I don’t know what it’s like where you’re from or where you hunt but here in Wisconsin and Minnesota, it’s cold. Like really cold. Last year I went out on a sit New Years Eve and it was -10 with a -25 windchill. After a couple hours, my buddy Richie and I got up to leave and my chair came with me; I didn’t pick it up, it literally froze to my pants! It was the shortest sit I think I’ve ever done when bowhunting. I knew we couldn’t be the only crazy people trying to hunt and set out on a mission to find something that would let me hunt when everyone else was back at the cabin drinking coffee.
I went home and just started googling, reading through tons of forums on Archerytalk.com and Rokslide and any piece of information I could find on something that was the best. After a few weeks of searching and researching I had narrowed my search to a few items, the Heater Body Suit(HBS) and the IWOM. The Heater Body Suit is basically just a big camo sleeping bag that you unzip when you want to shoot, it works great from everything I read but what happens when that deer doesn’t go where you want? You could be left exposed, losing all that precious heat, for 10-20 minutes or more! No thanks! I wanted something to stay contained. So i started looking more and more at the IWOM, it’s a full containment suit that can be rolled up into a self contained pack with a strap, worn as a parka, or worn fully containing your legs and feet! It really has the ultimate versatility. This really piqued my interest.
I already knew I didn’t want the HBS and the IWOM seemed flawless; it was warm, waterproof, and fully contained. It was exactly what I was looking for so I bought it. I got it and tried it on, this thing looked awesome! I wore it to stand one day, in the packed form, in late October in Wisconsin when it was mid 20’s and here’s where my review really starts. The first thing I liked was how easy it is to pack in and out. Getting it on is a bit of a chore since you have to slide it on from the bottom and crawl through the whole thing; not a huge deal but when you’re 25 feet up in the tree it’s less than fun, it might be better had I practiced putting it on more. Once it was on though, this thing was warm, all I wore was a light merino baselayer from Scheels, sweat pants/shirt. and my Irish Setter rubber boots. I was toasty warm all morning sit. I could’ve sat all day if I didn’t have to go help track a deer. Here’s where I had a problem with the IWOM and any full containment suit that I didn’t originally think about, fabric on the metal base of the stand makes noise when you need to move and moving your feet quietly is not easy in these. However, there’s a pretty simple solution and actually one I’ve been meaning to do for awhile now anyway to combat cold feet in the stand, a thin rubber mat or even chunk of old carpet cut to the size of your platform! It’s helps insulate your boots from the cold metal stand and for the IWOM, it will combat the noise.
My favorite stand for the IWOM is actually a ground blind. It contains your movement anyway so any extra movement in minimalized, and it’s one more thing protecting you from the elements(wind,snow, rain). With a few small stand modifications, I will be able to sit all day next winter and I am super excited for that. I’m already out for this winter after my labrum repair surgery so I’m prepping like a mad man for next season!
If you hunt in the cold and have any tips, I’d love to hear them. Or maybe you have some unanswered questions from my post, drop a comment and I’ll see if I can answer them for you! Good luck and stay warm!