|Product Review of The Heater
Body Suit by Linda Burch
First let me say, when it comes to hunting and archery gear, I am the
world's greatest skeptic of new fangled stuff, and I am set in my ways.
I am happy with all my gear and clothes and boots, for the most part. But
you know, I still get cold hands and feet and I always will unless the
temperature is over sixty degrees.
"SIXTY DEGREES ?!" you say? Although sixty degrees is considered
downright tropical in Minnesota, I have a condition called Reanaud's
Syndrome, where the circulation in my hands, feet and tip of my nose shut
down even in SLIGHTLY cool temperatures. The rest of me can be toasty,
but the feet and hands are dead. I now use a hand muff with chemical
warmers for the hand problem, and a full ski mask for the nose problem,
but I've never conquered cold feet. It's a real nuisance, and since
I also have a high pain threshold, it is a very real danger when the temperatures
dip below freezing. I constantly have to be wary of hypothermia and
Enter the Heater Body Suit. Skeptical Linda took one look at this
giant camo marshmallow thing with legs and booties, and thought "YA RIGHT
But since I am sick of having cold feet & sick of having that icy
cold creeping up from my feet to my legs until I am so cold I cannot think
straight & sick of hunts being ruined because shivering and early stage
hypothermia drive me out of my treestand... well, I decided to try the
I took my Heater Body Suit out of the box, put it on the floor all rolled
up, and circled like a cat circles a dead mouse. It looked
like a small Advantage Camo sleeping bag, neatly wrapped with backpack
straps. I unfurled the critter and gave it a test run at home in
my living room, getting into and out of it a few times until I felt confident
I could do the process in my tree stand. Both the outside and inside
of the Heater Body Suit were soft and quiet, with extra thick quilting
in the lower leg and foot area. I practiced unzipping the suit and
letting it fall away as if readying for a bow shot. The suit, once attached
to the body with the interior straps, slid off my shoulders and fell away
easily for drawing my bow. It was plenty big enough inside
to allow for unseen movement or for a gear pouch to be worn.
And I was impressed with how quiet the zipper was. Then I hit the
Minnesota had a warm Fall and early Winter this year, so I waited for
that first really cold December day to try my Heater Body Suit. It
snowed the night before, and the temp was 15 degrees with winds gusting
that morning hunt, I wore my usual uniform: Smart Wool thermals (2
layers on top, 1 on bottom), Padagonia Expedition Weight fleece thermals
over that, a Cabelas wool sweater with Windstopper lining, Browning Insulated
hydrofleece quad jack and insulated bibs, Smartwool heavyweight hunting
socks, Rocky 120 degree below Snowstalkers and my hand muff with fleece
gloves. I had chemical warmer in both my muff AND the chest pocket
of my coat. After three hours on my stand, I couldn't feel my legs
from the knees down. The hunt was over.
For the evening hunt, it was Heater Body Suit time. It was now
20 degrees and the winds were still gusting. I decided to give
that Suit the acid test. I wore mid-Fall weight clothes... same thermals,
cotton chamois camo jeans, the Cabelas sweater, a lighter weight short
thin quilted camo jacket, Smartwool hiking weight socks, and Rocky Stalkers
with only 400 grams thinsulate. My 18 year old son took one look
at me and asked "Are you crazy? Are you really going to hunt
in this weather dressed like THAT?" Determined, I plopped my Body Heater
Suit on my back, and set out for my stand, hoping he was wrong.
It was really nice not to sweat on the trek to my treestand for a change.
The Suit was lightweight and comfortable to carry and getting into my
portable hang on stand with it was a snap. I hooked up my safety
belt, hauled up my bow, and put on the booties and the suit. I then
reattached the safety belt on the outside of the suit, put on my camo ski
mask, and settled in with no chemical warmers and no heavy winter gear.
To top it off, I had come down with a miserable head cold the day before
and was already feeling chillier than normal. I had to slightly unzip
the suit several times to blow my nose quietly, and that zipper really
was totally quiet. And I just KNEW my feet would get cold, because
they ALWAYS get cold. But you know, after 3-1/2
hours, I was warm, my hands were warm and my feet were pretty toasty with
just the very beginnings of feeling chilly. Amazing.
If you hunt from a portable stand, I would recommend a couple of practice
runs with the Suit before you hunt, both putting it on and performing some
practice runs with your gun or bow like you would with any new clothing
or gear item. I would also recommend some sort of stand
or tree attachment to hold your bow or gun so you can access it more easily.
The suit does not lend itself to placing your weapon in your lap.
My particular stand has a bow holder attachment, which was ideal.
Once I got the photos back from field testing this product, I was also
impressed with how well concealed I was in the Heater Body Suit.
I literally looked like a clump of oak leaves, and when December bow hunting
from naked trees, this is was an unexpected benefit.
The Heater Body Suit comes in Advantage Camo, Blaze and Snow White,
with Windproof or Waterproof options. I tested a size medium Advantage
Camo with the windproof feature. I would recommend the Heater Body
Suit to anyone who has a tendency to get cold, has circulation problems,
wants to stay on stand for long periods of time in cold weather, wants
to be invisible to deer, or simply has a long walk to their stand and doesn't
want to sweat up their clothes. The Suit does what it says.
It keeps you warm in the coldest weather, it's easy to get into and out
of, it falls away easily for taking a shot, and it's totally quiet.
Two thumbs up from this hunter.
TSS Heater Body Suit
TSS Equipment Company
14302 Pigeon River Rd.
Cleveland, WI 53015