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Ok, so I was knocking a few things off my list for hunting gear and came down to clothes for the Western states.... Sitka gear.... So my question is this, is it worth it? And even more so, is there cheaper yet adequate clothing. I like their open country line, but my goodness it's like $500 for a pair of pants?! I would end up outfitting myself completely down and want to make the correct choice. I know First Lite is in the same monetary ballpark and I just cant get with that KUIU stuff or whatever. So opinions? Discussion has now been opened.
To me Sitka is worth it. Fit, functionality and durability. That said, I am sure many others will tell you there are other lines that are cheaper that will work. It is up to you to decide if it is worth it. Most guys I know end up buying more Sitka after wearing a few pieces for what it is worth. There are deals to be had if you shop around as well.
I started using it this year. I must admit, it is quality gear. It may be a little overpriced, but I believe it is worth it.
You can get discounted items from the below websites. I bought a pair of Mountain Pants for $150. Great pair of pants!
Mountain Archery, Gearchase, 1 Shot Gear, Camofire,
I love the look of it. How's the sizing and fit? Because I cant find anybody selling it in stores around here! (Central Wisconsin) So I would have to wing it online. Would it be safe to say that the underwear, a t-shirt (sitka), and a vest, then the storm clothes would be suitable layering? I mean, I would use it in Idaho, Colorado, etc. But I'd hate to over buy at such a price.
Cabelas has it if there is one near you to try stuff on.
What are you hunting? Spot and stalk, tree stand hunting?
Base layer, insulation layer if you are treestand hunting or sitting, outerwear.
I would be spot and stalking mostly. Elk and Bear would be a must out there. It would be for out west like I said. But the weather can change in a heartbeat I've heard (my sister lives out there). I really like the open country gear like I said. But I would be hunting early season to start, probably late season once I get comfortable out there. And no Cabela's worth driving to. I think the closest one is like 2 hours away haha.
Sitka Gear works great. I took the plunge way back and I have never been uncomfortable in it, but I bought into the “system” approach and use the piece together that work together. One or two pieces of Sitka is not going to magically transform blue jeans and T-shirts’ into wilderness ready apparel.
The people that work in customer service are VERY knowledgeable and use the gear; you will get much better advice from them than in any store. Especially Cabelas.
I was thinking of getting the johns top and bottom in the subalpine open country, all in that color keep in mind. Also the long sleeve T shirt, the Mountain vest, then maybe the heavy weight hoodie and the hat I may grab but optional. Then a pair of mountain pants and a stormfront jacket at least.
Sitka ascent pants are $189. You mentioned $500 for a pair of pants? Just buy one pair.
I owned the storefront set and gain some weight so I sold it but it was incredibly well made.
I own almost the entire sitka whitetail line so I can speak more about that. I truly believe a quality base layer from any of your favorite manufacturers will suit you just fine. Sitka layout, fit and finish are second to none. They have some awesome pieces. Stormfront is a great outer shell and you would do well with it. Cold weather hoody is a nice piece too. Fanatic hoody is my favorite all around piece. I wore it probably 25+'days this year. Kota I'm sure can tell you about any piece you are interested in!
I'll definitely be trying it out. As soon as I can find a place that has some to try! Haha. The stormfront pants retail at over $500. The others don't. But I'd pay that for the jacket but damn..... it'd be hard to part with that much money for the pants! Like I said, I'll have to just search to find a retailer and try for size anyway. Then begin building my outfit!
There isn’t a day in the elk woods that I’m not wearing Ascent pants. When it gets chilly, the 90% jacket goes on. Wouldn’t be without either one.
Its worth it. So is KUIU and a little cheaper. First Lite is good too. Buy it once and be done with it. Buy cheap stuff and you'll pay for it in comfort and again when you have to buy the good stuff later. Personal experience. As stated above, get on campfire and watch for sales.
I've bookmarked the sites and will definitely be getting my sizes down so I can begin shopping. Thanks guys!
Oh goodness , Fan Boys showing up , Lord help us all, Been killing deer for years in whatever Wal Mart had on sell. And yes I hunt Western States , been going there for 30 years,. This is what freaks me out most about the future of Bowhunting , in Mississippi we have already had our unique bowhunting messed up by , X bows and some kind of primitive weapons season , but when we have enough folks that will pay several hundred dollars for a pair of britches , I start to wonder .
Remember about 30 years ago we used to make the 3 hour drive to West Point , Mississippi and buy seconds from Mossy Oak , we killed a lot Deer , Turkeys and Elk , not sure we could even imagine Technical Gear.
Almost all Sitka/Kuiu/Firstlite threads have the same types of responses. Those that answer the question, then those that say they've never bought it and it's a waste of money. Odd thing is, I've never come across people that actually bought and paid for the product, then turned around and said it was a waste of money. So, I'd go with the people that put their money where there mouth is.
I have purchased both Kuiu and Sitka items. Both area amazing. I prefer my Kuiu stuff, but any of those items are awesome. I've paid under $100 for my pants and they flat out last. The many many many miles of abuse they have taken is amazing. I'd have burned through 3 pairs of Walmart pants and they would have been 5x more uncomfortable. So not only has it been a smart $ decision, I have been very comfortable. Especially when you get a light rain and the water beads off as an added bonus. Then it warms up during the day and I zip out my attack pants and dump heat and remain comfortable. So are they worth it?
Is it worth it? Spend $70-$200 on a pair of pants that will last you till you are dead, when a decent pair of jeans costs $40-$60? It's up to you, but I say it is.
I build, who hasn’t killed a deer in a pair of blue jeans? Sure the stone wheel would roll just fine but what’s wrong with some Michelin’s(sp?) riding on some quality shocks? If these guys can afford better gear leave it alone.
I prefer my timberline pants, I think those are the ones with the knee pads. I also like the jet stream jacket better than the 90%. I love my jetstream.
Well said APauls & Link. All technical clothing has gotten expensive (Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Sitka, etc. etc.) It isn't cheap, but it outperforms generic baggy brand X stuff if you're doing something active or in moderate to extreme weather.
I could care less if you want to thump your chest and tout that you're happy hiking in blue jeans. Not for me though. I'll stick to my Sitka Ascent or Mountain pants thank you very much.
If you've ever been to a WalMart in Mississippi then you know all you need to know about that.....Sitka, Kuiu, First Lite, Pnuma, Game Gear, Six Site, SYLO, Kryptek, etc, etc, etc. We have so many technical hunting options now it is dizzying! The best part is they are all pretty decent! Find what you personally like and what fits you and your hunting style best and go with it. I like Kuiu but I have two Sitka queens in my house that love their Sitka and will wear nothing else. It's personal preference, materials, and fit. Pick what you like! Good luck!
Technical clothing is gear. Buy the best and expect it to last.
There are two valid sides to this whole argument. Is the high end gear an improvement from cheap Walmart/generic stuff? Heck yes! Can people kill animals in cheap cotton clothes? Heck yes! It's not really very different from those who use their compound bow from 1992 vs. those who get the latest and greatest. Both can be made to work. You don't need to spend a fortune to kill a critter. If you have the money, spend away and enjoy higher quality gear.
Like most groups of people, we as bowhunters have a remarkable knack for looking down our noses at those who approach things differently from us.
Sitka is worth every penny only if you can buy it at half off. They have a Facebook page where guys are selling their used gear and you can get a pretty good deal. I hunted in cotton rags my whole life and it worked but 7 years ago when I turned 53 I said to myself I want to hunt in comfort, that’s what I did. I heard Sitka is making waders now and they are $950 ! OMG
I think that if you have the money then it is worth it. I bought a pair of core 4 element pants three years ago and they have served me ok. They stretch out now after a few days of wearing and I've had some zipper problems but they still function. I lucked out on a half price deal for a pair of 90% pants and jacket this fall. I wore them every day for 3rd season elk. There is no question that they are great. Well thought out. The fabric is good quality. I don't know that I can afford to buy their gear at full price but I'd consider it. Based on my limited experience buying mid to low end technical gear and Sitka puts Sitka on the top by far (as it should for the quality and price). I'd look elsewhere in the technical outdoor gear market if I wanted to not spend Sitka prices. A pair of REI softshell pants in tan or gray would serve just fine.
It's not the same as some people think a yeti cooler is worth 350 bucks. (:
Sitka is excellent, I have almost the entire line. Quality, fit and functionality it’s second to none.
Ha ha I'm with you there Scrappy!
"If you've ever been to a WalMart in Mississippi then you know all you need to know about that"....Whaaaaaaaaa?????
Definitely worth it to me. I have a few pieces of different high end clothing, chosen specifically for certain functions, and it has all paid off for me.
And personally, I do believe it has helped me kill some animals I otherwise would not have killed. I remember many a morning where I was wearing everything I owned and still had to get out of a tree at 9 a.m. because I was freezing cold. That doesn't happen anymore. I can sit all day in comfort
Once I started getting into different clothing, I also remember many mornings where I had 5 or 6 items of clothing attached to a backpack for the walk in to a treestand. Now I strap my Fanatic gear onto the pack, toss in my boot blankets, and I'm good to go. I carry way way less for even more comfort.
I'm not very tough. I got tired of shivering and cutting hunts short because of cold or wet conditions. I hunt longer and more often with better clothing to keep me comfortable.
For all these reasons, the high end clothing is worth it to me. Also, the high end stuff has generally lasted me through some very tough use. I had one Sitka merino shirt that didn't last very well, but that has been the exception rather than the rule. I think my AScent and 90% pants were purchased in 2010. Easily 600+ days of hunting between those two pants, and they're still going strong.
I too was reluctant a few years ago until I bought my first pieces. I was warned once you start buying you'll keep buying. That was spot on! Just keep searching online, as there are other sites not listed above that will have sales at times. You can get new gear at great prices if you have some patience.
I was skeptical and purchased the mountain pants about a year ago. best hunting pants (a.k.a. britches) I've worn. I have since purchased the heavy weight base layer, also the best I have worn.
my cooler, truck, weapons, pack, and most other things are on the lower-end of the cost scale. I have learned that buying good clothing and footwear, even if it costs more, is worth it to me. I will be buying more Sitka clothing.
Another benefit that I’m not sure has been mentioned with the higher end clothing is the fit. I’m a tall skinny white guy, and until I discovered Sitka and Kuiu, ALL of my hunting clothes fit terribly. Even the higher end Cabelas tops were baggy in the shoulders/waist in order to get the sleeves long enough, and the pants were always too short and baggy. Sitka and Kuiu is definitely worth it for me just for the fit alone...
Sitka have tall and long sizes?
Sitka has talls in most of their pants but I don't think they have "Longs" in the tops/jackets.
I have Sitka rain gear and first lite clothing. My kanabs just went through their 3rd season and are still in new condition minus some sap stains. Every year I use them they get a little cheaper. Right now they have cost me 40 dollars a season! No brainer for me!
I am a huge fan of merino and wouldn’t be caught dead in cotton. Not the places I hunt in the season I’m out there.
I don't skimp on clothing and footwear. Those are two very important things hunting in the mountains.. My suggestion for Sitka is Mountain pant, Mountain Vest, core LS shirt, and Core Heavyweight Hoody. All in around $550-$600 and you can find some good sales and coupons right now.. Like at cabelas get a 10% off coupon, etc.. It is a noticeable difference having high quality gear vs. lower end stuff
You can get away with cheaper clothing (ex. cotton) in an eastern deer stand. I do not recommend trying to get away with cheaper clothing in the mountains. The last thing you want is a sweat-soaked shirt that doesn't dry quickly and a cold front blowing in.
There is a decent article in the most recent edition of Bugle about this.
I have pretty much the entire whitetail line and love it! Its worth every penny. But this weekend while on a duck hunt with some buddies I found out that my buddies brother is able to get sitka at 50%off because hes somehow affiliated with an outfitter. 1 or 2 weeks a year he can get friends and family 60% off. That would have saved me a couple thousand dollars!
Mule Power, I found out about it on the 5th
I spot and stalk Colorado Elk and Kansas Mule deer. My favorite combo is Sitka pants and my First Lite wool top. I personally like this combo as it breaks up my outline more. I've been within three yards of deer several times over the last three years since using this combo almost touched one last year. But I have killed plenty in the old mossy oak pattern prior but it was a little harder I think because the mossy oak patterns are so dark. good luck finding (your) patterns.
I love my Sitka Gear!!! I have Ascent, Stratus, 90%, Fanatic, Kelvins, Downpour and more! Hats, facemasks, gloves, core tops, long underwear - hey, you gotta' be fashionable!
My son and I have different approaches. I'm a retired guy and can afford the Sitka. He's younger and buys Kuiu. Either way, its some of the best stuff that's ever been available in the history of hunting. Period.
I have a few items. It is good stuff, but all-in-all I would say not really worth retail price. If you can get it 1/3 to 1/2 off it would probably be worth it in my eyes.
Xbowdoc, Scheels in Appleton has a decent selection of Sitka and First lite to try on sizes. Also Kenetrek boots and some other higher end gear.
Love all the "big 3" and over the years I just kind of have added in and traded up until I have pretty much everything I need (not everything I want!?) Loved all of them and have settled in KUIU mostly but have to say I still wear the original 90% Sitka pants in mothwing and they're still strong and I don't know how old they are? 6-7 years? That being said they're my oldest pair of hunting pants and are in awesome shape! Even though I've settled in KUIU I have nothing against FL or sitka...... Honestly the KUIU camo patterns are kind of what sold me...... Like any sport or hobby hunting isn't cheap! However I've learned over the years to look for sales, buy good equipment that suits me and will last and also last but not least is trying not to be compulsive! If I can't wrangle that in I think good gear ie; clothing, boots, binos, packs and my bow and arrow set up needs to be the best I can afford and will last. I've bought a lot of gear that doesn't hold up and with all the hunting I do I learned really quickly buying a pair a boots every year or two isn't worth it when I've had a pair now for seven years.... It's obviously personal preference but imo very much worth it in the long run......
I have yet to see a pair of Sitka pants that cost $500 and I have a pretty extensive collection of their gear. You get what you pay for. Sitka gear is top quality and outlasts pretty much everything else I have ever tried.
Weird suggestion perhaps... But if you want Sitka stuff and can wait a little... Check "The Fly Fishing Show" web site. If you have a show near you, check it out. If you are into fly fishing it's a good time... But I've noticed the past few years that some of the retailers come in with Sitka gear in the mix. 50% off! Both of the last two years I came close to buying, is it the Incinerator - one of the Jacket/bib lines? But the largest they had on site was the M which wont work for me. Regardless, you may get lucky. So, if you are in a region which has one of those shows, it may be worth a check if you want Sitka stuff.
Rogers sporting goods have online specials now, good deals
Kuiu is by far the most reasonable on price and at least the same quality as Sitka. I don't love the camo, but oh well.
I own quite a bit of pieces across all three of the manufacturer's lines. First off, to me it's totally worth it. You can tell this clothing is engineered for specific applications, like spot and stalk hunting in the west or whitetail hunting from a stand (depending on the specific line).
Secondly, I wouldn't get too hung up on one manufacturer or another. For me, they each have items that are better than their competitors. For example, my go to set-up always includes merino base layers from FL - I think they are by far the most comfortable. Sitka makes great mid-layer tops that I tend to use a lot -- the Core and Traverse products mainly. My go-to pant is the Kuiu Attack or Kuiu Alpine, though I also like Sitka's Mountain pant (and have used the FL Kanabs a lot in the past as well). For a puffy, it's tough to beat the weight-to-warmth ratio of the Kuiu Super Down Ultra line. And for rain gear, my go to is the Kuiu Chugach. Again, all the manufacturer's make great stuff and after trying pretty much most of it out, this is kind of my go-to set-up right now.
For years I used cotton and what ever I could buy cheap. after picking up a 90% jacket and a pair of matching pants I was sold this spring I picked up two sets of the new Subalpine on lite one warmer set I was wearing them every day I hunted they keep me warm and dry. I have not seen any priced in the $500 range