I've been wearing the Kast Hell Razor Vest for a few months now and have more than a few fishing and hunting trips under my belt with it. So far I absolutely love it. I've never been much of a vest guy for whatever reason, but this thing has definitely changed my stance on vests. If you've been in the shop over the past month you've probably seen me wearing the vest, it has without a doubt become my new favorite layer. The review is below and I'll admit it's a bit on the rosey side but when you like a product this much it'll show.
I purchased the Hell Razor ahead of a late season trip to Fort Peck Reservoir looking for pike, bass, or whatever else wanted to chomp on our flies. I ended up wearing the vest all weekend over a sweatshirt or long sleeve tech shirt... Mornings were cold so I threw on a sweatshirt and the vest over the top for our runs down lake. The Hell Razor is designed to be "windproof, water-resistant, and thermally efficient." I can definitely attest to the fact that it is windproof. Morning runs in the boat were brutal on my arms and legs but my core kept me warm enough to deal with the short runs. The micro-fleece pockets and collar also helped to keep my hands and neck warm. Once the sun came out I would shed the sweatshirt and wear the vest with a long sleeve tech-shirt which worked wonderfully. The Hell Razor kept my core warm but because it's sleeveless (obviously) I wasn't hot while casting 10 and 12 weight fly rods all day.
Like stated earlier, the vest is listed as water-resistant and I think you can call it that with confidence. It's by no means going to keep you dry in a downpour (doesn't have sleeves, remember) but when making runs around the lake I'd take a few shots of water over the bow of the boat and the vest would be dry by the time we arrived at our destination. The Primaloft insulation is in my opinion a better option when compared to down insulation for what we're using it for as fishermen and hunters. It will keep you warm even when wet unlike down vests or jackets.
My favorite part of the jacket? It's durable. I run an aluminum Bass Tracker and it has nicks along the rails from various adventures that have made quick work of other down jackets I own. A number of times I heard the Hell Razor catch one of these burs and immediately thought I'd ruined it. Not the case, I couldn't even see a scratch or mark where I had rubbed up against the boat. I would have been bleeding down feathers if I had been wearing my other jacket.
Typically sizing with Kast Gear runs a little on the big size but from what I can tell the Hell Razor Vest is on par with most outerwear/layering. I'm 5' 9" and 185 lbs but a bit big in the shoulders and I typically wear a large shirt, jacket, or base layer. I ended up with a size large vest after trying on a medium but I did take into account that I want to wear some bulkier clothing on underneath it so I probably could have sized down if I just planned on wearing the vest around town with minimal clothing underneath.
What I don't like about this vest... I'm going to have to get really nitpicky because there isn't much. I guess that the collar can be a bit tall at times but honestly this is a pro when your out in the cold with it. Plus if you roll it down, it stays down. I'll make sure and update this if there are any issues that come up over time.
This is the first piece of Kast Gear I've purchased but it won't be the last. I beat the snot out of gear and will always come back to a company that makes bombproof equipment.
If you're around town and looking for a great layer stop in and try one on, you won't regret it. You can always purchase one online at our store as well. Click Here to view the Hell Razor online.
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