FORLOH is a fairly new apparel company 100% made in the USA. I wondered how good the new underdog could be and wanted to give them a thorough and honest review while backcountry hunting. They claimed industry leading technology with the top features hunters were asking for in camo with the bonus that it’s entirely American made. By now I’ve put my FORLOH camo through the wringer while bowhunting, backpacking, and backcountry skiing. I ended up with the most memorable bull elk I’ve harvested, a once in a lifetime non-typical titan on a general season over the counter tag. You can listen to my story of bowhunting this bull on the Hunt Backcountry Podcast Episode 316 which you can stream on any podcast app or click here.
I initially wondered if FORLOH could be the American made camo I was waiting for and looked forward to testing it out. FORLOH’s high tech manufacturing techniques were familiar to me from technical apparel for mountaineering and backcountry skiing like Arc’teryx top of the line clothing. Effective camo patterns with features like sonic welded seamless construction, true waterproof breathable softshell fabrics, waterproof zippers, durable and stretchy insulating fabrics, and side zip ventilation for pushing myself in adverse conditions are exactly the next gen features I yearned for.
The FORLOH camo I bought and review here includes:
I ordered my camo in the Exposed camo pattern except that I opted for the Deep Cover camo for my softshell jacket.
Over the course of the Spring, Summer, and Fall I put the camo through fun “tests” of many days and nights spent backpack scouting, hunting, and harvesting my archery elk. I wore my camo in the rain, on warm sunny days, cool nights, and frost covered mornings. I was comfortable throughout the conditions. To be frank FORLOH met and even surpassed my expectations.
The materials, stitching, and sonic welding are top quality and well executed. Some of the fine details I appreciated were the quiet YKK reverse coil zippers, reinforced elbow and knee fabric, water resistant and durable knee pads, and ventilation zippers. I loved welcoming in the breeze through side zippers on warm days. As far as comfort in motion, the fit and joint articulation were superb on each piece of apparel. With the stretchy materials, crawling around and taking shots with my bow felt great. I also prefer having knee pads on my pants for crawling and kneeling. The softshell jacket was definitely waterproof (35k/mm) as I tested it in some hard rain storms. I look forward to using my softshell for future winter hunts and also while backcountry skiing. I liked that the Stretch Woven Pants were water resistant but of course the DWR finish couldn’t resist soaking through while bushwhacking through wet brush, but I didn’t expect it to. You’d need waterproof pants like FORLOH’s Rain Pants for that, and that’s why I normally wear waterproof gaiters when it’s wet. Regarding my mesh hat, it’s great. The hat fits nicely, it’s well made, stays cool, and keeps the sun out of my eyes while matching my camo.
So how did my FORLOH camo perform while hunting? I came within 15-40 yd of elk on multiple occasions including 2 satellite bulls who looked straight through me, 5 separate close range mule deer encounters including 2 decent bucks within 50 yd (didn’t draw out for my buck tag), and non-habituated turkeys also within easy bow range. Including the bull elk which I detail below, I’d say that’s successful.
On the Hunt
I detailed my latest archery elk hunt on my Instagram account @AmericanGearGuide more or less as follows – “So grateful and humbled by this beautiful giant. He’ll feed my family and friends for a year. I believe this is the same non-typical ghost bull I’ve been following for the past two years on this general season public land hunt in the back backcountry. Effort, patience, and luck came through!
He roared back to bugles and cow calls but as usual never came out of thick cover. I owe a huge amount of gratitude to Beau @beau.beus for distracting him with calls while I crawled through ridiculous brush to close within 35 yds and shoot through a little 20×20 inch window. Presenting a perfect broadside nearing last light my arrow had a full pass through just above the heart and through both lungs ensuring a quick end. I immediately cow called and he woozily bedded within just 30 yds. I didn’t need to but knew I could get another arrow in so I carefully crawled up, cow called and snuck in a 2nd broadside 45-50 yd shot at last light.”
You can also find a more in depth account of the hunt as well as why I created American Gear Guide on the Hunt Backcountry Podcast Episode 316 which you can stream on any podcast app or click here.
In short, I’ve found my favorite camo with FORLOH and would buy it again if it were somehow lost. I’ve compared it directly to some of my friends similarly priced higher end Kuiu and Sitka camo and I would rather wear FORLOH. I think that says it all. I hope my honest review has been helpful and I hope it supports a great local manufacturer who does things right by supporting American jobs and making excellent gear. FORLOH also crafts a variety of other apparel that I didn’t review including camo down puffies, rain jackets, thin camo sun shirts for hot weather, and fishing apparel. You can only find FORLOH camo directly through their website: FORLOH.com or their store in Whitefish, Montana.
*Update Winter 2023
I’ve really put my Forloh apparel through the wringer with two more years of use hunting, backpacking, and backcountry skiing. This American made clothing has withstood the pressure and successfully harvested an archery Muley buck taken within 9 ft while standing on a game trail in plain view.
As I suspected, the AllClima Stretch Woven Softshell makes an excellent winter jacket for skiing and snowmobiling. It has in fact replaced my custom NWT3K ski jacket. FYI, the AllClima Softshell was the jacket I wore when I tore my ACL, LCL, and meniscus while backcountry skiing deep in the Tetons.
Below are some photos that illustrate the camo in some of the environments I hunt.
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