It’s been over a decade since Sitka Gear burst onto the scene of the outdoor community. They literally took the industry by storm and delivered high performance outdoor gear to the hard-core mountain athlete. Until that time, the hunter wasn’t even considered an athlete. However, the Sitka team saw a serious need for technical clothing systems for serious hunters. These hunters didn’t need mere clothing, they needed gear that could handle dynamic mountain weather. The mountaineering industry had been doing this for years and most of the extreme hunters were utilizing mountaineering clothing because there wasn’t any other alternative. In 2005, Sitka Gear became that alternative and since have been striving to make the very best and innovative gear for dedicated hunters worldwide.
New for 2017 from Sitka Gear is the Ascent series, offered in their new Optifade™ Subalpine pattern. These purpose driven designs are putting Sitka Gear leaps and bounds ahead of its competition by providing extremely specialized clothing and equipment for hunters.
The Optifade™ Subalpine pattern is designed with the elk and deer hunter in mind. The scientifically vetted pattern is intended for hunters who are stalking or ambushing animals from the ground in tree covered and vegetated terrain. The high contrast of the pattern is optimized for close engagement distances of fifty yards or less. Their Open Country pattern is optimized for engagements of 50 yards and beyond in open and rocky terrain. The high contrast of Subalpine allows the pattern to keep its depth at these close ranges, providing the hunter an edge to stalk in and hopefully get a shot.
The Ascent series is Sitka’s lightest offering to date. These products are made for early season and warm weather hunts where weight and performance mean everything. Most products are Polygiene treated to prohibit the growth of bacteria so your body odor is manageable, even after a 10-day hunt pursuing mule deer in the heat. The fabrics have been selected to promote cooling and efficient wicking and breathability. Their new offerings have been in the field across the west hunting for two seasons. From the sage deserts of Arizona, to the P&J of New Mexico ,to the lush rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, the diversity of this pattern allows Sitka Gear to design products for very specific applications, so the hunter can fine-tune their system for how they hunt.
Let’s expand on this a bit more. Are the needs of a sheep hunter in the Northwest Territories the same as an archery elk hunter in Colorado? Definitely not; these are significantly different hunts with very different priorities for the gear. The sheep hunter is going to live out of his pack for weeks at a time. Durability is critical as a breakdown in equipment could mean the difference between life and death. The elk hunter on the other hand is likely to hunt from a base camp, which they return to each and every night. They have the ability to continuously fine-tune their system as the weather and hunting dictate. They are also much more likely to be willing to put durability lower on their list of priorities in favor of a lighter, quieter system.
The new Subalpine pattern will not only allow Sitka Gear to have a concealment pattern for every species and terrain a big game hunter could need, but it is also allowing them to design very specific products for diverse hunting styles. Those of you that are early season archery hunters who put a premium on a high level of performance, breathability and functionality, will now have a finely tuned system different from the one you’ll need for late season rifle in sub-zero weather.
A perfect example of this is the new Ascent pant and shirt. Made of a durable nylon/Cordura it assures the 12oz. Ascent pants their durability. Mesh backed hand and cargo pockets keep layers thin and promote breathability while walking. The internal mesh knee pad pocket accepts any of Sitka’s knee pads for those long crawls after weary muleys. The Ascent shirt, Sitka’s first technical hunting shirt, is loaded with features. This lightweight, 5oz. shirt features a wispy, yet tough nylon upper torso. Polyester knit in the lower torso and sleeves promote wicking and won’t interfere with bow strings. Mesh under the arms and inside the two zippered chest pockets promote breathability even when wearing binos. Finally, the flip up collar limits chaffing from pack and bino straps and protects your neck during long glassing sessions in the sun.
It’s been 8-years since Sitka Gear introduced a new big game pattern to the market. Trust us - it’s been worth the wait. Combine that with 20 new or updated products for the big game hunter and Sitka is proving once again it is the true leader in technical hunting apparel.