By Pete Rogers
I have been a longtime user of the Sitka Gear Fanatic Jacket, so when they announced a complete redesign of the Fanatic system in early 2019, I was ecstatic! Let’s take a quick look at how the old version works for me and how I’m looking forward to the new update.
Stopping at the bottom of the elm tree, I lower my pack, open the compartment that holds my coat and slowly put it on. I never walk to my stand with my outer layer on, knowing that this can and often does cause me to overheat. I opt to put on the outer layer prior to climbing the tree. The Sitka Fanatic coat is my top layer over the Sitka Shacket and a heavy base layer. On this day, the temperature is just below 20 degrees and a steady wind keeps the temperature cold. For the entire four-hour sit, I remain comfortable and toasty, grateful that I made a great purchase on this Fanatic™ Jacket from Sitka®.
Just when you think Sitka Gear has perfected a garment for whitetail hunting, they come out with a new and improved product. But this new Fanatic™ Jacket is not just new and improved the way other companies do it. Sitka® did a complete remodel of the entire garment to make it substantially better. And as someone who just bought the older version, I am not trying to find a way to justify getting the new one.
The first thing you notice on the new Fanatic™ jacket is the body-mapping technology. The jacket I held was missing some fleece on the left arm. When I asked about it, I was told the new jacket comes in a right hand version and a left hand version! Who does that? Who makes coats or jackets for dominant hands? Well, Sitka® does.
In the right hand version, the cross zipper comes from the left hip to the right shoulder. This allows for more movement of the left arm for archers. The left arm is also missing some fleece on the inside of the arm to give more string clearance. Add to this reduced insulation on the right arm to allow for more freedom of movement when drawing the bow.
As I held this jacket, I was flabbergasted that the engineers would go to this extent of detail and still maintain the comfort and warmth of this heavy coat. An added feature that really helps for those who swear by layering in the treestand is the newly designed Constant-Connect Sitka® Safety Harness Port. This port allows for the coat to be taken on and off without having to risk disconnecting from the safety lines.
Like the previous Fanatic™ jacket, the New Fanatic™ jacket is available in Elevated II™ pattern and is packed with the Gore-Tex Infinium™ and Windstopper® technology. The PrimaLoft® insulation actually adds 20% more warmth over the previous model.
When it comes to long sits in the deer stand with little to no movement for hours on end, having clothing that actually keeps you warm is essential. The New Fanatic Jacket with the new designs are a must have for archers who spend an inordinate amount of time in a tree during the middle or late season. The heavier fleece in just the right places and the integrated hand muff make this a must have. Nothing has kept me warmer or more comfortable than Sitka Gear clothing, and I am looking forward to trying the new and improved Fanatic™ jacket later this year.