…or this one?
Kuiu or Sitka Gear, that is the question.
Well, I was all set to post an interesting story about the top two waterproof breathable shell layers on the market for high activity, western style, mountain hunters. It is interesting because the two guys that run the companies, Jonathan Hart and Jason Hairston of Sitka Gear and Kuiu respectively, producing these outstanding products were once partners and are in fact responsible for changing the high end hunting gear segment. Regular readers know that bringing best in class mountaineering level clothing to the hunting community is an issue I have been bitching and moaning about since the early 90’s, long before Messrs. Hairston and Hart began the revolution, or at least the civilian side of it, at Sitka.
I was also prepared to, finally, render an opinion as to which one of the two shell sets I think is the best but a nagging doubt keeps me from hitting the publish button. The problem is that I’m not yet completely confident in the soundness of my own conclusion. I feel like I need to do another head to head test in controlled conditions before I make my recommendation public. It is important to me to be sure because there is a lot riding on this. We’re not talking world peace or a cure for cancer kind of stuff here but there are a lot of people interested in how this turns out so I want to make certain I get it right.
Anyway, sit tight and stay tuned. I will have more for you all on this very soon.
UPDATE – Whoa! Hold on just a cotton pickin minute. I am in the midst of the head to head testing but received a couple of email messages from some sharp as a tack readers that has caused me to slam the brakes on and reconsider what I am doing. Their point is that since Kuiu doesn’t make the Chugach Jacket in a size that fits me properly for mountain use it should be disqualified from this competition. Good point.
Regardless of how this test turns out I can’t use the new sized Chugach Jackets because their XXL is too small to accommodate medium or thick insulation layers without unacceptable compression slash restriction of movement and they don’t make an XXXL. Even if they did make an XXXL I am not sure that I would want one for fear that the sleeves would drag on the floor.
Although there are plenty of people the new Chugach will fit I have certainly penalized other products because of fit. Pretty much anything from Mountain Hardwear or Rab and most recently the outstanding newly remodeled Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket because while it is fine everywhere else it is tight, not just snug, through the armpits and shoulders. And yes I have had a discussion about it with Pat.
So, I am in something of a quandary. If I DQ Kuiu for size, Sitka wins by default if for no other reason. Hmmm. Stand by and hold your hover for a little quiet reflection and pondering.
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