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Gear Testing Country

I want to up date you on the progress of KUIU’s layering system.  I have chosen fabrics, worked through initial designs and had the 1st proto type run of product made.  A set was sent to me that arrived right before my trip to test.

My opinions are biased, so this week I sent out 15 sets to be tested and reviewed.   There is quite a mix of testers. Guides and hunters are in the new gear hunting from Alaska to New Mexico.  It will be stress tested in a variety of conditions, climates, hunts and terrain.  All I have asked from the tester is to be up front and honest in their feed back.

  • Fit
  • Fabric
  • Durability
  • Quality
  • Performance
  • Trims
  • Function

Testing, testing and more testing is the key to a great product line.  If any of the gear does not meet KUIU’s brand goals, changes will continue to be made until this is the finest layer system on the planet.

Enclosed Merino Base layer field-testing report from my Stone Sheep hunt. This will give you an idea of how the feedback that will come in from the field  for each garment.

KUIU Field Testing Report MERINO 185 ZIP T
Author Jason Hairston
Date 8/13/10 to  8/20/10
Location Skeena Mountains, BC
Description of Test Stone Sheep Hunt
Elevation Gain A lot
Distance Traveled Unknown- A lot
Terrain Trail/off trail/ boulders/ side-hilling/ steep climbs & descents, Bush Wacking
Weather Clear and warm/ Cold, rain, wet
Wind Yes
Temp 80 degrees down to high 30’s
Pack Weight 45 LBS
KUIU Merino 185 Zip-T
Appearance 8- not in KUIU Camo
Sizing 9- not in KUIU Camo
Fit 8- need to lengthen by 1.5”
Comfort 10 Great weight for next to skin
Oder Management 10
Breathability 10+
Durability 8-two small holes where the hip belt buckle and belt buckle rubbed against the shirt.
Overall rating 9


The Merino 185 base layer Zip-T always impresses me every time I wear it.  The comfort, moisture control, temperature control, and odor management are truly remarkable.  The length of the shirt needs to be increased by an 1”.

I wore the same shirt for all 6 days, which included warm weather, heavy bush wacking and long days traveling all with a pack on.  The shirt was still wearable after 6 full tough days.  This also includes sleeping in the shirt as well.  I did rinse the shirt on the 3rd day in a river, ring it out and put it back on.

The only challenge with Merino is the durability, but this is a small trade off for everything else this product brings to the table for backpack hunting.

This article has 5 comment(s)

  1. Cory Benge

    Hey Jason,
    I agree with your thoughts on the merino…don’t forget the thumbholes when your designing ! Have a great season…keep us all posted on the latest!

    • Matt

      I agree, the thumbholes are nice to have. Just be sure to re-inforce the seams. I have had prior ones tear out pretty easily.

      Thanks for the update on your gear.

      • Jason Hairston

        Hey Matt,

        Thanks for the comments. Same questions I asked Cory. What layer do you like the thumbholes? Next to skin? Both? What do you use them for? Does the sleeve need to be longer if you include the thumb hole? Get back to me when you can.


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Cory,

      Nice to get your input. A couple of follow up questions. What layer do you like the thumbholes? Next to skin? Both? What do you use them for? Does the sleeve need to be longer if you include the thumb hole? Hope your hunting season is going well.


  2. Matt

    I like the thumbholes in the base and mid layers. Similar to the Sitka Traverse shirt. They work like quasi gloves and keep the shirt from creeping up my arms as I pull on additional layers.

    I didn’t think much of them until I got a Traverse shirt, they sort of grew on my from there.

    I believe the lenght of the sleeve would need to be considered, to short and they would unfomfortable, to long and they would get in the way when not using. Not sure what was done on the Traverse, but it works. Might be harder to do on Merino wool as it is not as stretchy. ???