Gray’s Best Awards 2015

ACCESSORIES: Tenzing TP14 Turkey Pack

Modern turkey hunting vests have gotten so complicated as to belie the fact that our forebears did just fine with a wingbone call and military surplus jacket. Today’s vest has a pocket for every gizmo intended to imitate each purr, putt, or gobble at any conceivable stage of Meleagris gallapavo foreplay. But few vest designs have really broken the mold. Last spring, I showed up at Gray’s annual turkey camp with the Tenzing TP14 Turkey Pack ($300), instantly inciting a front-yard critical review session by a small but experienced crew of snood shooters. Our group’s collective opinion on the techy chassis and foldout support legs was a noncommittal, “Hmmm.” But after several days of wearing the vest during multiple setups, I was sold for two reasons: First, the foldout legs allow you to instantly set up anywhere there is background cover. Second, the TP14 offers a super-comfortable alternative to painful sessions sitting against a tree. On the move, it wears more like a backpack than like a vest, softly distributing the load. On the ground, you have to be careful not to drift off to sleep. Yes, it could be made lighter and less expensive, and the poles need some refining to reach the maximum potential of this concept, but the Tenzing TP14 Turkey Pack is the calling card of a company that’s relatively new on the scene and already is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in hunting packs and vests. —S.W.