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Heater Body Suit vs IWOM XT vs ArcticShield Reviews
Insulated bodysuits are the number one way to stay warm when hunting in extremely cold weather. They’re soft, silent, and incredibly effective. While heated gear has its place, it pales in comparison when it comes to keeping your entire body warm. In order to find the best of the best, we reviewed and compared the top three full-body hunting suits on the market. We considered price, warmth, and effectiveness.
During our review process, we found the IWOM XT to be the best insulated bodysuit for hunting. It’s not the warmest or the quietest, but it’s very close. The deciding factor for us was the sheer amount of features this suit has that the others don’t.
- Outer Shell. The IWOM XT cold weather body suit comes in four camouflage patterns: Mossy Oak Treestand, Realtree AP HD, Predator Fall Gray, and Kloak ArctiKon. The waterproof and windproof polyester microfiber shell shields against rain, snow, and wind. It has fully taped seams and waterproof zippers that keep you dry, even in a downpour.
- Warmth. The comfortable fleece lining and 150g Premium 3M Thinsulate insulation helps trap body heat to keep you feeling warm. It also has wide tapered sleeves that allow heat to reach your arms easily. Paired with coverall bibs, a base layer, and a sweatshirt, you’ll have no problem staying warm in single digit temperatures.
- Quietness. The soft polyester material is very quiet, even in cold weather. It gets even quieter after a few washes. It also has a full sleeve design so you don’t have to unzip your suit in order to get into shooting position, eliminating noise caused by a zipper.
- Boot Area. The bottom panel on the boot area is made of two very durable layers of Cordura with a layer of insulation in between. The entire interior boot area is rubberized and allows for easy cleanup if worn with wet or muddy boots.
There are five ways the IWOM XT can be worn: fanny pack mode, walk mode, full body mode, parka mode, and freedom mode.
- Fanny Pack Mode. This is when the bag is self contained and ready to transport. The built-in strap can either be carried by hand, attached to a backpack, or fashioned around the waist.
- Walk Mode. Wearing the suit with the bottom part unzipped is called walk mode and it allows you to walk around freely in your boots. We suggest putting the garment on while you’re still on the ground and then climbing up to your stand.
- Parka Mode. From the walk mode position, you can roll the bottom half up around your waist and tighten the belt strap to enter parka mode, as it resembles a parka jacket.
- Full Body Mode. Once in the stand, pull your safety harness through the slot in the back of the IWOM XT and attach it to the tree. Zip your feet in and put your hands in the fleece-lined hand warmer pockets. This is called full body mode and it’s how you’re going to be spending the majority of your time.
- Freedom Mode. This is when the bottom half is rolled up and the top half is rolled down. Use the waist strap and the straps under the armpits to keep the garment tied around your waist. This allows for full range of motion of the arms and legs without having to pack up the IWOM XT.
- Sleeves. Unlike other insulated body heater suits, the IWOM XT has fully functional arm sleeves with hand gaiters. With arm sleeves, you’ll never have to come halfway out of the garment when you’re ready to shoot. Just take your hands out of the integrated hand warmer pockets and you’re good to go. Archers can eliminate the need for an arm guard by twisting the sleeve so that the fabric lays nice and tight against the forearm, creating a firm padding.
- Head Net & Face Mask. The suit is also constructed with a built-in head net and face mask combo. The one-piece head net and face mask can be worn separately, together at the same time, or not at all. Wearing the head net without the face mask is great for when you want to feel your face when you shoot your bow. When neither one is worn, it sits under the chin and acts as a neck gaiter, keeping cold air out and warm air in. There are micro-fleece cutouts in the ear area that allow you to hear your surroundings clearly while still keeping your ears warm. The back of the head net has a drawstring so you can get a tighter fit if you’re not wearing a hat.
- Rain Hood. Another great feature is the integrated rain hood. It’s constructed with a stiff bill in order to keep the rain out when you’re not wearing a hat. The side of the hood has cutaways that allow for a wide peripheral view. This eliminates to need to constantly move your head back and forth like you would with a traditional hood.
- Pockets. IWOM really went above and beyond with their pocket design. In the front of the hunting suit is a very large kangaroo pouch that can hold a lot of gear. Right above that are hand warmer pockets with a removable fleece lining. There are also two deep chest pockets and two pass-through pockets on the side so that you can reach your pants without having to take the suit off. There’s also a relief zipper so that you can relieve yourself while you’re up in the stand.
- Washing Instructions. The IWOM XT is also machine washable. The first thing you should do is take out the removable hand warmer sleeve. Next, turn the bodysuit inside out and wash both of them with unscented detergent. Then, hang dry for two days. If you have to use a dryer, tumble dry on low only. Anything warmer will void your warranty. The entire garment uses taped seams, and when exposed to heat, the tape melts and destroys the waterproofing.
|✅ Waterproof and windproof material keeps you warm and dry||❌ Hood and face mask may get in the way|
|✅ Soft material and full sleeve design significantly reduces noise||❌ Shooting in a bulky suit takes some getting used to|
|✅ Walk mode allows for climbing treestand with bodysuit on|
|✅ Integrated hand warmer with lots of pockets|
|✅ Built-in head net and face mask combo to keep your head warm|
|✅ SmartSilver scent control to eliminate odor and minimize detection|
Insulation: 150g Premium 3M Thinsulate
Patterns: Mossy Oak Treestand, Realtree AP HD, Predator Fall Gray, Kloak ArctiKon
Headgear: Head Net / Face Mask Combo, Rain Hood
The Heater Body Suit is the most popular one-piece hunting suit on the market. It’s also the warmest and the quietest. It’s proudly made in Green Bay, Wisconsin so you know you’re getting a quality American product.
- Outer Shell. The Heater Body Suit is available in four patterns of camouflage: Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Realtree Xtra, Predator Fall Gray, and Solid Black. It has a windproof and water-resistant polyester tricot shell to protect against wind and light rain. It’s not fully waterproof, so it’s not recommended for heavy rain or snow.
- Warmth. The 300g 3M Ultra Thinsulate is twice as thick as the IWOM XT. It’s shaped like a giant sleeping bag with legs and no arms, which does a fantastic job of retaining your body’s heat to keep you warm. You can wear moderate winter clothing underneath and still be comfortable in freezing conditions. Be sure to bring a hat, as it does not have a hood or any headgear whatsoever. A neat little trick if your head gets cold is to pop your head inside the suit like a turtle for a couple of minutes until you warm up.
- Quietness. The Heater Body Suit is also the quietest hunting suit available. The polyester tricot cloth is very soft and suppresses noise, even in cold weather. You won’t have to worry about the zipper either, as it’s very quiet and won’t be heard by deer.
- Boot Area. Unlike the IWOM XT, there are defined legs on this suit, making it easier to maneuver in the stand if a deer sneaks up on you. There is a zipper on the left side of the leg but not on the right side. This may cause your boot to get hung up on the lining when putting it on. We recommend wearing booties over your boots to protect against mud and water and to provide a smoother surface when entering the garment.
- Putting It On. Since there is no walk mode on this suit, you’ll need to carry it up with you to your treestand. Once you’re harnessed in, put your right foot in first, then your left. Put the shoulder straps on by crossing them like an ‘X’ – the right shoulder strap goes over your head and sits on your left shoulder and vice versa. Zip it all the way up from the inside and snap the button at the waist. When you come out to shoot, the shoulder straps keep the suit next to your body, and the single snap button at the waist prevents it from falling to your ankles.
- Shooting. Since there are no arm holes or sleeves, you’ll need to unzip the garment from the inside and come out of the suit when you’re ready to shoot. This has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s great because you won’t have to shoot in a bulky suit – you’ll be shooting in whatever gear you’re wearing underneath. However, coming out of the suit means that all that body heat is going to escape. It also means that it’s going to take longer to reach your rifle or bow, as you’ll be spending that time unzipping. There are two methods for coming out of the suit to take the shot. Unzip and stick your left elbow out of the suit. While holding the suit just under the elbow, slip your left shoulder out. Do the same with right side. The second method is to bring your hands out of the suit in a praying fashion. Spread your hands and the suit will quietly fall down.
- Packing It Up. When you’re ready to go, take off the body bag and drop it to the ground. It’s much safer to pack it up on the ground instead of up in the stand. Fold the Heater Body Suit lengthwise and roll it up like a sleeping bag. The carrying strap buckles around the rolled up suit and can be carried by a handle or worn like a backpack with the attached straps. You can also hook it to a backpack if you like to bring one.
- Headgear. The Heater Body Suit does not come with a hood or face mask of any kind. Some may see this as a negative, but it allows you to wear your favorite headgear without being limited to the suit. One of the biggest complaints people had with the IWOM XT is that the rain hood and head net would get in the way. You won’t have to worry about that with the Heater Body Suit.
- Pockets. There are two interior pockets – one on the inside of each leg. These are great for holding a cell phone or a range finder. Since these are the only pockets, you may want to bring along a backpack if you have a lot of gear.
- Washing Instructions. Turn the garment inside out and place it in the wash. If your washing machine isn’t very big, you may need to take it into a laundromat, especially for larger size suits. Wash it with cold water on a gentle cycle with a scent-free detergent. When finished, line dry the suit. Never put it in the dryer because heat will melt and distort the fabric of the suit.
|✅ Extra thick 300g Thinsulate for extreme warmth||❌ Not enough pockets|
|✅ Noise suppressing cloth and silent zipper||❌ Heat escapes suit when getting into shooting position|
|✅ Zippered design allows for shooting in lightweight gear||❌ Not fully waterproof|
|✅ Comes in four camouflage patterns for any situation|
|✅ Wind Barrier by Dupont shields wind|
Insulation: 300g 3M Ultra Thinsulate
Patterns: Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Realtree Xtra, Predator Fall Gray, Solid Black
The ArcticShield Insulated Bodysuit is an affordable option for someone on a budget. It’s fairly limited on features and it’s not the warmest or the quietest, but it gets the job done without breaking the bank.
- Outer Shell. The ArcticShield Insulated Bodysuit comes in the Realtree Edge camouflage pattern which is great for deer hunting. The outer shell is made of lightweight, high quality waterproof and windproof material that protects against the elements.
- Warmth. Their Retain heat retention technology holds up to 90% of your body heat. There’s a thin aluminized polypropylene layer between the insulation that reflects body heat back inside the bag and deflects cold air away from the body. The fabric in the boot area is the same thickness as the rest of the suit (it should be thicker), so your feet may get cold in freezing temperatures. We suggest dropping a couple packs of HotHands hand warmers in the bottom of the suit if you experience any chilliness.
- Quietness. The outer shell and the zipper are both very quiet, even in extremely cold weather. The storm flap that covers the zipper uses silent magnetic snaps. You’ll have no problem remaining unseen.
- Boot Area. Just like the Heater Body Suit, this suit has defined legs that allow for mobility in the stand. The bottom of the boot fabric also has rubberized grips for better control. Unfortunately, it does not have a rubberized interior – it’s just fabric. You should wear some booties over your boots to protect against mud and water and to prevent the suit’s fabric from tearing.
- Putting It On. You’ll need to carry the bodysuit up to the stand with you to put it on. Once your feet are in the suit, you’ll want to connect the shoulder straps. They’re shaped like backpack straps and buckle shut. Zip up the front of the suit and harness yourself in through the pass-through safety harness slot.
- Shooting. This suit is designed to be worn like a cocoon. Much like the Heater Body Suit, your arms are next to your core inside the bag. Instead of coming out of the front of the suit to get into shooting position, you’ll be coming out of the side through the zippered arm holes. When you’re ready to get into position, cross your arms inside the suit. Unzip the left arm hole with your right hand and vice versa. All of this is happening inside the bag so it minimizes any visible movement. Then, release your arms and grab your bow or rifle.
Functionality The ArcticShield Body Insulator Suit has zippered arm holes so you can shoot with the suit on, preventing warm air from escaping. It also has a waterproof detachable hood and two interior mesh pockets for smaller accessories like a cell phone or range finder. It features two-way zippers that can be opened from the inside or outside, and the front of the suit has a storm flap that stays closed with quiet magnetic snaps.
|✅ High quality material that is very well made||❌ Boot area is not rubberized and does not keep feet very warm|
|✅ Comes with a removable orange cape to meet hunter orange requirements||❌ Pull tabs on interior arm hole zippers could be longer|
|✅ The soft material and zippers are quiet in all weather conditions||❌ Shooting with the suit on may be too bulky|
|✅ Suit retains up to 90% of your body’s heat||❌ Only one camouflage pattern|
Insulation: Retain Heat Retention System
Pattern: Realtree Edge
Headgear: Detachable Hood
We pored through the data and created a comparison table to help you make your decision. Please note that while the Heater Body Suit is slightly warmer and quieter, we think that the added features of the IWOM XT propel it to the top spot.
So which suit is right for you? It really depends on what you value the most.
Do you want something affordable that gets the job done, but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles? Then the ArcticShield Classic Elite Body Insulator Suit is the obvious choice.
How about an incredibly warm suit that allows you to shoot in lighter hunting gear? The Heater Body Suit is what you’re looking for.
Or do you want the best of the best? Tons of pockets, headgear, walk mode, and scent control. You won’t be disappointed with the IWOM XT.
Whichever insulated hunting suit you decide to go with, you’ll look back and wonder how you ever went so long without one.