side pockets, they fall out. Waist straps are way too long.

It is a very comfortable vest. The mesh pocket on the shoulder strap is good for an e collar transmitter.
I wonder if mine is different. The shell pockets have a lid on mine that keeps it secure, or at least it has so far.
“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

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Urban_Redneck
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Re: APLS OutdoorZ Upland Game VestX review

Post by Urban_Redneck » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:59 am

I really wanted to love mine, but, I wore it once and sold it.

While comfortable and seemingly well made, the shell pockets end up at 3 and 9 o'clock which make moving through thick cover tiresome and they can be difficult to close completely. The gun rests are useless and unnecessary. The final nail in the coffin is water bottle pockets seem to be designed around 12oz soda can, my water bottles fell out constantly.

I'm using the Orvis waxed cotton strap vest now, it's doing all I need and I haven't lost a water bottle :wink:

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