By Dan Kidder
Every hunter I know would love to have a closet full of top-end camo with a pattern generated by a high-end NASA super computer that will allow you to handle the sub-Saharan arid environment all the way to the 19,000 foot-plus peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro and has a price tag to match. But for you and I, clothing that performs for what we need for basic hunting that is affordable while still being rugged and keeping us warm and dry is more within our realm of expectations.
At the end of the day, having comfortable clothing that can protect you from the elements, in a camo pattern that works in a variety of terrain and is affordable for the everyman is a very attainable goal.
There is no doubt that there is a real need for some hunters in some environments to justify the high-priced clothing that comes out from major manufacturers. I know I don’t fall into that category. For the number of days I spend hunting, I need something that will work for its intended purpose and doesn’t require me to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.
Enter Killik Gear.
Killik was designed exclusively for Sportsman’s Warehouse to serve the needs of the guy and gal who spend a week or so a year in the field. It is a complete layering system that gives the average hunter the flexibility to adapt the clothing to the time of year and weather. Four layering systems work by themselves or together to let you add or subtract pieces so you are prepared to meet whatever weather conditions you might encounter and then adapt to changes.
The Killik K1 Camo pattern is a blend of dots, to break up the profile and subdued grays and greens with shadows behind them to disrupt the shape of the wearer, all printed on a light tan background. The mixture of colors gives it great versatility in a variety of terrains.
The Basis system is the foundation of Killik Gear. It is tough enough to be worn alone in warm, dry weather, but also soft and thin enough to serve as a base layer underneath additional layers. These tops are made with a soft polyester and bamboo rayon so they stretch and move with you. The inside is a microfleece lining that wicks away moisture and keeps you toasty when the temperature drops. Flat seam stitching keeps them comfortable, even under other layers or carrying a heavy pack.
The Basis Hoodie is so comfortable that you will want to wear it even when you aren’t hunting. With a thicker polyester shell and a lamb’s wool soft microfiber lining, the Basis Hoodie will keep you warm and dry. The oversized double hand pocket in the front is also lined with the super soft and supple microfiber. And a roomy hood provides a cocoon of warmth and a cozy feeling of comfort.
The Vital layer is your mainstay gear, including pants, shirts, headgear and gloves. The heavier material shell traps in warmth and allows moisture to quickly be pulled out to where it can be dried by the air.
The Vital Pants are your workhorse, featuring eight pockets, including two side front pockets, two zippered rear pockets and two cargo pockets with small zippered external pockets. The pants also feature the baby soft internal microfiber lining. The legs of the pants can be rolled up and have buttoned straps and sewn loops so you can hold up the rolled legs. A rubberized slip preventer in the waistband provides an extra layer of support to keep the waist from slipping and sliding when carrying gear.
Extra wide belt loops are evenly spaced to provide all around support and plenty of room to attach tools to your belt. A gusseted crotch provides more comfort and articulated knees give you flexibility and wider range of motion and coupled with the abrasion resistant material means that not only will these pants protect you from the sticks and pricks of nature, but let you traverse them comfortably. One thing to note with these pants, is to get them in your actual size, as they feature an athletic fit so they tend to run a little smaller than you might be used to. Definitely try them on before you buy them to make sure you have a good fit.
The Killik Vital Half Zip Shirt is comfortable as either a stand-alone top or over either the Basis Short Sleeve or Long Sleeve Crew shirt. It provides a wrap-around flip up collar to keep the sun off your neck and the elements on the outside. The body-mapping cut makes it roomy where it needs to be and form-fitting so it reduces snagging and is supremely comfortable everywhere. The quiet and snag-free 4-way stretch fabric provides a full range of motion that moves with you, no matter the direction. The true half-zip front allows maximum ventilation. Flat seams mean there is no uncomfortable stitching pressing into your skin. A zippered delt pocket on the arm provides easy access storage for small necessities.
Killik’s Vital Beanie keeps your head warm and dry and also protected from the burning sun. It is lightweight enough to wear in even warmer weather, providing additional protection and concealment by extending the K1 camo to the top of your body. The stretchy material will allow it to cover your ears and keep them warm and still stay out of your eyes. The microfleece liner wicks away sweat and increases heat retention.
To improve your concealment even more, the Vital Balaclava allows you to extend the protection and camo coverage of the beanie to your face. An ample opening in the front doesn’t constrict breathing or fall over your eyes, but stretches to the neck. The lower half can also be pushed up into the top so it can serve as a full balaclava or just a beanie.
For a more traditional hat style, the Vital Ball Cap provides traditional hat coverage with the same comfortable and quiet camo pattern of the rest of your Killik gear. For those hunting in warmer weather, the Vital Mesh Cap offers the same design in the front, coupled with fine mesh for better ventilation without sacrificing invisibility.
The Vital Gloves are form-fitting for more dexterity and also have a water-resistant coating to keep your hands warm and dry. A honeycomb, rubberized texture on the palms aids in gripping and an additional finer texture on the trigger finger keep your finger from slipping as you make that crucial shot.
The Nexus system consists of the Nexus Pants, Nexus Vest, and the Nexus Jacket, providing even more protection for colder climes or more rugged terrain. Built of a stronger and tougher two-way stretch fabric that is thicker than the Basis layer, the Nexus can be worn over the Basis layer or alone, depending on the weather and your desired warmth level.
The Nexus Vest starts with a tall lined collar for additional neck protection. Two roomy taped hand warmer pockets and a chest pocket provide extra storage for important gear. A thicker, microfleece with a quilted texture ensure even more warmth conserving qualities and additional moisture wicking. Anatomical shaping and offset seams keep your backpack straps from pressing sharp edges into your shoulders and helps to shed rainwater. The thicker material is wind resistant to even further protect your core from the cold.
The Nexus Jacket is a warm companion on cold days. With a windproof softshell lining, an adjustable hood with two snaps that allow it to lay back out of the way when not in use and a full lined collar to protect your neck, the Nexus Jacket is lined with the same thicker quilted microfiber as the vest. Full pit zips with mesh inserts allow airflow for ventilation and the dual zippers allow them to be opened and closed from either direction or adjust the opening for full control. Two fully lined handwarmer pockets and two roomy mesh chest pockets both have fully taped zippers to keep your gear dry. An elastic waist cord, with cord locks, lets you tighten the waist to keep drafty air from coming in from below, while locking in the warmth.
The Pivotal Pants are made of tough, four-way stretch, water and wind resistant quad flex polyester material and are reinforced in the seat, knees and inner heel area for greater abrasion resistance and waterproofing. This is a great asset for scrabbling over rocks and boulders and sitting for long hours glassing on rough terrain. An articulated design with zonal mapping allows full range of movement without pinching or binding. The pants can be worn by themselves or as an added layer over the Vital Pants for additional warmth and protection. One rear zippered pocket, two front slash pockets and two side cargo pockets, with small external zippered pockets, give you plenty of storage options. Knee pad pockets allow you to insert foam pads for more protection and cushioning of your knees. Suspender loops let you forgo your belt and opt for maximum support, without waist constriction, for a more comfortable fit. A non-slip strip inside the waistband prevents the pants from sliding around, even when you hang heavy gear from your belt.
The Axiom Rainwear Jacket is completely waterproof and wind resistant and features a breathable membrane to let moisture out, but not let it in. Waterproof zippers on the chest, sleeves and torso keep water at bay and offer maximum protection for the wearer. Two full, front gear mesh gear pockets, give you quick access to essential equipment. A full adjustable hood features a rain visor to divert water away from your face.
Just like the top layer, the Axiom Rain Pant gives you an extra layer of protection over your Nexus pants. The Axiom Pants carry the same workmanship and materials as the Nexus Pants with minimal weight, so they are easy to pack away until needed. They are fully seam sealed, imminently breathable and completely waterproof. They feature two-way stretch fabric that is lightly brushed to keep it supple and quiet. An elastic waist also features both belt loops and suspender loops. The Axiom Rainwear Pants feature two waterproof zip front slash pockets and a single zippered rear pocket, as well as pockets in the knees for kneepads. Waterproof zippers on the legs unzip to the hip for easy on and off over heavy boots. The gusseted crotch and articulated knees give you ample ability to move, even over the other layers.
Wherever the critters live when it comes time to kill them, there tends to be snow on the ground. The Axiom Gaiters offer additional protection from snow coming over the tops of your boots to help keep your feet warm and dry. They also work for high water and wet grass. They easily attach without removing your boots and seal up with both a zipper and a Velcro seal for double the protection.
Whether you are outfitting for an Alaskan caribou hunt or chasing mulies in the early season on the Arizona strip, Killik Gear has clothing designed to provide you maximum performance, excellent concealment and will hold up to years of use. And, it is in a price range that most hunters can afford. Take a look at the entire line of Killik Gear at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse or online at Sportsmans.com.