The key to a good turkey vest comes down to simple thing: pockets. Whitewater addresses that need and more with its Cut n' Run Turkey Vest.
Shortly before turkey season kicked off, my hunting buddy, Eleazar Soto, took some practice shots while wearing the Cut n' Run Turkey Vest. One of the first things he noticed? The pockets. The vest has 15 pockets: two large zip pockets, two zip slate call pockets, two striker pockets, two diaphragm call (mouth call) pockets, two side mesh pockets, two pouch pockets with elastic shell loops, two elasticized pockets inside front panels and one zip pouch pocket with internal organization pockets.
Cuttin' Up. The Whitewater Cut n' Run Turkey Vest won us over with its many pockets and overall comfort.
Now, could that be too many pockets? Not if you use them properly. As stated above, the pockets primarily have their own use, such as each different type of call. That makes quietly reaching for a call easy — no rummaging through pockets to find what you want. Though the mesh pockets aren't particularly used for calls, they could be a good spot to store diaphragm/mouth calls, which will help the call dry out when not in use.
The individual pockets also mean less chance of items moving around, creating noise that will spook the skittish gobblers. The vest features elastic loops for shells, as well as individual "slots" for strikers. Pretty much anything you might need to carry on you has a secure space.
The next important feature a vest needs is comfort. This vest comes in two sizes: medium/large and XL/2 XL. Eleazar used the medium/large, which fits 38- to 44-inch chest size. If you're smaller, expect it to be loose. Fortunately the vest has plenty of adjustable straps to help, including three chest straps.
One small note about the adjustable shoulder straps: Eleazar said he was concerned about the placement of the adjustment fastener on the front shoulder. While placing his shotgun on his shoulder for a shot, he said the butt of the gun rested on the fastener, which could cause some discomfort.
When it came time to use the vest in the elements, Eleazar said he was impressed with the comfort the back cushion provided when leaning up against a tree. The shoulder blade areas on the vest come with vertical strips of cushion, which made leaning up against a tree more comfortable. To help the back area, the molded-foam flip-down seat can help provide support when it's not flipped down.
When it comes time to take a seat while reeling in a gobbler, the flip-down seat provides a very nice, 2-inch cushion. The only real issue is the ability to easily reach the clips on each side to allow the cushion to drop down to be used. If you'd rather not have it remain attached to the vest when dropped down, another clip will allow you to unfasten it.
Also on the back of the vest is a lined large game bag in lower back panel. It can also be used for toting decoys. That being said, the back of the vest also has a tuck-in blaze flag for safety.
With turkeys having the keen ability to see colors, it's very important to choose the right camouflage for your seasonal hunt. Unfortunately, the Cut n' Run Turkey Vest only comes in one pattern — Realtree AP — while some turkey vests are offered in several patterns.
All in all, the vest looks and feels durable while also not being too heavy. The pockets and back and shoulder pads make the usability and comfort a great find. While the vest is in the upper price range, you definitely get what you pay for with the Cut n' Run Turkey Vest.