A vest is a vest is a vest to the casual upland hunter. If you’re serious about chasing feathers in the field, the Final Rise Summit vest might be an option you should be considering to up your game.
If you mentioned upland hunting to a younger me, it would have evoked romantic visions of tweed, hedgerows, and deeply polished walnut. Then I went chukar hunting. Chasing these birds in terrain better suited for mountain goats makes one reevaluate what you carry and how.
Enter the Final Rise Summit Vest. This modular vest system is as close to perfect as you can get for hunting upland game in a variety of environments. I’ve worn it chasing roosters in South Dakota, swearing at chukar in Utah, tromping after mountain grouse in Montana, and flushing huns in Wyoming.
It easily carries all my essentials for a day of hunting with room to spare for a bag limit of birds. I really appreciate that it’s hand-sewn right in Utah from American-sourced materials.
In short: I’ve walked a lot of miles in the Summit Vest pursuing upland birds, small game, and predators across the west. It’s comfortable, carries everything I need for a successful hunt, and shows no signs of wearing down.
- Weight 2.85 lbs.
- Materials Constructed of 1000D and 500D CORDURA
- Grommets in game bag and shell pouches to ensure no water accumulation
- D-Rings on each side of waist belt for electronic transmitters
- 3 Built-in zippered storage compartments (rear panel and each side of game bag)
- Bladder compatible with both vertical and lumbar-style hydration systems
- 2 x Shell pouches w/zippered exterior pouch
- 2 x Water bottle holders
- Great weight distribution
- MOLLE panels for customization
- Tons of storage
- Complicated adjustments
- Long lead time
Final Rise Summit Vest: Review
It was a frosty December morning when I took a drive out to central South Dakota to put this vest through its paces. I found a nice-looking block of walk-in access with a mix of rolling prairie grass hills and cut ag fields. I loaded up my vest with the essentials, grabbed my shotgun, and began walking.
The hope was to flush some roosters from the cut corn, but without a dog to help me, it just was not happening. I moved over to the hills and began by walking 40 yards, pausing, and then continuing on. My persistence paid off, and I flushed a covey of sharpies from the tall grass near a stackyard. My shot was good, and I bagged a beautiful grouse for my efforts.
I walked a total of 9 miles that day. Sure, that’s a lot of effort for a single bird. But as anyone who’s been out hunting on the prairie knows, the miles slip on by with ease.
The Good Stuff
The unpadded shoulder straps on this vest are comfortable and, more importantly, don’t get in the way when shouldering a gun. There are three adjustment points for the shoulder straps, so you can really dial in the fit to suit your build.
The waist belt on this system just works. It’s comfortable and does a great job of distributing the weight of the vest across your hips. I can load this thing up and walk all day without getting a sore back or shoulders.
I appreciate the easy access to the pair of water bottles on my waist. Final Rise includes two 32-ounce squeeze bottles with each vest. These bottles make it easy to give yourself or your dog a drink while on the move.
Speaking of dogs, this vest was designed to carry your dog comfortably in an emergency. In this worst-case scenario, you want to be able to get your dog back to the truck quickly. You can lash your dog safely in the vest without having to dump all of your gear or leave anything behind.
The vest features a bunch of MOLLE attachment points, so you can add accessories to your system to suit your needs. I personally run a Rear Bag Accessory Pocket attached to the back side of the bird bag. I keep my first-aid kit and possibles pouch in there. It sits nicely on my lower back and doesn’t pull on the shoulder straps while moving.
The shell pockets on this vest are really well thought out. Each shell pocket has a zippered compartment as well as a pocket with a fold-over lid and Velcro closure. I keep my shells in the pocket with the Velcro closure for quick access. I put things I don’t want to lose, like my truck keys, in the zippered portion of the pouch. So far, they’ve always been in there after the hunt.
Where the Summit Vest Can Improve
Adjustment: When you first get your vest, there is a slight learning curve to get it set up. With all the adjustment points on the shoulder straps and the waist belt, it takes a couple of trips out to get everything dialed in. I don’t necessarily see this as a negative, though. Once you have the vest set up properly, it’s supremely comfortable.
Lead Time: There is a fairly long lead time on these hand-sewn vests. If you have a hunting trip coming up and need this, you’d better order it a few weeks ahead of time.
Cost: Again, this vest is a premium American-made product. The cost of the vest reflects that. If you need it, then it’s absolutely worth the cost. This vest will likely last a lifetime, so after the sting of the initial investment, any remorse quickly fades.
Is It Worth It?
If you appreciate premium American-made products that perform flawlessly time and time again, then this vest is absolutely worth it. If you’re a casual upland hunter who stays close to the truck on mostly flat ground, then this vest is a luxury item. Personally, I feel the value this vest brings to my hunting experience far exceeds the initial cost.
Final Rise Summit Vest: Conclusion
The Summit Vest from Final Rise is purpose-built for upland hunting. Its construction, function, and durability mean you’ll buy this vest once, and it will last you many years of hard hunting.
I can carry a day’s worth of shells, extra layers, a robust first-aid kit, water, and any other essentials I might need. That still leaves plenty of room in the structured rear game bag to carry anything I can manage to shoot. When it’s time to chase birds, the Summit Vest is the very first thing I reach for.