Contributors to this thread:
Sitka VS FirstLite
I can imagine the many debates on here between the two, but I am seriously torn between. Whether that be because of camo pattern (Elevated;Specter) bulk, warmth, you name it.
I am in search for November day warmth in the Midwest. Days that may dip into the teens or single digits.
But I am also the guy that like to move around. So the fanatic series or sanctuary may be too much warmth
I mix it up and hunt from the ground (no blind) or in the stand.
Not sure what sitka offers for ground concealment with the elevated pattern?
Possibilities... Sitka Fanatic jacket with Stratus bibs.
Or stratus jacket and bibs with extra layers underneath.
First lite sanctuary Jacket with Solitude bibs.
Or the solitude full set with additional base layers.
Help a guy out please.
I am athletic build. 6'2 220
I would go with Sitka simply because First Lite is funded by Liberals.
That, and sitka is great gear, and have sizes to fit anyone.
"First Lite is funded by Liberals". Do tell....
For the love of God let's not do this! LoL.
Google “ The Chernin Group” “MeatEater” “First Lite” you can decide for your self. But the more you look the less impressed you will be spending your money with either of these companies, that assuming you are not a limp wristed like a few around here.
Sitka has whitetail pieces specially made for every stage of Whitie season from September to January.
Well thats a real hard pitiful shame on first lites part and Steve too. Hands tied to anti gun. Hard to fathom their reasoning behind it?
I’ve been making the same debate and I’m going Sitka
I’d go with Sitka because of the Chernin group thing. Also because of John Barklow. He’s a sick bastard.
I went with sitka. My largest concern was the Elevated camo pattern and being on the ground. No regrets anywhere else but I definitely learned something about first lite. Thanks guys
I think that Sitka has less heat loss which absolutely critical for all day sets plus there is nothing quieter on those super cold mornings where you can hear zipper for quarter of a mile?
If you are on budget then First Lite is not a significant compromise.
I chose the heater body suit because I am cheap and for me it’s more packable.
I fantasize about the fanatic with the bibs but probably will never breakdown and buy unless Charlie bequeaths me his hand me downs. LoL
You boys werent kiddin. No more First Lite for me. Definitely takin that sticker off my truck too. I guess we'll see how this all plays out.
Ive ordered from Day One before, they make good stuff. I have an ASAT pull over fleece shirt that I wear over whatever I got one
Of course we can't forget Sitka Gear and their virtue signaling by opposing oil drilling (a tiny tiny portion) in ANWR. The ultimate irony, considering their gear is made from petroleum.
Would second Day One Camo, dont have alot but what i have is top quality.
Look at the Day One Cowboy Suede. Very soft, very durable. Great garments.
Have a day one set of overalls in cowboy suede, good stuff and wicked warm.
I went with the Huntsworth and my Buddy went Sitka Bibs and fanatic jacket. Having tried on both I’m glad I went with Huntsworth for a fourth of the costs. We will see when the hunt is on.
All First Lite all the time :)
I like first lites merino. Not a fan of the company that owns them, but comfy merino.
I’d go Sitka. The fit and finish is just better all around.
I have garments from both companies, and neither brand has earned my loyalty. My latest failure was a pair of First Lite merino pants. They didn't even last 1 elk season before I wore holes in the seat and one knee. By contrast, I wore a pair of $37 Wrangler ATG pants this year, and they don't show any evidence of wear whatsoever.
I'm usually a "buy once, cry once" kinda of guy when it comes to just about anything. I don't mind spending more for quality. But, I just don't see the value/quality in these 2 brands for the outrageous prices they charge for them.
I am in the midwest and Sitka was my choice. Have been toying with idea of fanatic stuff but really can't justify the cost at this point. My buddy has bibs, and coat and I have worn it. Its unbelievably warm in cold weather, however there is not very many times during the season that I could wear it in my opinion. I have fanatic light series for early season, and have the Stratus pants, vest, jacket coupled with fanatic hoodie(my favorite piece). With windproofing in it I stay plenty warm here in Kansas. Have been out in 25-30 degrees with 20 mph north wind and have stayed comfortable.
Regarding meateater and FL being supported by Anti Hunters. Here is a blog with some information. Take it as you wish, Just thought I'd share additional info that is out there about it.
If it's November and I'm after whitetails here in Ohio, you can bet money I'll be wearing Sitka Elevated II stuff every day. Stratus and appropriate base layers on cool days. Fanatic and layers as needed when it's cold. I don't go bulkier than that...have never needed more. Chemical warmers for hands and feet, plus the right head-wear reduce the amount of clothing (bulk) needed.
I have the Fanatic, and it’s a little on the warm side for most of November hunting in Illinois.
PREDATOR all day, everyday !!
Sitka Fanatic..best money I’ve ever spent on hunting cloths.
Sitka is just better. I don't wear an entire wardrobe of Sitka but the selective pieces I own are all top notch in fit, function and construction. I don't worry about their camo patterns since I wear a leafy jacket when bow hunting or an ASAT shirt over the Sitka tops.
I gave up on First Lite long ago due to bizarre sizing issues while having an average Joe body (5'10" 180#). Also, NEVER pull a loose thread on a First Lite garment.
I have had both. Really dislike Sitka's camo patterns and honestly FL is quieter on stand and ground. BUT I do believe that Sitka is a better designed higher quality item. That being said, I bought out everything I could in FL when they sold out in ASAT.. Glad I did, but the politics of this group also has me thinking I may sell it all and going with something else.
For hunting on the ground in the midwest, I'd hate wearing anything fleece. It seems the burs now are worse than they used to be. You'll be picking burs out of that Fanatic until your fingers are raw. I'd get something a little more bur proof for my ground hunting.
Glad you got what you wanted.
IMO sitting and any kind of movement are different clothing. If you want one set of clothing to cover both sitting in moderately cold temps, but also able to walk you're screwed. Never gonna happen. Only thing you can do is remove good sitting clothing into your pack, do your moving, and then if you have more sitting to do, put on the sitting stuff.
Thanks txhunter. I’ll see if I can help out some.
I recently bought a heavy weight core I’ve been wearing this season. Great piece of gear.
I bought a first lite sanctuary jacket last fall, it surprised me how warm it was and really comfortable and quiet , the material seems a bit fragile so I didn't go with the bibs, will probably get fanatic bibs to complete the set. I could care less about the politics so whatever suits me better is what I buy. Sitka is awesome, I have the stratus bibs and jacket I bought when they first came out, its still like new!
While I'm primarily a Sitka Elevated II guy for deer, the First Lite Cypher pattern really impressed me in Alaska. It's not colorful or appealing to the human eye. Drab but with enough contrast to blend well. I like it far more than the typical box store patterns seen everywhere. I would take the Cypher pattern over anything I've owned the past 20 years for ground concealment.
Kevin, you're right, that's an ugly pattern! BUT I bet it's great for ground hunting after the leaves fall here.
It's cool to be ugly Dana. ;)
Nice! Can't argue with results like that!
The few pieces of Sitka i have owned fit perfect and functioned well. In 2013 i went all in and bought a huge assortment of First Lite gear for a backcountry elk hunt. Once i got all the pieces in and tried them on, i realized the sizing was pure garbage! Everything was too big! I bought medium everything and it was all like an XL size! Didnt really have time to send it back so i just had to suck it up and wear it with a belt. It all said medium on the tags too. The merino was warm but not very tear resistant. After one season it was pretty much trashed. I have not and will never waste my money on anything FL again. Close to 850.00 wasted on improperly sized junk. Now i am a huge fan of Kryptek and Especially Pnuma gear. Both are top shelf quality.
Picked up Stratus bibs and jacket. The Celcius Midi and the fanatic jacket. Not thrilled about the price but this stuff is impressive to say the least. Especially the fanatic jacket.
I’m partial to first lite but I could give a hoot about camo. Camo is to fool the hunters, not the hunted…
The first lite fusion is about as good as it gets as far as a camo pattern
Don’t know about the camo. Never really paid much attention to it. As long as the colors you wear aren’t too dark, they seem to work just fine. Camo or not. But, I’ve built up the Sitka fanatic jacket, vest, and such now. It’s about as good as whitetail clothing gets.
For sitting I have had both jackets. Very blessed to have been given a Sanctuary set. I like the Fanatic better. It is still the best whitetail cold weather gear available period IMO. But the Sanctuary jacket is a solid 2nd. I've killed deer in both! Sanctuary is less wind resistant and has less features. The features in the Fanatic are great. The hand muff pocket, and rangefinder pocket especially. Nice to have a dedicated spot for your grunt tube as well. Sanctuary jacket is dead silent as well though. Both are great, Fanatic is a little better I think. A little warmer too.
APauls that is a good head to head review between two companies. There were many reasons as to why I chose Sitka over First Lite. My main reasoning being sitka redesigning their garments based on customer feedback. The price difference is considerable but a what a difference in quality compared to most and their athletic fitting is exactly what I was looking for.
I'm about done with Sitka. Can't keep their zippers unbroken. I have an old Kelvin jacket that I've sent in and they've replaced 3 times because the damn zipper keeps breaking. Great for them for standing behind it and replacing it, but the damn zipper won't last a year before breaking
And not just that jacket. I bought a Kelvin active jacket and the zipper broke on it too.
So far haven't had that issue with Kuiu. I'm getting more and more Kuiu so we'll see how it holds up
Bake be easy on the zippers haha. I will take that advice and make sure I am easy on the zippers. Thanks
First off i must say i am a first lite fanboy love the products they put out and their merino wool is definitely top notch. I have the previous generation of the sanctuary in fusion. Not the current 2.0. Great stuff super warm basically its like you are wearing a sleeping bag. Now i have noticed that if there are strong winds i would get a slight chill. The lack of windproof in these garments are the only issue i have. I went out and purchased the sitka fanatic and the quality is just as good if not better than the sanctuary. Now it was time to try the fanatic system out. Today it was -25c (-11f) with the wind, cold!! Put on first lite base layers furnace long John's, kiln top furnace top and the klamath hoody. Put the fanatic bibs on zipped open for the long walk in, the jacket i carried it to the stand. Once at the stand i put the fanatic jacket on and i didnt need to disconnect my harness cause of the pass through port was able to open up. I should have waited until i started to cool down before putting on the jacket . I started with a slight chill but the merino wool started to work its magic, in turn the fanatic was definitely holding up to its reputation. I was totally impressed with the performance of the fanatic jacket and bibs. And being primarily bow hunter the fanatic is totally designed for the bow hunter in mind whether you are right or left handed. I wish sitka's kangaroo pouch had tappered cuffs to trap the heat, like the pockets of the sanctuary. I did notice little burrs all over the material that sitka said was new and improved with less space for them hitchhikers. At the end of the day if i had to pick an outer garment would it be first lite sanctuary or sitka fanatic..
Sitka fanatic wins
Camofire has quite a bit of Sitka on sale right now, won't last long.
"First Lite is funded by Liberals."
I like Sitka and the above is true and matters to me.
"I like Sitka and the above is true and matters to me."
Perhaps you missed Sitka's virtue signaling opposing oil drilling. You know, the product that makes +90% of their line.
I am with Nick. Camo is overrated. If I could change my fanatic and stratus jackets to coyote brown or a two tone color I would in a heart beat.
The one thing holding me back on buying a first lite jacket is the lack of wind stopper. Those cold 15 to 25 NW November winds can cut right through a jacket with out it.
I can't see dropping that kind of money on hunting clothes, given that my old AGO insulated camo coveralls keep me toasty during Minnesota and Wisconsin hunting seasons. To me, it is akin to a woman buying yoga pants from lululemon when Target sells essentially the same thing for a fraction of the cost. To each their own.
Camo patterns offer no advantage for increased warmth.
I have some time spent in Sitka gear and now can give an honest review. Im sure most would agree, camo patterns are in many ways overrated. I was a tad concerned with the Elevated pattern as I enjoy hunting with a bow from the ground but no issues at all. With that said, I have purchased a ton of camo over the years and nothing at all comes close. Its expensive but I have no regrets at this point and would highly recommend if anyone is on the fence.
Obviously there are a bunch that will never spend that sort of money and thats okay. Most years I spend alot of time on stand or in field too, so I wanted something less bulky, warm, and designed to actually fit.
My only contribution is this, Sitka’s merino boxers are WAAAAAYYYYYY more comfortable than Firstlite.
I love the sitka fanatic bibs and jacket for cold sits! I’ve cheaped out for 30 years with all kinds of clothing combos and then finally broke down and got the Sitka, it is awesome! But to say you are also going to use it to walk around and hunt?! No, it’s way too bulky but I don’t know anything that would work for both unless your sits at no more than a couple hours at a time?
I like my FirstLite, I like my Sitka, I like my Stoneglacier. The only thing I’m not fond of about Stoneglacier is this athletic fit bull crap! I hate tight fitting clothes. I guess an athletic fit means you have to be under 160 lbs and thin as a pole instead of being built like a tank.
I have Sitka for elk hunting and my traverse jacket is amazing. That said for stand hunting whitetails I wear whatever is warm and quiet. I wear wrangler atg or ariat denim pants. Layer a shirt or two and throw on a quiet outer layer. When the temp drops a little I add my carhart vest. I just don’t see the need for expensive “specialized” clothing to sit on my can in a tree. Don’t move, stay in the shadows and wear whatever rocks your boat.
LINK please come to Manitoba and hunt in that clothing in November. I will let you sit in my best stand. Why? Because I know for damn sure you won't be killing anything lol.
But I would agree with you. Absolutely no need for expensive clothing to sit down in warm temps.
Each company has some great pieces of clothing. I am in no way brand loyal, so I'll go with whatever I think will get it done. You'd be pretty hard pressed to not find me with at least 3-4 different camo patterns on at any point I'm hunting. I don't think the pattern matters one iota.
I do own the Sitka Incinerator parka and bibs. Super warm, but when it gets to the temps they're built for, they get fairly loud. Too loud for whitetails on a calmish day. I still wear the bibs, but I usually top it with a FL Sanctuary parka. It's dead quiet. The Fanatic stuff is pretty interesting.... but the burr magnet berber fleece scares me away. I won't buy either companies base layers.... way too much for something that's going to be covered up anyway. Pnuma/Black Ovis/Carhart/Nomad/generic polyester or merino is what I have there.
The new Incinerator stuff is supposed to be more streamlined and quieter, but I'm not refinancing the house to find out.
Sitka all the way if I'm investing good money on clothing. I just wish they would offer the Fanatic in a solid color. Grey's and browns are all I need.
Apauls the guy starting the thread asked about the Midwest. To me that’s Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and maybe a few other states. I would absolutely hunt those states with my normal gear. I do have an insulation layer of some old cabelas stuff I wear when temps drop below 30. I’m sure I’d never survive in Canada in my clothes but with NW Oklahoma wind we get some really cold wind chills. I think I could do fine in the Midwest by layering the same stuff I wear to a Friday night football game or work in during winter days.
Here’s a picture of my cold weather gear Apauls, lol. I know it wouldn’t work in Canada but I’d wear it anywhere in the Midwest. I’m sure Sitka has a polak hat I could buy for $180 but the deer don’t mind my red/white/blue $15 hat. Layering my 20 year old Walmart camo works fine in the Midwest too. It just doesn’t take fancy stuff to sit in a tree above 15 degrees. I own some of the fancy stuff and sometimes it’s worth it’s price, many times it’s not.
It’s not Canada or the UP but it does get cold in NW Ok.