Mountain hunting isn’t for everyone. I’ve found the pendulum of morale and adventure are far more prone to swinging in great degrees with a pack on your back many miles from home. Being invested in a hunt is one thing when a hunter is greeted by a warm shower or wall tent at the end of a day but something else entirely when a cold backpacking tent is home base for the near future.
Backcountry hunters invest time, resources, and money into a hunt then slide into a pack and go try to make their plan pay off with little to no outside help. If you’re one of the many outdoors people who enjoy betting big on your hunting skills and woodsmanship, chances are you’ve got some money tied up in quality gear. The backcountry is not a place for the faint of heart or budget equipment that can fail and leave a hunter without a proper safety net to return home when the hunt’s complete.
High on the list of necessary equipment for extended hunts is lightweight, durable clothing. This can be layered over other clothes or worn as a standalone option while other layers dry, saving weight and space from duplicative gear.
Enter Stone Glacier’s Grumman Down Jacket and Pant. Designed, tested, and built by serious mountain hunters, this two-piece set is as close to a necessity as dependable boots or a good sleeping bag for mid-to late-fall backcountry hunting. The Grumman set utilizes goose down treated with DWR repellant under a 15 Denier Pertex Quantum shell, meaning the days of clumpy, damp down are no more. From the SG website:
The Grumman Goose Down Jacket brings the ultimate in packability, warmth, and protection to the backcountry hunter. We set out to design a piece that truly met our definition of “Ultralight.” The combination of a Pertex® Quantum shell with HyperDRY™ 850+ Fill Power DWR treated down makes this a highly technical insulation piece unlike any other in the hunting industry. Weighing only 11.8 oz. with 5.3 oz. of 90/10 goose down fill, you will be hard pressed to find another down jacket with comparable stats. A well fit hood, reverse coil YKK zippers, and a unique cuff design paired with strategic color blocking for breaking up body symmetry on the mountain have made this piece an office favorite at Stone Glacier.
Stone Glacier started years ago manufacturing packs and has expanded into other gear for the serious backcountry hunter. With a company motto of “Redefining the Capabilities of Ultralight” they’ve been enjoying unprecedented success as they’ve moved into the tent, lightweight shelter, and clothing market among other new items. Based out of Bozeman, Montana, the SG crew tests their prototypes hard through the West’s various seasons and game before releasing the gear to the general public. From Stone Glacier’s website:
Stone Glacier is a result of 15 years of solo sheep hunts from the Dall country of Alaska to the unlimited districts of Montana’s Beartooth Wilderness. The goal has been straightforward: build the lightest, most durable gear using only the toughest technical materials available.
I’ve used several different down jackets over the years but my Grumman has become my hands-down favorite. With its lightweight yet packable size (8x4x3.5in included stuff sack) I throw it in the top pocket of my pack with rain gear and hit the trail. Whatever the day throws at me I can layer as necessary. The warmth-to-weight ratio is stellar and worn under a rain jacket for a wind block, retains enough heat for even the coldest glassing sessions. The Grumman Jacket is available in Stone Grey or Coyote colors and has an MSRP of $329.00.
The Grumman Down Pants weigh in at an impressive 16 ounces incorporating a full-length side zipper. This allows the wearer to don or take off the pants without having to remove boots or shoes, simply unzip the legs and step in or out. At 9x4x4 inches stuffed into their included sack, the pants take up a minimal amount of space in a hunter’s pack while providing an extra layer of insulation if needed. MSRP on the Grumman Pants is $229.00 and they’re available in Stone Grey.
Hunters can buy with confidence as Stone Glacier has a “30 Day Money Back Guarantee”. As long as items are in resaleable condition, Stone Glacier will accept returns or exchange 30 days from the date of purchase. They also offer a lifetime warranty from defects in material or workmanship. Other defects from wear and tear can be repaired at a reasonable cost.
While down clothing is infamous for its fragility, I’ve used my Grumman set for two full years on Dall sheep and caribou hunts in Alaska to elk and deer hunts in Montana. While I don’t bust brush with it on, I don’t pamper my gear either and the only battle scars are from a night in a tent with a woodstove that burnt a couple of small holes in my down pants while I was lounging too close to the fire.
If you’re a new Stone Glacier customer or have been enjoying their products for years, there’s lots going on with the Montana-grown company, check them out at www.stoneglacier.com or give one of their knowledgeable employees a call at (406) 404-0641 to discuss all things hunting and backpacking.