I vaguely remember my hunting gear set-up when I began hunting four years ago. What sticks out clearly was how cold and uncomfortable I was. I remember thinking that I wasn’t cut out to be a hunter, at least a tree stand hunter, because I was miserable.
I would imagine that there are a lot of women out there that feel the same and it is possible that the industry could have kept a few that bailed if they knew the secret…. THE BIB!
What is the Bib
The bib overall design is nothing new. It has been a functional piece of clothing for farmers, skiers and hunters since the early 1700s. They are described as a loose, sturdy trouser, usually with a bib or biblike piece to which shoulder straps are attached. They are comfortable, non restrictive and are a must if you are planning on enduring cold weather sits in a tree stand!
Bibs vs. Pants
Women like wearing less constrictive clothing. Consequently, leggings and yoga pants are hot sellers. My comfort is TOP priority when I am doing anything, especially something outdoors. When we are uncomfortable (probably less so with women than men), someone is going to hear about it. This uncomfortable state becomes the focus and is very hard to stay present. It definitely takes away from the enjoyment of the activity for everyone involved.
Bibs are loose fitting and allow for substantial layering without sacrificing comfort. They are longer and have full coverage up your lower back and chest area. The shoulder straps keep the bibs in place and close to your body, keeping warmth in and cold air out.
Something quite counterintuitive is that women actually have a HIGHER core temperature than men (to keep those babies warm). But unfortunately this works against us. Because our bodies are warmer and we are used to feeling warm, we are much more susceptible to cold temperatures. With the coverage of bibs, we stand a better chance of keeping warm.
There are some down sides to bibs. Due to the bulkiness, they are harder to move around in and if you misjudge your weather, they can be too much. Bibs come in many different materials and thickness so if you prefer wearing them, you can have a pair for each type of activity. I have found that pants are better for spot and stalk hunting and bibs are great for ground blind and tree stand hunting.
Which bibs are best?
I have owned 3 pair of bibs and there is only one that I would recommend for functionality and warmth. I have endured sub zero temps, blowing snow, drizzling to pouring rain, high winds and everything in between with these bibs. Hands down, the SitkaGear Women’s Fanatic bib is the best on the market for tree-stand/ground blind hunting.
Warmth and Windproof Protection
A PrimaLoft® Silver Active Insulation core adds lightweight and breathable warmth while a 100% windproof GORE® WINDSTOPPER® membrane with a plush hydrophobic Berber fleece face stays deadly silent as it seals out the cold.
Padded and Insulated Seat
Compression-resistant foam insulation in the seat offers vital protection against heat loss especially when sitting on a cold metal tree stand.
Comfortable and Adjustable Suspenders
Elastic urethane suspenders adjust without buckles creating a seamless, comfortable connection to the shoulders as not to interfere with a rifle or bow.
Easily Accessible thigh pockets and hand pockets
Strategically placed pockets in the thigh allow quick access to essentials from a seated position and pockets on each side of the chest for quick hand warming while walking or sitting without a jacket.
Full Side Zips
Absolutely essential for stepping into the bibs without taking your boots off and quick access for dumping heat.
If you are a woman looking to stay warmer during those cold weather hunts, invest in a great pair of bibs! It will keep you comfortable and allow you to sit longer, getting you closer to that harvest! If you are a man, looking to help the woman hunter in your life, BUY her a pair of bibs, it may be the difference to keeping her in the sport!