Women’s SITKA Gear Raises the Bar for Women’s Hunting Gear: Early Season System.
SITKA Gear raised the bar for women hunters with the introduction of a functional clothing system that does more than just fit properly. The new SITKA Gear Women’s Whitetail System is a “complete system” that offers everything from base layers to accessories. Not only are these products available for early season warm weather hunting, but the Whitetail line also offers late season cold weather wear that I took to the field in November. As with all SITKA Gear products, the women’s line is designed to create customized layers so you can tailor the gear for your hunt.
SITKA Gear incorporates high tech fabrics such as GORE-TEX®, WINDSTOPPER®, Polygiene®, and PrimaLoft® and they combine these with GORE™ OPTIFADE™ advanced science-based concealment patterns designed with animal eyesight in mind. The SITKA Gear Women’s Whitetail line is designed in the Elevated II camo. This pattern is proven to break-up the symmetry of the human body by scrambling those lines with micro- and macro-patterns.
The entire women’s SITKA Gear line was designed and field tested by women. Over a 2.5-year span, the women’s design team spent 2,696 hours on research and design with 13,064 hours of rigorous testing in the field with one goal in mind: provide women hunters with the most technical hunting gear to enhance their experience in the field. SITKA Gear has unequivocally done just that!
In preparation for my early season archery hunt in Missouri this year, I chose eight pieces to pack for this trip from the Whitetail line:
These eight pieces ensured that I had the gear I needed for the expected weather that week of highs in the 70s, lows in the 30s, and a chance of rain. I found with this layering system that I packed less gear for my hunt but was prepared for any weather situation. In the past I have taken double the amount of gear for a similar trip. I was extremely pleased that the gear didn’t take up near the space in my gear bag.
The women’s whitetail system offers a next-to-skin mid-weight shirt and heavy-weight base layer bottom that incorporates Polygiene® odor control technology. The fabrics wick away moisture keeping the body dry and warm. Natural antimicrobial silver salt in the fabric permanently neutralizes odors and stops the growth of bacteria and fungi.
The women’s Core mid-weight long sleeve crew has a natural crew neckline, a mid hip-length tail that keeps the shirt tail tucked in, and thumbholes to eliminate sleeve creep when layering. The Core heavyweight bottom is designed like yoga leggings with a natural waistline that doesn’t require elastic or a waist cord. The comfortable doubled ankle cuffs keep the pant legs from riding up without cutting into the skin. The weight of the material keeps the hunter warm and doesn’t stretch out of shape, even when worn over an extended hunt for several days.
For colder early mornings, the Fanatic Hoody and Celsius Jacket are a perfect companion because of the easy-packable features of both pieces. The Celsius jacket is the perfect outer layer for frigid mornings, and it can be easily stowed in a backpack when the day warms up. The Primaloft® insulation allows the jacket to keep in the heat without adding bulk. The full-length front zipper and brushed tricot lined collar comfortably seals out the wind. The jacket has a convenient pass-through port on the upper back for a safety harness strap. The outer layer is a soft and quiet with thumbhole cuffs, and it is tapered with side hip panels for the perfect fit.
The Fanatic Hoody with Polygiene® odor control technology can be worn as a base layer, insulation layer, or an outer garment on warmer days. The longer length of the lofted grid fleece body of the hoody is form fitting but allows for easy movement. Tapered sleeves allow for no interference with a weapon or added bulk when layering. The ¼ zip allows for easy pull on/off. The hoody offers a form-fitted hood for warmth and for no interference when wearing. The built-in facemask is another useful feature. You can stow it in the back of the neck and hood until needed, and then simply pull it over your head and into place when needed.
The women’s Equinox pant gives women hunters features that they need in the field. The pant offers a comfortable tailored fit with a four-way stretch polyester weave material that does not snag. It is designed to fit comfortably in a seated or crouching position with a gusseted crotch and convenient zippered thigh pockets. The thin belt loops and nylon belt results in no bulk at the waist allowing for a clean fit for backpack waist support belts. The non-slip silicon waistband keeps shirts tucked in and the pant on the hips. The pant has cargo pockets and waist pockets for additional gear storage.
For wet weather hunting, the women’s Downpour jacket and pant offer protection with FORE-TEX® 3L laminate and a silent brushed exterior. The jacket offers a slightly tapered sleeve with banded wrists, a full-length front zipper, and a fitted hood. The pant offers a regular button and zipper waist band with thin belt loops and nylon belt. The fully-articulated knees offer comfort while in the stand. Full length leg zipper offers easy on/off while in the stand or for those sudden showers.
Gloves that fit properly have been an issue for many women hunters; they either fit perfectly in the width of the hand but the fingers are too long or they fit in the finger length but the wrist or hand width is too tight. The women’s Fanatic glove is available in small, medium, and large to ensure a perfect fit. The four-way stretch-woven polyester material will keep hands warm without bulk. The forefinger and thumb half finger design on both hands gives the hunter the advantage of true touch on releases and triggers, and it allows use of the touchscreens on GPS units and phones.
Other SITKA Gear items that are ideal for early season hunting are the Equinox glove that has a shooting glove fit with a printed Ax Suede synthetic palm for superior grip and durability. It also has conductive technology in the index finger and thumb for touchscreen use. Another great addition that is easy keep in a pant or jacket pocket for colder mornings is the four-way stretch Stratus Headband with WINDSTOPPER® that keeps ears warm without impeding hearing. The headband is thin enough to be worn with a ball cap or beanie.
The Women’s SITKA Gear sizing is true-to-size offering shirt/jacket sizes from XS through XXL and pant sizing from 25” to 33” waist with varied inseams from 31” to 32”. I have found in other brand women’s wear that the sizing is always much smaller than the label. SITKA Gear offers a sizing chart with measurements for accurate sizing.
My experience with the SITKA Gear women’s line was profound. Each piece has tailor tweed workmanship and they fit like performance wear with features that were well thought out with the hunter in mind. I hunted in temperatures that ranged from 38°F to 72°F and had a few rainy days in the stand; the gear worked flawlessly to keep me warm, dry and even wicked away sweat on my long walk out from the stand in the higher temperatures. The Polygiene® odor control technology worked extremely well on the four days that I wore the base layers. Above all, the comfort I found in the fit and material was unmatched by any other brand product I have worn to date. The fact that this SITKA Gear required fewer pieces and less room in my gear bag, combined with the level of performance that I found in the field with this product, will result in me enhancing my hunting gear with more SITKA Gear.
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