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Old 02-27-2021, 02:40 PM   #1
Randy Madden
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Default Kuiu vs Sitka vs First Lite vs...

Looking to upgrade some of my hunting gear this year. Will be getting early season and late season gear. Yeah yeah yeah, I know the cheap crap from Walmart works cause thatís what Iíve used my whole life.... but I feel like treating myself to some nice quality stuff because I want to.
So whatís your preference and why?
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:46 PM   #2
RCDuck
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Opinions will be all over the place... they're all pretty dang nice, and it depends on how you want to use it. My use is mostly treestand bowhunting.... if I were starting from scratch, it would be First Lite... very warm, very quiet, and I like their "whitetail" camo patterns better than Sitka. If you're looking for stuff for rifle hunting, or hunting out west, then I'd look more at Sitka and Kuiu...

That all being said... my Sitka Fanatic Hoodie is my most used piece of clothing.

Again, I'm sure you'll get varying opinions.

Last edited by RCDuck; 02-27-2021 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:48 PM   #3
trophy8
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Mix of Sitka and kuiu. Both have their better pieces. Overall I prefer Sitka. Kuiu makes incredible down jackets and pants for mid layers in real cold temps. Kuiu synthetic zip off base layers are very good as well. Sitka incinerator for super cold still hunting. And Sitka midweighg stuff for on the move in 20-30 degree temps. Sitka takes a beating and lasts. I’ve got a pair of grinder pants I’ve used for years. On nearly every hunt I’ve done plus off season work even in the summer. I love them. I need to get a second pair.

Cant speak on first lite. All I have is their Dobson merino briefs
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:56 PM   #4
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My wife and I prefer Sitka .
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:59 PM   #5
speck1
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I have been very happy with First Lite base layers and everything else Kuiu. The Kuiu stuff is well made an very light.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:00 PM   #6
Tshelly
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:01 PM   #7
WilliamL
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Sitka fanatic hoodie is by far my favorite piece if you have to start with only a few pieces. I have lots of the Sitka stratus and really like it for Tx. No help with Kuiu. Looks like some nice stuff though.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:16 PM   #8
Deers & Beers
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I'm about 1/2 and 1/2 Sitka/First Lite.

I don't like FL as much as I used to. Mainly buy Sitka nowadays.

Don't like Kuiu.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:20 PM   #9
Randy Madden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamL View Post
Sitka fanatic hoodie is by far my favorite piece if you have to start with only a few pieces. I have lots of the Sitka stratus and really like it for Tx. No help with Kuiu. Looks like some nice stuff though.
Iím leaning towards the fanatic line for late season
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:21 PM   #10
Randy Madden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deers & Beers View Post
I'm about 1/2 and 1/2 Sitka/First Lite.

I don't like FL as much as I used to. Mainly buy Sitka nowadays.

Don't like Kuiu.
What do you not like about Kuiu?
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:23 PM   #11
WilliamL
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I have the fanatic bibs. Super warm and really like them on a cold day. The fanatic vest and jacket was to bulky for me to bow hunt in.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:32 PM   #12
hooligan
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I like a mix of it. FL base layers, sitka outerwear, i only have a pair of kuiu pants and gloves but really like em. They are more “athletic” cut than the others to me. I’ll probably get rid of my FirstLite outerwear and replace it with one of the others. Their qc isn’t great anymore and while they’ve always replaced items for me, when I spend $150 on pants I don’t expect them to rip the first time I wear them or pockets be sewn on wrong
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:34 PM   #13
meltingfeather
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Sitka man here. Quality stuff that suits my needs so I've never strayed, despite being a gear head. Bow blinds in the hill country, south Texas stalks, west Texas spot & stalks, and New Mexico hiking elks hunts-- Sitka always had me taken care of.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:44 PM   #14
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:21 PM   #15
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Default Kuiu vs Sitka vs First Lite vs...

Have a little bit of all 3 I like Sitka and kuiu mid layers. First lite has the best base layers by far IMO. First light has few things on sale right now.
Kuiu attack pants are great really comfortable Great early season. Forgot about badlands I got pair of pants ION X I think. Great pants comfortable and warm. I have a pretty mixed collection I will use any of those 4 if I can catch them on sale.

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Old 02-27-2021, 04:21 PM   #16
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Don't overlook Skre, Browning Hells Canyon Speed and Black Orvis
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:31 PM   #17
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I bought myself Badlands this year and used it on a goose hunt. I still need to get some bibs when they go on sale again. That 40% discount around Thanksgiving is awesome.
I like the badlands.

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Old 02-27-2021, 04:36 PM   #18
bphillips
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Don’t trust anyone that only says one brand. None of them make the best of everything but alll make the best of something

I have a mixture of Sitka, Kuiu, and various hiking brands
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:38 PM   #19
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I cant speak work Kuiu or Sitka, but I do have First Lite. I have their mid and heavy weight base layers, 2 base layer tops (one is a hoodie), the guide pants, North Branch pants and the Woodburry jacket. The Woodburry I believe is discontinued, but that sucker is warm, and it isnt even their heaviest jacket. I only wear it a few times a few times a year. Those items can cover me through an entire texas deer season, except I still need a light jacket to help with the wind. Every piece I own is well made and I am 100% pleased.

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Old 02-27-2021, 04:49 PM   #20
WItoTX
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I love wool. So I go First Lite all day. But I mostly hunt in the mountains, with one bout of WI white tails, where I am in a blind sitting the entire day with sub 20 degrees, with a heavy coat and thick bibs on. Jacket is FL, bibs are carhart.

Honestly, any of them are good. Order some of each, try them all on. Return what you don't like.
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:51 PM   #21
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To be fair I only own sitka so I can't speak for the other two. I bought sitka two years ago after wearing cheap stuff my whole life. I actually saved up for a while. It wasn't cheap and I had buyers remorse...until I wore it for the first time. Two years in and its the best money I've ever spent. I have several pieces that I have mixed and matched, and that's another whirlwind when u start buying. I hunt solely out of a tree, in Temps down in the teens at times. I tend to sweat a lot on the way in. Sitka dries out quick and keeps me warm the entire hunt. It's comfortable and built well. I will always recommend sitka to anyone who can budget for it.

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Old 02-27-2021, 04:53 PM   #22
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I have all 3 as well.
First Lite for their merino wool base layers.
Kuiu for their soft shell stuff.
I tend to mix it all and usually buy earth tone solids for the more expensive items. Always buy on sale.
Just pick up a couple pieces each year. I never wanted an all matched set anyway

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Old 02-27-2021, 05:05 PM   #23
Southernhunters
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Kuiu here, and have been very pleased with it. My main reason for going with it over others, is itís lightness and fit. I hate bulk and and Kuiu fits the bill perfectly. Now, with that being said, there are times I may have to later a bit extra over someone wearing the Sitka or FL but thatís not a problem for me at all!


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Old 02-27-2021, 05:08 PM   #24
Randy Madden
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The only thing I’m concerned with on the Kuiu is the athletic fit. I’m not athletically fit. Lol
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:26 PM   #25
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As said, kuiu is more of an athletic fit and cut. It's a legit layering system so they fit snug so the bulk is minimized. Kuiu is also more of an "active" hunting product. Sitka has more options as far as types of hunts, waterfowl, whitetail, western, etc. I prefer Sitka based on fit, but kuiu is a close second.
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:48 PM   #26
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I went Kuiu because of the fit, have to order a size or two up but their gear is very comfortable to me. My wife bought me the super down jacket and the gale force bibs for my bday in November. The jacket is one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing Iíve ever worn and it is incredibly warm. Itís so lite you forget itís on. Super packable. The bibs I wore 4 days in the snow at our place during this past storm and also very. Comfortable and completely water proof/wind proof. I have attack pants and several under layers (tís and qtr zips) love their products. First lite didnít fit me at all so I never purchased any, as for Sitka itís good gear but I try to stick with one brand if it works. You wonít be disappointed with any and you will be kicking yourself for not spending the money years ago. There is a huge difference in these brands vs academy/bass pro etc.




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Old 02-27-2021, 05:49 PM   #27
bluemarlin
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I've been thru it all and ended up w Sitka Incinerator bibs, First Lite Sanctuary jacket, Kuiu super down jacket and pants, Sitka Fahrenheit vest, Kuiu merino zip tees, and the best beanie made.. Sitka Fanatic.

When it's warmer I mix match Predator or what ever other pants and ASAT pattern stuff but have found the warmer stuff is still nice with less on underneath.

I really dig the Incinerator bibs and Sanctuary jacket combo.

Most my Kuiu pieces haven't held up more than a few seasons. The quality of Kuiu stuff even my Yukon gear is trashed.
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:51 PM   #28
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Sitka here.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:06 PM   #29
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Mountain hardward puffy
kuiu zip off base and 125w shirt
Prana pants early season, Stone glacier late season
First light Grid fleece, sitka fantastic hood, stoneglacier helio, Kuiu 94 pelton ... all are different weights.
Columbia outdry rain jacket
Kuiu gaiters
Firstlite boxes but after these wear out I’m done, they don’t hold up
Farm to feet socks

I’ll wear the sitka light weight hoodie for turkeys

Obviously I go buy pieces I like, the first like kalamth would be my favorite hoodie if it had a kangaroo pocket like frantic or Kuiu strong fleece.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:13 PM   #30
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Treat yourself to short sleeve shirts, 1/4 zips, good socks and leggings. And consider a beanie, face mask or gloves.

I like first lite stuff. I wear the heck out of my Short sleeve and 1/4 zip....and wear my brimmed beanie all season.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:57 PM   #31
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I couldnít make myself pay some of the prices but found Plythal on Camofire and I am extremely happy. Never had any of the other name brands before.


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Old 02-27-2021, 11:36 PM   #32
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Anyone had any experience with Pnuma stuff ?


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Old 02-28-2021, 12:50 AM   #33
MasonCo.
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Just realize the sitka patterns aren't just color differences... Lot of different materials, like some of the whitetail is the soft fleece feel that's not so good in sticker burs but is very comfortable.
I have some of the whitetail, waterfowl, and the big game sub alpine and the alpine is really loud, not for sitting bow hunting obviously.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:57 AM   #34
Throwin Darts
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For base layers First Lite merino is the best. Followed by Sitka and then Kuiu.

My favorite pants between all three are Kuiu Attacks. Then for colder weather Sitka Stratus.

For jackets if youíre going to be sitting stationary go Sitka because their wind blockers in their jackets are awesome. I like the Sitka Stratus.

If I were going to buy just a few pieces for Texas hunting Iíd get

First Lite Wick Quarter Zip base layer top
First Lite Kiln zip off base layer bottom
Kuiu Peloton 97
Kuiu Axis Vest
Sitka Stratus Jacket
Sitka Stratus Beanie
First Lite midweight neck gaiter
First Lite Talus Fingerless Gloves
Darn Tough Merino socks

If you wanted to go down to really cold temps add Sitka Stratus pants and Sitka Fanatic Vest. The Kuiu Kenai Ultra is also a great jacket to throw on under the Sitka Stratus
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:19 AM   #35
Burwabit
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I’m upgrading camo this year too. First time in 15 years.

I went with Kuiu because it’s a little cheaper than Sitka and the patterns are a little more straight forward. Happy so far. Def form fitting on top but I bought normal size for mid layers like vests and one bigger for jackets.
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:22 AM   #36
dbelcher269
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All the gear mentioned above is great. I'd say don't overlook he Kryptek line as well. I've had the Cadog pants and jacket, multiple different shirts, Aegis Bibs and Jacket, different gloves, and beanie. Seams on all are very well made and all stuff is going on year 5 and 6 and still looks great, except the bibs were I put a small tear crossing a fence like an idiot. Can't go wrong on quality with any of those companies, only the materials for your intended use. I'll say the Aegis Bibs and Jacket are the warmest stuff I've personally ever worn. No issues with the winds in a tree in Kansas a few times with ice and snow on the ground. The jacket is a tiny bit bulky for bowhunting, though I've done it several times.
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:46 AM   #37
lunatic'hunter
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FL base layers, KUIU mid and outer layers.
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:50 AM   #38
Roger
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To be fair, I'm just getting into buying this type of gear, so I don't have experience with a lot of brand items. I only throw this out here because I haven't seen them mentioned. I used the Skree hardscrabble jacket and pants this year and love it. Also have one of their merino tops and a synthetic hoodie and really like those as well. My other merino base layers are Black Ovis and it has all performed great. Except the Ovis merino boxers. Performance is good, but fit is really weird on the boxers and I'll be trying something else.

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Old 02-28-2021, 08:17 AM   #39
MarkV
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I like Sitka quality just not a fan of the colors. There is some new stuff coming out this summer. Chene is the name. Supposed to be Sitka quality but can get in normal camo colors, like bottomland.
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:32 AM   #40
dsliland
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Kuiu for elk hunting and warmer deer stand days. Favorite piece is there synthetic down jacket. I use my katana shell for skiing as well. All my kuiu pieces are great.
First lite for cold weather. I think the solitude system. Zero problems with it and very satisfied/glad I upgraded from UA.

Sitka, FL, and KUIU are all expensive but Sitka always seems like its $50-$100 more per garmet. Vs kuiu and first lite; which always turned me off of them. I think their duck hunting stuff is sweet.
Also, people have probably already ripped on this, but their marketing campaign of "science of silence" and it was a fleece system was pretty comical.... *But if I made more money i would probably be a fanboy

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Old 02-28-2021, 08:43 AM   #41
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Rivers West makes some good stuff also
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:04 AM   #42
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As mentioned above, the mountaineering companies have it down if you don’t mind solids (no camo). Arcteryx,, marmot, OR, minus 33 all make great stuff. Additionally, if you want to supoort a 100% made in the us company, look at stone glacier. They are a newer ultralight mountain hunting company. Their stuff is solid earth tones, but very high quality.

Of the Ones listed by the OP, each manufacturer makes some really good stuff and some mediocre stuff. I have found the Sitka, on average, to be a little more durable than the other two, but also heavier and a little less breathable..
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:13 AM   #43
cantexduck
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Sitka for cold weather
Kuiu for mild
I collect camo , I don’t think there is much either makes that I don’t have or have had. The t shirts from kuiu are all I wear too. The whitetail jacket that says puffy jacket from Sitka is my favorite cold weather jacket.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:23 AM   #44
RdRdrFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speck1 View Post
I have been very happy with First Lite base layers and everything else Kuiu. The Kuiu stuff is well made an very light.

This.

I hunt out west a lot and this is combo works. First Lite aerowool base layers are awesome. Way better than any of the other options listed.

Kuiu wins out on jackets and pants due to pit zips and hip vents. If you arenít moving at all then this is a non-issue. When Iím out west Iím not sitting in a blind or a tree stand. Pit and hip vents are an absolute must.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:32 AM   #45
DRT
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Randy I can let you check out what Sitka gear I have if you like. Try it out, whatever.

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Old 02-28-2021, 09:40 AM   #46
Randy Madden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRT View Post
Randy I can let you check out what Sitka gear I have if you like. Try it out, whatever.

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Thx for the offer. Bring a couple pieces with you if you go to the Irving shoot and Iíll give it a look over.

Thx for the replies everyone!
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:29 AM   #47
bphillips
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texas shag View Post
As mentioned above, the mountaineering companies have it down if you donít mind solids (no camo). Arcteryx,, marmot, OR, minus 33 all make great stuff. Additionally, if you want to supoort a 100% made in the us company, look at stone glacier. They are a newer ultralight mountain hunting company. Their stuff is solid earth tones, but very high quality.

Of the Ones listed by the OP, each manufacturer makes some really good stuff and some mediocre stuff. I have found the Sitka, on average, to be a little more durable than the other two, but also heavier and a little less breathable..
Definitely throw stone glacier into the mix. Well thought out and the fit is on par with Sitka. Thatís my biggest gripe with Kuiu is the inconsistency with the fits and sizes. I will be moving into some more stone glacier and replacing some of my other stuff as it comes time. I prefer more solids now anyway for most instances
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:12 AM   #48
76aggie
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Since the OP specifically asked about Kuiu, Sitka and First Lite, I will limit my comments to those three brands. Like others have said, all of them are really good. I have some of each brand and have had good success with all of them. Each seem to fit a bit differently.

My rain gear and merino base layers are First Lite. My merino has been soaking wet from climbing and sweating like a pig yet it will still retain some degree of warmth. My rin gear simply needs to be given a good shake to get most excess water from it.
My warm jacket and vest are Sitka. I caught a sale on these and have never looked back during cold and windy days. The jacket and vest are not waterproof but are highly water resistant. Gives me plenty of time to go into my pack and get the raingear out.

My pants are a combination of Kuiu and First Lite. I really liked my first generation First Lite pants as they are merino wool as well. My son got me into using Kuiu attack pants. They are also highly water resistant. I got a pair of their Axis Hybrid pants for this year as they are supposed to be warmer and more waterproof but I have not tried them out in the mountains yet.
I have Kuiu glassing mitts. Seems like the wind is always cold when you are glassing from a high ridge. All of my items are very lightweight and can easily be stuffed in a pack when necessary.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:14 PM   #49
Notaguide
Six Point
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Waco - Rockport
Hunt In: Bosque Co.
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All three are top notch. Personal fit, hunting style, or use would play more into choice after having a little of each.

Base layer, I prefer the FL merino products having multiple weights.

Having tried all three pant brands, I prefer the FL corrugated and sawbuck pants over Kuiu Attack or Sitka. Again, this is solely based on personal fit. If I was a smaller guy, I probably would have liked the Attack better. First Lite's merino pants lasted one weekend before tearing so won't go there. An older pair of Sitka 90% pants are probably my all time cool mid season favorite.

For active western style hunting, Kuiu seems to have the market. For bow hunting silent camo, my choice would be Sitka. Both the Fanatic and Stratus lines in Elevated 2 are extremely warm and quiet. The color blends well in most situations. Layering one size up with the Stratus has work well for several season. Late season cold, bibs have been the only change up in my routine.

Overall, I believe Sitka offers more variety for whitetail hunting in both camo color, windproof, and early to late season choices. I wouldn't hesitate to buy more FL though if doing more box stand hunting.

Last edited by Notaguide; 02-28-2021 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:18 PM   #50
rosco11
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Spring
Hunt In: Rocksprings
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I really like Badlands gear.. I have their cold weather calor pants, 1/4 zip and tights, Merino base layers, and the venture jacket is the best hunting jacket I've ever had. And warm weather Algus pants and shirt for Texas hunting. Just added their upland game brush pants which are amazing trudging through the thick stuff chasing pheasants. My other favorite brand is Outdoor Research.. their hiking apparel is so comfortable, flexible and tough. Their foray goretex rain jacket and pants as my rain gear.. top notch! I find both of these brands on sale and have never purchased any of it for regular price or I'd go broke. Take a look as your looking into your options

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