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March 2024
Author: Stanton Upson

A few years back, I can vividly recall walking into the Salt Lake expo, heading towards our booth. I walked past this big setup and thought another cool patterned camo company with a giant velvet deer in the booth, only to be surprised as I advanced closer to find out it was Kings! This obviously drew me in closer. It was their brand new XK7 pattern, nothing like the traditional Kings I was used to seeing on the racks at the big box store. Being from Utah, I was already accustomed to Kings Camo, but nothing more than a few pieces here and there of desert shadow for coyote hunting. Nothing was added to my “technical” gear list for hunting big game. As the years went by, I continued to see this camo popping up on social media, from archery hunts to late rifle hunts in both warm and cold weather. My interest continued to grow until finally in 2023 enough was enough and Kings was getting added to my gear room. I pre-season scouted, hunted Utah’s dedicated hunter program, archery, muzzleloader, and rifle general deer hunts, and had an over-the-counter multi-season spike tag. I also pulled a Colorado antelope tag I had been waiting for years to pull the trigger on and knew Kings was making the trip with me.

Now, this is not a sales pitch. To be quite honest with you, I hate being “bought.” If you are on social media, you’ll know that there is a lot of that that goes around. I volunteered to write this article because it’s a product I believe in. In fact, Kings is finding out about this article at the same time as you are.

When I first started looking at their website, I found myself on their “five- layer system” tab of their home page. Talk about leading the charge! As you can imagine, I have surfed plenty of hunting companies’ websites, but the ability to compare and shop all five layers is above and beyond anything I have ever seen. Being able to compare and assess the products for their true intent definitely helped me make my selections efficiently and not get lost in the weeds. I’d like to highlight a few of my favorite pieces after putting them through the ringer this last fall.


This is by far my number one piece. The versatility of the pants with the hip zips is something that you cannot go without, especially with 30-degree temperature swings. Most mornings would start out in the 40s, and the midday afternoons would climb up into the mid 70s. I really liked the ability to moderate my temperature without having to cycle through multiple bottom layers. The added benefit of electing to go with the Preacher Pant over the Ridge or Draft Pant was the kneepads. Last fall, I headed to Colorado to chase antelope, and this was unlike most antelope hunts as I spent more time crawling on stalks than anything. When I got back to the office, I described it as the most bowhunt-like rifle hunt I had ever been on. These antelope were extremely cagy in a wide-open country. The kneepads were great for the dirt alone, but the cactus was horrendous, as well as taking care of the antelope in the field.


The Elevation Hoodie was by far my go-to upper piece on the hunt. I have always liked the benefit of having a hoodie type mid-layer in my layering systems as I can couple it with a few pieces like the Elevation Tee and the Foundation 150 1/4 Zip, as well as wearing it as a standalone piece as I do with most of my hunts. The added cover of being a long sleeve with a hood is impeccable, especially with a species like antelope that you are glassing all throughout the day, including the hot middle part of the day with the sun beating on you.


One of my big “YES!” moments was when I began looking at the Paramount rain gear, although I didn’t hunt in very many inclement weather situations last fall. Rain gear is an often overlooked and underappreciated piece of your system until you need it. Speaking of overlooked, the Paramount Rain Pants did not miss when it came to a huge want. There is a full-length zipper that runs down the side of your pants. Let me tell you, you need to get a pair with a zipper. If you don’t have one, you have to take your boots off every time you add or subtract your layers. It seems small, but in a hurry to get them on or sweating in the heat of the moment to get them hogs off, it is sure appreciated.


The Elevation Tee is my go-to base layer. I really liked the lightweight performance fit and breathability of this piece, especially as the days heated up. Another note about this piece, as well as most of the upper layers, is the extended length of the garment. In the past, I always struggled to keep my shirt tucked in during the constant ups and downs, eventually leaving me looking like a rag doll by the end of a good morning’s glass. It may seem like a small feature, but a chilly ridgetop on a breezy morning will have you feeling otherwise.


Later in the fall, I sometimes like to switch from the Elevation short sleeve to the ultra- breathable Merino of the Foundation 150. Contrary to most Merino, the garment was extremely comfortable in fit and was not itchy! An added benefit to the Foundation 150 was the 1/4 zip for temperature control when I didn’t exactly have a good time to rearrange my layers mid-stalk. Again, the extra length of the garment was greatly appreciated.

Kings has come so far in the industry and rivals the top brands as far as quality, pricing, and practicality. They have been around since the early 2000s and have always been a part of hunting. Maybe it’s because we live in Utah, but you would see it sported every morning of the deer hunt at your local gas station. However, recently, their layer systems have come into the market and are making a good push in the right direction to be one of the top companies. If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I’m excited for the years to come with Kings on my back and in my pack! Check out the gear in the Gear Fool store, and give us a call if you have any questions.

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