A rare miss by a venerable, highly reliable upland brand.
Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of LL Bean Upland apparel and happily own a ton of their gear. However, I learned a valuable lesson from my purchase and subsequent exchange of the LL Bean Technical Upland Jacket…never buy something sight unseen based entirely on how it looks online or in the catalog.
I was generally unimpressed by the light, flimsy coat that I received in the mail. The feel of the material reminded me of the terrible synthetics of 60′s and 70′s vintage…think cheap leisure suit. I also immediately lamented my shortsightedness at buying a piece of upland outerwear without blaze orange which is obviously a safety issue (and illegal in states with a ‘minimum coverage’ requirement for hunters).
Giving LL Bean the benefit of a growing doubt, I wore the jacket for the remainder of the season was deeply disappointed by the way it held up afield. I found the jacket to be hot, uncomfortable, and ill-fitting (snug, not suitable for layers). While there were a fair amount of pockets for gear and the like, I was amazed at how inaccessible the zippered rear game pockets were…for anyone other than a double-jointed contortionist, one will more than likely have to remove the jacket to pocket a bird.
In a rare positive note for this article of clothing, the LL Bean Upland Technical Jacket laundered well and did not stain despite my hard charging approach to busting through swampy cover in search of late season woodcock. The bottom line, go elsewhere or spend a bit extra on the LL Bean Upland Gore Tex Coat as it does not disappoint.
Subscribe for more!