I trialled the Stealth Gear suit on a recent trip to Scotland during which the weather shifted from mild, through to high winds and heavy rain and back to mild but with a cool wind. Although the sun shone on occasions, the weather overall was never particularly good. The suit however came into its’ own on more than one occasion and its’ wind and waterproof quality were second to none. This is top quality gear at a very fair price. In fact for a “name” jacket of this quality on the high street, the cost for the jacket alone would be near in excess of the cost of this entire suit.
The makers’ slogan is, “Designed by photographers for photographers” however I feel this is a bit of an understatement! This clothing is truly innovative and to do it justice we need to review each item of the suit, as opposed to the suit overall, as it is possible to purchase all items individually.
Jacket – The jacket is truly innovative, there are pockets galore but the designer has not just added pockets simply to give you more pockets than a different brand. They have been well thought out, with the side pockets having zips which allow the pockets to bellow and provide enough space for possibly even a 300mm f2.8 lens. Not only does this give storage but also allows the cameras’ weight to be taken off your neck and also stops it swinging around when walking. Carrying additional lenses is a breeze. Now on most other make of jacket, the pocket flap usually remains open, as the design has not allowed a long enough flap, thereby allowing rain in, but Stealth Gear have gone one better.
They have designed a double length flap, with one part closing inside the other, allowing flap closure with the pocket in the “normal” position” but extending when required, so the flap covers the pocket when bellowed. For finer refinement they have even included removable lens padding for each pocket!
The hoods are also innovative with a “standard” peak hood for walking etc and a hood with an extended peak, which actually covers the camera when being used in the rain.
Now there are a few jackets on the market with a pocket across the back and very handy they are too however again Stealth have gone one better and designed theirs to unzip and drop down into the SAS. This allows you to sit virtually anywhere and stay dry, due to the waterproof material they have used. The SAS is one of those things were you say, “it’s about time someone thought of that” but of all the walking, hiking, climbing, photographers and god knows whatever other jackets out there, before Stealth’s design came along - no-one had!
Further improvement is added by the facility to open the side allowing kneeling, crouching or just more freedom when sitting or driving.
An item of clothing you definitely won’t want to leave at home, regardless of what you intend to do outdoors. This is a truly innovative top quality item.
Fleece –The fleece is warm and dry and certainly keeps out the wind. It sports protective waterproof material across the shoulders and has the traditional hand warmer pockets. It is designed to zip into the jacket to double its’ properties and has tags to prevent the sleeves being pulled out when taken off again superb quality and value from Stealth.
Waistcoat (bodywarmer) – The waistcoat is truly that. Basically it is the carcass of the jacket minus the sleeves and rear SAS but with the same bellowing side pockets and other similar pockets and the press stud facility to fit the jacket hoods. The SAS has been replaced by a rear top opening pocket.
Waterproof shoulder patches, internal pockets and again superb quality, make this item another must have Stealth garment, for the outdoors person.
Trousers – Now the trousers are again well designed and thought out. Waterproofing in the knee areas for kneeling anywhere in the wet and having tried them kneeling in the edge of a Scotish loch, I can assure readers – they work! Thigh, rear and front pockets complete the design but with also vent openings on the sides when used as over trousers. There are waterproof patches on the ankle area where the boots can catch and adjusters on the leg bottoms for tightening around the ankles if required. The waist is part elasticated with velco fastener front and also side adjusters. Again, this is top quality gear which will certainly keep out the wind and rain.
Overall – Overall the suit has been well designed with each garment complimenting and improving the other further. It is all top quality at a very fair price using the Teflon DuPont water protection of other high end, (expensive!) manufacturers.
I have no hesitation in recommending Stealth Gear as either individual items or as the suit. 10/10!!