It’s safe to say that the high-end clothing game in the hunting world has definitely become the new standard for hunters. Gone are the days of wearing four flannels on top of one another. These technical layering systems make us more comfortable in the field, allowing us to stay sharp, focused, and out there longer.
Pnuma Outdoors has flown under the radar a bit, but is producing some seriously technical gear. For that reason, I was psyched to review the brand’s layering system for my 2023 early-season hunts.
New season. New threads. New camo. Let’s go!
In short: From the whitetail woods to the mountains, Pnuma Outdoors can and will appease the needs of hunters looking for high-end technical clothing. The brand stands beside the well-known names and compete with the best. With limitations to its offerings being one of the few downfalls, Pnuma is here to play in the hunt space.
Pnuma Outdoors Layering System Review
Being that most folks may not have heard of Pnuma, let me give a short breakdown of the company. The brand was born in the heart of Texas, and its team members started creating gear for themselves.
In the beginning, its focus was whitetails. Now, it’s clear its gear works across a wide range of species and environments. In my case, I’d be backpack hunting in the West for high-country mule deer.
Pnuma offers quite a few products, but the ones I am going to focus on here are its Merino Wool Base Layer Pull-Over, Gunnison Merino Wool Hoodie, Palisade Weekender Jacket, Pursuit Pants, and 3L Rain Gear. This system right here is something I’d take into most situations in the environments and situations I normally hunt in.
Pnuma Layering System
Merino Wool Base Layer and Gunnison Hoodie
The Merino Wool Base Layer and Gunnison Hoodie are two peas in a pod. The base layer is 19.5 microns and 190 g of glorious 100% New Zealand merino wool treated with Polygiene StayFresh and Polygiene OdorCrunch for even more scent control. It has a handy chest pocket as well as a quarter zip to help with ventilation. And both sleeves have thumbholes for added protection on your hands from the sun.
The Gunnison comprises 300g 87% merino wool and 13% core-spun nylon. It’s a perfect piece to go over the Merino Wool Base Layer. This piece, too, has thumbholes, a chest pocket, and a left-arm zippered pocket. The form-fitted scuba hood will aid in concealment and help keep you warm. One of the coolest things about this piece, though, is it has a through-and-through kangaroo pocket.
Next on the list is an insulation layer. The Palisade Weekender Jacket is a 550-fill, 50% down, 50% polyester blend insulation. It’s got a water-repellent DWR finish, and the shell is microfiber, which helps keep the noise down.
The Weekender does not have a hood, but the collar does come up to help keep the wind off of your neck. This piece is also treated with Polygiene StayFresh and Polygiene OdorCrunch for enhanced odor control. Pnuma includes a stuff sack in the pocket of the jacket.
3L Element Proof Rain Gear
To appease hunters when the rain comes down, Pnuma has its 3L Element Proof Rain Gear. The jacket and pants have a waterproof rating of 20,000 mm and an MVP breathability rating of 15,000 g/m2/24h. The result is a waterproof membrane designed to breathe as much as it can without letting water in.
Pnuma also includes its PnumaGuard anti-abrasion overlays in areas of high stress (shoulders and knees) to help with wear. The jacket has pit zips to help with airflow, and the pants have a full-length side zip to aid in putting on and taking off the pants.
A quality hunting pant is an absolute must, and the Pursuit Pant from Pnuma Outdoors checks all of the boxes. These are made from a durable four-way stretch nylon and have an articulated knee to increase your range of motion.
All pants are treated with a DWR. They are also treated with Polygiene StayFresh and Polygiene OdorCrunch to help with the funk. Both legs have a zippered pocket on the front, big enough to hold a cellphone. You’ll also find removable kneepads installed in these underneath PnumaGuard anti-abrasion overlays.
My Experience With the Pnuma System
Right out of the box, I was impressed with the gear, from the feel to the fit of everything. It felt like this company cared about its customers and wanted them to succeed. The Merino is extremely soft and comfortable, and the pants fit just right.
I did take out the kneepads, though, as a personal preference. And then putting on the jacket instantly assured me I’d be OK if the temps did drop a bit. Honestly, I felt at home with everything and didn’t have a worry about my upcoming hunts.
Both hunts I’d take this gear on would be backcountry archery hunts in pursuit of mule deer in the high country across two different states.
After I don’t know how many miles I hiked and successfully slipped into bow range time after time, my comfort and trust with the gear from Pnuma has steadily increased. From the 30s at night to high 60s/low 70s during the day, this system fit the bill and kept me warm and cool when needed. And I was really impressed with the lack of stink on the base layers getting back to the truck. I stunk to high heaven, but the shirt did not.
Another thing I want to point out is the camo pattern. On multiple occasions, I had bucks staring at me but never busted. Some folks say camo doesn’t matter, but I don’t believe that for a second. It 100% breaks up your outline and in the right situation, can make a difference from my experience. Pnuma utilizes both a macro and a micro pattern in its CAZA camo. This means that it is designed to break up your outline both near and far.
While the rain gear seems solid as can be, I honestly didn’t need it on my hunts, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness of it. What I will say is it fits right, and I don’t see getting drenched wearing this stuff. And the pit zips seem like they’ll come in handy for more airflow.
The biggest thing I found wrong with Pnuma is something it’s working on. It’s the brand’s lineup. There are some holes in it, but great things take time. For instance, I’d love to see puffy pants of some sort, merino undies, a 100% treated down jacket, or ultralight rain gear.
Because Pnuma cares about what it puts out, it is unlikely that these things would happen overnight, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless if Pnuma is reading this. Other than that, I didn’t have a negative experience with this gear.
Pnuma Outdoors Layering System: Final Thoughts
Anyone who says clothing is not gear has not tried high-end technical clothing like Pnuma offers. Yes, it costs more money than your traditional $30 pair of pants and flannel, but its capabilities far exceed what you’ll get from the lesser. This is purpose-driven gear made to handle a wide range of situations for hunters. Whether you’re sitting in the stand waiting on a whitetail buck or backpacking deep into the mountains for elk, Pnuma has you covered.