Cabela's Over / Under WindShear Sweater -
Stay Warm Without the Bulk
By: Mark Mazour
All week long you've been looking forward to Saturday morning's hunt. Finally, Friday night comes, but you're awakened at 3 a.m. to wind rattling the windows. In the outdoors, the wind is a major factor in your comfort level. Even if the temperatures are in the forties and fifties, the wind can make any day seem a lot colder.
The wind continually robs your body of the heat it has built up next to your skin, making you feel considerably colder than the temperature dictates. Finding a layer that can stop the wind goes a long way to changing a cold miserable day into an excellent outdoor adventure.
The warmth without the bulk is what caused me to want an Over / Under WindShear sweater the first time I tried it on. It is extremely warm, yet this hunting sweater takes up little space and layers easily under your waders, waterfowl coat, or hunting vest. Aptly named, on cold days you can wear it under an outer shell, or on moderate days, it can be worn on the outside, acting as a jacket to break the wind.
Designed for the Hunter
This sweater is definitely designed for the hunter that is committed to the field regardless of the weather. The outer layer is a soft durable wool jacquard that gives the warmth that only wool can give, even if it gets wet. The WindShear membrane complements the wool insulation by stopping the wind from coming through.
Staying warm is only half the battle, though - the other half is staying dry. Whether you are lugging four dozen decoys or climbing ridges and glassing for deer, we all put off extra heat. If, you're not careful, this excess heat will cause you to freeze later on with sweat-soaked gear. The technical nature of this garment shows itself when you exert yourself and begin to put out a little too much heat. Though it blocks the wind from the outside, the WindShear membrane is still porous, allowing perspiration vapor to escape before you get wet.
Wader suspenders, bibs, and game vest straps can all take their toll on your clothing. On the Loden Green model, Cabela's designers placed patches of a cotton blend fabric on the shoulders to prevent excess wear. This sweater can hold up to the rigors of waterfowling and any hand the elements dole out. I don't know about you, but the elbows and knees on my clothes seem to get the most wear. Since I'm not much of a seamstress, I prefer to avoid the damage. Whether sitting in a pit blind, doing camp chores, or lying prone glassing for mule deer, the additional elbow patches also prevent unnecessary snags and keep the sweater looking good for years to come.
Besides being low bulk, this sweater's fit will also not get in your way. I found it to be very roomy and not interfere with your gun mount, whether worn as an outer shell or under your favorite hunting jacket. For the warmth it provides, the Over / Under WindShear sweater doesn't take up much room and fits easily in your hunting bag, giving you no plausible reason to be without it.
Designed for Waterfowl, but Perfect for Anything
While designed as part of Cabela's waterfowl lineup, the Over / Under sweater is perfect for anything. Whether scouting for deer, camping, calling mallards, or chasing pheasants, I have worn this sweater about everywhere under conditions from sunshine to snowstorms. If the wind whips up, it is the first thing I reach for. The soft fabric would also be a favorite among stand hunters who wish to stay warm all day in a tree stand, but want to easily get in the action when that buck steps into a shooting lane.
Comfortable and Casual
This sweater has become like a favorite pair of old boots. It's comfortable, goes with me everywhere, and I keep finding more excuses to wear it. Earlier this fall, I found it perfect to throw on for the evening chores and training the dog. The WindShear membrane did an excellent job of breaking the slightest breeze and turning a routine task on a cool evening into an enjoyable time outdoors.
On a weekend duck hunting and camping trip, I practically lived in this sweater. After the sun set and the temps began to dip, it was perfect for throwing on over my other clothes and helping me enjoy a fall weekend at camp. However, the sweater's use is not limited to just the field. The Over / Under WindShear Sweater is offered in Loden Green and Cabela' popular Outfitters Camo. I have the Loden Green model and often wear it around town when I need an extra layer to take the chill off. On a cold day, the soft, cozy feel of this sweater just can't be beat.
The price of this sweater is also a winner. Other manufacturers have wool waterfowl sweaters that sell for much more than what Cabela's price is, making it one of the best values on the market. You get the warmth and insulating capabilities of wool combined with the wind-stopping features of the WindShear membrane. If you want warmth and comfort without a lot of bulk, you've found it.