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September 24, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Does Something Stink At Scent-Lok?

From an Associated Press story on MLive.com:

Four Minnesota hunters are suing a Michigan clothing manufacturer and a handful of outdoors retailers, claiming that clothing they bought to mask the human scent doesn't work, and that hunters have been defrauded for years. . . .

Mike Andrews, vice president of marketing for ALS, said the suit is without merit and the company would fight it . . . .

"We've done years of research ... we have hundreds of testimonials from consumers over the years," he said. "We know it works. . . .

Also, from the Minneapolis Start Tribune (registration required):

No one disputes that activated carbon adsorbs odors. But even ALS acknowledges the carbon can become saturated with odors. Andrews says the company's clothing can be "regenerated" or "reactivated" many times by putting it in a regular household dryer for 45 minutes. . . .

The suit says that dryer temperatures never exceed 150 degrees, but temperatures in excess of 800 degrees are needed to reactivate the carbon, and even then it wouldn't be restored to full adsorptive capacity.

What do you think? Does activated charcoal clothing really work as well as Scent-Lok and other companies claim?



i think it is a crock. a hunter should know where the wind is and how to use it. this marketing gimmick is unnecessary.


It's like the bug slayer stuff. It will protect against bites from lots of stuff but not mosquitos, which is what bothers most guys in the woods bow hunting in the south. You have to put a seperate ''mesh'' lyer on to protect from the squiters. I use prometheryne now. That stuff is the best.

As far as the scent lok stuff goes. I wash my stuff in scent robbing detergent - then hang outside in the old screened in porch for the entire season - rewashing when the need occurs of course. I would not rely on the scent lok crap.


Man kind successfully hunted for a million years before Cabella's showed up declaring it a necessary prerequisit to wear a $1000 outfit before even beginning to think about hunting.



This tired assed argument starts up every year.

I've never bought any scent-lok or scentblocker clothing. The science didn't make sense to me. Do the research before you spend your money.If people want to buy this stuff and think it works, whatever, but there is no 100% guarantee in any hunting product.

What's next, going after the urine lure companies? I've never had good luck with this stuff, some people swear by it. If it doesn't work 100% of the time, do you sue?

Maybe I'll sue the call companies because their calls don't bring a deer running in 100% of the time.

The lawyers are trying to make money and that's the only thing in this argument with a 100% guarantee.

Matt Mallery

I'm with countertop on this. People were hunting long before the bombardment of crap we can now get at Cabela's, Bass Pro, and Sportsman's Guide. My hunting attire generall consists of military surplus camo (pants and jacket about $40), hiking boots, and a back pack.


I don't care how much scent "controlling" clothing you wear, you still have to breathe. No scent proofing in the world is going to mask the scent of human breath from animals. I don't care how you brush your teeth or try to mask it.

Just like others posting here, my opinion is that managing your position relative to wind and game is far more important than the clothing you buy. You could wear a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers and as long as you sit still and downwind, game is going to have a hard time detecting you.

jstreet has it exactly right. Spend your money on gas and travel to scout your location, not on technically advanced clothing that will make very little difference in your success.


As a PhD candidate in chemistry who has performed experiments with activated carbon, I can tell you that activated will indeed adsorb organic molecules. It will also become saturated and need reactivation. The temperature of your dryer probably is sufficient to reactivate. However, I doubt there is enough activated carbon in the clothing to capture enough odor molecules so that you can go undetected by game animals which have extraordinary scent. I have never used scent control when elk hunting, and have been able to sneak up on elk in their beds on several occasions. My opinion...marketing scam

Walt Smith

I've always thought that Scentloc clothing and the other brands were a marketing gimmek for getting the dummies to buy their expensive outerwear right from the get go. Do you want to know a neat trick that really works for me? Take a garbage bag with you to a swampy area, find a cedar tree and fill it half full of green cedar bows, then go home-put half of them in another bag with your hunting boots and put your pants,jacket,gloves and hat in the other and leave them in there until your ready to walk into the woods and put them back in each time your done hunting. Replace the green bows when they start turning brown.This is cheap, simple and highly effective way to cover your scent and it truly works! Or you can buy a $300.00 suit that says it does-NOT!!- up 2 U.


Just make sure the area you are hunting has cedar trees. One hint: The only thing worse than human odor to a game animal is a scent foreign to the area you are hunting.


Scent Lok stink.

Me use loin cloth and spear. Ugh.


I agree that all this scent stuff is probably wacked out a bit but...

My first two years of hunting I did without any measures to keep scent from myself - saw some deer - not many. Killed four.

My last two years with scent deodorants, shampoos, detergents and yes carbon based sprays - saw innumerable deer - killed ten.

Do the math. I admit; every year brings more experience; which also helps, but I will always take the extra precautions - minus the expensive scentlok clothing.


We collect fresh (never hits the ground) cow dung and rub it ALL over the outside of our camo coverall before heading to the woods. None of us have ever been busted by a deer as long as the wind is in our face, but if the deer is downwind they can still smell us over the dung, then they run off! I'm thinking about using one of the scent lok suits and the dung method at the same time. That should be the ultimate cover!

D.A Yankee

We collect fresh (never hits the ground) cow dung and rub it ALL over the outside of our camo coverall before heading to the woods. None of us have ever been busted by a deer as long as the wind is in our face, but if the deer is downwind they can still smell us over the dung, then they run off! I'm thinking about using one of the scent lok suits and the dung method at the same time. That should be the ultimate cover!

suburban bushwacker

Its a scam, the court case is a scam, the clothing is a scam. Look at the chemical warfare suits, they have a useable life of what, two hours and they are made in a lab, not in a clothing factory.
Hunters have hunted without theses silly suits for a very long time. There are three sides to every case brought before the court, your side, his side, and the lawyers side. the lawyers allways win. Its a scam.
happy hunting

Brucie Boy

A month before the gun season opener my buddies and I collect as many deer pellets as we can find and try to eat at least a cup and a half a day (they taste just like Milk Duds). Then, before we go out at dawn on opening day, we each chug 3 one ounce bottles of Tink's #69. Works like a charm and we have yet to see a lawyer.


I've killed a many of deer without it. I do use caution and use scent control sprays and detergents and such. As a matter of fact had 9 deer cross my path to my stand a week ago and never even raised their tail, and the bucks had their noses to the ground. Go figure!


Hucksters have always preyed upon the gullible. It's a little sad, a little unfair, but not necessarily illegal in our free-market society. I've always been very sketptical about carbon clothing: there is the question of whether reactivation is really possible in a household dryer as well as the fact that there is very little carbon in most of these suits. But what really offends me is listening to their TV pitch men insult my intelligence and looking at the obscene price tags on the clothing itself.


You're right, in our free market, hucksters are often allowed to prey on the gullible (just look at weight-loss products and psychic hotlines, etc.). But, jstreet, concerned citizens who feel defrauded are also allowed to dispute the hucksters' claims in court. That's all these guys are doing, and I for one, applaud them.


Whether it works or not, you have to admit that Scent-Lok's marketing has been brilliant. They have made thousands and thousands of hunters believe they need their product--even many hunters who aren't convinced it works buy it just in case it does. Others swallow the whole spiel hook, line, and sinker; a couple of guys in a hunting club I occasionally visit actually wanted to make wearing Scent-Lok clothing a requirement among all members and guests.
Scary, huh?


I don't know if scent lok works or not because I haven't done any scientific research on the product. I know that companies sometimes do false advertisement of their products. The fact is nothing is going to 100% eliminate your odor, and scentlok doesn't claim that it does. It only says that the carbon activated liner absorbs and eliminates odors. What about people's breath. Maybe they stepped in dog shit on the way to the field. Who knows? When this lawsuit was brought upon this company the "higher ups" didn't act like a little kid with their hand caught in the cookie jar. They responding by basically saying bring it on. They also made the remark that this is our chance to prove that our product really does work. That doesn't sound like a scandalist company to me. Maybe I'm wrong. The way I see it, "If you don't think it works, don't buy it." Like it was stated earlier....Using the wind right is the most important thing.


Jon wrote:
But, jstreet, concerned citizens who feel defrauded are also allowed to dispute the hucksters' claims in court. That's all these guys are doing, and I for one, applaud them.


This is off Scent-Loks website:
Our Claims

We have never claimed to totally desorb our products because we know that it cannot happen. What we do claim is that with the temperature range of a household dryer, enough desorption, or reactivation occurs to allow human odor to be attracted again into the porous molecular level of the carbon. Our products have been engineered to allow hunters to go undetected and that human odor capacity is available for approximately 40 hours of field use. We also know that the life expectancy of these products will give hunters excellent results for several years, depending on frequency of use and various other factors.

We have never claimed to adsorb 100% of human odor. (Even your eyeballs have some odor to them.) What we do know is that amount of odor that is not adsorbed is acceptable to a level of 3 to four times what a whitetail will tolerate before spooking. Our years of data collection and correlation on scent adsorption clearly shows the threshold necessary to overcome the smell receptors of whitetails and other big game animals and thus our products are engineered and tested in the lab to adsorb at this high level even after 20 wash and dry cycles and substantially more before the end of the life of the garment.

Based on the above statement, unless the plantiffs can prove that absolutely NO regeneration is possible in a household dryer, they have no case.

Hell, I can sue a ham sandwich if I want to, as you pointed out, that's my right.

If you read the above piece from Scent-Lok's website you will see that they have left themselves plenty of legal room to manuver.

The only people who win in a situation like this are the lawyers. The collect the fees and the taxpayers pay the bill for the courts time.

I just don't see the point.

Blue Ox

Hey Brucie,
Munchin' Deer pellets for a month does the trick, huh? So would I be lying if I said you're full of sh!t?


I am convinced that watching the wind is the only sent control that works. I question the wind someitmes as well. My buddy and I have been hunting together for years and we drink coffee or hot chocolate, eat sandwiches, and smoke. Yep smoke. Never, have we gone into the woods and not had deer within bow range. In fact, it seems the deer only show as soon as the cigarette is out. We can't figure it out.

Props to the sent control guys for creating a product, marketing it ferociously and making tons of money.

Besides if you are taking hunting that seriously, where is the fun and enjoyment? Really, why do you hunt and fish?


I see your point, and appreceate it. Here's mine: These hunters clearly believe they have a legitimate gripe they'd like to argue in court. They have every right to do so, as you say. And there action may well provide a public service. The effacacy of charcoal clothing has long been questioned; this case and its reverberations will result in hightened scrutiny. If the product stands up to the scrutiny, great. Then consumers can feel more confident that the product has real value and have more trust in the manufacturer. If it doesn't stand up, that's valuable to, for obvious reasons.


This company has been in business for over a dozen years.

If a product doesn't back up their adverstisements in that amount of time, NORMALLY they are out of business. Marketing is one thing, but getting people to spend their dollars on stuff that doesn't work over a period of twelve years is quite another.

It's not like the scentlok gave someone cancer, or made them dizzy and they fell out of a tree. These guys are bitching cause deer still winded them.

I just don't like lawyers getting involved with stuff like this because it sets a bad precedent. And the only reason they made this deal a class action suit was to try and get more people involved to pump up the judgement against scent lok and to make MORE MONEY.

If you can't tell, I don't like lawyers. The only thing worse than a lawyer is a politician and most of them are lawyers.

By the way, I don't wear Scent-lok and I never have. I just think people are smart enough to make up their own minds without these leaches getting involved.

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