Reports Reviews and Comments

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Q5 Centerfire

“Just wanted to drop you guys a line and tell you how happy I am with my Centerfire vest. I purchased my Centerfire early last season sight unseen. Up until I purchased mine I’d never seen one in person her in Idaho and couldn’t find any well written reviews so I was fairly hesitant given its price. However, immediately upon receipt and finally getting to put my hands on one, it was clear I’d made a good choice. The quality of material was readily apparent. After two solid seasons of hunting upland I haven’t had a single issue and imagine I won’t for quite some time. Early in the season I regularly carry 2 liters of water for the dog and another 2 liters for me in the bottle holders and bladder. A box of shells, first aid kit for the dog, satellite messenger, snack, and a GoPro and I put more weight into my Centerfire than some carry in their truck, and that’s before adding birds. I wouldn’t contemplate such an endevour with a standard vest but the weight quickly dissipates with the Centerfire. I only notice how heavy my vest is when I go to take it off at the end of a long day. That’s how efficiently the vest transfers weight to your hips. I didn’t start with the intent of carting so much stuff with me but it quickly became apparent that I could without any issues.

I’ve recommended the Centerfire to a few people and I’m proud to say that three others are just as happy with their purchase as I am. Thanks again and keep up the good work.” ~ Jason

“Wore the vest hunting wild pheasants this weekend. Great vest!” ~ Adrian

“I received my new Centerfire vest yesterday and WOW I am really impressed. The fit and details of the vest are excellent. I am very much looking forward to logging some miles this fall chasing birds. Thanks!!” ~ Joe

“When I found out about this vest, I had to get my hands on it. After hunting for years with packs or vests that lacked certain features, the Centerfire Upland Bird Vest appeared to fill all the holes. So, toward the end of last season I managed to get one and use it a few times. It took a while to set up properly because of its infinite adjustability, but once I dialed it in, it performed as expected. Better, actually. Overall, I don’t think there’s a better upland vest available (although I haven’t tried them all), and the price tag – at the higher end of the scale – is more than fair for the features and quality of the product. If your current vest doesn’t offer adequate carrying capacity for gear and birds, the Centerfire might be the ticket.

Storage: you can pretty much load this vest with everything but the kitchen sink. It has so many pockets you might need a spreadsheet to track where you put things. Most of the pockets are adjustable, too, so you can move them laterally along the hip belt to suit your style of hiking, and the shell pockets – big enough to hold a box of shells each – have a zipper and a Velcro flap; thoughtful design (although I’d prefer the flaps have radius or rounded instead of 90-degree corners because they kept poking my skinny bare arms – something I hadn’t noticed last season when I wore long sleeves; not a big deal, but a wee naggy thing.) With the full version of the vest (they offer a base model, too, to which you can pick and choose your pockets), you also get a removable daypack, which I never used because I didn’t fill up the other pockets. But if you’re going on an all-day hike in weather that could change drastically, you could load this vest up with everything you could possibly need and never worry about where to put stuff, even if you limited on multiple species.

Bird “pouch”: Speaking of birds, the pouch might better be described as a “porch” or even a “carport.” It’s big, and easily the easiest to load of any vest I’ve used. And you can easily remove it to clean it out. I haven’t seen this type of game bag on any vest before, and it’s one of the most innovative things about this vest, in my opinion.

Hydration: Water’s probably the most important thing to bring if you hunt with dogs. This vest features a pouch to put a hydration bladder in, as well as removable water bottle pockets, which would allow you to bring – in these three spots alone (there’s room elsewhere for more bottles) – 164 ounces of water. My back hurts just thinking about that. I’m not a bottle guy, so I only use a bladder, and my 100-ounce bladder extends past the fairly shallow built-in pouch, but there’s a thoughtful snap-strap that allows you to secure the top of a bladder (if the bladder has a loop or hook on the top of it; mine does, but not all do) so it doesn’t collapse in the vest. To take the bladder out requires undoing three snaps and the Velcro closure at the top of the mesh cover and unthreading the hose, which is fairly simple compared to other vests I’ve used a bladder in. I’m not exactly sure why the bladder pouch couldn’t be deeper on the Centerfire, but maybe it’s to accommodate the smaller pouches out there. For my 100-ounce bladder, though, I’d like a deeper pouch; another wee naggy thing.

Usability and Comfort: Although I haven’t loaded the Centerfire to capacity, I’m confident that if I did it would handle the load with stability and comfort. The padded shoulder straps are contoured around the neck in a smart “yoke” which distributes the upper load better than other packs I’ve used. But the big deal on this vest is the padded hip belt, which carries – very stably and comfortably – as much as you can throw at it. No matter the terrain or angle of incline or descent, I rarely if ever felt I was carrying anything. It’s really that comfortable. Of course, you’re going to feel it hiking up steep hills, but this vest isn’t what I noticed. I noticed the fact that I should be in better shape, and that whoever invented gravity should be shot, and that chukar hunting might be more fun on the moon, and stuff like that.

Quality: These vests are made by a small company – really just a couple with some help – down in Arizona. It is simply amazing to me that they can produce the variety of products they do, with all the design variations and options, and with the quality that is so obvious on the Centerfire vest. All the stitching, seams, attachments, and other workmanship are as good as I’ve ever seen, better, actually. The materials they use are the best, too: the Cordura is heavy-duty, the D-rings, zippers, snaps and Velcro (or whatever we’re calling the hook-and-loop stuff these days) are all solid and should last longer than I will. In addition to the quality of their products, Q5 promotes another kind of quality, which you might refer to as “equality”: a percentage of every sale supports Arizona Outdoor Adventures, which helps acquaint under-privileged kids with healthy outdoor recreation. Impressive and inspiring.

Picayune: There are some things I don’t like about the Centerfire, though, which aren’t the vest’s fault at all and have more to do with the style of hunting I find myself doing more often than not. The main thing is the vest’s size: you can’t have all that storage capacity without sizeable volume. The Centerfire is a relatively wide and deep vest – the side pockets (mounted on the hip belt behind the shell pockets) extend out a ways, which I noticed when busting through brush looking for grouse or in thickets trying to retrieve downed chukar. Similarly, the generous but rigid bird pouch extends back fairly far, which I noticed getting caught on Hawthorn brush and other branches in heavy vegetation. If I were hunting only in open terrain, or going after pheasants, I wouldn’t think twice about having this as my go-to or only vest. But for some reason I almost always find myself at least once in heavy brush, no matter what kind of hunting I’m doing.

Overall, the Q5 Centerfire Upland Bird Vest is easily the best quality vest with the most desirable features I’ve used. If you don’t find yourself trying to squeeze into or through places where you probably shouldn’t go anyways (maybe I’ll learn one of these days), then do yourself a favor and get this vest. You won’t be sorry.” ~ Bob McMichael of www.chukarhunting.net

 

“I just received a new Q5 Centerfire vest. While I haven’t used it yet in the field, my initial impression is that this is a excellent quality product. The material seems like it will be very durable without seeming overly stiff. There are plenty of pockets to put everything, the shell pouches are nicely sized, the game bag is large and the waist belt is very supportive and feels “right” once the adjustments are made on the vest.

The vest is very adjustable. I am 6’5″ and the vest easily lengthened to fit me and the adjustments would have accommodated an even taller person. The straps / harness that fit over the shoulders is very comfortable and an improvement in comfort over simple straps. As the Quilomene website states, there is minimal padding in the shoulder straps in the gun mount area. This was important to me as I’ve had to cut out useless padding in other vests to make for a better gun mount area. The vest’s game bag has some structure on the sides so the game bag stays square / open at the edges which greatly improves the ease of putting things in the game bag. I’ve typically leaned heavily towards a front loading vest in the past but this innovative feature has convinced me I don’t need that. The vest will hold plenty of water. The bottle holders on each side easily hold a 22 oz plastic water bottle. There is also a internal bladder pouch in the game bag area made for a water bladder. I’ve got one of those 50 oz. oval shaped bottles from Wing Works and it fit nicely in that pocket. The game bag is big enough that it could hold more water if you needed more than 100 oz. The pack on on the back of the vest is removable and I imagine I will normally hunt without the pack since there is another large zippered pocket on the back of the vest that will easily hold the things I normally take along and there is also an external strap that one could use to strap on additional layers of clothing that might be needed.

I tend to be picky about my “outdoor wear” since I spend so much time in it, but all in all I would say that this vest appears to be excellently designed and excellently made. I’ve heard this said about Quilomene products before, but you truly can tell that this product was designed but somebody that hunts a lot. The only negative comment I could make is that I wish the water bottle holders were a little bigger. It looks like there is room in the vest design to make them bigger / a little wider. They easily hold the slim style 22 oz water bottles but they don’t easily fit the 32 oz water bottles I normally carry. Besides that, I really can’t think of anything else I would change on the vest. Once I start putting some miles on it that may change, but as of now, it looks “just right.”

A final thank you is due to Brad and Upland Journal. It’s fair to say that the primary reason I ordered the Q5 is because I was aware of the company since they are a sponsor of this website as well as the many positive comments about their products that I have read from other Upland Journal members. Thanks to both Brad and the other members for making me aware of this company. I will be enjoying this vest for years to come.” ~ Todd

 


“…I’ve attached three photos of some chukar and your centerfire vest…Thanks for making such a good product.” ~ Adam

 

“I have the Q5 Centerfire. I have back problems and fibromyalgia. This vest distributes weight so well I can go a long time with water and guiding for pheasant and I don’t get the severe burning in my shoulders like other vests I have used cause me. I can also get on and off my horse easily with the Centerfire vest when I judge for NSTRA trials or have a chance to wild bird hunt.
Thank You Dan for an AWESOME Product.

Also, I was able to fit 9 pheasants in the back area without feeling like I was being pulled down, making it much easier for my lower back issues”. ~ Arlette Hennessey

 

“Love the vest. Have had big South Dakota runs and some quick MN versions. This morning on a 10 degree day, two bird limit and side hill humping no issue fully loaded. Great product!!” ~ Daron

 

Q5 Hunter Review via CouesWhitetail.com Forum


Read the Nevada Chukar Hunters Review – Part 2


Q5 for squirrels and rabbits?


Read the Nevada Chukar Hunters Review – Part 1


Read the 2013 AZ Wanderings Q5 Centerfire Bird Vest Review #2


Read the 2013 AZ Wanderings Q5 Centerfire Bird Vest Review #1


Q5 Upland Bird Vests were represented well thanks to Luke Huberty of Northland Dog Supply at the February, 2014 National Pheasant & Quail Fest in Milwaukee, WI.


“I received my new Q5 Centerfire vest today and wanted to give my first impression. I am in no way associated with Q5, and have only met and talked to Dan Priest once. I paid full price from the Q5 website and am simply a rabid bird hunter who hunts over pointing dogs. This post is not solicited in anyway and until I post it, no one knows I am writing it.

First, I wanted to tell you that I primarily hunt Mearns Quail and Chukar with other species thrown in as the opportunity presents. I also tend to be a loner because I am serious about what I do and if I want to take off to the top of the far ridge, I don’t want to be held back by someone not as dedicated. Call me selfish, but it works for me. I hunt behind two Brittanys and get 100% more enjoyment watching the dogs than shooting a bird. My britts are trial and hunting dogs, so I treat every bird encounter as a training situation for trials. I never shoot birds that were not pointed unless it is a solid “stop to flush”. Because of the dogs and that I often end up several miles away from my vehicle, I take a lot of stuff with me including lots of water.

My prior vest (I just plane flat wore it out) was a Wingworks vest that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was very well made, durable and was all that I could ever hope for at the time that I got it. However, it had a few shortfalls that I learned to live with by adaptation and a few modifications.

When it came time to replace my old vest, I was torn by getting another WW or a replacement. Being a person who researches, the only vest I could see entertaining was the Q5 Centerfire. Lucky for me, I am in AZ and a few months ago, I called Dan Priest and he eagerly met me so I could see the vest first hand. My very first impression was how much lighter it was than the WW and the fact that it’s design would keep me so much cooler on hot days. I also liked durability, the layout of the storage and that it had a lot more of it, not to mention the water possibilities. All in all, my mind was made up at that time, but giving up my WW was like giving up a trusted bird dog. For the past few months, I have been mulling it over and since bird season is upon us, I made the decision that in my heart, is definitely the best for me.

The package arrived in a box and upon opening; the vest was neatly put into a very handy storage bag. I can see keeping it in there to and from the field. Nice touch.
The craftsmanship is absolutely flawless with pride shown in each stitch. Since I have watched Dan’s YouTube videos several times, I instinctively fit the vest very quickly and then began adding weight to see how it would feel. I must say, I really like this vest! However, time in the field will be the final decision, but so far, it is a home run! Of course, I can see how I would improve some minor aspects. Trust me, for me to improve and not want to make changes, is a big complement. I made “changes” to the WW, not improvements.

Thank you Dan for the well-made and well thought out vest. I am anxious to put it to the test of time.” ~ Rod Ogilvie

 

“I received my pack a few days, ago. After opening the package, I felt very fortunate to be able to have a product of this quality. I went over it with a fine tooth comb. I found one stitch that I suspected, to be out of place. That made me even happier. Especially, in this “disposable world” that we live in.

I then loaded it by transferring all of my gear. My wife came into the BatCave to see what all of the commotion was about. She made a loving comment after I told her about the pack’s arrival. She said, “I love to see you smiling and getting so excited. You look like a child on Xmas day.”

Your pack, the duffel bag and Cap are my presents, this year. I have been needing a new pack for a very long time…The next day, I went out chasing, (I wanted to chase) some Chuckar and Hungarian Partridges. The pack held my Gatorade Bottles snugly. (I have Sugar Problems, so I have to bring Gatorades with me, in case I get shaky) The bottles fit inside the bottle pockets, but were tight. I felt fortunate about that, too.

I have had a water bladder, for a very long time, and have been unable to use it because of its style. The DayPack, and the tube slots/opening at the top, made that bladder finally come to life. It holds/protects it beautifully.

Upon shouldering the shotgun, the padding on the shoulder straps do not “snag” or “hang up.” That also makes me very happy!

So, all of my concerns were taken care of prior to my packs, arrival…After hiking up and down Steep grades, looking for “the Devil Bird”, I am your new biggest fan. Great Pack, Great Design, Great materials, and Great Craftsmanship.

Thanks for taking pride in all of your activities!! Your success with this pack makes me proud to be an American!!” ~ Ryan / Utah

 

“I recently purchased a q5 vest from flush and point and I have to say I love the vest. I use it for everything from upland to duck hunting. I’m going to use the vest for turkey as well as deer hunting. It is a great all around vest that I picture my self doing all my hunting with…I love it and hope to get years and years out of it. By far the most comfortable vest I have worn.” ~ Tylor

 

“I received my vest today, after only ordering it Thursday…just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your customer service, the professionalism of your company, an the outstanding craftsmanship of your product I will be highly recommending you to everyone I know, or any one who asks… I would say I would purchase from you again, but I believe that it will be a long long time till I need another vest after receiving this one. Thanks for making this purchase a pleasant experience.” ~ Travis

 

“I just wanted to thank you guys for a wonderful shopping experience. I received my upland vest last night and couldn’t be happier with the quality/utility of the product. More important/rare was the customer service I received along the way. Even though the product was backordered, you were open, honest, and accessible with your communications. I do the majority of my shopping online and this was truly a standout experience. Thanks again.” ~ Jeremy

“I just finished my 4th day of hunting with the Q5. I purchased it from Flush and Point. Great product. It is perfect for my style of hunting. I hunt the canyons of Eastern Oregon and often don’t get back to the rig for 4 or 5 hours. I also hunt with 2 dogs and that is a lot of extra water etc. to carry in the vest. My shoulders really appreciate the innovative design and the waist belt. Today I did hunt a preserve and the vest held 4 roosters and my water with room for more. Also the shell bags don’t hit my legs when I run or hike up hill. All that being said, it still has to stay in one piece for at least a few years. There are two ripped and broken strap vests hanging in the gun room which need fixing. They just can’t take the heavy loads for those long hikes. I have high hopes for the Q5. Thanks.” ~ Paul

 

The Q5 Outdoors Centerfire Upland Vest. This isn't your ordinary bird vest and I'm not your ordinary hunter. - From John O'Dell - twitter.com/sciurushunter
“The Q5 Outdoors Centerfire Upland Vest. This isn’t your ordinary bird vest and I’m not your ordinary hunter.” – John O’Dell twitter.com/sciurushunter

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Q5 Rimfire

“I received my Q5 rimfire last week and I love it! I have hunted 3 full days here in the South Carolina Low Country in pursuit of Woodcock and Bobwhite quail. I have averaged 6-8 miles per hunt and my back / shoulders no longer ache after a day in the field . Having a vest that puts the load on my hips has been a game changer! I can hunt longer and harder now. The game pouch is easy to drop birds in , my shells are essesable and don’t spill when maneuvering over obstacles I absolutely love the vest! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!” ~ Jeff

From our Rimfire Pro-staff, Jason Wright, with Thundering Aspens:

“We sure are enjoying these vests. They’ve been in use 6 days a week all day long in many different cover types since Sept. . . .The small zippered pack on the back of the rimfire holds my dog safety essentials perfectly and just last month I had a client’s dog hit a fence and filet itself open pretty bad, I was easily able to reach around unzip and pull the supplies out and stop the bleeding. It was a bad one, saved that dog just in time from bleeding out. Thank you for such a great product. As of today 84 full day hunts and the vest is doing great!” ~ Jason

“I appreciate this awesome piece of work you and your husband have designed/build, and thank you for taking the time to make sure I was satisfied with my purchase!
Also I like the generosity to give to those young children who may not have the opportunity to learn to appreciate the outdoors!” ~ Kirk

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Quilomene San Carlos

“We had a successful hunt outing up 8 Woodcock and 3 Ruffed Grouse. My hunting partner and I both use a San Carlos. His is a Y back and mine an H back. I have mention to anyone who has asked about the vest that it is the best piece of hunting kit I’ve purchased in years. … Thank you for a wonderful product and the personal touch of a phone call is extremely rare in today’s marketplace.” ~ Steve

“Thanks so much for your over-the-top customer service. I really like the San Carlos strap vest and will be sure to let my hunting friends know about your products.” ~ Brian

“Hi, just want to thank you so much for getting that strap so fast, got it the other day. Looks like the vest is complete! I’m looking forward to using it this year, sure looks to be a winner! Thanks again so much for all the great service! You folks are the best! Good Luck in the future!” ~ Greg

“I just got back from my first hunting trip with your San Carlos vest. Impressed is the best word I could use to describe the vest. It held a limit of blue grouse and kept me mobile at 10,000 feet in absolute comfort. I’m attaching some photos to show the versatility of your product. Please feel free to use them as you like and keep up the great work.” ~ Adam

Just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I enjoy my San Carlos. The vest is perfect for my style of hunting. It is top shelf quality and extremely functional. One happy customer. ~ Steve

“Hi all, well got my vest after a time of it being caught in the USPS Limbo room. It was well worth the wait. I’m very impressed with this vest, quality workmanship, plenty of storage room. Easy to adjust, fit is excellent and easy access to the game bag. Inside the game bag are 2 pockets, which you can use for water bottles or whatever. They are large enough for a good size bottle and you can get them in and out of the pockets with ease. Very impressive. There are plenty of straps/attachments on the shoulder straps to hold whatever you’d like (transmitters, cameras etc).

I did order the retractable Gear Keeper and boy what a surprise! This thing comes with several different ways to attach it to straps, belts etc. Not just some D-Ring or snap. This one has a screw “device” that you can attach the tether to just about anyplace you can think of. Can’t say enough good about this one…..best I’ve ever seen!

For a lightweight vest for hot weather, this one can’t be beat. They really knocked this one out of the park IMO!

If you get one, you won’t be disappointed! Good show Q5.” ~ Greg

 

“I just might have found my forever vest…

I never had a San Carlos when Tim (?) had the company. Boy, do I regret that! Your improvements really make this my go-to vest. I’ve mentioned my zipper issues with the Q5, and while the all-day Quilomene is good, the San Carlos H-back might have it beat.

Plenty of water storage, and its location means no stress on the shoulder straps. On the all-day Quilomene, load up two Camelbacks and it’s pretty snug. I gotta confess, I’ve customized the H-back, adding your electronics pocket to one shoulder strap and putting my survival gear into a Q5 shell pocket and hanging it from the “H” in back. I might just use the version with water bottle pocket there next time.

I just finished a consulting assignment for another vest maker and yours has theirs beat, hands-down. One thing you might consider is promoting the modularity of your components – mix and match, create your own, customized vest. Most of us would love the flexibility.

Watch for both on one of my shows next year.” ~ Scott Linden

 

“Folks, just got my vest and I could not be more pleased. Looking forward to hunting sharp tails this fall. Very well designed. Thank you.” ~ Tom

 

Quilomene San Carlos Vest Review by Arizona Quail Hunting Camp


Q5 Outdoor Products return of the Quilomene San Carlos Strap Vest by Grouse Commander


“Received the vest…and carrying bag (that was unexpected : ), in good order. The vest is much more than I had expected, particularly quality wise! You design and build a great product. A lot of the other uplanders got to try it on, and we’re also impressed. It received nothing but kudos!

I will highly recommend it…I have also found a way to put my Citori Lightning 20ga. in it for long carries into, or out of, (after I get my limit of course) the field/hunt area.

I will definitely put it on my kids Christmas present list when they regularly start to hunt.” ~ Don

 

“I’m ecstatic about my new vest! I was given my original Quilomene San Carlos vest as a gift for suturing up a dog in the field for a guy 14 years ago. I was so bummed when Steve stopped making them and I’ve been searching for a compatible hunting vest. (I actually ran into Steve in AZ while I was hunting Mearns’ quail in 2007) . . . I saw your vest on Facebook via friend Tim from New England and ordered one that day. The vest and the added touches…the bag it came, the warrantee card tied with brown twine, and the key holder are world class! No company has ever had such nice touches!!! I will certainly be blogging about your vest at www.uplandways.com and my quail chasing excursions!” ~ Shawn

 

“Let’s face it; I’m a bit of a gear junky. And when it comes to bird hunting vests, I’ve tried them all. My favorite for years was the original Quilomene vest until I replaced that about 10 years ago with a Quill San Carlos. Of all the vests I’ve tried (and I’ve tried most of them ) the San Carlos was the best I’ve found for grouse and woodcock hunting. So, when the Quilomene Company closed up shop a couple years ago I bought all the San Carlos vests they had in stock to be sure I always had one and to give to my grouse hunting friends as gifts. That ten year old San Carlos is still seeing regular service as I hunt 40 to 50 days in the rough country of Northern New Hampshire with my friend Craig Doherty who is a professional bird dog trainer/hunting guide and owner of Wild Apple Kennels.

I tried to talk Craig into using a San Carlos (last gen. of the original) but he had some complaints about it. We were planning to make some alterations when the new Q5 version of the San Carlos became available, so I ordered a couple to see how they stacked up (I was a little apprehensive, since I was so happy with what I already had).

When the original Quilomene company shut down Dan Priest bought the rights to the products and added the line to Q5 Outdoor Products. After working with the design a bit he has reinvented the San Carlos vest incorporating new materials and features. Craig and I think the best feature of the new San Carlos is the pack-like belt that puts the weight on your hips and not your shoulders. Also, the easily detachable pockets that can be replaced with other style pouches will be great for people like Craig who often aren’t carrying a gun but need to bring along other gear.

In my opinion Dan has taken a really good product, and made it into the final word for shorter hunts (sub 4 hours) in area’s you don’t need to bring gallons of water . The design of the shoulder straps allow maximum heat loss, making it a very comfortable warm weather vest and by using proper layering, I use the San Carlos well into the dead of winter. The new San Carlos has become my absolute favorite grouse hunting vest.” ~ Tim Kisieleski, Avid New England grouse hunter and coverdog trainer

“I love the vest – best that I have ever had, and I have quail hunted for 53 years.” ~ John

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Q5 Upland Bird Belt


“Just a quick note to let you know that my first experience with your new Belt was very enjoyable. I am glad that I chose to try it out.” ~ Patrick

“2 or 3 years ago I was at Cabelas and saw a bird belt. I had not ever seen one before. i took a look at it and thought it was exactly what I needed for Shooting quail. The belt was very simple. A game pouch on the back that had rather small opening on each side (no top opening), 2 shell pockets on the front, which was all attached to a 1” web belt.

I found myself wearing the bird belt more and more and my Bird-n-lite strap vest less and less. I loved the freedom and comfort of “going light”. I felt like I shot better without any straps hindering my mount and pulling down on my shoulders. I liked My bird belt so much I bought a second one to lone to other guys (I am an advisor for a fraternity and try to take College guys hunting when I can). But the Cabelas Bird Belt was not all roses. The belt was only 1″ webbing when you would tighten it it would roll on itself and feel more like a rope than a belt. There was not a good place to carry water. I tried making up my own water bottle holders to attach to the belt, but I never had much success with it. The game pouch was great for quail. However I live in Kansas. Rarely do I shoot only quail. There is usually a mix of Pheasant and quail. One pheasant filled the pouch to the point that the head would stick out one side and the tail would stick out the other. My hunting buddies were not real impressed hauling my birds around so that i could “be more comfortable” with my bird belt.

I started dreaming of something better. I envisioned something with a belt like a good hiking pack, wide, strong and padded. Something that could be comfortable even with a good deal of weight on it. I wanted a bird belt that could carry at minimum 2 – 20 oz water bottles comfortably. I wanted to be able to carry 2 pheasant, plus a few quail. I got excited when Last year Q5 went on the UJ forum and asked for ideas about a bird belt

When I got my package it was obvious that Q5 is proud of their design and their product.

I thought it was a nice gesture to include the note and the Hide a key:

I was immediately impressed with the quality of the construction of the Bird Belt. There was not a loose string anywhere. The insides of the pockets looked as nice as the the outside of many outdoor products I have owned before. I flipped the pockets inside out so you could see what I mean.

One of the things that really makes the Bird belt unique is how customizable it is. The whole system is based off the belt.

The belt itself is a 1.75″ tall webbed belt with 3.5″ padded and structured support. There are numerous D rings attached to the belt so there are plenty of places to clip on whatever accessories you like. The belt has a heavy duty strip of Velcro going around the outside of the padded area as well as some webbing buckles.

These are used to attach the many different options. I ordered the standard Belt which comes with the rear game pouch. The pouch attaches by snapping onto the 2 small webbing clips and securing to the heavy duty velcro along its entire length. You might be asking “Velcro? is that really strong enough?” Well only time will tell, but I am very confident it will hold up and along with the mechanical fasteners will keep everything in its place during use.

Here is the game pouch:

The game pouch includes a smaller outer pocket made in Orange.

I am sure you could use it for many things. I thought it could be a great place to keep a small first aid kit, or store a rain jacket, or fleece vest.
(Mountain Hardware light rain jacket):

(Fleece vest:)

My XL Hooded Cotton sweatshirt was a bit too big for that pocket:

Inside the large flap of the game bag you will find three pockets up against the belt. I think they call these the wallet and phone pockets. The pockets would obviously work for that. However if I owned Q5 I would call them Water bottle pockets. One of the things I was most concerned about with the new belt was the ability to carry water. I loved to wear my old bird belt early in the year when its hot, because it allowed me to stay much cooler than a vest would. however I could never carry enough water for my dog and I. These 3 pockets in the game pouch go along way to alleviate that issue. That is a standard 16 oz water bottle on the left and a 32 oz contigo water bottle on the right.

Here is a 32 oz Nalgene in the large pocket.

The main game pouch is pretty big:

I think I will have no problem holding 2 pheasant in this pouch. I will say I do not understand the purpose the buckle system. It is impossible for me to unhook the buckle while wearing the bag. I think it would also be difficult to stuff a pheasant in the pouch with it buckled. To me it seems that the velcro would be sufficient here, or even better the magnet style latch. I also have no idea what this loop is for.

Q5 offers a few different styles of Shell pockets for the front side of the belt.
I chose the Q5 Shell Pocket/Water bottle holder combo. As I said I was very concerned about being able to carry enough water. After getting the whole system I dont think I would order the water bottle combo again. Its not that Combo is bad, Its not it works very well. It is simply that I can hold enough water in the game pouch pockets that the combo water bottle pockets seem like overkill. That being said some of you may still want to order them so here are some pics:
16 oz bottle:

32oz Contigo

32oz Nalgene – the Nalgene barely squeezes in the pocket

Some measurements:


I forgot to take a picture of the Velcro shell loop. It is a heavy duty elastic shell loop that holds 6 shells and is backed by velcro. Which allows you to put the shell loops either inside the pocket, or on the outside of the pocket, or both. I tried both positions and I preferred inside the pocket, but that is probably just based on habit. The Shell pocket has a small orange zippered pocket on the outside. I have an Iphone 6 Plus (which is enormous), It does not fit in the zippered pocket, but I think most cell phones will fit nicely and safely in the small zippered pocket. A wallet would certainly fit as would a set of keys.

I loaded the shell loops up with some purple shells, then dumped the rest of the box in the pockets. There is plenty of space in these pockets. I could easily fit a box of shells in the pocket and I think I could have stacked 2 boxes but I did not try.

I know there have been some questions about the Q5 pockets sticking out too far in the original Bird Belt thread. I don’t think I will have a good feel for that situation until the season rolls around. I have worn the bird belt out on some nature trails, I have got some weird looks, I am sure carrying a SxS would get more than a look. I will say that just walking in the bird belt without a gun the pockets did not bother me unless I had the shell loops on the outside. Here are some photos of me wearing it so you can get a sense for its size.

Here are the Suspenders

The suspenders are well designed I think they will be useful if you are carrying a couple birds and the belt is getting heavy. I think it will take a few actual hunting trips to determine my thoughts on them.

As I mentioned before the customization available on this is great. One unique option is to not have the shell pockets at all. You can simply velcro the shell loops right to the belt. If you only need a few shells it could be a great option.

I loaded up the belt with a box of shells, 4 16 oz bottles of water, Astro and my ecollar transmitter. Then Ox, my 2 year old daughter, and I went out for walk. It was only 96 degrees out. We guzzled the water pretty quick.

The pack was really comfortable to wear even in the heat.

I hope that helps some of you who are contemplating buying one. I plan to do some more reviews of the belt after the season starts.” ~ Jakeismydog2

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Quilomene Upland

“I received the vest earlier this week and it was well worth the wait. It didn’t take long to adjust it to fit perfectly. The loops work terrifically in the pouches and altogether this setup is precisely what I was looking for. I am going to give it a go on the rabbits next week as the snow is starting to recede already.” ~ Austin

“My husband loves the vest and the larger belt seems to work just fine. Thanks for the great customer service that you all provide! We will certainly recommend your company in the future!!” ~ Erin

“Just got home yesterday, vest was perfect, fit all the birds with room to spare.” ~ Jim

“Thanks for the great customer service! I love the vest. Haven’t tested it in the field yet (can hardly wait ’til September 1st), but have shot a 10-station, 100 target round of sporting clays – it was convenient, comfortable, and easy to shoot in. Thanks again!” ~ Daniel Hagen

“Folks, just got my vest and I could not be more pleased. Looking forward to hunting sharp tails this fall. Very well designed. Thank you.” ~ Tom

“Received the vest…and carrying bag (that was unexpected : ), in good order. The vest is much more than I had expected, particularly quality wise! You design and build a great product. A lot of the other uplanders got to try it on, and we’re also impressed. It received nothing but kudos!

I will highly recommend it…I have also found a way to put my Citori Lightning 20ga. in it for long carries into, or out of, (after I get my limit of course) the field/hunt area.

I will definitely put it on my kids Christmas present list when they regularly start to hunt.” ~ Don

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