JJ puts the Rocky S2V Boots and the new Rocky Venator Camo to the test and grinds them into the ground over months of real-world use testing.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- You might know I am a big fan of the Rocky Boots S2V line…
I have worn them for a number of years (since they first introduced them actually) and have had pretty much all the original models on my feet – the standard model, the Insulated model, the Canvas Desert model, the *Predator model (my newest purchase), and their very first Crosstrainer which by the way is still one of my casual wear go-to's. I have been through numerous pairs of the Rocky S2V Boots. The standard one usually lasted me about 4-5yrs of mostly daily wear originally until I started Guiding Big Game Hunters again.
The technical aspects of each model you can read from their website. This is a firsthand personal experience and review of what these boots do for me. The main thing being comfortable above all things, then durable for everything I put them thru. The bonus is I searched high and low for what I call a “Speed Lace” system in civilian boots to no avail. S2Vs have it and its perfect! I may do a YouTube video later specifically about how to set up these “speed laces” and how I wear them that makes them really great.
Now that I am full tilt hunting, guiding and in the woods so much, I can usually wear out the standard model in less than 2yrs. Understand that is nowhere near common treatment most casual users or even most Mil/LEO users would put them through and I wear them into the ground. I also rotate between the lightweight model or the insulated model weather depending. I rotate through 3x different S2V models throughout the season. There isn't really an extreme cold weather model but I find the Insulated 400g model works well for most conditions I am out in.
Rocky S2V Boots
Surprise, Speed, and Violence of Action; would be what the S2V acronym stands for. S2V is a military term in reality and I understand there was a lot of SF & Delta Operator input on the design of these boots. The key input from operators made this the boot it is and it works perfectly as a hard use hunting boot too.
A typical hunting season for me starts the last week of August with some light scouting. Then for real with Colorado's archery season starting the first part of Sepember and then rifle seasons in NM. & CO. are almost back to back. That takes me all the way through to mid-Nov. and several random hunts in Dec. According to my FitBit things and Stair Climber App tools I loged 600+ miles a season NOT counting my personal hunts for Antelope, Deer, Elk, and Barbary Sheep after the regular season wraps up. Conservatively, in two seasons that would be roughly 1,800 miles on foot in the backwoods of CO, NM, and this year Sonora Mexico. Adding to the abuse of my boots you can consider that many of our packouts are under 80-100 pounds of meat on our backs (this year I carried an entire bone-in quartered Mule Deer minus the cape in 14” of snow for about 1.5miles). I truly love the hunt and it is far better than being chained to the desk doing tasks that are not at all related to your passion.
I consider quality boots one, like the Rocky S2V Boots, the absolute most crucial pieces of gear to go into the woods hunting with.
I learned last summer Rocky had discontinued my all-time and absolute favorite model of S2V (the Desert Model, made with a hard canvas material and speed laces – this was my modern-day moccasin). I even asked if they would re-sole mine just to keep the boot alive. It is a hard one to give up and had an incredible life of service on so many hunts I can't even begin to count. I can no longer wear them in the field but still find it hard to give them a burial.
I know Rocky Boots have a lot of mission-specific hunting models in their line up and S2V boots are intended for Military use primarily but a boot designed to be worn for Combat and carrying heavy loads under extreme conditions works perfectly for the treatments I give these boots. Personally, I also like that there is not a heel on the S2Vs I wear. Having a flat sole for even flexible contact with the ground in rocky, steep terrain is helpful. The comfort level is off the charts for me. Hiking boots are a dime a dozen. Boots intended for bodyweight AND heavy pack weight is a completely different animal and most civilian models don't come close to addressing this issue. Rocky nailed it with the S2V line.
Being a Military Boot that must meet certain criteria and be made in the USA makes it slightly more expensive than several of their hunting lines, for me, it is well worth it. I can not give this a stronger thumbs up than I do other than just keep being a continued customer! I don't know of a better boot to serve me and what I do.
Try a pair and I bet you will consider them in your topmost comfortable hard use boots like I have.
Next up.… Rocky’s Venator Camo
This year I decided to give Rocky's in-house Rocky Venator Camo pattern a try. I was in the market for a few new articles of camo. While I was already shopping for another pair of S2Vs for the season I decided to add some clothing to my order.
I started out with two shirts and one pair of pants.
The Hunting season always starts with warm weather Archery Elk hunts for me. This year we also hunted Mule Deer & Bear with a few clients. It is critical in archery to have a well-working camo pattern that helps you get in close and get clients within shooting distances that they need to fill a tag.
The Venator Pattern did its job well this season in CO., NM., and Sonora Mexico. Starting off in early September the bulls are not in rut yet and archery attempts are usually all spot and stalk. The Rocky Venator Camo Pattern gave me repeated success and allowed me to get clients in close or to cow call bulls in close without ever being busted. I was pleased early on. Soon the rut started and it made for easier hunting conditions with the horny rut-crazed bulls.
I was able to continue to wear the patterns all the way through rifle season in CO and NM and whether it was this camo pattern or not I was the most successful guide this year for my Outfitter. I had clients kill some great animals and we had some really cool experiences close up. I finally got some personal hunts for Antelope *(See the Hunt Video) & Barbary Sheep, and then ended up in Sonora Mexico filming a monster Mule Deer Hunt using this Venator Camo pattern. Then just this week I went out with my brother in Northern NM who tagged out on a Cow Elk Hunt and we fit in some more Barbary Sheep hunting (that will continue).
Honestly, after five solid months of intimate field time with this pattern, I can tell you I am very happy with it. It seemed to put me in front of some great animal experiences and I used it as much as I possibly could for every client and hunt we went out on.
I can truly give Rocky’s Venator Camo pattern a solid positive review and all my thumbs up for the performance it gives in hard use real-world field time with a Bow, a Crossbow, and Rifles hunt after hunt.
Rocky Venator Camo Storm Hoodie
Lightweight tops I can layer into and out of are always my preference. I ordered this shirt specifically because it was hooded. I like lightweight hooded models. 1. I am way too fair-skinned for heavy all day direct sun. I can always put a lightweight ball cap on over or under (depending on wind speed) lightweight hoodie to get great sun blocking benefits and still get camouflage use as well. 2. the bonus to me was the built-in neck gator. I had not paid that close attention when I ordered it so it was a nice surprise. On cold mornings I made full use of it and when we had an animal coming in strong I'd pull it up for the added concealment. This will be a go-to and long time favorite shirt of mine – it performed very well all over Southeastern CO, Southeastern NM, and in Sonora Mexico hunting Elk, Mule Deer, Bear, & Barbary Sheep.
Rocky Venator Camo SilentHunter 1/4 Zip Shirt
This shirt performed great and it is a slightly heavier weight than the Storm Hoodie so often I'd layer under this shirt and peel those layers off throughout the day and still make great use of the pattern. The SilentHunter suede outer texture made it nice to slip through dry ground cover and stalk in close at times. The texture is noiseless as small branches scrape by. It has a single breast pocket I used pretty regularly. Another clothing item I really enjoyed.
Rocky Venator Camo Burr Resistant Pants…
This pattern continues to perform well and being in this pattern from head to toe was a bonus throughout all the Archery season. The pattern proved it is self effective whether pursuing Elk that were not yet in Rut requiring a spot & stalk strategy or having a Rut Crazed Bull thrashing & stomping around close by as we worked to get the shot lined up.
I have one general wish with these pants and its the same wish that I have with other brands of hunting pants. I have had several other brands and its the same problem. I want deeper, better contoured/designed pockets in these pants. For some reason, in archery pants, I have noticed they are forgetting we still need plenty of pockets. We need deep sturdy pockets in archery season just as in any other mission-specific designed pants. I'd love to see a re-enforced knife-clip pocket on both sides, I'd like to see deeper better-designed pockets so that when you sit down on the ground against your pack and raise your legs you don't lose everything out of your pockets on the ground. I'd like to see cargo pockets and silent snaps on medium to deep back pockets on BOTH sides. The pattern is a winner. The pants are the only item I found myself wanting a little more out of. Like I said I have this same want from other brands of hunting pants too, it seems to be an industry thing apparently. Their designers are not remembering or even know all the things we like to stuff in our pockets while we attempt sneaking and light footing through the woods.
You will do well hunting with this Venator Camo pattern and I would encourage Rocky to keep putting out hunter inspired gear in this pattern. It would be fun to see this pattern in a Hydrodip even. I'd have other ideas too but my review is on the pattern and the three items I purchased. I enjoyed them and will use them well into the future as long as I can get use out of them.
Overall the Venator Camo Pattern gets 4.8 Stars from me,
- the Rocky Camo Storm Hoodie gets 5 Stars,
- the Rocky SilentHunter 1/4 Zip Shirt gets 4.8 Stars,
- the Rocky Venator Camo Burr Resistant Pants gets 3.5 stars,
- the S2V Boots (all of them) get 5 stars (Please bring back the Desert Boot!).
About JJ Sutton, C.P.S., C.M.A.S. :
A Native Colorado resident & lifetime Hunter. JJ served 7yrs in the US Army during the 90s and logged 12 months downrange during hostilities in the Balkins. Mostly work / some play he has traveled/visited 20+ countries. He owned a highly regarded Private Security Firm for more than 15yrs., as a Certified Protection Specialist & Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist, he worked Int’l Celebrities and personalities related to his business throughout Colorado & Caribbean. He has consulted & worked for private security interests during the 2002 Winter Olympics, later as a Presidential Security Detail Member with the President & First Family of Haiti. His skills and interests also include Firearms Training, Manufacturing & Consulting for custom design & builds of AR15s & AR10s. He now is an Industry Contributor, Consultant, Certified Range Master, Seasonal Hunting Guide and His current pet project includes promoting the Modern Sporting Rifle like it truly is intended to be with ARHunters: YouTube / Facebook (please “Like” AND Follow!).
Be Sure to Subscribe, Like & Follow: