popular Dirty Bird line, in 2016 Browning introduced their Wick Wing waterfowl
gear and this awesome hunting gear skyrocketed to become our most popular duck
hunting clothing and gear. Wicked Wing was an overnight sensation, well at
least in terms of hunting gear. Let us
clarify that statement. If you have duck hunted for 10 years or more,
you are probably familiar with the Realtree Advantage Max4 camo pattern,
currently the improved Max5 camouflage.
Realtree introduced the Max4 camo at SHOT Show in Orlando, FL in 2003. We know because we were there. Well the Max4 pattern, like Browning Wicked
Wing, had some serious and well established competition. Notably for Max4 were MossyOak Shadowgrass and Realtrree’s own
Advantage Wetlands. However, when introduced in 2003 the
Max4 pattern drew some early attention and quite quickly became the #1
waterfowl camo pattern. Understandably,
you may not agree with our declaration, but according to our sales and
observation of our supplier’s commitment to stock/inventory levels which were 3
to 5 times higher quantities for Max4 than other waterfowl hunting camo
patterns, Max4 was a firm leader by 2010.
And, by quickly we mean that the Max4's rise to hierarchy was a 5 to 6
year journey during which the Max4 camo pattern smoked everything that the
competition could through at it. But,
Browning Wick Wing literally became our leading duck hunting jacket and hunting
bib in a single season – that’s about 6 months.
Only the introduction of the Realtree AP camo, with its 2 – 3 season rise to
the top, comes close to matching the Browning Wicked Wing’s rocket ride to hunting
gear stardom. By the way, while as of
Jan 2018, Max5 is still the top waterfowl camo pattern, MossyOak Blades gained some
solid ground in 2016 and 2017. It’s
tough at the top, and 2018 will test the sudden rise of Browning’s Wicked Wing.
wonder, just how did Wicked Wing find such broad and overwhelming popularity
and so quickly. Browning is not a new player
in the waterfowl gear market. In the 90s
and well before there was a Wicked Wing, Browning battled for market share with
rivals like Columbia Sportswear and Herters.
Perhaps you were chasing ducks in the 90s and remember that Browning had
a license to use the Duck Commander Duck Calls logo on their waterfowl gear of the time. And, it seems to this writer that Browning
was possibly the first to use that licensed logo on clothing. The license for Duck Commander clothes past
to ICON, aka Drake Waterfowl, in about 2005.
After only a couple years, Drake dropped the Duck Commander logo.
Too bad, because that line sold well for us. Moving on, after Browning discontinued the
Phil Robertson relationship, they fumbled around for a couple years and then
brought out their Grand Passage waterfowl gear.
This line saw limited success, possibly because it was available in only
the “not so popular” MossyOak DuckBlind camo pattern. Browning stuck with the Grand Passage plan
throughout the years when Realtree Max4 climbed to #1. Not a good period to offer the far less
popular DuckBlind as the only option.
Then in 2014 Browning got it right, they introduced the new Dirty Bird
line with a number of new innovative pieces and 3 camo options: Realtree Max4 (which was changed to Max5 as
soon as same was available), and MossyOak Blades & Bottomland. A new line with a catchy name, new innovative
pieces and popular camo patterns. I suppose that it is easy to see why the Dirty Bird line
ignited a bright spark.
Then is 2016,
after some legal issues with the Dirty Bird logo/trade mark (seems somebody
else had the idea first) created a need for a new name; Browning changed the
line to Wicked Wing. For, Texas Fowlers,
the Dirty Bird spark became the Wicked Wing blaze. In that year the Wicked Wing 3 in 1 Parka out
sold almost all of our other duck hunting jackets combined. And, the Browning WW insulated bib was an
even bigger hit. 2017 saw a continued
rise in sales. Other manufactures, such
as Drake Waterfowl and Banded continue as strong competitors, but Wick Wing seems
to have secured a place for Browning in the waterfowl market for years to come.
success and sales growth of Browning’s new Wicked Wing jewel is in part a result
of the aforementioned innovations, styles and popular camo options. But, there is more to Wicked Wing than just
the initial spark of 2016. Wicked Wing
hunting clothes are judged by many duck hunters to be the most functional and
comfortable clothes that ever stepped into an icy, cold duck boat ride, laid
flat in a snow covered corn or barley field or turned its back to the blackest,
strongest, wettest cold front that ever blew down from the Arctic. And,
there are very good reasons for their favorable opinion. Browning designed and constructed the Wick
Wing line for ergonomic comfort, maximum warmth and to be the most dependable
waterproof attire in the field. Our
experience as a retailer and the incredibly low return rate on Wicked Wing gear confirms
that Browning met and surpassed these goals
designed every Wicked Wing piece with ergonomically correct features. Minor ergonomic related adjustments that sometimes seem insignificant but once in the field these features make a great day a not only great; but extremely comfortable
day as well. Features like angled
pockets where your hands are most likely to be.
And, raglan sleeves that, in addition to minimizing shoulder leaks,
allow for maximum unrestricted motion and eliminate the rubbing that shoulder
seams cause. Articulated or pleated
design in areas associated with joints and movement also improve comfort and
mobility. Underarm arrow gusset style
designs for a fuller range of motion and less restriction. And, they vary the cut of each piece, such as
regular fit or athletic fit, to match the piece's intended wearing
options. Comfort and freedom of
movement, bingo? But what protection from the elements? All the free movement in the
world is not going to be comfortable if you’re wet and cold.
not an issue for Browning when they introduced Wick Wing. For years Browning’s PreVent waterproof membrane technology has been a
leader in dry all day. PreVent is found
in all Wicked Wing waterproof pieces and in addition to being 100% waterproof,
PreVent is also windproof but highly breathable. With taped seems and PreVent technology, Wick
Wing keeps even the worst foul weather at bay.
And, the windproof characteristics means that the wind chill factor will
have far less impact on your warmth, comfort and length of hunt. However, as the morning warms or you become
more active, the high breathability allows internal moisture to escape keeping
you drier, warmer and more comfortable on the inside.
For warmth Browning
had many options and choose the superior insulating performance of Primaloft
Sport water repelling fibers to be the insulating media in their Wick Wing
attire. Primaloft Sport offer numerous
advantages over other insulating materials and Browning wanted the best for the
wicked weather that Wicked Wing was created to tame. Primaloft is treated to
resist water and therefore remains drier and warmer. But, because it absorbs much less water than its competitors, it also dries much quicker than other
insulating materials which, once again, means a drier, warmer day. And, the specially engineered fibers of
PrimaLoft are designed for maximum warmth, premium loft, and softness. PrimaLoft fibers are the finest fibers found
in an insulating material. These fine fibers allows for a more compressed material thus improving the
insulating efficiency and wind resistance as well as reducing bulk and noise
created from movement.
And, to make
the best insulating material even better, Browning Wicked Wing incorporated
Browning’s Varatech design concept.
Varatech is the feature that maximizes the Wicked Wing’s unrestricted movement
which in turn minimizes exertion, while not compromising warmth and protection
from the elements. Simply stated
Varatech focuses on core areas such as torso, where insulation can provide a more
significant impact on warmth and less impact on mobility. While other areas such as extremities where overheating and
perspiration may occur receive highly effective yet lightweight and highly
breathable insulating layers that are laminated. Thus
the concept of capturing heat where the body is producing the most heat with less
impact on mobility.
Wing got it right and is in the field with hunters that know what it takes to
get in a full day of warm, dry, comfortable duck hunting. Get you Wicked Wing and hunt like a pro.