If you do not have the time or patience to read through this entire article, I recommend the Gamehide Sneaker Big Game Hunting Vest. It is best for larger animals and is entirely orange, which will comply with most of the hunting laws.
I have managed to take down several animals while wearing blaze orange vests. I have also done a lot of research into the laws of each state regarding the required amount of orange you need in your clothing.
I have also researched whether this color will hurt your success as a hunter. If you want to learn more about the deer’s vision and how they perceive orange, you can read that last part of this article.
Today, I had to do some extensive research to find the best blaze orange hunting vests. There were many to be found, but I managed to narrow it down to 5 vests that I think you will love.
Best Blaze Orange Hunting Vests
- Gamehide Sneaker Big Game Hunting Vest (Top Pick)
- Browning Safety Blaze Vest (Budget Friendly)
- Sitka Ballistic Vest (Simplest Design)
- Primos Gunhunter
- Browning Pheasants Forever
#1 Gamehide Sneaker Big Game Hunting Vest (Top Pick)
This hunting vest from Gamehide is perfect for big game hunters that go after larger animals such as elk and deer. This vest has many features that can prove to be useful. It is also designed in such a way where you can pull it over most pieces of clothing.
This vest also comes in two separate color schemes, which involve blaze orange and blaze orange camo. The blaze orange scheme is more basic and does not have any patterns on it. The blaze orange camo scheme has camo patterns on it, which might improve your hunting experience.
This vest is 100% orange, making it easier to comply with most of the hunting laws inside each state.
The shoulders are also quilted with layers of fabric that absorb most of the recoil from your firearm. This feature will especially be helpful if you are prone to bruising. This vest also has plenty of pockets for storing stuff. It has a zip in the middle, which can be used to open or close the vest.
Some of the pockets will also have shotgun shell loops, which makes it easier to reload your weapon quickly. You also have a vertical pocket that will allow you to store a small flashlight easily. This vest also comes in a large variety of sizes to fit most hunter body profiles.
#2 Browning Safety Blaze Vest (Budget Friendly)
This vest from Browning is one of the least expensive options that you can find for blaze orange vests. This product makes it ideal for hunters who do not want to spend a fortune on hunting gear.
It may not have all of the features such as that of the previously mentioned vest but is still good enough to wear when out hunting. It has two large pockets on the front, which makes for secure storage. The fabric used to make this vest was also made from the material polyester.
You also have several sizes to choose from, and the most common size is that of the regular fit. Overall, I believe this is a great vest, and I know that some people prefer to wear a vest that is plain and does not have all of the bells and whistles.
#3 Sitka Ballistic Vest (Simplest Design)
Sitka is very well known for producing some of the very best hunting gear that you can find. The Sitka Ballistic Vest is not an exception. This vest has features that offer more than just being a blaze orange vest.
This vest offers excellent comfort and protection to your shoulders when shooting. It has an interchangeable shoulder pad made from foam. This foam padding can be worn on either side, making it suitable for both left and right-handed shooters.
You can easily remove this vest while hunting without scaring the deer away. This product uses a magnetic buckle in the middle, which will not make any noise. Most of the other vests use a zip, and as we all know, a zipper tends to be loud when used.
This vest is also adjustable, which makes it easier to fit most body types. It uses an adjustable waistband in the middle, which makes it more flexible and more comfortable. This vest also offers some protection against moisture because of its water-repellent finish.
The zippered pockets on either size will allow you to warm your hands or to store extra ammo and other accessories. The only drawback is that zippers tend to make a lot of noise when used. It is a good vest that can be used by intermediate and serious hunters alike.
#4 Primos Gunhunter
If you are a gadget-loving hunter and you would like to wear a vest that is made for storing a lot of items, then this vest from Primos might fill the spot. It is also not that expensive compared to some of the other vests.
What makes this vest unique is that it has a lot of pockets that you can use to store all of your stuff. At the back, you will come across a license holder. This feature will allow you to quickly show your license to officials without taking out your wallet.
There are around 7 pockets located on the outside and also several pockets on the inside. The pockets also differ in size, where some of them can carry walkie talkies, phones, binoculars, scent bottles, deer callers, etc.
You will also get a small LED light and compass that you can use in an emergency. You also have easy access to the items that you have stored in the pockets located on the inside. All you have to do is to open the buttons, which can be done silently without scaring away the animals.
#5 Browning Pheasants Forever
If you want to have a vest that does not “scream” orange and probably wear for years to come, you might want to check out the Pheasants Forever vest. I should also make it clear that this vest can be used for almost all game and is not limited to pheasant-only hunting.
This is a solid vest that will not easily tear and will last a very long time because of its durability. It is one of those vests which might last you a lifetime and be the only one you ever need to purchase. It uses a front zipper to open and close.
It also has the ideal combination of pockets and useful features such as shoulder padding. The shoulder padding helps reduce the recoil induced force, which results from the most rifles. It has 2 large pockets on the front, which will reveal a shotgun shell system in which you can organize and store your shotgun shells.
The vest also comes with a smaller front load pocket and a larger game pocket at the back in which you can store small game such as pheasants. You will also note that the front part of the vest is around 70% brown and 30% orange blaze. The backside of the vest is almost 90% orange blaze, which might be enough for the legal requirement of most states.
Why should hunters wear blaze orange clothing
It is very rare for accidents to happen during hunting-related activities, but they do happen. One of the most common reasons is vision-related, where the victim of the accident was not seen by another hunter who fired a shot in their direction.
Blaze orange is not for the animal but the hunter. Blaze orange allows for you to be seen by another hunter so that you cannot be mistaken for a deer. It is also required to wear blaze orange in some states.
How much orange should you wear during hunting?
In most US states, it will vary from 144 square inches to 500 square inches. Some states require 244, 250, and also 400 square inches. Some states, such as Alabama, require 144 square inches. Other states might require:
- Arkansas: 144 in2
- Colorado: 500 in2
- Connecticut: 400 in2
- Delaware: 400 in2
- Florida: 500 in2
- Georgia: 500 in2
- Illinois: 400 in2
- Louisiana: 400 in2
- Massachusetts: 500 in2
- Mississippi: 500 in2
- Montana: 400 in2
- Nebraska: 400 in2
- New Jersey: 200 in2
- New Mexico: 244 in2
- New York: 250 in2
- North Dakota: 400 in2
- Oklahoma: 500 in2
- Pennsylvania: 250 in2
- Tennessee: 500 in2
- Texas: 144 in2
- Utah: 400 in2
- Virginia: 100 in2
- Washington: 400 in2
- West Virginia: 400 in2
I might have excluded some of the states, but for more detailed information, you should visit IHEA-USA.
Do you have to wear blaze orange on private property?
It all depends. Some states require you to wear blaze orange regardless of whether it is public land or private property. It might also depend on the type of game you wish to hunt. The laws are more lenient towards hunting small game than big game.
Even though the laws might not require you to wear blaze orange on your private property, it is something that I would recommend for safety reasons.
In which states should you wear blaze orange?
Almost all states require you to have the color blazing orange in your clothes except the following states:
States NOT required to wear blaze orange
- New Hampshire
- New York
If you want to learn more about each state and a summary of the laws regarding blaze orange, then head over to Seed3D.
When did blaze orange use in hunting begin?
The introduction of blaze orange hunting clothes to hunters was one of the most significant leaps to preventing more hunting-related accidents. This color was first introduced in the hunting landscape during the early 1960s. It is important to note that it was not made mandatory yet.
Blaze orange became mandatory in the year 1986, where the color red was also used. During the early 1990s, red was dropped and blaze orange because the only color to be used. In most of the states in the US, blaze orange is required.
The most common types of clothing pieces that require blaze orange are the cap and clothing on the upper part of the body, which excludes the sleeves. This is where blaze orange vests come into play as it is not required for your entire body to be blaze orange.
If you like to wear vests and you cannot get enough of camo, then you should read this article on best camo vests for wedding. Some people also do not like to wear blaze orange and in some states it might not be required. You can learn more about camo clothes or expand your knowledge on ghillie suits suitable for hunting.
Can deer see blaze orange?
In a nutshell, I will conclude that the deer do not see the color called blaze orange the same way we humans do. You will notice several differences when comparing the vision and eyes of animals such as deer and humans.
We humans can be classified as hunters/predators because of where our eyes are located. Our eyes are located at the front where our vision from both eyes will overlap, which gives the perception of depth. To successfully hunt, we need to be able to focus our attention on one animal and to be able to gauge the distance between you and the prey.
Animals such as deer (which falls in the “prey” category) have their eyes located on the sides of their head. Their vision does not overlap, so they cannot gauge the distance between them and a potential threat. The upside of having eyes on both sides is that they have a much larger field of view (fov).
This ability makes it harder for predators to sneak upon them. Deer also have fewer cones in their retina than humans. Cones are photoreceptor cells that are responsible for color vision. Deer find it hard to differentiate between colors from the higher side of the wavelength spectrum.
Colors such as red and orange are between 590 to 740 nanometers in wavelength. Where we see orange and red, the deer will see grey and brown. So, in the end, your silhouette and movement will play a more significant role than wearing colors such as blaze orange. The only problem with vests are that they do not cover the entire upper body which was why I have written this article on best hunting jackets.
What is your experience with blaze orange?
A lot of people have different opinions when it comes to wearing blaze orange gear for hunting. In this article, I have narrowed down the products to only 5, which will give you a perspective on what is available on the market today.
My favorite was the Gamehide Sneaker Big Game Hunting Vest, which ticked all of the boxes regarding quality and features. If you have ever hunted while wearing blazing orange, please leave a comment below and share your experience with us.