By Alex Comstock
Have you ever searched for a piece of hunting clothing that seemed to be the ultimate warrior? I mean that one garment that goes with you everywhere, on seemingly every hunt? Recently, I have came across quite possibly the best hunting garment I have ever owned, and I wanted to give it a quick review for you. This winter, I decided to switch over my hunting clothing to a more "technical gear" type of clothing and chose Sitka Gear. I'm usually the one wearing about fifteen layers when it gets below freezing, and I wanted to become more efficient with my layering system. Knowing that I wanted to switch to this type of gear, I knew it would be expensive, and have started switching over slowly, but surely. One of the first new pieces of clothing that I picked up was the Sitka Gear Fanatic Hoody, and let me tell you it hasn't disappointed me.
What makes this piece of clothing so useful? A few different things...
Functionality: The first thing that really impressed me about this sweatshirt was the sheer functionality it had engineered into it. This isn't simply a nice sweatshirt. It has a built in facemask, giving you a ninja like look, and covering up all of your face combined with the hood. Another quality that I really like is the sleeves. There is a loophole to put your thumbs in, and then on top of that, you can fold the end of the sleeve over your fingers, to cover all of your hands, excluding your thumbs, as you can see in the pictures below. The last few things that make the hoody so functional is the half zip design, allowing you to have it zipped down when it's a little warmer, and then there is the ability to zip it up when it gets colder. Also, it has a kangaroo type style pocket, making it easy to keep both hands in it, but still ready for a quick movement during the moment of truth. Lastly, the material is very quiet, and having it make noise is something that I won't ever have to worry about.
Warmth: My first worry when I purchased the hoody was that it wouldn't be warm enough for what I wanted. To test this, I wore it shed hunting in February on a thirty degree day, with only the Sitka Gear Core Lightweight Longsleeve on underneath of it. My worry soon went out the door, as I realized it was much warmer than I would have guessed for as light as it was. This piece of clothing is not only light, but still very warm.
Layering Ability: What I have found many times in my life is that when layering over a sweatshirt, things can start to get pretty bulky, and that can make things tricky, especially when archery hunting. That's simply not the case with the Fanatic Hoody. It's warm enough to be an outer layer, but it's also slim fitting enough to be a complementary layering option. You easily can wear a jacket over it, and it doesn't feel like you have much on at all.
Conclusion: By no means am I saying you can't be a successful hunter without having this in your arsenal, but if you are looking for an all around upper body hunting garment that can play multiple roles, this could be it for you. It has easily become my favorite piece of hunting clothing, and I intend to have it with me on as many hunts as possible in the future.
If you want to learn more about the Sitka Gear Fanatic Hoody, or Sitka Gear, check out their website here.