Sitka Gear has long been regarded as a top-tier brand in the hunting apparel market, known for its high-quality products that come with an equally high price tag.
As an eager hunter, I’m always on the lookout for gear that enhances my outdoor experience. And I’m okay with spending more money for quality gear that serves multiple purposes and will last a long time. But does Sitka Gear stand up to the hype?
In this Sitka camo review, I’ll share my hands-on experience with six different Sitka Gear products, focusing on the three that I now regret not buying sooner: the Sitka Mountain Pant, the Sitka Core Lightweight Long Sleeved Crew, and the Sitka Jetstream Jacket.
If you just want to know what the best Sitka gear is and what’s worth getting vs leaving behind, keep reading because I won’t waste your time with fluffy opinions about junk.
And if you’re more of a visual person, check out my Sitka Gear video review on YouTube!
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Why Trust Our Sitka Camo Review
I got a whole new set of Sitka camouflage clothing gear last fall and put it to the test. I wore it all season long on multiple hunts, some successful and some not. From warm days in the early season to late season mornings in near zero degree temps, I formed a few opinions about what I was wearing all that time.
I evaluated each item based on features, camo pattern effectiveness, noise levels, weather resistance, durability, versatility, and comfort (including fit, sizing, and mobility).
In short, I have used all the gear I talk about extensively and I test gear for a living. My only objective here is to provide firsthand insight based on my own experience. I hope it helps you make a decision to buy or not to buy, either way is fine with me.
Sitka Mountain Pant
The Sitka Mountain Pant is a true jack-of-all-hunts. Although it’s not waterproof, I found it comfortable in both the heat of late summer and the cold of winter.
- Comfortable with some stretch
- Two-way zipper on fly is brilliant
- Works in warm and cold weather
- Durable and abrasion resistant
- Quiet when rubbing against brush
- Not waterproof
- Kneepads are annoying to put in
- Belt loops too small
My favorite feature of this pant is that it has two zippers on the fly. The top zipper tucks underneath the button, providing a secure fit and preventing you from getting ribbed by your hunting buddies for having your fly down. There’s a second zipper at the bottom that you can open upwards, allowing you to answer nature’s call without unbuckling your belt or your backpack. I think every pant should have this feature.
The fabric feels excellent both inside and out. It’s smooth, yet durable. Most importantly, it’s quiet! Accidentally spooking a deer when brushing against some alder is far less likely in this pant than others I’ve worn, including those from Pnuma or generic brands.
The pockets are well-positioned with good closures, including low-profile zippers that are quiet and don’t dig into your leg. The cargo pockets, in particular, are spacious. They have plenty of room for gloves or snacks. They even have an outer zipper pocket that’s suitable for your tags or wallet. There’s only one back pocket, but I think that’s smart since I dislike sitting on bulky items during all-day spotting and stalking.
The Sitka Mountain pant is not waterproof or insulated, but I didn’t miss that feature. A light sprinkle sheds off the pant well enough, but a downpour will undoubtedly leave you wet.
Ultimate Comfort and Mobility
The Mountain pant doesn’t restrict movement at all like a stiffer pant would. The fit is relaxed but not loose. It has somewhat of an athletic fit, yet I still found them extremely comfortable, even with a bit of a belly these days. They stay up and in place, which can be hard to find, thanks to the numerous belt loops.
Speaking of belt loops, some of them have MOLLE loops to attach gear, which is a neat feature. However, one drawback of this pant is that the belt loops are rather narrow. It makes it difficult to run my belt through them (I suppose it’s thicker than some). That’s a bit annoying, but not a dealbreaker.
These pants fit true to size in my experience. At 6’1″ and 220 lbs, I ordered a 36R, which is what I normally get, and they fit perfectly.
The pant has kneepads if you like those. I don’t use them, but they are functional, albeit a bit of a hassle to get in and out. You pretty much have to take your pants off to do so.
Sitka Core Lightweight Crew LS: Breathable and Silent
The second piece of Sitka Gear that I would definitely recommend is the Core Lightweight Crew Long-Sleeved shirt. This is a very simple piece of clothing. Admittedly, my first impression was that it was overpriced – a simple polyester long-sleeve shirt for 80 bucks?!
However, there are a few key aspects I love about it that I think make it worth the price.
- Functional year-round
- Lightweight and breathable
- Thumb loops
- Long tail in back
- Fabric catches on rough surfaces
- Pricey for a polyester shirt
Firstly, the main reason I wear camouflage when hunting is to try and conceal myself from game. If I were a highly skilled hunter, I probably wouldn’t need camo. But I’m not, so I do. The Sitka Core Lightweight LS covers my entire upper body while remaining comfortable, even in hot weather.
When it’s cooler, I wear this shirt as a base layer.
The fabric is nothing remarkable. In fact, it can get caught on rough surfaces like wood, which can pull threads and cause wear. But it truly is lightweight and comfortable while still maintaining a consistent appearance of the camo pattern.
Even after wearing it several days in a row it didn’t smell funky. It does an admirable job at scent control.
I got a size XL, and it fits snug, but not too tight. In my opinion, it’s between a relaxed and an athletic fit. I’d probably get an XL-Tall next time. It’s nice that they even offer tall sizes, and I have a long torso.
The tail of the shirt is longer than the front, which is great for covering up a well-fed man’s backside like mine.
The little thumb loops at the end of the sleeves make it easy to keep from bunching up when adding layers on top.
Despite not being fancy or ultra-technical, the Core Lightweight Crew is so comfy and practical that I found myself putting it on every day I went hunting, even though I had alternatives.
Sitka Jetstream Jacket
The final item I would definitely recommend is the Sitka Jetstream Jacket. Just like the other two items I recommended, I find the Jetstream jacket to be highly versatile. Ultimately, that’s why I’d be willing to fork out the substantial sum it takes to buy it.
This is not a single-purpose piece of gear like a rain jacket or a waterfowl jacket. This jacket can be taken on every hunt you go on, all year round.
- Makes almost no noise
- Water and wind resistant
- Uses real Gore-Tex
- Comfortable with max mobility
- Great for layering
- Pricey for a softshell jacket
- Not as durable as first gen Jetstream
- Not warm enough on its own in cold
Features I appreciate include:
- Waterproof taped zippers (also camouflaged themselves)
- Soft bill inside the hood for shedding water and sun
- Numerous adjustments on the hood and waist for the right fitment
- Well-positioned pockets with quiet zippers (including an inside pocket)
- Effective pit zip vents that are in the right place and do the job well, and even zip from either end
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this jacket compared to others I have used in the past, like the Pnuma Waypoint, is that this jacket is incredibly quiet. It makes it easier to sneak up when you’re stalking a deer. There’s no jacket-on-jacket noise, and the jacket-on-vegetation noise is minimal. Plus, the fabric is soft and comfortable inside and out, ensuring maximum mobility.
The Jetstream jacket has a relaxed athletic fit like the Mountain pant and Core Lightweight Crew. It also has a longer cut tail like the latter. I got an XL and find it true to size. They have tall sizes available too.
Washing the Jetstream jacket was no issue. Not much dirt really even stuck to the material, but even blood came off easily in the washing machine after a hunt.
This jacket is quite popular, and I have the second-generation version. Many of the original fans are not happy that they slimmed it down with newer, thinner materials and claim that it is not as weather-worthy, wind-resistant, or waterproof as the old version. I can’t speak to that directly, but in my experience, this hunting jacket does everything I require.
I always had this in my pack this year, even on warmer days. It was just right to fend of the chill of early mornings out West in early fall, and I could add a puffy jacket or layers underneath in winter. I found that it kept the wind and rain out sufficiently well. It does have a real Gore-Tex membrane, after all. I didn’t feel a need to carry another shell all year. This was always my outer layer.
Despite what some advertisements say, one thing this jacket is not is super warm. It’s warm enough for cool weather, but not for cold weather. It’s a soft shell, not an insulating layer. If you use it like that, you’ll be happy. However, I would have been freezing my tail off if I didn’t add layers underneath when temperatures dropped below about 40 degrees.
Take It or Leave It on This Sitka Gear
Of all the Sitka Gear I acquired, here are a few items I found a bit underwhelming.
Sitka Traverse Cap
I actually really liked how this cap fits. It’s comfortable with a bit of stretch to it. It’s cool enough when it’s hot out and doesn’t get that salty sweat band that a lot of hats do. And unlike most of Sitka’s products, it’s relatively inexpensive.
However, one thing that irritated me was the Velcro strap at the back. The “hook” part of the hook and loop strap faces outward. When you put on a hood with a fleece or soft material inside (like the Jetstream jacket hood), the hat sticks to the hood. It’ll stick and unstick, making an unpleasant noise right by your head. And when you turn your head, your hat doesn’t always turn with it because it’s stuck to your hood. Dumb.
Sitka Traverse Gloves
The Sitka Traverse Gloves are nothing to get excited about. They are also one of the cheapest items on the Sitka menu, but there’s a reason for that. They have no frills and really only put camo on your hands.
I may still use them for that during spring turkey season, but I find them inadequate for big game season. They’re not warm, the seams at the ends of the fingers are a bit uncomfortable, they have little to no grip, and they’re not durable. Next time I’ll either opt for an off-brand at the same price point to get something better, or just save up a bit more money for a more versatile glove.
Sitka Mountain 2700 Backpack
The Sitka Mountain 2700 is a worthy hunting pack, but it’s as noisy on a hunt as my kids are at church. All kinds of heads are twisting around to see what’s making a racket when everything else is dead silent.
The design is simple enough, with a big main compartment, a hydration bladder pouch, a top pocket, and two optics pockets. It has the necessary features like a waist belt, chest strap, and lightweight frame. But it’s pretty lackluster for the price point and the first thing I thought of after using it was, “I need a different pack.”
It would be fine for a long weekend backpacking or scouting trip, but it’s too underbuilt to pack out game and it’s too bulky and loud for day hunts. Something like a KUIU Pro Bag might be a bit more versatile than the Sitka Mountain 2700 pack.
Go With the Subalpine Camo Pattern
Selecting the right Sitka camo pattern can be overwhelming, but if you’re unsure, the Gore Optifade Subalpine pattern is a versatile choice. It blends well in both deserts and forests throughout the year.
While it’s difficult to objectively test camouflage patterns, I have anecdotal evidence of the Sitka Subalpine pattern’s effectiveness.
Just after sunset, but during legal shooting hours, I found myself with both a fall turkey and deer tag, carrying a rifle and shotgun.
I was positioned against a tree on a hill near a turkey roost. Hearing movement behind me, I stood up to see two does browsing, unaware of my presence. Within seconds, a group of turkeys appeared 60 yards ahead, and a mature 4-point whitetail buck stood 120 yards in front of me. I was standing up like a prairie dog with my shotgun in hand.
Frozen, I decided to go for the buck who was staring right at me. Despite my lack of stealth, he continued browsing, unaware of my presence!
I crouched, put the shotgun down, and reached for my rifle. Adrenaline surged, and I made a hasty, shaky shot.
The buck jumped and escaped, the turkeys flew to their roost, and I was left alone with my regret.
My camo did its job, but I didn’t do mine.
Price Considerations and Recommendations
Sitka Gear makes great hunting camo clothing, but it comes at a steep price. The three items I recommend have a combined cost of almost $700. For about half the price you could set yourself up with a good quality camo outfit from TrueTimber, MossyOak, or RealTree.
You don’t have to spend that kind of money to get out and hunt. But if Sitka Gear fits your budget, I’d start with the Mountain Pant, the Core Lightweight Crew LS, and the Jetstream Jacket, all in Optifade Subalpine camo. That covers your whole body in comfortable, capable camo gear that can be used in pretty much every season, any environment, and for any game.