Sitka Clothing....the end for Realtree?

Ben P

Well-Known Member
Read a very positive review of this gear.

Unfortunately it is priced at the top end and as far as I am aware not yet available in the UK.

Would be interested to hear if anyone has any experience of using this gear.

Regards

BP

http://www.sitkagear.com/
 

jcampbellsmith

Well-Known Member
...Would be interested to hear if anyone has any experience of using this gear.....
Ben. I read about it a couple of years ago. I haven't seen any of it. Although the visual effect of a jacket and trousers is important, keeping dry matters more to me. I am still looking for the ideal jacket that keeps me warm and dry, covers my wrists and doesn't easily rip or make a racket. Thanks JCS
 

RTA

Active Member
I have seen a real kick away from the tree patters in recent years and i feel it is the way forward. Most people realise that deer do not see the way we do and the disruptive patterns have no real advantage over some of our own traditional products. (LODEN TWEEDS and WATER PROOF COTTONS )
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
Ben. I read about it a couple of years ago. I haven't seen any of it. Although the visual effect of a jacket and trousers is important, keeping dry matters more to me. I am still looking for the ideal jacket that keeps me warm and dry, covers my wrists and doesn't easily rip or make a racket. Thanks JCS
Can you let me know when you find it please!
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
The cammo pattern looks like an attempt to copy the Crye Multicam or the British version thereof (MTP). It might be better to just buy Multicam or mil surplus MTP stuff.

I just looked at one jacket and the design was awful and not at all well suited to anything beyond larking about on the high street. For a start, and a pet hate of mine, the zips on the pockets are vertical meaning that when you open them your worldly belongings bounce down the hill never to be seen again. No question, such zips are currently trendy with people who "do dangerous sports" but they are sod all use in the real world.

JCS - I understand and don't think it can be done in one jacket. If you want to be warm then you need to wear some layers of fleece and the like and then you want something waterproof on top. Try a mil surplus windproof smock with nikwax waterproofing washed into it for active stalking - with a fleece under when you need warmth. Inexpensive and available now in the British MTP cammo which seems well suited to stalking in the UK. Cheap enough to give it a go (buy the older DPM pattern as less expensive, sometimes you see them new for less than £10) and dump it if it doesn't work for you. Pretty quiet, good pockets, inexpensive, robust, pretty waterproof for normal stalking use and just works well in the field. My Mustos haven't been stalking in over a year now.
 

Ben P

Well-Known Member
The review I had read was in NZ Hunter by Greg Duley, not someone who would be swayed by a "pretty pattern".

Commenting on the Mountain Pants he said

"These were the best cut hunting trousers I've tried, and really comfortable to wear. They have an excellent built in belt system, and a sticky rubbery layer inside the waist band that stops your shirts etc from coming untucked. The knee pads were far from a gimmick and actually superb"

On a slightly separate issue, if anyone is looking for an excellent overseas shooting magazine, http://www.nzhunter.co.nz/ is well worth a read.

Regards

BP
 

longlowdog

Well-Known Member
I have two Sportcheif Saddlecloth coats approaching 10 years old. they have approx 2000 days wear between them, everywhere between brambles and forshore. Still wind/waterproof, silent and easily cleaned. I've bought a 'smart' shooting coat every two years but when the snow comes and the wind blows the ol'saddlecloth is still the go-to jacket.
Too many of the new jackets loose definition when they are wet and become monotone, then you might as well wear sage green or bracken brown and just move a little less quickly.
I think it is a rip off to charge extra for a hood, Musto is very good at that particular scam.
Back to the O.P, Realtree is an American institution and I can only see them folding once the love of turkey at Thanksgiving, country and western music and Cabelas is lost in the mists of time. (Muir and co', sorry for the really bad social steriotyping. )
 

devon deer stalker

Well-Known Member
So has anyone purchased Sitka clothing since this thread started?
I will take a look at it when i go to the states later this year.
Cheers
Richard
 

Brithunter

Well-Known Member
I have seen a real kick away from the tree patters in recent years and i feel it is the way forward. Most people realise that deer do not see the way we do and the disruptive patterns have no real advantage over some of our own traditional products. (LODEN TWEEDS and WATER PROOF COTTONS )
I for one am not keen on the fashion cammoflage like realtree but gettingt stuff that is not covered in seems to be difficult at times and that is the only reason my Deerhunter trousers are real tree. Shop had them in stock when i needed them but not the plain green I prefer.

Sadly to many are swayed by glossy magazine ads and must have them and follow the herd.
 

Vipa

Well-Known Member
I have a bit of camo gear, some Realtree and some Multicam.. to be honest, most of the time I just wear solid green (although, as far as the deer are concerned it may as well be shocking pink!) never had any problems.

To me, if I am spending that kind of money on clothing (Harkila Pro-Hunter sorts of prices) then it needs to versatile enough to wear anywhere and anytime, not just when in a forest... When I see people in town wearing realtree the first word that springs to mind starts with a W, ends with R and has anke in the middle!

However, I will add.. the Sitka gear does look quite nice!
 
Last edited:

Ranger22

Well-Known Member
You should have a look at the Swazi jackets, good bits of kit. Had mine 7 years I think and it still turns water.

Al
 

patterdale

Well-Known Member
You should have a look at the Swazi jackets, good bits of kit. Had mine 7 years I think and it still turns water.

Al
+1 for the Swazi gear don't leak and easy to look after (will need it at scone game fair at the weekend me thinks)
 
I have quite a few items of Sitka's stuff that I have picked up on trips to the States over the last few years. I think Sitka were the first firm to produce gear in Gore's Optifade pattern which is designed around how ungulates see rather than how humans see things. The original founders have since sold Sitka Gear to Gore.

First the cammo patterns. They used to make gear in more established cammo patterns before Optifade came out, now they only make Optifade (now in 3 varieties) and some plain colours. The original pattern was "open country" which was designed to camouflage the hunter to deer (in fact ungulates in general) at the longer distances that are more common in the mountainous West of the USA. It has more brown and grey in it. Probably more suited for the open moor and hill in the UK during late Autumn/early Spring. They then brought out the "forest" pattern which is aimed mainly at treestand hunters in the mid and Eastern US. At lot of these pieces in this pattern are aimed specifically at bow hunters. It is designed to camouflage at shorter distances and especially when seen from below. Lots of greens with some white in this pattern. The forest pattern is closest to the the version of Optifade used by Beretta, Harkila and Swedteam over here. Finally they have brought out a wetlands version for wildfowlers. Don't know much about this I'm afraid as I am not a wildfowler!

Next the materials. The guys who started Sitka were real hunters who liked what they saw in modern hiking/ mountaineering clothes. It should be used as a layering system (as should all clothing really) and they make everything from baselayers through to gloves and hats. I haven't bothered with their baselayers because they are available in as good a quality and cheaper from lots of other maufacturers and I don't think cammo longjohns really make any difference! All of the gear is made from the same material as good quality hiking gear - Goretex (Pro, Windstopper, softshell), Primaloft, Polartec. A number of pieces in the forest line are very heavily insulated for sitting in a stand during a Midwestern winter. It will keep you dry, warm and will breathe if layered correctly for the conditions. All of the items are very well put together.

Now the hunting specific features. The "open country" line is quite noisy as it is designed for long distance spot and stalk hunting over open country. The forest line outer items have a slightly peached finish which makes them much quieter as befits their purpose. Most of the jackets have only a small number of pockets as I think they expect you to carry all of your gear in a bumbag or pack, and as noted by a previous poster those that they have are hiking gear style (zipped and vertical). The trousers and bibs are better equipped with pockets. This is not clothing for dragging through brambles, I think it would be wrecked in minutes, but crawling around on grass or the open hill is fine. The hoods adjust nicely and most of them come off for those of us that don't like them. The gloves all fit quite snugly and have grippy bits in the right place for shooting.

Price-wise it is very expensive for American gear but compared to Harkila or Swedteam it is pretty cheap, especially as somewhere usually has it for 20% off and end of line stuff is much cheaper. Amazon often carries it at good prices and even with shipping and taxes here it is cheaper. Internet sales within the US don't have sales tax provided they are shipped from a different state to the delivery address and most places will ship to a hotel.

In summary I would say it was a match for gear from Patagonia or Arcteryx but in modern cammo patterns. It might not be for everyone though as it is not do all stuff, and I would certainly not go rough shooting in it!

(By the way, I have 4 jackets, 2 bibs, 2 fleece, a vest, 3 hats and 3 pairs of gloves. I like it but I sit in high seats a lot. I use other gear for the rougher stuff but always carry their Paclite rainjacket, gloves and hats. I used to have it sent to a mate whenever it was really cheap.)
 

Top