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Awesome jacket. Anytime it’s below freezing, this jacket does the trick. Warm as toast. But….the diagonal zipper design absolutely sucks. A pain to put on and off, difficult to zip up and just an all around bad design. And what do you get for it, a hand pouch. Could have done fine with regular zipper and two deep pockets. Anyone else have this love/hate going on with the Fanatic? Who makes a comparable jacket that’s just as warm and quiet?
i don't have one but love the pouch concept
i have a hooded pullover and absolutely hate that the pockets are not connected
I liked the pouch on mine. I hate the floppy body and tight shoulders and arms per size. I bought the vest in an xl and sold the jacket which I had sized up.
The only jacket I have that’s close is the proximity. It was 23 degrees here this morning. I have a polyester base on. A light merino over that. And, the Kuiu proximity on. I’m warm as toast.
I have a Grey Wolf jacket with the same design zipper. Pain to put on but once it is on I really like it. Love the pouch. Like the Predator pattern and Wolfskin fabric better than Sitka.
I also have a Day One insulated coat in Cowboy Suede with traditional pockets that is the bomb as well. Both do the job. They keep me warm when it is really cold out.
The zipper is awkward but the pouch might be worth it.
I like the concept of it, but it is a lot of money for a pouch. I use an Asbell woolen long shirt, Raven Wear vest, and Arctic Shield muff. Plenty of flexibility to move and add an extra layer if needed. I feel confined with a jacket.
I have the vest, and to me using the diagonal zipper is well worth the benefit of having the handwarmer pouch
Best money I ever spent on stand hunting wear. Love the muff. Zipper isn't a problem for me.
I love mine also. it's handy to put my cell phone in the zippered pocket and safer in case of a fall since it is easily available.
I am just the opposite. Love the pouch and cross zip on both my Fanatic and Fanatic Lite jackets, My hands are in the pouch most of the time while on stand.
I would agree, getting the diagonal zipper started is a pain in the butt. But totally worth it to me for the hand muff, love it. I also was skeptical of the rangefinder/grunt tube pockets, seemed kinda gimmicky to me, but love those too. Excellent piece of deer hunting clothing if you can swallow the price tag.
I'm disappointed in mine. I like the feel of it and the pouch and pockets but last week I sat in 35 degree weather with 15 mph winds and froze. I was wearing a light merino shirt with a Fanatic hoodie and then the Fanatic jacket. A lot of money for disappointment.
Return it. If you got cold in it dressed like that, something’s wrong with it. Everyone is different. But, dressed like that in that wind, you should easily be warm down to the low 20’s.
I think my Fanatic is the nicest piece of hunting gear I own. I can't say I love the diagonal zipper, but what it allows for (the one piece hand muff) is absolutely awesome! That diagonal zipper solution is pretty brilliant IMO, as a vertical zipper would split the handmuff (i.e., pockets). I wish they made the exact same jacket, except that would keep me warm down to another 15 or 20 degrees, but if I layer right I can make it down to about anything I am going to hunt in. I've hunted in well below zero in it many times, but it definitely takes the right layers/prep to accomplish this. In short, I love this jacket.
Agree with some others, since I'm a little on the fluffy side these days the diagonal zipper is a pain to get started. But I LOVE the hand warmer pocket, and LOVE that it's connected. I can put one handwarmer in there and it's golden. I can easily access phone or put the phone away, etc. That handwarmer pocket is worth the awkward zipper for sure.
Unlike Jim though, I don't like all the other gadgety pockets. I keep my rangefinder on my bino harness, and typically don't have a grunt tube on my person.
Now if Sitka would just realize that not everyone wears cold as hell rubber boots and cut and insulate the pants of their bibs for people who wear regular boots, I could be closer to 100% satisfied
I forgot, I also always like to complain about the terrible white/blue camo on the Sitka. . . . I know people like it, but I don't hunt 30 feet up anymore, I think the camo is absolute garbage. I wish they made it in a solid brown color. I'd like it a LOT better
I'd rather have all my hunting clothes in solids. The camo doesn't bother me much, the deer don't seem to mind.
I agree 100% with Bake! I hate the white/blue camo pattern. I literally "glow" in the half light of early morning & dusk. I hunt dark hardwoods & I think I stick out like a sore thumb. I believe deer do see it & have reacted negatively.
I seem to recall reading that deer can see the blue spectrum. I got some Rit black dye & (1 small package) & soaked it for an hour. Looks a bit better & will try it this weekend probably if the temps get down there. I'll keep doing it till I get it not to glow.
I also don't like that the bibs are not solid fleece on the outside. That would absorb the light instead of reflect it.
I'm in the "Love it" camp. The 1st time I put the jacket on I was "WTF is wrong with this thing!?" Once I got it zipped up I changed my tune. Great idea! Best cold weather gear I've ever owned
I can't create an instance in my mind where I need one. That may change over time, but I haven't experienced cold enough weather to cause my current system to fail. It gets cold in KY, but usually not crazy cold. I have the Stratus set and a Fanatic vest. I have owned the vest for two seasons and have yet to be in a situation where I needed to use it.
So you guys paid $600 for a hand warmer pocket?
Absolutely love the jacket and the bibs, including the rangefinder pocket. But like Bake, I wish they offered the same set in another camo pattern option. Keep the brown/black/dark gray they have now and call it dark timber or something, and keep the current pattern as-is as a skyline option.
BC - if you are ever a little west in MA a bit, I'm happy to let you check out my Proximity pants/Jacket/vest. My suspicion is that it's not quite as warm as the Fanatic, but damn close... And no weird zipper.
I paid half that, Spike, and I used to bad mouth the idea too. Then I got one and now I get it. If you think the cost is simply for a pouch, you don't get it. ...and that's ok...
Like my Sitka Fanatic jacket, for sure.
If I had to sell all my hunting clothing and could only hang onto one set it would be my Sitka Fanatic
The zipper took a little time to get use to, but no big deal now. Love the pouch.
I love mine... but where's the Fing hood. $600 jacket with no hood... Ed F
I love mine, hands down the nicest whitetail kit I’ve used. I use the Fanatic hoodie as well, and it serves as my hood as well as a facemask. Thin enough I can still get my anchors in place when at full draw without trying to deal with a bulky hood. Now if we could just get some weather cold enough that I could actually use it all!
And I also hate the camo pattern, but the deer don’t mind so it’s a non issue for me.
Agree all around concerning warmth and quiet. It's the best I've ever owned for cold weather hunting. It would be perfect with a normal zipper, but that's just me. Sounds like most guys appreciate the hand pouch more. The bibs are awesome in the cold too. Great gear for late season.
I love my Fanatic set. I think it's really well designed. I do see where some guys could have trouble with the zipper though.
Here you go BOWUNTR, problem solved
I've had the Stka Fanatic bibs, vest, jacket in forest green for at least 15yrs. I use some if not all of it almost everytime I hunt . I really wish they'd make that pattern again, works great early when leaves are still on the trees, and especially well if sitting the ground in a cut-out cedar.
I got the sideways zipper figured out early on, but do wish the other zippers had held up better...but I use it a LOT.
P.S. Chick's dig Sitka
Here's a tip that saved me a $100 each for the bibs and jacket:
Sitka Fanatic is sold on Amazon so just add them to your "cart" and then add them to your "save for later" list. You will receive notifications when they change in price. I was able to get them for $250 each instead of the regular price of $350 each. It doesn't happen often but I've seen it drop several times.
I do this with most of the items I buy if I don't need it right away. Have saved a lot of $$ on many things the last 3 or 4 years.
How do their sizes run? I am 5"11, 200lbs with an athletic build. Would I be a large or XL?
NJ- yes. I'm 6' 185 lbs and I wear an XL. That gives me a reasonable amount of room for layering underneath. I'd think you are an XL too, given those specs.
njbuck, XL for sure. I'm 170 and L. That said, their sizes tend to feel "small" to people, but often it's because the fabric moves and stretches with you so it isn't baggy, yet fits comfortably in a wide range of motion, which people generally aren't used to.
I'm 6'4", 215#. I have Fanatic jacket and bibs in XL, fit me good.
I waited a long time to buy one, and I wish that I hadn't waited. I have gotten used to the angled front zipper, and the front zippered pouch is usefull to hold something like an extra hat or gloves that you might want to put on without a lot of reaching around. The hand "pocket" that goes all the way through and acts like a muff is well designed and the opening position to put hands into is far better than regular more posteriorly place openings of usual pockets. It eliminates adding a strapped on hand warmer/muff which is always bulky and just gets in the way. My only personal small annoyance is that I am left handed and that year I could not get the left handed design which puts less pile on the right forearm. In actuality it doesn't make a lot of difference and like everything else in the right handed dominant world one gets used to it. I am sensitive to cold, so that I have several layers underneath including a neck snood and do add heater packs BUT it is an improvement for sure and I go to it after the temp drops below 50. I have yet to pull the trigger on the bibs as I have Day One ASAT insulated and lined wool pants that work fine. They ARE pretty heavy and I just gave up and added suspenders. Maybe next year. I think that it is a well designed and comfortable coat and does a good job for me (whitetail stand hunting in PA) when used with a few of the mentioned tweaks.
As far as keeping me warm I haven't found anything better.
I personally like the diagonal zipper, with a beard it allows me to get it zipped up quite a ways before it starts to bother me. Plus the built in hand warmer muff pouch is fantastic.
That said I can't stand the pattern. BUT it keeps me warm on stand during late muzzle loader season here in Iowa, so I live with it.
Also wish it didn't attract every burr & sticker in a 3 county radius, but I learned to live with that as well & pack it in whenever possible.
I have a Fanatic vest a friend gave me several years ago. I think I’ve worn it once. When I first tried to put it on, I thought they screwed up and put the arm holes in the wrong place!
Maybe I’ll pull it out and try it in the blind tomorrow.
Make sure you get the redesigned Fanatic, (maybe 2-4 years ago) not the original.
Absolutely love mine. For 350 per half great deal! Best $700 spent. even got mine at 450 A piece worth every penny ! Buy the hat too.
I have the newer version of the jacket and bibs. It is warm, I can deal with the zipper, I do like the hand warmer pockets, but I can't stand the camo pattern. Too light for my area. I wish Kuiu had the Proximity around when I bought this. I'm considering selling the Sitka and buying the Kuiu.
For the most part I tend to wear solid colors now days. But I hate the Ev2 pattern. The Kuiu Valo is a good all around pattern.
I did have an interesting observation while coyote hunting one time. We had set up on a grassy fence line. A coyote came out of the creek bottom and was cutting across a picked corn field right to us. When it got to 200 yards it put on the breaks from a trot. A well placed shot dropped him.
When I walked out to pick up the coyote I looked back once I got to the coyote. My partner who was wearing a fanatic jacket stood out against that brown grass like a light bulb.