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Most Versatile Layer
I'm looking for a layering piece that can be used as an outer layer and a mid layer. Use would mainly be for back-40 whitetail in Illinois. For temps in the 50s, this would be an outer over a single light/mid base. For temps in the 40/30/20s, this would be a layering piece. That covers most of the season, so it will see a lot of use.
In all honesty, I don't typically lean towards buying Sitka, but I've been offered a deal. I've used the same Redhead fleece for probably close to 20 years, but the zipper has finally given way. I have a Fanatic coat, but it stays in the closet unless we get brutal cold (for us). Preferably, this piece would not have a hood, but that should not be considered a deal breaker.
So, from the Sitka lineup, I would say Traverse, Ambient, and the Fanatic Hoody are on the table. What would you all consider the most versatile piece of those? What's the recommendation on size? Assume a guy that's 5'-9" and 180. I'm still thinking Large, but I wear a lot of Medium too. Probably the only way I'd stray from Large is if it is known that a particular piece of the lineup runs bigger. Any input you might have, either positive or negative, is welcome. Feel free to offer other recommendations as well. Thanks!
I really like the kelvin lite jacket. Mine has a hood, but its light enough to not really notice it but there if you need it. I tend to run cold just sitting on stand, and this one works for me.
I also like the 220 and 330 merino base layers. In camo they would be just about perfect for what you want.
Like Molsonarcher, I sometimes use my Kelvin lite as an outer layer. As long as it is not windy.
I thought the 330 might be in the running as well, but I don't really trust Merino as a primary outer layer. I know the 220 would not be if it is rated similar to other Merino garments. I have a similar rated Merino layer, and would never consider it an outer that could be worn to the stand regularly (which will be the case in the colder weather). I'm going to add the caveat that I'll likely use the piece for general use in addition to just hunting, so durability should be a prime consideration. It looks like the Kelvin Lite is out of stock, and by general appearance, I'd guess a little heavy in terms of warmth for what I want. If you run cold, that is probably true.
Thanks for the input, molson!
I bought the Fanatic Hoodie this year. Nice item but I need a little more beef for a late season under garment. This hoodie was fine in Oct and most of Nov but not so much in Dec. Good luck.
My most used…and most versatile piece is that Traverse hoody. I wear that a lot.
Now it might not be warm enough for sedentary hunts….needing something heavier over it if you are sitting.
Get the Sitka 1/4 zip heavy mock T and the fanatic hoody and you will be good to go for those mid season temps.
Rechargeable heated vest.
A good mid-weight wool sweater
It's not Sitka but I really like my Kuiu Kenai to be exactly what you're describing- nice on its own but a great insulation layer for late season hunts. I'm skeptical it's a super durable jacket (i could be wrong- haven't really tested that) but it's exactly as you described.
I don't like to bulk up on clothes here in WI for the sits. As Jaq. says, the battery rechargeable vest works great. Generally only need it for that last 1/2 hour. Put it over your base layer.
Thanks for giving the feedback on the Sitka items. I'm not discouraged at all if the item is not super warm, as that isn't what I'm aiming for. However, I neither want it to be just like wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt. It sounds like the Traverse for sure is in between, and maybe the Fanatic hoodie?
Thanks, but no thanks, on the heated vest Jaq (& others). No desire to have a piece of clothing with batteries, and that doesn't match what I want to use it for. Mid-weight wool sweater is fine, but I'd go to Columbia and get a basic fleece that was similar to what I had, if not taking advantage of the Sitka deal. Kenai sounds good Scoot, but see above on the Sitka deal.
Thanks everyone, and keep any suggestions coming!
Kuiu Kanati. Breathable yet warm. It’s not the warmest. But, it’s a great insulator that can be worn when still hunting. Without getting sweat clammy.
My outer is almost always the Sitka Jestsream jacket. I layer underneath based on temps.
I also thought Kuiu Kenai as well. Until you said general use in addition to hunting. I wear mine often, outer layer early and mid layer later. One of my favorite pieces. It does pill and my sleeves are really pilled. I don't care cause its just for hunting and I just keep wearing it. I wouldn't consider it a work jacket and it no longer looks nice enough that I'd wear it around town. Although none of my hunting clothes are work/town clothes.
Fuzzy hit the nail on the head. If you can find a 5 button military wool sweater, buy them. My favorite piece of gear I own. Over top of merino base layers you’re golden down to 45, then throw a thicker wool coat over it or a waxed cloth coat and you’re good for as cold as you want. Hunted ducks in a Midwest -20 in that setup. Merino base, wool 5 button, mack cruiser, and tin cloth shell
I have a Traverse hoody with full zipper i love it Its a great outer layer and sleek enough to slip something over it if colder temps happen
I like my Kuiu and Sitka clothing. The one piece of First Lite that I have is the Sawtooth jacket. It does exactly what you are describing.
I personally like the Kuiu “wind pro shirt” nice as an outter layer in the 50’s to me and is dead quiet, I would certainly say the name is a misnomer, don’t expect it to cut a lot of wind. Also good as layer under a shell jacket. Probably not a “casual wear” type choice though.
I also almost always have a Kuiu “insulated snap shirt” with me. Great outter layer in the 50’s and great for layering. Very breathable, but again not a lot of wind stopping power. I don’t think they offer it in camo anymore if that is an issue for you. I wear my gray one a lot as a casual. I have lots of work clothes, so I don’t really expect my hunting stuff to double in that regard.
Boggsbowhunts I agree. Wool has been the "go to" for cold weather wear since tanned skins went out of style ;)
Not a hunting piece specifically but absolutely love this shirt for everything from working on the weekends to casual wear to a hunting layer inside or out amazingly warm when Sitka restocks im gonna order a couple more not offered in camo but not an issue for me
Thanks again for the Sitka recommendations. Seems like we may have another vote for the Traverse (thanks longsprings). I'm not going to buy it, but out of curiosity, how quiet is the Kenai? General use to me means something I grab when I go outside around the house to do chores, hop on the quad, or whatever. I may wear it to town, but looks are no issue for where I live.
Per Jim's post, I looked up the Wind Pro and found the Wind Pro fleece. Frankly, purely based on internet view that looks perfect, and if it were Sitka that'd be the choice. Damn it, Jim! If you give me your deal on KUIU instead, we might be golden. LOL.
the kenai is quiet but not fleece quiet. i like mine for its warmth-to-weight but it would not be my choice for bowhunting whitetails.
the kenai is great as a jacket you can pack in the back country and wear or take off as the temperature changes. it's quieter and more durable than most puffy's.
Kenai is very quiet. Most likely its top feature that separates it from many other puffys.
I don’t know if Sitka still makes the Fanatic Lite Jacket but that’s my go to piece in the temp you describe. I wear the Fanatic hoody as a base on EVERY hunt.
I am in the hoodie camp as well for this type of piece. I have two of the UA Icon hoodies and wear them on every single hunt every single day from 70 deg to 0 deg out. Before that I had a Core4Element hoodie that I still use with all my mimicry camo. They are all synthetic and dry fast and not quite as bulky as the traditional cotton hoodie.
I think the hoodie is one of the most important tools in your clothing quiver. You can put up your hood and still hear, whereas a cap or beanie over your ears cuts your hearing big time. I virtually never wear a beanie or cap anymore and just have hoods on all my jackets.
I think this sort of hoodie is just indispensable these days for my hunts. Anyway the UA icon or something like the sitka fanatic come highly recommended from me.
The Kuiu Kenai is great…I wear it a lot. Its the perfect mid layer when cold or light camp type jacket….BUT its not durable. Its so light you can tear it going through brush and such….where the Traverse is a workhorse nothing fancy type piece.
Both very good…different applications, IMO
Like Charlie, I have a fanatic hoody that goes on every time. Got a Traverse for Christmas and will be trying it out this afternoon.
Beendare, awesome feedback! That is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.
Pete, I gotta say that I disagree with you on the sound transmission. I would much rather wear a beanie than put a hood on. I can still hear (diminished) with a beanie, but it seems I can't hear anything behind me and very limited to the side with a hood. Those are very important to me when hunting whitetails. Only time I put a hood up is during rain, plus I'll often wear the beanie such that it only covers the top of my ears for the purpose of sound.
Charlie, I have not seen the Fanatic Lite in their lineup. Have you tried the Traverse?
Thanks for the info. on the Kenai. Even if I don't put that to use, hopefully it helps another reader.
Duck Camp has some really nice 350 weight merino hoodies. I use mine like you are describing.
I've got the Kuiu Wind Pro Fleece jacket and it does a very good job IMO of cutting the wind. And zero noise. Just make sure to up-size if you plan on layering under it. I had to get an XXL for my needs. I have no regrets buying it.
The Kuiu Kenai. Exactly what you are asking for. Wear it with a merino top and you’re golden in those temps. Also layers perfectly when it gets cold.