In his series of gear reviews, Kryptek ProStaff Jared Bloomgren takes on the Cadog Collection.
Written by: Jared Bloomgren
The Cadog Collection is the next step up from the Dalibor Collection in regard to warmth and insulation. Of the four kits including the Dalibor, Cadog, Vellus and Aegis, I have used this kit the most since its introduction in 2012. The Cadog remains my preferred gear in the late season, but it does have its limitations. Let’s take a look.
The Cadog Collection impressed me from the first moment I saw it. Each piece felt soft and quiet, lined with a plush, ultra-comfortable fleece. The articulated fit and stretch fabric make the Cadog extremely versatile as well. The Cadog line is made of 100% polyester with a windproof liner and exterior DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment, making it highly water-resistant.
I first tested the Cadog Collection in the mountains on an elk hunt where temperatures ranged from the low 20’s to the mid 50’s throughout the day. I quickly found out that Cadog was too warm for those conditions, especially when on the move and hiking in rough country. When I was not moving nearly as much, I was comfortable in those temperatures
The Cadog Collection is intended for active style hunts in colder temperatures. I reserve it for conditions that do not rise above 30 degrees and hunt plans that keep me moving. If my hunt involves more stationary activity in those temperatures, I would choose warmer gear from the Vellus or Aegis gear lines. That’s my opinion on the proper temperature range for the Cadog Collection. My wife, on the other hand, wears the gear to temperatures up to 40 degrees and beyond with no issues. Each person can be a bit different in that sense, and it’s important to know if your body runs hot or cold when selecting gear for any given hunt. I find myself using the Cadog Pants primarily when temperatures drop, whereas the jacket is more versatile across a wider temperature range and is a great piece to use nearly any time of year. Additionally, both jacket and vest are available in Typhon to offer a more accommodating piece for your lifestyle.
I wouldn’t rate the Cadog Collection as 100% windproof. During a couple of my late season outings, the conditions included bone chilling winds and temperatures below 0. I could definitely feel wind getting through both the top sets and the bottoms. That doesn’t mean failure, it simply means layering is important. Keep in mind that a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) treatment doesn’t make the Cadog Collection waterproof, but will do a good job of keeping light rain and moisture from soaking in.
To prove just how reliable the Cadog kit can be, my wife still uses the original Cadog jacket and pants that came out in 2012. With many years of use behind them, they are still holding up and only showing normal wear as expected. There are no major issues, but I am confident at this point the DWR finish is completely gone. The finish longevity depends on how much the pieces are used and washed and can be easily re-treated. Even with a worn away DWR treatment, those old pieces still withstand short burst of rain.
I have used Cadog gear in all types of terrain imaginable. The fit and mobility the Cadog series allows is perfect for western hunting whether broken prairie country or steep canyons in the mountains. From the open plains of ND and SD to the high mountain peaks of WY, Cadog has done a great job for me. Layering underneath this kit is as important as it is with any kit in my arsenal. Merino base layers go everywhere with me! Adjust layering as needed for successful use at all times.
The fit for me has been spot on with the large tops and medium pants running as they should for the sizing of this style of garments. A good buddy of mine says they are a bit tight in the thigh area for him, but he is still able to wear them. My suggestion to him is he shouldn’t have tree trunks for legs, however he's helped on many pack-outs and I appreciate his strength. He too is still using Cadog pieces from 2012, another estimate to how they withstand abuse.
The Cadog Jacket has a lower hem with a waistband pull cord to cut the wind out, which helps prevent your body warmth from escaping out of the bottom of the jacket. Each sleeve also has a wrist cuff velcro adjustment to keep the same from happening around your hands. The fabric itself is quiet and soft to the touch. It fits very well and allows me plenty of free movement. The pit zips on the jacket are a bonus that did help regulate my core temperature a great deal.
It’s no secret that I am very fond of vests, and this kit offers a great one. The Cadog Vest is very comfortable and versatile and remains one of my favorite pieces of Kryptek gear. I often use it as a base layer or just as a vest paired up with something like a Merino top for when it warms up. Plus, when the temperature drops, a vest really helps keep my core warm, and who doesn’t like that?
I will say that the pants have worn quite a bit faster that the jacket over the years. When going through the sharp briars and underbrush, the pants obviously wear a bit faster than upper garments. They do a pretty good job with brush and plants that stick at your clothing and have remained durable. I have found that getting cactus out of the material can be a challenge as it remains in the layers and can be hard to find. When you think you have it all out, you put the clothes back on only to find you missed some of those pesky pricks! Barbwire has always been something that will ruin clothing in a hurry, but these do a good job of not ripping easily if snagged when crossing a fence or other sharp objects.
Kryptek has also added the Cadog Gloves to the collection as well, and they have proven extremely effective. These gloves are a glomitt style glove, allowing you to expose your fingers as necessary. The fold over finger mitt folds back and secures in place with a magnet, a huge benefit perfect for cold days.
Overall, this is a kit that has withstood the test of time and become a favorite that remains in my arsenal as one of my go to kits. There are certain conditions where the Cadog is best suited and when we arrive to the mid and late season, I’ll be reaching for my Cadog gear.