I wish that I could sit here and tell you that all turkey vests were created equal. That all of their designs were thoroughly tested in the turkey woods, by diehard turkey hunters and that each pocket was sewn in just the right place, for just the right purpose. But, as reality has it, I can’t say that because that would make me a liar, and I can’t stand to be labeled as such. So, I’ll do you one better and tell you the exact turkey vest that you need to ask Santa for this Christmas season. Whether you’ve been good enough for him to leave it under your tree is on you, I’m just the messenger.
After nearly thirty seasons of chasing these gobbling puffballs from the woods of the Northeast to cactus flats of Texas, I can tell you that I’ve had the good, the bad and the really, really ugly when it comes to turkey vests. From vests that have too many pockets, to others that are literally an uncomfortable giant decoy bag, finding the right vest has never been the easiest thing to cross off my list. That was, however, until I found a small company, called Grounded, that actually understood what actual turkey hunters need– a super functional, well-made vest, with just the right amount of gear storage. And, after three seasons of putting it through the ringer, I can honestly tell you that this vest is every bit of those things.
Call pocket design
If I was asked to rank what the most important part of my turkey vest is, it would without a doubt be how the friction call pocket is designed. With these calls being my go-to each day in the woods, it’s not only important that these have a designated pocket and it’s located appropriately, but it’s also equally as important that the calls are protected when they’re not in use. Whether it’s due to my own doing or not, I’ve had several of my calls get shattered while sitting in other vests, mainly because the pocket didn’t have any padding or sleeve to protect the call. The Impact Vest comes fully equipped with four friction call sleeves, which double as a surface protector for your glass, crystal or slate. While you’re seated at the base of a tree, this pocket is easily accessible and when fully unzipped lies open to give you constant access to switch calls in an instant. For me, that’s a necessity when the birds become stubborn, and I need to switch to a new call quickly and quietly.
A quick and quiet seat
For something that seems so simple to implement, it’s astonishing how many companies can’t get the seat component correct. Having a seat that not only provides comfort, but is also super quick and quiet to deploy, is a must-have. For those spring gobbler hunters who prefer the “run and gun” tactic, it’s even that much more important. On the back of the vest is a magnetic snap that is sewn in, keeping the seat in place while on the go. The magnet is strong enough to hold onto the seat without it falling off, but also light enough for you to deploy the seat with one hand when you arrive at your spot. The seat itself is made of really dense memory foam and is even coated on the underside to prevent water from soaking in on those rainy days. Falling asleep will happen while sitting on this seat, so don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
A vest that can be worn all day
When it comes right down to it, if your turkey vest isn’t comfortable, it’s not going to get worn. The Impact can quite literally be worn from the moment you leave the cabin to the minute that you get back. It’s evident by the design that it was constructed by a diehard turkey hunter. All of the padding(and there’s a lot of it!) is in the right places and the straps have a coating to prevent them from slipping off when you’re sitting at the base of a tree. Never once have I had this vest slip off of my shoulders or get uncomfortable while waiting out a stubborn longbeard.
In the end, the Impact 1.0 Vest from Grounded is a clear notch above the rest. Simplistic in design, loaded with useful features and made from all of the right materials to last through several tough seasons should land this turkey vest on the top of your Christmas list.
Features & Rating
- Maximum breathability and quietness
- Water guard zippers
- Weight: 4.6 lbs
- Silicone non-slip shoulder pads
- Stores four pot calls, two locators calls, two mouth calls, two shear pockets, one box call, water sleeve, and bladder compartment with a harness system
- Memory foam Seating
Rating – 5 out of 5 stars.