Arcteryx is quality stuff too.
their pack is good, I have an arcteryx jacket as well that I can layer under my camo if I need extra warmth
Arcteryx is quality stuff too.
I have invested a lot of time and money on gear over the last couple of seasons, looking for that perfect layering system, and unfortunately, I haven't found it in any hunting clothing system from a given company. The best layering system/philosophy I've found for backpacking is this one, from Pro Mountain Sports in Seattle. In summary, it breaks down like this:
- Wicking layer - merino wool
- Light-weight, breathable, non-insulated wind-cutting layer (pants & jacket/pull-over)
- Puffy down insulating layer (Jacket - use when needed)
- Lightweight rain gear (use when needed)
This system is great, considering the goals of the typical person in the back country, e.g. lightweight, versatile (works well when active or sedentary), safe (protects from all the elements). However it misses two goals that are important for the hunter: quiet & color (camo or earth-tone). Also, if you didn't guess it, the second layer is the hard one to find for hunters.
So, after investing in a bunch of stuff from Sitka, FirstLight, Grey Wolf, Rivers West, etc., Here's what I came up with:
Early Season (30-70 degrees):
- Merino wool base layer (Icebreaker Tech-lite T or FirstLight Llano)
- First Light Gila Pants & Grey Wolf Wolfskin Pull-over
- Browning 700-fill down jacket
- Cabelas Pack-light rain gear
I also bring along a second, heavier 1st layer of Merino Wool stuff, too, e.g. FirstLight Chama/Alegheney, for two reasons... I use a light 30 degree sleeping bag so it's nice to have some "long johns" for sleeping, and also just in case I need it if it's extra-cold or if I get really soaked for some reason. The Chama shirt can also be worn in place of the Wolfskin pull-over, since it's both warm and it breathes well.
To sum up, be clear on what your goals are and what is required of your gear. My list isn't the only way to go, and I still haven't found the perfect second layer. I could easily substitute Sitka gear for much of the list above (core/traverse base layer, mountain pant, kelvin vest, etc.), too.
Finally, I can say that FirstLight (merino in ASAT - awesome) IceBreaker (the best merino t-shirts & hiking socks), Sitka (Optifade + top-notch designs) and Grey Wolf (hand-made to your spec) make some amazing gear. You really can't go wrong with any of it.
I like first lite merino wool also but it sure is hard to beat the great qualities of the Sitka Jetstream, both are excellent products!
I have a green Marmot primoloft jacket that I layer under my Sitka 90% if I need to.
You cant beat the Marmot Driclime jacket for weight vs warmth.
I'd say the Russel or the Sitka. I am not a fan of rivers west for backcountry because they get so hot and breath so poorly. Second to the comment about Rivers west holding water on them when wet.
People in SUV's and suburbs will kill more game animals than a man with a bow, ever could.
I used Kryptek gear on my last hunt into the Montana backcountry and throughout the Montana hunting seasons. I had the cadog jacket and pants as well as the koldo jacket. All of these garmets have pit or thigh zips to allow proper ventilation. The koldo jacket is 100% waterproof and very quiet. The cadog jacket and pants are warm, quiet, and resistant to staining (I was hunting in a burned area). This clothing line is tough. It did not rip, snag, or tear while hunting through thick brush and trees. I was very pleased with the performance of these products throughout the hunting season.