L.L. Bean’s Pa’tridge Strap Vest II

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This is a great product. I’ve been hunting in the original version for the last several years. The only difference that I can see between that model and the Version 2 is the shoulder yoke, which is a big improvement for several reasons. First, with the original straps, hanging the thing up at the end of the day can be a chore. If I don’t have a ladies’ dress hanger handy I usually have to cross the straps over. Second, the shoulder yoke adds orange up high, in your fellow shooters’ sight plane, which is just a good idea all around. I love the fact that they made the yoke mesh–this is already a light and breezy vest and the yoke will make it more so.

This vest contains a blood bag insert in the back, which zips down for easy cleaning. BE SURE you get all your birds out. I failed to remove a quail tucked into the corner of the pocket one time and boy, a month later that was not a pretty sight. I think it says a lot for the vest that I was able to clean it with a hose and disinfectant–no need to launder, because the bag liner is so impermeable. I also like the bottom waist strap, especially when the bag is loaded with dead birds. That lumbar strap winds up carrying most of the load.


Notice how the lumbar strap is separate from the pockets for better weight bearing?

The only demerits I can give this vest are in sizing. I have the small/medium. It doesn’t come in an actual size small. And while I am not a small person (5’11”, 170 lbs.), more and more these days I feel like sizes are getting out of whack to accommodate the “roomier” American public. If this same vest had been released in the 1960s I promise you it would have been sized an x-tra large. And if you are x-tra large in size, I would recommend trying this out versus the size Large/XL, which gets truly broad. Strap vests work best when they fit close and thus stay out of your way.

One last thing: for years L.L. Bean has been a catalog and direct-sales company.  This allows them to cut out the middle man and thus significantly reduce the middle man’s markup.  When comparing Bean products against their competitors, I’ve found you generally get a 20-30% discount for equivalent quality because you’re not funding that brick and mortar store in between you and the manufacturer.  This is one example of *excellent* value for money at $119, which in my experience runs through their whole line.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Purchase: From L.L. Bean.

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