Sitka Gear
Cold Weather Clothing Review
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
kota-man 29-Oct-20
JohnMC 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
M.Pauls 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
bighorn 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
Straight Shooter 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
JL 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 29-Oct-20
Panther Bone 29-Oct-20
kota-man 29-Oct-20
hawkeye in PA 30-Oct-20
huntinelk 30-Oct-20
WV Mountaineer 30-Oct-20
carcus 30-Oct-20
standswittaknife 30-Oct-20
kota-man 30-Oct-20
kota-man 30-Oct-20
Yooper-traveler 30-Oct-20
Panther Bone 30-Oct-20
Panther Bone 30-Oct-20
Panther Bone 30-Oct-20
Scoot 30-Oct-20
WV Mountaineer 30-Oct-20
Charlie Rehor 30-Oct-20
kota-man 30-Oct-20
Scoot 30-Oct-20
kota-man 30-Oct-20
Panther Bone 30-Oct-20
grape 31-Oct-20
carcus 31-Oct-20
woodguy65 31-Oct-20
Bou'bound 31-Oct-20
altitude sick 31-Oct-20
rattling_junkie 31-Oct-20
kota-man 31-Oct-20
kota-man 31-Oct-20
Cazador 31-Oct-20
lewis 31-Oct-20
APauls 31-Oct-20
Screwball 31-Oct-20
rattling_junkie 31-Oct-20
Cazador 31-Oct-20
Bake 01-Nov-20
Milhouse 01-Nov-20
carcus 01-Nov-20
Bowfreak 01-Nov-20
kota-man 01-Nov-20
Bake 01-Nov-20
Ironbow 01-Nov-20
buckfevered 01-Nov-20
Buffalo1 01-Nov-20
Buffalo1 01-Nov-20
Rupe 02-Nov-20
goyt 02-Nov-20
Brotsky 02-Nov-20
Kannuck 02-Nov-20
TXCO 02-Nov-20
Sivart 02-Nov-20
kota-man 02-Nov-20
kota-man 02-Nov-20
midwest 02-Nov-20
TXCO 02-Nov-20
Neubauer 02-Nov-20
Scoot 02-Nov-20
Brotsky 02-Nov-20
midwest 02-Nov-20
kota-man 02-Nov-20
Iowabowhunter 02-Nov-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 03-Nov-20
Scoot 03-Nov-20
skookumjt 03-Nov-21
kota-man 20-Dec-21
kota-man 20-Dec-21
kota-man 20-Dec-21
kota-man 20-Dec-21
Tradmike 20-Dec-21
rattling_junkie 07-Sep-22
kota-man 07-Sep-22
APauls 08-Sep-22
rattling_junkie 08-Sep-22
fdp 18-Sep-22
rattling_junkie 26-Oct-22
rattling_junkie 27-Oct-22
South Farm 28-Oct-22
Mike Ukrainetz 30-Oct-22
kota-man 30-Oct-22
kota-man 30-Oct-22
rattling_junkie 06-Nov-22
nchunter 06-Nov-22
BoggsBowhunts 07-Nov-22
Michael 07-Nov-22
wv_bowhunter 08-Nov-22
Tim257 08-Nov-22
Will 08-Nov-22
Candor 12-Nov-22
Guardian hunter 13-Nov-22
Two Feathers 13-Nov-22
BC 13-Nov-22
Bigdog 21 13-Nov-22
bowonly 14-Nov-22
Two Feathers 14-Nov-22
Grey Ghost 14-Nov-22
TGbow 14-Nov-22
kota-man 04-Dec-22
Bowboy 04-Dec-22
midwest 05-Dec-22
BowSniper 05-Dec-22
nchunter 05-Dec-22
midwest 05-Dec-22
dakotabowhunter 05-Dec-22
midwest 06-Dec-22
WV Mountaineer 07-Dec-22
From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
There have been a TON of threads lately regarding Cold Weather Whitetail Clothing/systems. I own or have used most of the systems out there today designed for tree stand whitetail hunting. I will do a separate post on each of the following: Sitka Stratus, Sitka Fanatic, Sitka Incinerator, KOM StandMaster Extreme, First Lite Solitude, First Lite Sanctuary, Day One Insulated parka and bibs, Grey Wolf Woolens (both wool and standard),Predator Insulated Bibs and coat, Cabelas Stand Master, Heater Body Suit and another system similar to the HBS whose name escapes me.

For whitetail hunting out of a stand, you can get by with using just about anything insulated... from Walmart Insulated Coveralls to Carharts to some of the most elaborate tree stand designed clothing specifically for sitting in a tree. Do we “need” the latter? Probably not, but why not be as comfortable as one is willing to spend to be comfortable. Here’s my take on all these systems, for what it’s worth...

From: JohnMC
29-Oct-20
If you ever have a yard sale I might have to make a road trip!

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
My first true cold weather insulated clothing set were a set of bibs and hooded jacket made by Predator Camo. This set served me well for almost 10 years, but was pretty basic. Soft fleece exterior, full of poly fill did the job for years. When the set was “wore out” and needed replacing, the market had started designing insulated clothing designed for whitetail hunters. I wore a set of Day One Predator Insulated Parka and Bibs next. They were excellent quality, fairly warm and did the job. I started seeing the benefits of wool and decided to try some custom bibs and parka from Grey Wolf Woolens. This set was fantastic, custom tailored, warm and some of the highest quality workmanship you will find. I went from Grey Wolf to King of the Mountain Stand Master Extreme. In the end I kind of went away from the heavy wool stuff as it didn’t travel well. Again, super high quality, warm but a bit bulky. These systems continued to be refined and that brings me to Sitka and First Lite. I’ll dedicate a post to each of these 5 systems I currently own.

From: M.Pauls
29-Oct-20
Oooh this will be good! Thanks Cory for taking the time and money to enlighten us all. Please post link for your gofundme page as well so we can all pitch in!

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
SITKA STRATUS

This is probably my most versatile system I own. I have the pants, bibs and jacket. This set isn’t really insulated, but is a low knapp exterior lined fleece with a layer of Wind-stopper between another layer of low fleece, designed to be worn as an exterior shell. I will wear this set early season with just a tee and start layering it as the season gets later. I wore it last night at 36 degrees with a 25 mph wind with a Pnuma heated vest, long sleeve tee, and heavy weight base layer bottoms. I could add insulated layers and go even colder with it. I like it because it is light, and not as bulky as the heavy weight insulated pieces, but those temps and conditions are about as cold as I’m willing to go with this set.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20

kota-man's embedded Photo
Stratus Jacket
kota-man's embedded Photo
Stratus Jacket
Sitka Stratus

From: bighorn
29-Oct-20
KUIU down hard to beat for warmth and lite weight.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
SITKA FANATIC

The Fanatic is currently considered the “Gold Standard” in insulated tree stand apparel. A big hand warmer pocket, rangefinder pocket, safety harness slot, and a thinner fabric on the bow arm are just a few of the specific features. The new versions of both the Stratus and Fanatic are much quieter than their predecessor. Paired with a Fanatic Hoodie and my Pnuma Heated Vest, I can go to almost zero degrees in this set up. The Fanatic is really nice, but not my favorite set. The high loft Berber fleece really makes this set “feel” bulky to me. The set is probably one of the most functional systems out there and I like it, but for me it’s a “tweener” set and I’ll explain why later.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20

kota-man's embedded Photo
Fanatic
kota-man's embedded Photo
Fanatic
Sitka Fanatic

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
SITKA INCINERATOR

“Like being wrapped in a high loft water proof down sleeping bag while on stand”. Kind of sums up the Incinerator. Only one down side to this system: It’s not silent and the colder it gets the louder it is. My Incinerator is relegated to rainy, snowy, windy days on stand. I have yet to use a warmer system but the noise factor makes this one tough to take on a clear, cold winter sub zero day. The Incinerator is also one of the most expensive systems out there. I’d hate to be without the Incinerator, but it would not survive as my only cold weather system due to the noise. In Sitka’s defense, I don’t know what you can do to make a piece as warm and waterproof as this set without compromising one or the other. Definitely a “luxury” set/item to have in the whitetail aresenal. It won’t be for everyone, but I’m glad I have mine.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20

kota-man's embedded Photo
kota-man's embedded Photo
Sitka Incinerator

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
First Lite Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is the competition to the Incinerator in the warmth category, however, it is silent. It is not as wind and waterproof as the Incinerator but the fact that it is silent is huge for me. The Bibs didn’t fit me great so I either wear the Incinerator Bibs or the KOM StandMaster Bibs. My “go to” on a still, cold, winter day is the Sanctuary Jacket and KOM Bibs paired with Pnuma Heated Vest and PNUMA Heated Long underwear. I like the features and cut of the Incinerator better but the silence of the KOM Bibs and Sanctuary jacket is money on those freezing cold, sub zero sits.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20

kota-man's embedded Photo
kota-man's embedded Photo
First Lite Sanctuary

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
First Lite Solitude

This system competes directly with the Fanatic system. While the Fanatic is loaded with features, the Solitude is simple, more “athletic” cut giving it the feel of being slimmer, lighter and not as bulky feeling of the Fanatic. If features are important the Fanatic is tough to beat. If you just want a simple, late season insulated set to get you down low into double digits and not feel the bulk, the Solitude is a good option. Call me crazy but I really like this set and even prefer it to the Fanatic.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20

kota-man's embedded Photo
kota-man's embedded Photo
First Lite Solitude

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
To respond to some of the comments... Bighorn-I have both the Super Down and Super Down Pro and while both offer great warmth to weight ratio, I don’t usually put a “puffy” jacket into my whitetail lineup. They’re noisy, unless you really cover them, but covering them lowers the loft making them less warm.

KD- yes, just about anything will work for whitetails if is warm and quiet. The point of this thread was to address the many new whitetail systems that have hit the market the past couple years. Your point is certainly correct in that there are a ton of other great options out there that work that won’t “break the bank”. And I LOVE those boots. Bought a pair last year and use them in the tree-stand regularly.

29-Oct-20
Nice work I’ll be following, I do have my favorite for stand hunting.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
I tend not to be a fan of Iwom, Heater Body Suit and the other “Body Bag” I tried. I don’t like getting into them in the stand and the HBS zippers were super loud. The other “bag” I tried was super “crinkly”. These appear to be love/hate for most. I’m in the latter. In theory, they should work. Walk to the stand in some light clothing, climb the stand and put the bag on. They just don’t work for me. Of the three, I liked the Heater Body Suit best but the zippers were a deal breaker. Super loud.

From: JL
29-Oct-20
IMO.....any clothing that makes any noise is a no-go for stand hunting. When I'm checking out any new clothing line at places like BPS, Cabelas, Sportsmans or even Wallyworld.....I scratch it with my nails. If I can hear it....nope. That is one of the main reasons I went with the insulated Predator pants and jacket in fall gray years ago. It's hard to hear, if at all, when you draw back the bow. In fact I was wearing it tonight on the stand.

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
I’ll circle back on some of this and answer comments/questions tomorrow. In other words “I’m putting a lid on It for tonight”. ;)

29-Oct-20
Love this thread !

29-Oct-20
I’ve been considering First Lite Solitude.

Kota, how well does First Lite’s options mentioned block wind?

Thanks!

From: kota-man
29-Oct-20
Panther Bone...This is the area FL lacks in. By adding Wind Stopper you’re going to add noise. FL’s stuff is pretty silent, but the wind can get through. I combat that with some layers and don’t have any issues. The Sitka stuff does a much better job at blocking wind with their wind stopper.

30-Oct-20
Thanks for your time on the excellent reviews.

From: huntinelk
30-Oct-20
Kota,

I know this is the clothing section....but do you have a different arsenal of boots that complement each of these systems or is there one favorite boot that covers most of your treestand hunting?

Thanks

30-Oct-20
Awesome stuff Cory.

From: carcus
30-Oct-20
Thanks Cory, I have grey wolf double insulated bibs and jacket, im not crazy about it, i've been cold many times, I also have the cabelas stand hunter extreme in a one piece and bibs and jacket, very warm, quiet but very bulky, I'm just bidding on a set of first lite sanctuary, hopefully get it. I also have the sitka stratus set, its good but noisy, seems like everything sitka is noisy, my downpour rain suit is so loud it cant be used for hunting purposes, for this reason I will steer clear of the incinerator suit

30-Oct-20
Couldn’t agreee more about FL. In my opinion a superior noise reducing cloth but not “totally” wind proof.. that being said, layering correctly can eliminate this to some extent..

From: kota-man
30-Oct-20
Gene...For treestand I wear 3 different boots. Until it gets below 20 degrees I wear 1600 gram Alpha Burly’s and the Hoffman Explorer Packs. Colder than that and I wear the white military “bunny” boots.

From: kota-man
30-Oct-20
Carcus...The 2020 versions of the Stratus and Fanatic are much quieter than previous versions. Almost silent...In fact they are the quietest wind stopper garnets I’ve ever seen.

30-Oct-20
Cory, great review. I agree about the FL. I wear the Uncompahgre under the Sanctuary when it gets frigid. I also use the HBS. A little zipper wax goes a long way to quiet that down.

30-Oct-20
I’ve been considering First Lite Solitude.

Kota, how well does First Lite’s options mentioned block wind?

Thanks!

30-Oct-20
Not sure how my post got duplicated.

Thanks for the info., Kota!

I would go with the fanatic if it wasn’t for the angled zipper. I just can’t drop that much money on a jacket that’s zipper is only functionally relevant when sitting in a stand. I know I’m the minority voice out there on this, but it’s not ideal for me because of a couple reasons in this regard.

30-Oct-20
Not sure how my post got duplicated.

Thanks for the info., Kota!

I would go with the fanatic if it wasn’t for the angled zipper. I just can’t drop that much money on a jacket that’s zipper is only functionally relevant when sitting in a stand. I know I’m the minority voice out there on this, but it’s not ideal for me because of a couple reasons in this regard.

From: Scoot
30-Oct-20
This was really great and super informative. I've got a question that I think is semi-related--- I am in the market for a good set of bibs. I'm not going to drop $1K on KOM bibs, but would like a set that will keep me warmer than my insulated wool pants I wear now. I think bibs are just inherently warmer than pants, so I want to give a pair a try.

Anyhoo... I'm of mindset that super quiet bibs really don't matter much. If they stop wind and have good insultation, I don't really care if they are uber quiet- my legs don't move much at all when I'm in the stand and I've got a deer within 100 yards of me. My upper body does move when I draw my bow, in particular, and I want my top clothes to be whisper quiet. I just can't see the value in dropping huge coin on something for my legs that's super expensive to help make it both warm AND quiet. Is my thinking off here?

30-Oct-20
I want quiet as I can get. I do agree that bibs are warmer then pants. I’ll have under layers and pants on when I wear them too. So, the warmest bibs aren’t a priority if they aren’t quiet. But, that’s just me.

30-Oct-20
I can’t participate because I only have Sitka. All Sitka, all the time.

From: kota-man
30-Oct-20
Scoot...I know alot of guys that wear Incinerator Bibs with the Fanatic Jacket. (I've been known to do that as well) Reason being the Incinerators are warmer, and water proof. If you can find some uber warm bibs, that work, I agree that they don't have to be AS quiet as the Jacket. And "yes" bibs are inherently warmer than pants by a long shot as they keep your "core" warm. Now, I'm not saying to go out and buy warm nylon noisy bibs either, but you can get away with slightly more noise with the bibs vs. the top IMO. My go to ultra cold weather gear is silent from both regards. KOM Bibs with the Sanctuary Jacket is about as quiet as you can get in a cold weather system.

From: Scoot
30-Oct-20
Got it- thanks fellas. Great review that is really timely, Cory.

From: kota-man
30-Oct-20
Here's one rant/complaint with all of these systems that I can't believe a company catering to bowhunters can't figure out: FAT COLLARS

The worst is this category is the FL Solitude followed by the KOM StandMaster. The collars on these two items are really unacceptable for a bowhunter. They're HUGE. The Sitka Collars aren't horrible, but they're not great either. Anytime a collar interferes with my bowstring, it is getting folded under. I just hate folding under a collar on a $650 jacket that is really designed for bowhunting. :) All of these need a "thinner" collar IMO. I'm willing to sacrifice the warmth a huge collar offers for accuracy and not getting my head tore off at the moment of truth.

30-Oct-20
Not sure how my post got duplicated.

Thanks for the info., Kota!

I would go with the fanatic if it wasn’t for the angled zipper. I just can’t drop that much money on a jacket that’s zipper is only functionally relevant when sitting in a stand. I know I’m the minority voice out there on this, but it’s not ideal for me because of a couple reasons in this regard.

From: grape
31-Oct-20
I sat yesterday dark to dark in northeast Wisconsin. Temperatures started in the 20's. There is absolutely NO way I would have made it without HBS. No way. I wish I had one many years ago.

From: carcus
31-Oct-20
X2 on the collars Cory, I had a shorter collar put on my grey wolf jacket when I ordered it, its awesome for that, my cabelas stand hunter one piece has a decent collar, my 2 piece is ridiculous, it covers my ears!. A big collar is ok if you have a giraffe neck, but I have the opposite problem

From: woodguy65
31-Oct-20
X3 on the collars, thought I was the only one they bothered. I fold all mine under as well.

From: Bou'bound
31-Oct-20
Why is the fanatic zipper angled. What supposed problem are they solving for that has never been needed to be solved for in 5000 years of garment making

31-Oct-20

altitude sick's embedded Photo
It’s a perfect frosty Halloween AM. But the deer don’t know it. Haven’t seen one deer yet.
altitude sick's embedded Photo
It’s a perfect frosty Halloween AM. But the deer don’t know it. Haven’t seen one deer yet.
Bou, it’s so it can have a full length zipper and have a kangaroo pouch hand warmer Pocket. I’m wearing mine now and like the jacket. All except the zipper. I would rather it was a 3/4 length. Last evening sit it is was mid 30s With wind in the 20s mph. I was wearing my Fanatic and Cabelas heavy Berber fleece bibs. The wind eventually got through the Berber. And I got a hair chilly. This AM it’s 25 and zero wind. A good test for quietness. I’m wearing a hooded pull over under the Fanatic. And Incinerator bibs. I’m toasty warm. But there is no wind. It’s a good combo of warmth and stealth. I’m not a Sitka fan boy but I really do like all the little features that the Fanatic has. Except the zipper. I would prefer it to be vertical. To the top of the kangaroo pouch.

31-Oct-20
I wear the HBS, and love it. The zipper is a little loud if you unzip them too quick. Put some pressure and go slow then it really isn't that loud. Though I'll try some zipper wax, didn't know they made that stuff.

From: kota-man
31-Oct-20
I agree with Altitude...I would prefer the Fanatic be 1/4 /1/2 zip vs angled full zipper. I do really like the “muff pouch” though.

There’s one more system I have, but didn’t include as it’s not the best Bowhunting system but a VERY effective cold weather system and that’s the Sitka Blizzard set. I love the down pants and the features on the jacket. This set is goose down similar to the Incinerator but has the Goretex waterproof exterior making it a bit loud for bowhunting. I use the heck out of this system late season muzzleloader and rifle hunting. I also used it as my under garment on my Polar Bear Hunt with Canada Goose Bibs and Jacket over the top. This set would work great for a late season Canmore Bighorn Archery Hunt. Overall, another well thought out, warm waterproof system by Sitka.

From: kota-man
31-Oct-20

kota-man's embedded Photo
kota-man's embedded Photo
Sitka Blizzard

From: Cazador
31-Oct-20
Day One without a doubt, not even a close second has/had the best collars going. Gary knew what he was doing as he was a hard core bowhunter. I have one vest the collar in back goes almost over my head, and it trims down perfectly in the front so it doesn't get hung up on your string. Your back to the wind, you don't even feel it.

From: lewis
31-Oct-20
Great reviews I’m sure some of the younger guys can get a lot of good useful info out of this.Stay safe Lewis

From: APauls
31-Oct-20
Interesting. I’ve got the First Lite Sanctuary as we as the new Sitka Fanatic set. I would consider these two sets competition to each other. Of the two I prefer the Sitka hands down. I find it warmer, and the Windstopper is key. The hand muff in the Fanatic is still something that puts the system in another league IMO. Bou - this is the reason for an angled zipper and this angled zipper makes this the best jacket ever.

The sleeve does have a slight crinkle to it, but you’ve really gotta be listening. The First Lite might be a Small touch quieter, but Sitka better in every other way. Although I wouldn’t mind the hood option back.

I also have a HBS, but getting into it in a tree stand is so death defying I’m surprised insurance people don’t ask this question when you buy life insurance. I rarely, if ever, use it anymore because the clothing technology elsewhere has come so far. They also don’t make the feet big enough for my big boots which is really annoying. Or at least mine isn’t. I’ve had mine for 12 years. Zipper noise is no concern for me on it though

ADDENDUM: I listened to my FL VS Sitka for noise and can’t tell a difference. Only pure fleece or pure wool will be essentially noiseless. The windstopper in the Sitka makes it so much warmer it’s not worth comparing. I love it

From: Screwball
31-Oct-20
I just received my DayOne vest wind stop and insulated very warm and love the collar. Thinking on getting bibs any other feedback on Day One?

31-Oct-20
Adam when I use my HBS I'm always harnessed in, so really not death defying. I can say the HBS works for me extremely well. Really all this stuff comes down to personal preference and what one appreciates in a product. I'll be in the HBS tomorrow.

From: Cazador
31-Oct-20

Cazador's embedded Photo
Cazador's embedded Photo
I have the Day One bibs, its the windstopper, fleece model. They are very warm, and dead quiet. Cold day in CO is 5-10 degrees but the wind is a crusher. It's nothing to be sitting with a constant 10-20 MPH breeze going. We get sun here so it's not as bad as way up north, but I'm happy with it.

If you're into camo, some pretty nice options.

From: Bake
01-Nov-20
Great review!! Thank you for taking the time to do it. I’d really like to upgrade my old fanatic set that is in the old forest pattern with the incinerator bibs and the fanatic jacket

However, my question is how you layer underneath it for the best cold weather ability?? Long underwear and thin pants? Just a shirt and the pnuma? I always feel like I gotta layer way up under it, and that probably does more harm than good

From: Milhouse
01-Nov-20
I love the Incinerator stuff as far as overall warmth. It's "quiet-ish" when it really gets cold. I can wear it and get away with drawing a bow in pretty extreme temps... but I usually go with the FL Sanctuary parka and Incinerator bibs in really cold weather. The Sanctuary is so much quieter than the Incinerator parka. The bibs don't matter as much, because I try to set my stands so I can shoot sitting down. Under layers are also key. I will usually go with very light silk, poly or merino as a first layer, mid weight poly socks, and heavyweight merino socks. I just got tbe Pnuma heated long underwear, haven't tried em yet, but that'll be layer #2, them some pnuma Insulator pants. Incinerator bibs would complete the bottom half. Top I'll go same lightweight base, Pnuma vest, fleece turtle neck, sometimes a poly or wool sweater.... then the Sanctuary parka. Summit heated hand muff, thin gloves, maybe a couple of backup chemical handwarmers. Boots are normally Baffin snowmobiling boots. Not sure the model... Boa lock laces. Fleece neck gaiter, thin facemask, and a fleece or wool beanie. That's a mouthful.... I can sit all day with this get up. It's taken me awhile to get it together, and trial and error has been a big part of the process. I'll walk to my stand wearing the bottom stuff, as long as it's not a long walk, and the parka, and sweater strapped to my daypack. Top layer goes on at or in the stand.

Some guys will say eliminate a layer or two and get an HBS. This is apparently a love/hate thing.... I'm in the latter group. Owned one, didn't like attempting to get into on stand. At all. Everything about bowhunting is a personal choice. What one guy thinks works perfectly for him, another will hate. This is what works for me. Your milage will vary.

From: carcus
01-Nov-20
I was just looking at the KOM standmaster suit $2150 USD thats $2865CAD, wow, crazy expensive, doesn't look much different than my wool cabela's stand hunter extreme suit that I paid $350 for, screw it maybe I'll get a set, and maybe a dozen bishop arrows for only $2200 and a 3 pack of broadheads for $600! JK! insane!

From: Bowfreak
01-Nov-20
Thanks for the great information. I'm curious what the new FL Specter is going to be? I am assuming it is a camo pattern but possibly a whole new clothing system. I guess we will know tomorrow 11/2.

From: kota-man
01-Nov-20
Bake...Here’s my Fanatic upper layering: Tee, Pnuma Vest, Fanatic Hoodie, Fanatic. This will easily get me into the “teens”, single digits if I had to. Anything more and I feel like the “Michelin Man”.

I too anxiously await First Lites announcement tomorrow. I’m gonna guess new camo with some new wind stopping material.

The Day One stuff is good stuff. I may revisit it again sooner than later.

From: Bake
01-Nov-20
Thanks Kota!

From: Ironbow
01-Nov-20
I have used the Day One bibs in fleece with windstopper (no insulation) for over 20 years. I can layer fleece pants under it, or in really cold weather, I have some old Cabela's insulated fleece pants with Dry Plus (similar to Gore Tex) that I layer under it and am very warm in them.

As mentioned, Day One has the best collars in the industry for bowhunting. I have a couple of nice Cabela's jackets and hate, hate the collars.

From: buckfevered
01-Nov-20
Thank you. Good info.

From: Buffalo1
01-Nov-20
Cory this is an absolute outstanding critiquing of cold weather apparel. Thanks for the time you took to present.

Even though I hunt in the Deep South, I can still glean knowledge and principles on proper way to dress and stay warm, quiet and dry. Most appreciated.

From: Buffalo1
01-Nov-20
Charlie,

Even though you are an all Sitka all the time hunter, would love to hear your apparel advice/experiences with Sitka clothing. Tks

From: Rupe
02-Nov-20
I own First Lite Sanctuary Bibs and the First Lite Woodberry Jacket with the First Lite Uncompahgre Puffy Insulated Jacket for layering when it gets really cold. I love the fit and finish. And I have hunted in bitter cold here in Iowa. Only thing gets cold is my feet. LOL

I hike in with just a light set of fleece on. Once in my stand I wait about 15 minutes or so before putting on my outer garments.

From: goyt
02-Nov-20
I have the first edition Fanatic Parka and a First Lite Sanctuary Parka. Both have hoods which is a must for me. I like everything on the Fanatic except the noise and wear it when there is wind if I think to switch parkas. It is faster and easier to shove a phone or call into the pocket on the Fanatic if a deer is coming. Until Sitka offers a hooded Fanatic my first choice is the Sanctuary.

From: Brotsky
02-Nov-20
I run first lite but guys asking about boots and feet. Get a set of arctic shield boot blankets. They are awesome, I will not hunt in cold weather in a tree or blind without them.

From: Kannuck
02-Nov-20
X2 on the boot blankets! Best money I've ever spent. Helly Hansen liner sock - Alpaca heavyweight socks - LaCrosse 1800 gram boots. Put Arctic Shield boot blankets on when in the stand. If it's below -30 add some toe warmers.

From: TXCO
02-Nov-20
Any experience with the fanatic hoody in your system? Im trying to decide if the little things are worth it or if just stick with a normal hoody.

From: Sivart
02-Nov-20
Don't you find that the Stratus jacket is really noisy when leaning back into the bark of the tree? Mine sounds like really loud velcro, to the point i won't use that jacket unless it's super windy.

From: kota-man
02-Nov-20
TXCO...One of the things I like best about the Fanatic Hoody is the built in mask. As long as I'm wearing that hoodie, I don't worry about a face covering.

Sivart...Is that a '20 Stratus, or previous version? The new versions of the Fanatic and Stratus are much quieter than previous versions. I noticed the Stratus is much "softer" than the previous version.

From: kota-man
02-Nov-20
Well, First Lite's big announcement was alot of hype with very little substance IMO. Nice new camo pattern and that's it. No additional wind stopper type garmets. Meh...

From: midwest
02-Nov-20
Dammit, got me wanting to spend a bunch of money, kota. lol

Thanks for the review!

From: TXCO
02-Nov-20
Thanks Kota, I like the facemask and hood along with the kangaroo pocket. The mittens seem more a hassle than anything. I guess to me it seems the only different between the fanatic and core heavy weight is the kangaroo pocket and mittens.

From: Neubauer
02-Nov-20
I’ve tried the fanatic system and the sanctuary system. I always felt like there was a bit of noise that bothered me. They also weren’t nearly as warm as I thought they would be. I was at my local Cabela’s a few years ago and inspected the Cabela’s Stand Hunter system and I was sold. Yes it’s really heavy but it’s dead silent and unbelievably warm. I went with the full coveralls and haven’t regretted it. I like that it traps my body heat where as a coat and overalls kinda let air in and out. It works for me.

From: Scoot
02-Nov-20
Cory, how is the Firstlite Sanctuary jacket in terms of burr resistance? I love my Fanatic jacket, but daayyuuum does that thing attract burrs! If I'm within 30' of cockleburs or beggar's lice, they will magically fly through the air to attach to it! It's a burr magnet!

Another question- a puffy under the Fanatic. How does that compare in noise to the Incinerator? How about compared to the Sanctuary?

From: Brotsky
02-Nov-20
Scoot, I use the Sanctuary system because of the burr factor. I won't say it's burr proof but it's light years better than the Fanatic. I fired my fanatic jacket for that reason, the damn burrs where I hunt are something else. I'm pretty sure I spread them out under all my stands by picking them off that damn fanatic jacket :)

From: midwest
02-Nov-20
Burrs are a huge problem in the areas I hunt but I never wear my outer layer jacket to the stand. Vest and jacket are always in the pack.

From: kota-man
02-Nov-20
Hey Scoot...As stated the Sanctuary isn’t nearly as bad for Burr’s as the Fanatic. Not “burr resistant” but way better.

Regarding a puffy under the Fanatic, I don’t do it. I just wear a warmer outer layer. With the Sanctuary and Incinerator with the heated Pnuma I don’t even ever consider adding a puffy to the Fanatic. The Fanatic already “feels” bulky enough to me with limited layering, I’m not willing to add to that bulk.

02-Nov-20
I've got the older model Fanatic jacket and bibs-i like them. Heavy as all get out packing to the stand, and as stated is a burr magnet.

My mid-layer is something I've got to figure out. I wear lightweight FL merino top and bottom long underwear, Cabelas extreme cold weather top and bottom long under wear.

Kuiu Attack pants and Teton jacket (these are both needing replaced with something warmer with windstopper).

First Lite unpronounceable jacket if its real coldnis layered under the fanatic jacket. Love the hand muff and angled zipper!

03-Nov-20
Ok I've spent about $500 from this post so far :)

From: Scoot
03-Nov-20
Thanks for the replies, fellas.

From: skookumjt
03-Nov-21
This is worth bumping considering the recent threads. Thanks for the reviews.

From: kota-man
20-Dec-21
Update:

I “upgraded” a couple sets and I added another set to the arsenal this year: The Skre Guardian Extreme Weather Jacket and Bibs was the new addition. The Skre set is worth a look. It reminds me of the original Sitka Incinerator set with a softer, quieter exterior. It’s as warm as anything I own. This set also won’t t totally break the bank either. Not cheap but less than some of the bigs. My new go to archery cold weather set for sure.

I tried to order a new set from Day One last spring to give them another shot. Placed the order, was told they were waiting on insulation and never heard another word. End of Day One review.

I upgraded to the new Sitka Incinerator Aerolite this year also. The set is really nice, but still really noisy, and contrary to what Sitka says, it’s not as warm as previous versions. The plus side is that it is by far the most packable cold weather stuff that you’ll ever own. If it’s cold, windy and wet, this is still a great option.

I don’t know if my search for the perfect Cold Weather system is complete or not, but really look forward to putting the Skre stuff through the paces. So far so good…

From: kota-man
20-Dec-21

kota-man's embedded Photo
kota-man's embedded Photo
Pics and specs

From: kota-man
20-Dec-21

kota-man's embedded Photo
kota-man's embedded Photo
Bibs…

From: kota-man
20-Dec-21

kota-man's embedded Photo
kota-man's embedded Photo
Specs

From: Tradmike
20-Dec-21
Scentlok just came out with cold weather system they call BE-1. They are trying to compete with Sitka and FL. Anyone tryed this and compared it to Sitka and FL?

07-Sep-22
How did the Skre Guardian hold up? I'm considering getting this set for this fall.

From: kota-man
07-Sep-22
I liked it. Very comparable to the Original down Sitka Incinerator. Great cold weather set for the money for stationary hunting.

From: APauls
08-Sep-22
Holy mackerel. Still $800US for the set. So glad I have many years left on my cold weather gear. I think Sitka is $940US for the Fanatic set but at least you can find it at retailers and get a sale.

08-Sep-22
So, I'm guessing it was loud?

From: fdp
18-Sep-22

26-Oct-22
Well Kota I purchased the Skre Guardian set. I'll be putting it to the test here in MB. If I don't like it when it arrives I'll get the Fanatic.

27-Oct-22
I received the Skre Guardian today. Very well made and comfortable but it is too loud for my liking. It's getting returned and I bought another Heater Body Suit for my son instead.

From: South Farm
28-Oct-22
For the price of this stuff it might be cheaper to crank the thermostat and shoot 'em out the back window of the house!

I have a love/hate relationship with the HBS...awesome once you're in it, nothing keeps me warmer, BUT getting in that damn thing up in a stand is akin to a monkey humping a football! Takes too long with too much movement for my liking...and there's something about being 20' up a tree with no hands available to reach out and grab hold of something if you start to tip, or God forbid fall out! I think cold-weather hunting gear is a lot like boats in the fact that no one is going to be perfect in all conditions.

30-Oct-22
Thanks Kota-man/Cory for the fantastic reviews! Such great details and it shows how the clothing needs to be specialized to deal with whether it is likely to rain on stand or if high wind or just deep cold is the issue. It’s a bit different everywhere you go.

For me in Alberta in November it’s deep cold and maybe some wind, rain very unlikely. -20 F or about -30 C is about the max I can deal with in an open stand and I couldn’t do it without my Sitka Fanatic bibs and jacket and hand warmers. I’ve got a heated vest to try now and that should be fantastic for not having to layer up the bulk on a guys upper body.

For footwear I simply use booties from on old Heater Body suit and put in hand warmers. It barely matters what boots I wear even to -20 F, I just wear Wetland Muck boots, or maybe the Arctic Pro but my feet don’t sweat much at all. I think that’s a huge factor in how good your boots need to be and whether they are waterproof or not.

Thanks again!

From: kota-man
30-Oct-22
I added yet another set to the arsenal this year. When it first came out I wasn’t thrilled, but the more I read, the more I liked.. The KUIU Proximity arrived last week. By itself, it falls between the Stratus and Fanatic. With a heated vest and Kenai or Sitka MIDI quiet puffy, it will get into Fanatic territory without the bulk. It’s NOT the Fanatic, but a very versatile set that will get you down to some fairly cold temps. It’s pretty quiet and fairly wind resistant. (Not like Sitka though) I like it as it’s not nearly as bulky feeling as the Fanatic. I feel like the Michelin Man in the Fanatic and I don’t love the large loop Berber. The Proximity will work for a large portion of the country late season. Up here, it should get me through November. I’ve wore it once and I’m impressed. Hope to get out with it a few more times in November. With the success of the Proximity, I’m guessing KUIU will be diving head first into the whitetail game.

From: kota-man
30-Oct-22
For those with the First Lite Woodbury (another jacket I love), the Proximity feels like it would be slightly warmer for comparison sake.

06-Nov-22
I got the Sitka Fanatic, man what a suit! I can't wait to put it to the test. Much quieter than Skre. For Manitoba the Fanatic with a heated vest just might be the ticket, APauls encouraged me to get the Fanatic set.

From: nchunter
06-Nov-22
I have the fanatic bibs and jacket. I love them for blackpowder hunting but too bulky for bow hunting comfortably. My biggest complaint is even buying an xl tall the coat is way too short. Its great as long as you are wearing bibs. I love bowhunting out of my stratus set. Just add the right amount of merino underneath and I am set.

07-Nov-22
I agree with the post way above on a Kota-Man garage sale. You’d have all of bowsite buying a plane ticket

From: Michael
07-Nov-22
I can add to Kota’s review on the proximity. Hunting SE Nebraska since October 29th. Have had temps down to 28 for coldest low. With the right layers under neath it’s does very well. It is very versatile for a Midwest hunter. With temps in the 40’s to 50’s I just layer accordingly.

I still have my fanatic jacket and don’t plan on getting rid of it for those colder temps. Fridays low is forecasted to be 20 with a stiff NW wind gusting to 25. It will be the real test for the Kuiu Proximity jacket and pants. Will report back next weekend.

From: wv_bowhunter
08-Nov-22
I could have overlooked it, but has anyone used Predator Camo’s Ambush Bibs and Coat?

From: Tim257
08-Nov-22
My feet have always been cold. I used to put three toe warmers in each boot. And swap them as often as possible. But I bought Baffin Trappers for about $110 an they are amazing. I don’t even bother with toe warmers anymore. They are terrible to walk in though.

From: Will
08-Nov-22
Ill third the Proximity. I'ts been really warm here this fall, but I've had a couple AM's I got to wear the Proximity Jacket and Pants. In the 30's, so not "cold", but a nice chill for a fall AM. Normally I use a few long sleeve base layers and maybe a wind block fleece vest on days like that as base/mid layers... and I had to cut back to a single base layer because it felt to warm.

Very solid gear so far for me... And now with cold weather returning and AM's in the 20's coming, I'm excited to get out with it more.

Ill Second Kota-Man though on the "bulk". It really feels light and not to bulky to wear. Really comfortable, and if you are a saddle user, the way the cargo pockets on the pants are positioned (on the pant and the access routes) really works super whether leaning or "sitting" in the saddle.

From: Candor
12-Nov-22
Kota - For your base layer t-shirt - are you wearing short sleeve light weight merino under the Pnuma or a dry fit? I do not like the pnuma against my skin when it is on. I like a baselayer under it to distribute the heat a bit more.

13-Nov-22
Anyone using black ovis anchor point puffy pants. Looks like a bargain at $119 for the gray color?

From: Two Feathers
13-Nov-22
Seems like you get a lot of milage out of your heated vest. I think that's my next purchase.

From: BC
13-Nov-22
I just ordered one from GoHuntVest. Been using a vest that holds a dozen hand warmers but wanted to upgrade.

From: Bigdog 21
13-Nov-22
Iam going to change it up first layer. Marino wool . I like the -33 deg. In heavy weight. 2 layers of it. Then usually Carhartt bibs reg insulated . And a thick line hoody. Also my warmest clothes come from drake wear waterfowl clothing the new stuff is lite and quiet waterproof and wind Prof. Waterfowl is a real cold sport at times and it always keeps me warm, laying in snow on frozen ground for hours and staying warm. Are N.D at 5 deg and 20 mile hour winds sitting on the lake. Just get the extreme wear.

From: bowonly
14-Nov-22
I just took my second Montana buck using a Heater Body Suit. The first was two years ago around 0 degrees windchill. 13 yard shot, but it was under my tree when I unzipped and took the shot. While wind noise may have covered whatever sound it made, you can't have one much closer than that. He was totally clueless. I was using the same Heater Body Suit two days ago when I shot another buck at 16 yards. This time it was 4 above and 12-15 mph wind. Thats around 10 to 13 windchill. I made more movement and noise on this one and no reaction. Yeah, wind may have covered sounds, but I have not had the zipper make hardly any noise. The Suit makes it possible for me to hunt in temps I couldn't "stand" otherwise. Didn't use any heat packs. And not wearing so many clothes that I can't shoot my recurve. I hunted last week when it was 4 below with 10 mph wind. That's getting down to -20 windchill. My biggest complaint is the wind does cut through the material when it gets into the teens and twenties mph. I wondered why they haven't put a windstopper or waterproof barrier in it, but realize now that would make it noisy, not to mention more expensive. I have solved that problem with stuffing down pants inside along the windward side. To quote wise whitetail hunters, "You can't kill big bucks if they ain't there!" I would add "You can't kill big bucks if you ain't out there!" by letting the cold keep you home.

From: Two Feathers
14-Nov-22
I changed my mind on the heated vest. Now I'm getting a heated jacket liner with heated sleeves.

From: Grey Ghost
14-Nov-22
Cory, I want to thank you for this very informative thread. I wish I had your hunting wardrobe budget.

I'm in the market for a new pair of pants for the Colorado Oct-Dec deer season. Temps can range from the 60s to the teens. Based on your reviews, I just ordered a pair of Stratus pants. I don't mind layering up, so I bought a size larger than normal. I think the Fanatic would be too warm, because my hunts often involve both stand hunting and some spot and stalk. My only concern is I will like them so much, I'll have to spring for the Stratus jacket, as well. ;-)

Thanks again,

Matt

From: TGbow
14-Nov-22
We don't have a lot of consistent cold weather here but I usually just but whatever is the cheapest I can find. I have a pair of insulated bibbs my brother discarded 20 years ago..still wear them. Usually down here, thermal underwear n a pair of pants with insulated bibbs or coveralls will handle what cold we have.

I have a pair of LaCrosse cold weather rubber boots, I hunt in a lot of wet areas. Medium wool socks.

From: kota-man
04-Dec-22
To answer some questions… Candor, yes I usually wear a merino tee under the Pnuma Vest just to avoid sweat/oils on the vest. I do wear the Long Johns with nothing under. The Pnuma stuff is a lifesaver for me up here. Works great for any outdoor activities. I wear it to football games all fall.

I pushed the Proximity to the limits for me tonight. 27 degrees, 30 mph wind that reduced to 15. Wore a base layer, the Pnumas, and a Kuiu Kenai under the Proximity. I don’t think I’d want to go any colder temp/wind wise with that set up. Without wind, I could go lower, but I think 27 is the magic number for me to switch to the Incinerator or Guardian. This set is going to be great late October and all of November up here and probably season long in the “I” states.

From: Bowboy
04-Dec-22
Great update Cory!

From: midwest
05-Dec-22

midwest's Link
Has anyone tried the Pnuma IconX Heated Core Vest? I like the idea of wearing it as a next to skin base layer.

With my current Ororo heated vest, I wear a light merino shirt as a base layer then have to tuck the vest in under my bibs and walk in wearing that. Holy crap, my arms are about frozen if it's down in the teens but anything heavier under the vest and I don't think I'm getting the most benefit from the vest. I think the layering options would be much better with the IconX.

From: BowSniper
05-Dec-22
Interesting idea of a base layer next to skin heated vest, but how does that handle frequent washing? Is it wired?

From: nchunter
05-Dec-22
I love my fanatic set for cold weather hunting. I absolutely hate the zipper until I get my hands into the warm muffs front. I just bought some crispi wild rock plus to keep my feet warm. Throw 2 layers of minus 33 merino under the fanatic with one stick-on body warmer on the back of the jacket and I stay toasty. Just bought a kuiu balaclava to keep my face warm.

From: midwest
05-Dec-22
BowSniper, Per the care instructions...

Hand wash in mild detergent and cold water only. Machine washing on any setting and machine drying at any heat level – even Fluff or Air Dry - will void the guarantee of the IconX Heated Core Vest. Machine washing and drying will cause the fiber heating elements to shift position resulting in poor heat distribution or complete loss of heating performance. Additionally, the battery connector in the Vest-pocket may also suffer damage.

05-Dec-22
Hey guys, I'm going to chime in on the cold weather gear. Since I hunt South Dakota and have for over forty years I've hunted in some cold weather. So far the warmest and quietist bibs I've tried are the Cabela's stand hunter series, very quiet, very warm, kind of heavy and bulky. I still haven't found a coat that can match the bibs for warmth and quiet. The warmest system I use by far is the Heater Body Suit, I've had mine for about fifteen years or so. The zipper on my HBS is very quiet, almost silent, I've had deer right below my stand and have had none hear me unzipping. I like the HBS because I don't have to bulk up with cold weather clothes to hunt with it, I can wear the same clothes that I would wear on a thirty deg day underneath the suit and stay warm in some pretty cold temps. The suit is a little clumsy to get into when in a tree stand but not too bad. I've used the HBS to stand hunt in weather down to -25 to -35 below actual air temp without even mentioning the wind chill. Very cold temps. In a tree stand I usually don't sit more than 3-4 hours but I can go a little longer in a ground blind. I've learned over the years that when it gets real cold the deer around here don't move much in the morning so I concentrate on hunting afternoon and evenings. That's my opinion on cold weather gear, I haven't tried the new stuff as most of the time I see it in the stores it seams to be noisy and if its noisy in the store it will be worse in the woods. Don't forget the cheap chemical hand warmers, they can make a big difference in cold weather.

From: midwest
06-Dec-22
Okay, I may be confused here (shocker) but has the Pnuma vest always been the IconX which is designed to wear next to skin? I thought they originally had one that is similar to the Ororo which is a heated, insulated vest.

07-Dec-22
I’ll say this. Kuiu nailed its proximity jacket. I much prefer it to the Sitka fanatic jacket. By miles.

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