February 17, 2022
If you’ve ever seen an owl sitting in a tree, you know it’s extremely difficult to tell another person about it unless the bird is moving.
Why? The feather coloring and patterns allow it to blend seamlessly into the wood and shadows. Well, it’s this ability to stay hidden that has inspired one of the most versatile and dynamic hunting apparel collections in recent years.
Launched in 2020, ASIO Gear offers a full line of early, mid-season and late-season hunting apparel and accessories designed specifically for another predator that likes to roost in the trees: the deer hunter. Founded by avid archery hunter Joe Miles, the South Carolina-based company designs its apparel with archery hunters in mind, with an emphasis on stand hunters. It all starts with the company’s RAPTOR CAMO pattern, designed to provide optimal concealment regardless of the landscape.
Based on the feather patterns and colors of an owl, RAPTOR CAMO offers a unique alternative to more landscape-oriented camouflage patterns. The purpose, as with the aforementioned owl, is to allow you to blend into the woods to avoid the eyes of wary whitetail deer and other game, especially when perched in or against a tree.
As for the garments themselves, ASIO uses premium lightweight fabrics with a four-way stretch design. Its early and mid-season garments are made from a 90% polyester/10% spandex blend (windproof and Sherpa-lined versions are also available), while late-season pieces include high insulation PrimaLoft performance, Sherpa-lined pockets and other features to keep you warm.
All ASIO garments are treated with a durable water repellent finish as well as an antimicrobial agent to help control odor. In addition to pants, jackets, and hoodies, the company produces a windproof “Core Warmth Vest” that can be worn over mid-season layers in the fall or under your late-season jacket in the winter. , helping you stay comfortable when temperatures drop. Other RAPTOR CAMO items include caps, hats, gloves, bibs and rain gear.
Where ASIO really stands out is its focus on the little things that enhance the bowhunting experience, and it shows in every piece the company makes. For example, its jackets and hoodies feature a rangefinder pocket on the chest, allowing easy access to essential gear at all times, and an opening near the neck for your safety harness strap. The hoodies – available in early and mid-season options – also come with a built-in face mask that slides on to cover your face or stays hidden if you’re not wearing the hood.
Unlike the ability to remove upper body layers as activity increases or temperatures rise, you cannot do the same with your pants. But, in keeping with its goal of meeting the needs of bowhunters, ASIO designs its pants to be both highly functional and comfortable. This includes side zip vents that can be opened to allow airflow and moisture wicking channels to help keep you dry. Plus, six zippered pockets hold accessories and essentials.
I’m hunting with ASIO’s mid-season collection this fall, and recently put the mid-weight hoodie and pants through the wringer while checking track cams and pit locations. After wearing them for an afternoon the first thing that stood out was how comfortable the garments were, the stretchy fabric providing incredible flexibility whether climbing on a rack or kneeling down to check a trail camera . At no time did I feel constrained by the clothing, and this is something that any bowhunter will appreciate.
ASIO also promises that their clothes dry quickly, and they are! Even though the hoodie and pants were soaked in sweat after my hike, they dried surprisingly quickly and I could have used them for an evening hunt if needed.
There is no doubt that ASIO Gear is a great choice if you are looking for highly functional hunting gear in a highly effective camouflage pattern. The extra effort the company puts into designing apparel specifically for whitetail bowhunters really shows – in the quality, practicality and unique features of each piece. — Associate Editor Mark Demko