SKRE Gear Hardscrabble Jacket Review

Camron Stover

In the realm of high-performance hunting gear, SKRE Gear has carved a niche for itself, and the Hardscrabble Jacket stands as a testament to its commitment to excellence.  While interviewing the founder of SKRE Gear, I had the chance to ask him what was the number one piece of clothing or great from their product line that hunters should start with if they want to test the SKRE Gear product line. Without hesitation, Mike stated the SKRE Hardscrabble Jacket was the backbone of their product line, so I knew I had to test it for myself.

In this in-depth review, we’ll dissect the features, craftsmanship, and overall performance of the SKRE Gear Hardscrabble Jacket and let you know if we think this hunting jacket lives up to the hype.

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SKRE Gear Hardscrabble Jacket

Rich in features and quality, including Teflon Shield+ DWR applied to the face fabric, YKK zippers on all 4 pockets, and a storm hood with dual cord locks to direct rain away from your face keeping you warm and dry. Dual cord locks at the waist allowing for full adjustment and a watertight seal. The Hardscrabble is an excellent outer layer to conquer all the seasons.

Price: $199.95

  • MTN-X2 Soft Shell Face Fabric
  • Microfleece Liner
  • Athletic Fit
  • Wind Resistant
  • Teflon Shield+ DWR
  • YKK Zippers

SKRE Gear Hardscrabble Jacket Sizing and Fit

The fit of the Hardscrabble Jacket can be described as an athletic fit and true to size. In recent years, my size medium tops are busting at the seams, and the size large fits me just right, with a little room to spare for a quality base layer and mid-layer.  SKRE clothes are designed to be worn within a system, so layering up should not require a larger size.  When in doubt on sizing, go up a size.

If you order the wrong size mistake, SKRE Gear will allow you to ship it back in exchange for the correct size.

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Features:  SKRE Gear Hardscrabble Jacket

The Hardscrabble Jacket from SKRE Gear is more than just another piece of hunting apparel; it’s a comprehensive solution designed to tackle the diverse challenges that hunters face in the field. However, this jacket will perform better when utilized inside a layering system.  Your hunting clothing should accentuate your hunting experience and SKRE Gear makes it easy with their bundles that help you figure out what to buy to get the most out of your hunting apparel.

1. Outer Layer and Camo Pattern

The jacket boasts a meticulously crafted MTN-X2 Soft Shell Face Fabric that’s water resistant (not waterproof) and provides sufficient insulation when layered appropriately.   This jacket serves as an effective outer layer against the wind, as it’s completely windproof, just make sure you seal up the vents and close all of the zippers. SKRE has crafted their own unique camo patterns, specifically designed to blend in a variety of hunting conditions, from sagebrush-covered landscapes to the peaks of the mountains.  The Summit pattern is also works during turkey season and early whitetail season in the east.  Late season hunters might want to give the Solace pattern a shot for treestand hunting once the foliage drops.

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2. Storm Hood and Dual Cord Locks: Battling the Elements

The storm hood is a thoughtful addition, offering full adjustment to ensure a watertight seal against direct rain. Dual cord locks provide versatility, allowing you to customize the fit according to the conditions you face. These features are essential for maintaining optimal body temperature and keeping the face shielded from rain and snow.  I like that the hood has a sturdy material in it, softer than the bill of your hat, but stronger than a traditional cloth hood, which allows it to stand up and form a brim, just like a hat would.  These keep rain and water out of your face better than if it was a soft material like the hood of my Sitka Stratus jacket.

3. Teflon Shield+ DWR and YKK Zippers

SKRE Gear leaves no stone unturned in providing a durable and weather-resistant garment. The Teflon Shield+ DWR  adds an extra layer of protection, making the jacket water-resistant and capable of keeping you dry in light rain events.  Over time, the jacket will become saturated because it’s not waterproof. If it was waterproof, it would be much noisier and less abrasion-resistant.  The use of the best YKK zippers ensures smooth and reliable functionality, crucial for swift movements in the field.  It’s easy to adjust the zippers with one hand, and there’s a bunch of them!  The dual-zippered chest pockets are ideal for your rangefinder and cell phone.

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4. Interior Micro-Fleece and Zippered Vents: Comfort in All Conditions

The micro-fleece liner on the interior enhances comfort, making the jacket an excellent insulating layer for cold weather. Zippered vents offer a full range of motion while ensuring breathability, a vital feature for late-season hunts or intense physical activities.  The large zippered vents in the armpits are nice when you increase your activity level and start to get too hot.  I was able to open the vents and unzip the jacket as the temperature increased, without needing to stop and take the jacket off.  The collar of the jacket zips up far enough to keep me dry in a light rating as well.  With the hood up and the jacket fully zipped, I can hunker down during windy days, as well as light rain events.

5. Lifetime Warranty and Customer Service: Confidence in Quality

SKRE Gear’s commitment to quality is underlined by the inclusion of a true lifetime warranty. This speaks volumes about the brand’s confidence in the durability and performance of their products. In the rare event of gear failures, SKRE Gear’s customer service stands ready to address your concerns promptly.  Also, if you happen to order the wrong size, you can ship them back and exchange it for the correct size.  Just make sure you don’t remove the tags.

Quick thoughts on buying hunting gear with a warranty.  If cost is a factor when making hunting gear purchases, take a good look at the warranty provided by each brand.  SKRE offers a great warranty on hunting clothing.  In my opinion, maybe the best warranty in the hunting industry right now.

How Did the SKRE Hardscrabble Jacket perform during the hunt?

The Hardscrabble excelled in the process of thermoregulation, keeping you comfortable in varying weather conditions. The breathable material prevents overheating, crucial for extended hunts in cold weather or the early fall season.  Just make sure you dress in layers.   While testing, this jacket performed well in the mountains of Colorado while chasing elk, as well as the treestand while hunting whitetails.

The water-resistant finish of the jacket held up better than expected and I didn’t find myself getting wet during the hunt, even in the rain.  Now, I’m smart enough to avoid the pouring rain on most occasions but hunting in a light, or misty rain is just up my alley.  The longer the jacket is exposed to moisture,  the wetter you’ll get.  Also, leaning against a tree or sitting on wet pants is a great way to push the moisture through the fabric, thus making you wet

2.  What type of hunting is SKRE Gear designed for?

Irrespective of your style of hunting, whether it’s stalking mule deer in the high mountains or waiting patiently in a tree stand, the Hardscrabble jacket proves to be a versatile companion. Its adaptability makes it an excellent choice for various hunting scenarios, even turkey hunting.

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SKRE Gear Hardscrabble Jacket Review Summary

In conclusion, the SKRE Gear Hardscrabble Jacket is a top-notch option for hunters who demand excellence from their gear.   With its blend of functionality, durability, and style, it meets and exceeds the expectations of the modern mountain athlete. In comparison to other high-end clothing options on the market today that will cost you significantly more.  HuntingGearDeals.com has an exclusive coupon code that will save you 15% off full-priced SKRE GEAR at checkout.  Just enter the code:  HGD-15 at checkout!

The Hardscrabble Jacket held up through a variety of hunting conditions this season and the only thing I’d change is the slight noise generated by the jacket when drawing a bow or walking.  It’s not unbearable, but it’s not as quiet as some of my other hunting outer layers.  The warmth-to-weight ratio is great, especially when bundled together for the different conditions that your next hunt has to offer.

PROS:

  • Price
  • Warmth to Weight Ratio
  • Windproof
  • Ventilated armpits for thermal regulation
  • Love the hood!
  • Adjustable cuffs

CONS:

  • Not waterproof (but water-resistant)
  • Noisier than some other soft-shell jackets on the market

A Quick Comparison and Future Considerations

1. Quick Comparison with Other Brands: SKRE vs. Sitka vs. KUIU vs First Lite

In a quick comparison, SKRE Gear holds its own against top brands like Sitka and KUIU. While each brand has its strengths, SKRE Gear manages to offer high-quality gear at a competitive price point.  What sets SKRE apart from most of these brands is their warranty.  It’s nice having a NO BS warranty for hunting gear and SKRE Gear stands behind their clothing better than most.  For more information on the SKRE Gear Warranty, watch or listen to the podcast that I recorded with the founder of SKRE Gear.

2. Next Year and Beyond: SKRE’s Commitment to Innovation

SKRE Gear’s continuous commitment to innovation means you can expect new pieces that incorporate special technologies and enhancements. HuntingGearDeals.com will notify you when SKRE releases new products and I heard directly from the source that they’re releasing some new gear this year.

Ready to buy? SKRE Gear sells direct and HuntingGearDeals.com has an exclusive coupon code to save you 15% on regularly priced items.

Thanks to SKRE Gear for providing their product for evaluation. Hunting Gear Deals is funded by affiliate commissions. We may receive a small commission when you buy from our partners using the links provided. There is no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting us by using our links when making your purchases.

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AUTHOR BIO

Hi, I’m Camron the owner of Hunting Gear Deals. I’m an avid bowhunter with a knack for finding good deals on hunting gear and love to help you save money on hunting gear.  I’m also the owner of the popular Bucks, Bulls, & Bears email newsletter that’s built to educate and entertain hunters.  If you haven’t subscribed, you’re missing out!  Last but not least, I’m proud to say that I work for Whitetail Properties as a Land Specialist in Ohio.  If you’re in the market for hunting property, shoot me an email and I’d love to help you find your dream property.  

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