Brent Norbury is 25 years old and has been hunting for most of his life. He moved to the Galloway Hills in south-west Scotland when he was 17 years old. Brent is a full-time deer stalker at Strahanna Stalking, taking clients out for roe and red deer throughout the year. He’s also an avid fox shooter, a wildlife/hunting pencil artist and has a passion for hunting in Scandinavia. With Brent spending so much time in the field, enduring the rough terrains and the often harsh weather that Scotland has to offer, we believed he was the ideal hunter to test our XPO Pro gear – pushing it to its limits throughout the winter!
Brent: When I was asked to test the Browning XPO Pro winter clothing I was very excited because I have not heard much about Browning’s range of clothing. Browning is famous for their guns but less so on the clothing side – although they are certainly increasing their range in recent times. When I heard I was testing their gear I thought there’s no better place to test it than in the hard winter of Scotland. When it comes to clothing I need something I can wear on a daily basis, which can survive rough use over rough terrain – so I was keen to put the Browning XPO Pro jacket and trousers through their paces!
The first thing I noticed when I put the clothing on was how comfy it felt. It really gave me the feeling I wasn’t going to be getting cold that’s for sure! It is lined inside with the ultra warm Thinsulate insulation and it is made breathable, waterproof, windproof with the Pre-vent membrane. The coat and trousers fit nicely and there is impressive ease of movement when you are out shooting, especially for deer stalking and climbing.
The material is very quiet when moving around and when it touches branches etc., being ideal for stalking. I appreciated the magnetic pockets that make closing the coat even more silent while in use. The coat is just long enough to cover your backside for when you’re sitting down. I also liked the snug hood that covers my head well and fastens securely so the wind doesn’t blow it off.
The shoulders on the jacket are reinforced for extra protection. There are plenty of easy-access pockets on the front which are great hand-warmers and there is a rear game pocket too. The trousers also feature the same deep pockets and magnetic pockets on the side. The cuffs are a waterproof neoprene with hook and loop tabs. The trousers feature a bib and brace, which makes wearing them very comfortable but if you don’t want to use this feature, they can be unzipped and taken off.
The muted greenish/brown tones of the suit were effective at helping me blend into the surroundings. There was only one thing I wasn’t keen on. That was the zips: they seem a bit noisy compared to that of the fabric and magnetic openers. But, that’s only a minor detail and I wouldn’t be using them very much when out stalking anyway.
Overall, I very much enjoyed wearing the Browning XPO clothing throughout the winter and was impressed by it’s performance. I’ll definitely be reaching for it again when the weather turns colder later this year!
Follow Brent’s daily hunting adventures: