I've always been a junkie for information when buying gear, so I wanted to give you guys an insight into my designs and where I draw inspiration. Over the course of a season here out West we can find ourselves in a wide range of terrains & conditions. Knowing this, I try and give each piece maximum versatility, allowing you to spend less time adding/shedding layers and more time focused on the task at hand.
We went through an exhaustive process of tweaking our colors. The world of dyes can be maddening because of the endless possibilities, but we stuck with it and feel like our natural hues play well across the west. Over the years of owning and hunting with buddies in different types of gear I was always a fan of the colors used in the early cabelas outfitter pattern. The actual gear itself was bulky, but the palette always seemed very versatile in the country we hunt in. We used that as a baseline, then through field testing in different terrains, slowly adjusted the color mixture to achieve a dull, natural appearance. You will notice our grey avoids blue, leaning more toward a natural yellow, while the olive color plays the part of the juniper / pine / sage rather than dark ranger greens.
After years of experience in real hunting situations, we've chosen a large-scale profile breaking strategy. Recent research has shown that ungulates (deer/ elk/ sheep etc.) simply do not see how we humans do. As prey, they are primarily looking for shapes/movements that resemble a predator and don't have the visual acuity to pick up small details beyond their immediate surroundings. Our large contrasting panels are designed to break your profile into 3-4 unassuming color blocks the size of a sage bush, rock, or dead-fall at the longer stalking distances we encounter out West. The clean panels also resist the blob effect found with most patterns beyond 30/40 yards, so as you close the distance you aren't perceived as a large (athletic looking) predator. Plus, in ours and most hunters experience, when you are within that 30 yard mark a miss-timed movement, sound or wind swirl is what's going bust you, even if you're in a full ghillie suit.
Seams | Panels
Our goal with every piece is to make sure each seam & panel serve a purpose. Reducing seams and increasing the size of each panel provides a couple benefits:
However, the hard part is achieving a tailored fit when each panel is large. This requires exhaustive prototyping and tight tolerances when each piece is stitched together. After many rounds of adjustments we feel like it was a worthy process and hope the attention to detail shows when you put it on the first time.
Range of Motion | Articulation
You will notice our gear uses a center-yoke design. We do this across your shoulder blades and center-back of our pants to allow for full range of motion without lifting or bunching.
There is nothing worse than sitting on the side of a cold, windy ridge fighting a zipper. Hence why we use the highest end YKK zippers and durable button closures throughout our lineup.
We are always looking to limit potential failure points in high stress areas. A couple examples include the buttons on our vest & the clean 1/2 zip anorak designs. Often lightweight shell materials have a hard time holding up to the pressures & grinding put down by heavy packs and the large plastic buckles used by most pack makers. For this reason we will always look for functional, durable solutions that make sense.
We traveled the world and tested countless samples in pursuit of the ideal fabrics for each of our layers. In my opinion there is no do-it-all material out there, merino/ poly/ nylon/ down-fill/ synthetic-fill etc. all serve a purpose and do some things better than the next when used in different layering positions. For this reason we are not married to any one particular type and will often use blends to achieve the performance/durability balance we're looking for.
An example of this is the new ClusterLoft insulation used in our puff vest. After getting our hands on this filling and seeing how it performed, it was a perfect match. Don't get me wrong natural down is awesome, but with our vest we wanted to create a piece that you could wear on multi-day hunts through brush etc. without the worry of sweat or moisture sneaking in and killing the warmth-trapping loft of your insulation layer.
We are already in the process of testing some new pieces. Here at Verdict our passion is developing and executing functional pieces. For our initial lineup we wanted to put all of our focus on the highly technical pieces we hunters rely on the most. Expect accessory pieces (we've got a killer mountain glove in the works) and complimentary layers in the future. We value and look forward to getting your input from the field, because in the end we simply want to build the apparel you guys ask for.