I just returned from traveling overseas working wi...

I just returned from traveling overseas working with Toray, The Merino Company, development rooms and factories as I finalize designs, construction, print and get ready to move into production. The new system and packs are really coming together.

With long flights and time to think about KUIU, I have a question  for you;  If you have a choice, How do you buy your gear?

Personally, I do a lot of research before buying.  Blogs, forums and recommendations are how I usually first hear about a new product. Occasionally, an ad in a magazine will catch my attention. I go online and further research the product on the manufactures site to get all the specks, technical data and read reviews to get intimate knowledge of the product.  Then buy it directly from the manufacture or a retailer the manufacture links to the product.

Unfortunately, I no longer have a pro-shop I can trust to do the research for me. Years ago, I bought all of my gear based on recommendations from the local pro-shop owner.  The Cabela’s catalog in the 1990’s.  Now only the internet.

In buying technical gear such as KUIU, how do you prefer to buy it?

Direct from KUIU?

A retail store? A retailers website? Retail Catalog?

If you prefer a retail store, retail website or catalog, which retailers do you recommend for KUIU?

Thank you in advance for all your help, I really look forward to hearing back from you.


This article has 79 comment(s)

  1. Bryan aka TradRag

    Jason, I use the same methodology as you have stated above. I wear out my welcome on search engines gathering all the information I can before purchasing.

    As of late, I have been buying direct via mfg. website and some on eBay and different traditional archery websites that I have a relationship with.

    I think what it boils down to is a GOOD (not fair) price for QUALITY gear. I’ve even paid a little more knowing it was quality. You get what you pay for. I debate with guys all the time that poke fun at my ‘designer’ gear…when the elements hit us.. I get to poke back. 😉

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Bryan,

      Thanks for commenting, I agree you get what you pay for. Save now and pay more later.


    • Lon

      I like to buy direct, but there needs to be incentive in cost saving to the consumer aka..no middle man…
      Also hope the gear is not overpriced and hyped like sitka.

      • Jason Hairston

        Hi Lon,

        I completely understand. Would you mind sharing some of the other brands that allow you to buy direct at a reduced price. I am researching this right now and any direction would be very helpful.




    I mostly buy off the internet. A good website with all the specs and multiple views of the gear help out a lot! I also like to see and touch the gear at stores like Cabela’s, but I prefer to buy off the internet and save by cutting out the middle man and buying straight from the manufacturer. I like to do a lot of research and read reiviews of what others think of the product before I buy.

    • Jason Hairston


      It is interesting to me how the purchasing decisions are changing to online where we can read unbiased reviews and get all the data on product even if we could walk into a store and buy it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


      • Larry Schwartz


        I may be misunderstanding your post above, but I wouldn’t assume that most people are moving to buying things online over at a brick and mortar store. I think that the purchase lifecycle is probably more like:

        1) do extensive research up front, to include magazine reviews, talking with others, and online reviews and user comments, then

        2) Try to find some way to actually get some hands on experience with the item; either a friends, going to a store, or checking it out at a show, then

        3) Buy it where the total cost (item cost plus s/h) is the least, which might be online or at a brick and mortar store.


  3. Gerar

    Hi Jason!!

    I prefer buy the product directly to the website KUIU, the main reason…I’m from Spain, and here the ofer is really poor. So for the next future, please aloud the people from Europe to buy KUIU gear in your website. That could be amazing!

    If someone recommend me the gear, I cheek on the website the technical aspects and I have not doubts about it….I’m gonna buy it.

    Simple, good info in the website, and cheek what they are offering….in addition, some personal research about the products or materials.

    Keep working, I’m really excited in this new gear!I want see all the staff!

    Good luck in this project!

    All the best!


    • Jason Hairston

      Hello Gerar,

      I really appreciate your input coming from Europe. You will be able to buy KUIU at kuiu.com this spring and I promise we will ship to Europe. The European market is interesting to me because all of the European’s I have done business with in the past demand the best quality, which will be a perfect fit with KUIU. Thank you for your comment.


  4. Gerar

    HI Jason!

    Well, there is a really important thing for me. Buy directly to the website KUIU. Reason, simply, I’m from Spain, and is really hard to find some hunting gear here. Furthermore I bought all my Sitka gear in some shops in the USA, becuase we don’t have service in Europe!!

    So could be amazing Jason, if you can gve that service to people from overseas.

    Thanks for all!

    All the best!


    • Jason Hairston


      What is the best way to service your market? Send me an email when you have a moment so we can discuss. jasonh@kuiu.com


  5. Doc

    Like you Jason, I do a ton of research before hand. I try and find as many reviews as possible especially dislikes. After I have decided on buying the product I spend a ton of time finding the best deal. When it comes to high end products, I will usually hold out and wait until that stuff usually goes on sale. As much as I would enjoy to go to the local retail store that day and pick it up for suggested retail, my financial status does not allow for me to do that and when it comes to buying a $400 pack or outer shell saving an extra $50 goes a long way for me. I also do a lot of calling around to the manufacture to see if they sell any items that didn’t make it to retail. As long as it will still preform up to standard I will usually try and go that route. I don’t really care if a seem isn’t completely straight or if a pocket wasn’t sewn on it the exact place as it was intended as long as it performs the exact same way as a “normal” one would.

    If I do buy at retail I prefer to buy direct from the manufacture, if for some reason something is wrong with my purchase getting it fixed seems to be a lot easier when dealing with the manufacture vs a 3rd party retail store.

  6. jeff


    Currently I tend to research gear the same ways you do. In the past I used to like to get my hands on stuff before I bought. That is great but I rarely get to see product before I buy it nowadays. Retail stores commonly have very little inventory of high quality specialty gear, their sales staff are not knowledgeable about the products and I have to travel too far to visit them. I do not like to go to a retail store and find I know more about the products and options available than the sales staff. Even at high end pro shops I find this to be true. I usually am researching a new product before my friends have herd of it so looking at theirs is usually not an option.

    I spend a lot of time on manufactures websites and desire a large amount of information from that source. They should be the experts since they build it. The more good info and detailed images they have on there the better job they do of convincing me they have a good product. I like 360 degree images and the ability to zoom in on a product. I find I often stick with manufactures that I trust since I cannot see the product and have to go off of past experiences with the brand.

    All things being equal I will always buy strait from the manufacturer. I feel I can trust them, it will be quicker, they will have the best inventory, best customer service for their product and will be the best people to help me if I have a problem. When there is a problem the retailer is just going to pass off the customer to the manufacturer anyway.


  7. Kit Baughman

    Hi Jason,

    I do the same thing as you – mostly internet research until I find what I’m looking for, then I look for it locally or will order it off the internet. If I am ordering without getting to look at it in person I try to order from places with a no hassle return policy that ships with a return label; I send a lot of stuff back…

    I buy off the internet, as well as locally at Cabelas, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Sierra Trading Post, and REI (all in Boise).

  8. Mike P


    I buy most of my stuff off the net as well…biggest this is to have a good return policy for sizing issues and your set!



    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike.

  9. Josh

    I typically buy off the internet, but with fabrics/clothing it can be difficult to assess stretch, durability, how many seams are sewn in a given spot, etc…. For this reason I like to see the clothing first even though I probably won’t buy it at the retail location.

    One thing that might be nice is if you offered swatches/fabric samples at a price similar to fabric shops ($0.50 or so). This would allow us to touch the fabric and assess how loud it is, the amount of stretch, durability, etc, etc… Also, high resolution photos on the website with the zoom and spin features would be nice. Oh and fabric descriptions should be much more than “Fabric Details: Polyester face, embossed brushed micro fleece” (from the other site). That is a cute description, but really tells me nothing about the product. I think you have done a great job so far of telling us about the materials and I hope those descriptions can be had on the website possibly with links to the manufacturer’s descriptions.

    Anyway, just a couple of random thoughts for those of us who likely won’t see it in a retail location and prefer to buy online…..

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Josh,

      Great point on the fabric information. Fortunately, with the fabric suppliers I am working with there is a lot of good information to share with you. It is a distinct advantage in working with Toray and The Merino Company, they have the data to support their product. I will make sure to detail this out on the site.


  10. Drake Atwood

    I also do a ton of research online before I buy anything. I try to read as many unbiased reviews as I can find. I will not buy anything online unless I have been able to see it in person or have read enough reviews to feel like I can make an accurate buying decision. But I am typically very weary of buying clothing online as I am very picky on how things fit. With that said, if there is a “satisfaction guarantee” where I can return it or exchange it at no cost to me then I am all for buying it online. Buying straight from the manufacturer is ideal since the product should be more affordable and I should receive better service.

    As part of KUIU’s “lay it all out on the table” approach, I think it would be good for KUIU customers to be encouraged or incentivized in some way to submit detailed reviews on KUIU’s site by logging on using their invoice numbers. That way we can get a lot of real unbiased reviews and the product will sell its self.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Drake,

      Great point on the reviews! This is something I rely on as well in making a purchasing decision. I will add this to the KUIU site for sure. KUIU will certainly be backed with a satisfaction guarantee.


  11. Tom Ryle

    I usually do my research on-line, talk to other hunters, then purchase direct or from a retailer (Cabela’s, REI, etc.) during sales, if possible. I prefer to buy and deal with warranty issues directly. Badlands does this pretty well and they stand behind their no-hassle policy. Other companies do this very well too. For example, Zappos.com is an on-line retailer that pays shipping both ways and provides free overnight shipping. My wife shops through this site regularly and the user experience is very good.

    Sizing can be tricky with clothing so you’d need to do your best to ensure buyers will order the correct size the first time.

    Also, word of mouth is key in buying high-end technical gear, in any market.


  12. Russ

    Like many of the others have stated above, most of my research is done online prior to purchase. Special effort is made to locate as many reviews or internet chats on the product as possible. I rarely buy something in the store I haven’t already researched online. Usually, my online research takes me to the store.

    I prefer to buy in the store where I can get a look at it first hand and try it on. When this is not possible, I order online.

    As my equipment tastes have become more refined, it is becoming harder and harder to find stores that carry the specialized niche brands like Integral Designs, Rab, Western Mountaineering, Hilleburg, Ibex, Mammut, Montbell, etc. I have come to accept that part of the gear purchase process now is trial and error; at the cost of return postage.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Russ,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I find it really interesting how many of us have moved to the internet to make our purchases, especially for niche brands and technical gear.


  13. George Hicks

    I am another internet shopper who does a ton of research. For hunting gear, I haven’t found a store that carries enough inventory to make a rtip worthwhile. I want quality gear and a company that stands behind their products, i.e. quick and painless returns and exchanges if necessary. Price matters, but I will pay for quality products and service.

    I know your gear is top quality. I hope you sell direct with a great, informational website and excellent tech support and customer service.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi George,

      Your comment is well noted. I am with you on the inventory challenges most stores have. Especially in this economy. Getting ready for my sheep hunt, I made a couple trips to REI only to be disappointed when they were out of my size or the product I was looking for.


  14. Ron Green

    Like most have stated, I’ll do as much research as possible on an item via the internet. I really prefer to get my hands on a piece of clothing or gear to check it out, but am often limited by availability.

    I’ll then research what is the most inexpensive place to buy it and purchase it from there. If a local pro shop happens to have the item in stock, I’ll purchase it from the pro shop as usually shipping and sales tax is a wash and I don’t like waiting on shipping times. However, I’ve lately been purchasing a lot more over the internet, whether I have tried the item on previously or not. The reviews usually help in noting whether the item is true to size or not. I’m a pretty standard size, so that helps with fit.


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Ron,

      This is really helpful input, your comments are well noted. I have not used the reviews to understanding sizing, that is a really great point. Thank you for taking the time to comment.


  15. George

    I buy, gear in multiples kits, according to what i have already and need to complete or round out a kit;

    ie., long range hunting kit –
    day pack kit

    and pretty much, then only buy items to replace broken, lost or damaged items;

    i buy from sierra trading post, campmor, mainly for my personal gear; ebay to some degree when i need an item that is pricey and seems to be stuck at what i consider too high;

    in this regard i have also made my own support gear when i needed an item specific to what i wanted (a laser range finder/spotting scope head for a tripod)

    i buy quality, as i am hard on my gear; if the price is beyond my reach, i either wait, save up, ask for it for christmas , lol, or search for it at a deal

    but i do not settle for a lesser product anymore;

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey George,

      Your comments are really well noted, thank you for taking the time to post. I like to set up “kits” as well for my different types of hunts. They are packed and ready to go at most times.


  16. George

    yes, i forgot to add, internet only; i cannot remember the last time i ordered using the insert in a catalog or by going to a store

    i may use a catalog to find something i need but then i get online to order it

  17. Matt

    I’m a deal shopper, made a comittment long ago never to pay full price. Lots of sales on the net and I abuse Google when trying to find a good deal. : )

    With that said your product is unique as the fabrics will be something most of us have never seen. I’d probably wait until I get my hands on some before buying, but once I have “touched” it out, I’d prefer to buy direct. However, if local retailers had good prices, I’d go there too. Whatever the case the selling point for me on my gear choices has always been the customer support after the fact. Not sure it would convince me to pay full price, but I’d definitely lean toward them vs. another.

    You might want to consider small “free samples” you could send out of the fabric itself, at least until a lot of folks understand what you got going on. Nothing to large, but scraps and the like to get a feeling for the fabric and the colors that is hard to do via the net.

    My assumption is your gear will be high quality, but that prices will be Sitka like or higher. Fair enough for good gear, but hard to sell high prices to those who troll eBay, SierraTrading post, deals of the day websites and clearance sales without giving them a chance to better understand and feel out the product……

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Matt,

      I will take a look at the fabric sample concept. There will be a satisfaction guarantee with all the gear and a really easy return process for all KUIU products to help reduce concerns with the product, fabric or colors. I totally get where you are coming from. Thanks for your input.


  18. Richard

    I’m another internet info gatherer, and subsequently an internet buyer, but… I’m also a visual person and like to see things before I buy. I have a tendancy to research things to death (drives my wife nuts) before I buy.

    One suggestion that I would throw out is to have a fairly detailed sizing chart.

    That’s one of the problems of internet ordering is that you’ll get a chest size and maybe an arm length but sometimes it is not indicative of actual fit. Example: I have a fairly big wing span and usually have to go with an XL in jackets and upper body wear, but with many off the shelf products that also means a lot of room around the middle. It becomes annoying when items have to be shipped (usually at my expense) back because it doesn’t fit right.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that a few more measurements (or a detailed sizing chart) on how things fit would be nice!


    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Richard. Great point! I will figure out a detailed fit/sizing chart that is easy to understand and clearly has the information of how each style will fit. I agree most are hard to understand and many times hard to even find on the site.


      • Larry Schwartz


        On their tactical sub-site, Kifaru shows all of their packs in a row, all on the same person whose height and back dimensions (long, short, etc.) they list. It is a really good way to let people know how big the packs are and where they ride on the user. Something like that for each of your packs (side view and back view) would be useful for the KUIU site, either with the packs or in the sizing guide.

        For the sizing guide, please include both hip and waist sizes as some of us have more built-in cushioning than others do. ; )

        • Jason Hairston

          Larry, this is a great suggestion. Thank you.


  19. John McKnight

    Hi Jason,

    I buy based on the recommendations I receive from opinion leaders I personally know. The personally know part is the most important part of the sentence because I don’t care what the guy on
    TV says or the “Bone Collector” says or thinks because more often than not they are all hat and no cattle.

    I do like to try things on for fit and customization. I will fly or drive long distances to go to the store or factory that has the gear I need and want to buy. I drove to Wyoming for Sleeping Indian and flew to Illinois to work with Steven at Lathrop and Sons to get my boots just right. Buy the best, buy once.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi John,

      Your comments are well noted. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  20. Kyle Buschelman


    I read the most premium magazines and look to hunters like myself to give honest feedback. In a nut shell, im a hardcore backcountry hunter. I need mountaineering quaility gear, hence why I have used sitka, (still do), after hearing about you starting your own company, I felt obligated to research the product you will focus on. It sound like you may want to to take a good product and make it better and that you have a vision of something really great. If companies like REI or Backcountry outfitters would carry it, as in your non camo line, that would be a great alternative. I mean, I prefer the camo line, but I also like the gear for non hunting season. So If I could think of a couple things, it would be stay with online purchasing, and pic the “pro shops that will best represent your line.” Is Cabela’s to commercial? Maybe, are they important in terms of the $$$ bottom line, yes. Will it go to hunters, yes. Your blog here has already identified your target audiance. Its not tree stand hunters, it is the backcountry hunter, the climber, it may even be the non hunter looking for another style of clothing.

    You need to put a prostaff together that is small and has a voice. When prostaffs get to big they loose there power. You can look at the rest of the sport of archery and see what I mean. The prostaff needs to represent your message to the fullist. The prostaff is important so your product reaches you particular market correctly.

    You know all of this, but I see Sitka going somewhat away from the original vision. Growth is important, but it needs to follow your vision.

    Good luck,


    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Kyle,

      Well said and I totally agree with you. I started to KUIU to push the envelope in technical gear creating a platform that allow me to work with new technologies, the best fabric suppliers and factories in the world. This gear is certainly not for everyone and it is not intended to be. Guys like yourself will appreciate this next evolution of technical development in hunting equipment. KUIU will push even the most advanced Outdoor companies. I am excited to bring out this new line this spring I think you will get it. Thanks for your input.


  21. Riley Timmins

    Unlike most the posts here, I prefer to buy my gear from a pro-shop or outdoor store. I read a lot of reviews online and get first hand accounts from hunters who’ve used the product.

    But I like to go and try it on and look over the garment. If it doesn’t fit the way I like then all the reviews online don’t mean a thing, I won’t buy it. I’m not going to buy something online and spend the money in shipping fees there and back just to see what the fabrics feel like, how it fits, how it’s contructed, etc.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Riley,

      I completely understand. This is one of the questions I had in posting this question. Thank you for taking the time to comment.


  22. Tripp

    Jason your reputation for quality is great. I would love to purchase direct. I understand as kuiu grows you may need other sales outlets. I love to support companies like mountain archery. Also I live the mountain mimicry pattern, is there any chance you will use it in your new line.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Tripp,

      Thanks for the input and I appreciate the kind words. I do not have plans to use MM pattern. I discussed this with the readers in the spring and there were several suggestions to print in MM. The readers help me decided to develop a new pattern for KUIU that uses earth tones and contrast to create a pattern that creates visual confusion and does not blob at distance. I look forward to introducing it to you soon as it has tested out very well.


  23. G. Todd Brooks

    Jason, I am a lot like you & the other Hunters that have left posts. after the research, feedback, word of mouth from fellow hunters, I like to be able to try it on to see how & if it fits me.
    I am shorter in stature, but thick so most gloves, Hats, under garments & Jackets generally fit well however the pants generally need to be hemmed so if inseams can start at 28 or 29″ intead of 32-34″ that would be helpful. once Ive found what sizes fit, I can return to the internet to order. So a combination of being able to try it on, or return it for an easy exchange would be a seller for me. Cabela’s is probably the most trusted online as well as multi state Outfitter that I can think of as far as a Vender that could stock your product in a professional, trust worthy, easy to exchange atmosphere that I can think of. they are not always the lowest price, but as far as customer service they are hard to beat. KUIU at SCI, RMEF, FNAWS or the Hunting Expo would be a way to get people hands on, as well as get word of mouth out within the audience that would most use/ benifit from such a great new product!

  24. Mike R.

    I usually research my gear online quite a bit, but I have to get my hands on it before I purchase. I also like to try it on so I can be sure it fits. Then I try to find it the cheapest I can.

  25. BC Hunting Blog

    Good Question Jason!

    As many have already posted, it’s really hard to find local retailers that are stocking any of the high-end technical outdoor gear that most of us want to have in the mountains and for the higher end stuff, it’s caused a shift in how we buy.

    I prefer to buy online, first going through forums, blogs and actual user reviews to narrow down my choices. Generally I’ll only pay attention to the reviews from users whom are using the gear in the same conditions I’ll be hunting… Then, once I know exactly what item(s) I want I will generally be shopping on price or the least amount of shipping hassles/costs to Canada.

    Thorough product reviews from actual users in the field including detailed descriptions, sizing information, photos and videos actually showing the gear being used, all really help to build the brands credibility and alleviate some of the “uncertainty” for shoppers when purchasing expensive gear online.


    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Carl, your comments are very well noted.


  26. Mike Borel

    I’m open to purchase direct or retailer. Most often I purchase via the internet, as stores with gear are pretty much non existent in the Bay Area. I like having quality specs and pictures — and prefer on gear to physically see it somewhere first (like on someone else on a hunt or at a TradeShow/Convention (SCI, WSF, GSCO).

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike,

      I agree with you regarding the Trade Shows, a great place to see it in person and learn more about the product and company.


  27. Lee N

    I used to be a die hard Cabelas guy but I have found that much like the other posters I am better served by lots of internet research. Once I am sure that I have found a quality product I search the net for the best price. I think the days of paying extra mark up for big shiny catalogs and retail stores is in its twilight. I also value the opinion of those who actually use the gear and are willing to pay for it. This is where gear reviews come in handy. It is very obvious that much of the product “pimping” these days is done by anyone who can get some freebies. Make a great product and sell it for a fair price and the business will come to you.

    • Jason Hairston

      Well said Lee. Thank you for taking the time to comment.


  28. Jeremy

    I do all the research on a product that I can, but then I like to go to a physical retailer to try it on to make sure I get the right size and that it is the right feel for me.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Jeremy for the feedback, your comment is well noted. Do you have a retailer you recommend?


  29. Mike W.

    I tend to do a great deal of research like many of the other customers that have posted, both in a retail store and online. I personally enjoy talking with the guys in the retail store I shop at for the bulk of my technical gear. They guys there know their stuff and many of them are guides and have tested the best gear for real technical hunting here in Alaska. If you want to reach the high end technical gear market here in Anchorage talk to the owner Bob at Barney’s Sports Chalet. I have not read all your posts by any means and I bet many of the guys that are blogging are Barney’s customers so if you know of Barney’s already sorry for the repeat. They get many orders from people that are not here in achorage just due to work of mouth from the Ak outdoors forum and other places so check them out. I’m ready to buy some new gear so I can hardly wait for your line to come out.

  30. Doug

    Sorry if this has been asked already, are you going to offer your gear in tall sizes? I’m only 6’2” but I am long in the torso and have long arms. Finding shirts, jackets and parkas that fit properly has always been an issue for me.



    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Doug,

      Great question. I am 6′ 3″ and have had the same problem, there is nothing worse than short sleeves or a short jacket. I have spent a lot of time working on the fit of KUIU and it should fit you well. I will have a very detailed sizing chart on the KUIU site when we launch the product this spring. In the meantime let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you for your interest in KUIU.


      • Doug

        Thanks for quick response(really fast in fact lol) I was wondering what camo patterns you will be using.


        • Jason Hairston

          I have developed a new pattern for KUIU and there will be more released on this pattern via the blog soon.


  31. Steve Ameral

    Hi Jason,
    I purchase most of my equipment on the internet but with clothing it is really nice to be able to see, touch, and try on clothing. I had not heard of Sitka gear before last week so I found a local retailer that stocked it and I took an hour drive to go see what it looked like.
    If you sell both direct and through dealers it may be an advantage. The dealer can not stock every size of every product but once the customer gets the feel of the sizing and features they can order from the factory if the dealer is a long drive away.
    In my area there are very few stores that sell hunting gear and the best one around is Sweeneys sports in Napa, ca. That is where I found the Sitka gear. You could check with them to see if they would want to be dealers.
    What is your pricing looking like for the rain gear?
    I will be needing some before next season. Will it be sold as a set or individual pieces?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the taking the time to share your thoughts, they are well noted. I know Sweeney’s quite well from my days at Sitka and they certainly carry an amazing selection for a small shop. I agree, they would be a good fit for KUIU. In regards to our Rain Gear pricing, I will not be releasing pricing until after the 1st of the year and will be doing so first through the blog. I can tell you the Jacket and Pants will be sold separately. Please let me know if you have any other thoughts, ideas or questions.


      • Steve Ameral

        Thanks for the response.
        Any more on when we can see pics of your camo pattern?
        I was hunting hogs yesterday in the coastal hills and had some thoughts about gear. First thing is I need to find a lighter weight pack, man those hills are steep. Much worse than the elk hunt I was on in Colorado.
        As for clothing, i was wearing my first lite top with a camo cheapo top that is supposed to be breathable, an under armour vest and a Sitka Stratus jacket. The one thing I noticed was when it was cool in the morning, about 40 degrees, and the going was easy I was comfortable. When the going got tougher I took off the vest and was pretty good. After the terrain got crazy steep we were in basically a rain forest and I was overheated even with the zippers open.
        I couldn’t take the coat off because of the rain and wet terrain.
        My question is will your base layers be camo so I could have removed a layer?
        What do you wear when the weather is 50 degrees and the wind is howling and you are in steep terrain?
        How about during archery season and the temps are approaching 100 in July?
        We hunt in diverse temps here, from 100 degrees during archery season to the 20’s bear hunting in November.

        • Jason Hairston

          Hi Steve,

          More photos of the camo will be coming. The new KUIU packs will solve the weight problem you are mentioning. Yes, the base layers will be available in camo so you can hunt in them. Your Stratus Jacket is made of Windstopper fabric, which is a 3 layer laminated fabric. Windstopper will block the wind, but slows down the breathability of your jacket and can give you that overheated feeling. I personally like a 2 layer softshell jacket that breathes much better, with a high performance DWR. It is a lot more versatile.

          In our July season, I hunt in a lightweight Merino Zip-Tee and hunting pant. The Merino, once wet will help regulate your body temperature in warm weather due to the evaporative cooling from the wool. If it is really hot I will soak my shirt with water and put it back on. Try it you will be amazed. Let me know if you have any other questions.


  32. Daniel King

    I remember the day I met you and walked into your garage in Dixon. I like Cabelas and I was glad they got the Sitka product. I like to try something on before I buy. I was happy with the first mountain pants because I could get my waist size and they fit. When M,L, XL pants was all you could choose from, I did’nt buy because it did’nt fit. I know Cabelas may have quantitiy issues for upstart companies, but you want to know reasons people shop there. To me, they offer merchandise for people to obtain with other overlooked disposable income sources, such as redeeming credit card points and frequent guest awards.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Daniel,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for your input. I have spent a lot of time in the development room working on fit and sizing. The KUIU hunting pant is available in waist sizes to ensure you get a pant that fits correctly.


  33. Mark

    Hi Jason,
    I buy gear like the previous posters have already mentioned in terms of lots of research, going to retail stores, sometimes having to return items, etc. Many times I call a retailer’s customer service and they have no clue about an item beyond what’s on their website. Well duh, I can read that! This is an area where KUIU could really fill a niche by giving your customers over the phone “appliation support” (i.e. choosing a piece of gear based on application). If I’m going to drop $400 on anything I want to speak with someone who’s used it in the field at least once. Maybe even make it a company policy that your customer service people have to spend some time with the gear afield. Sitka has a “gear selector” feature on their site but it seems like its set-up to just sell stuff I don’t need for my application, which makes them lose credibility with me. I’m holding out to see some KUIU stuff this spring before I pull the trigger on a new kit. Keep up the excellent work.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Mark,

      This is great information and I could not agree with you more. I am totally committed to delivering unmatched customer service at KUIU. We will have experts on hand that will be able to answer the most technical questions about KUIU and have years of hunting experience. Hold on until the end of March, I think you will really like what is coming. Let me know if you have any other questions.


  34. veracityclienteducation

    I am very excited for the launch of KUIU. The camo pattern is solid but more importantly it is great to see a fresh new company that will give Sitka a run for it’s $. I own a ton of Sitka gear and for the most part my hunting partners and I have been satisfied with it. However I do think competition is healthy and can say if KUIU is as good as it sounds I will be decked out in it come fall. I also have to comment on the pre marketing thru the posts. Great way to start a business and hopefully gets some educated feedback from the consumer. I’m very excited, cant wait!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you for supporting Sitka over the years and I am excited to earn your business at KUIU. The response to the blog has been overwhelming, the ideas and feedback has been so helpful in building KUIU. I appreciate your comment and please let me know if you have any questions.


  35. Darcy

    Hey Jason,
    Most of my research of products I wish to purchase is mainly from others personal experience. Like me alot of guys I know guide or take part in many mountain hunts and try tons of gear over the years. Most products I buy have seen many days in the field by guys I know or know of. Not by some guy that is being sponsered or payed to endorse their product. Seeing real life pics and videos of products makes a big difference. Many products have lots of staged field pics or non field pics and such that to some is good enough but doesnt quite cut it to the hard core type.
    I would prefer to deal directly with the company. Not some guy that knows very little about the product or the manufactuer its self.
    Anyways hope the imput helps and cant wait till your stuff if ready for purchase.
    Darcy Peacock

  36. Dillon Hofs

    Hey Jason,

    Do you have a email adress that I can contact you privately on?


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Dillon,

      You can email me at jasonh@kuiu.com


      • Dillon Hofs

        Thanks for the reply Jason, email sent.

        • Jason Hairston

          Got it Dillon Thank you.


  37. joe jantorno

    Really looking forward to your product coming out this spring. I have a couple of world class hunts I am looking forward to using them on. Looks like you have done your homework with this idea. Good luck.


    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Joe, I look forward to earning your business. Happy New Year


  38. John C

    First, Happy New Year!

    Secondly, I just have to tell you how great I find this blog. You are building a loyal following before anyone has seen a single physical product! And that is because you have already built a ton of trust with your honest feedback and sincere questions to your constituent market. Congratulations. I like your style.

    The internet has become an invaluable tool for learning about products. But given the option, I prefer to buy from a local retailer. I think it will be a sad day when the only option to buy stuff is via a “box retailer” i.e. Cabelas, Behemoth Sports Warehouse etc where you can get everything from a $5 knife to a meat grinder. I like local gear shops where the owner is a member of my community and cares about my business, as KUIU does. That is why I go to fly shops and not online “stores”. The problem is there are very few “hunting shops” that are not like the above mentioned. Places like Schnees in Bozeman, MT are great stores…I just wish it where in Missoula!

    Keep up the good work!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you John for the kind words. Your comments are well noted. I am a big fan of Schnee’s, great people behind that brand.


  39. Zach Semmons

    When I research products, I start off, with friends, and family. I Then start searching magazines and websites. I try and find the consumer report/user reports and find and the ups and downs. Of course the next step is trying the product on for size being 6’4″, it’s often difficult finding a good fit. I enjoy seeing company’s like KUIU at large outdoor expo’s so I have the opportunity to put my hands on the actual product. However with that being said most younger generations typically do this type of research, however those in their late forties, fifties, and sixties tend to typically steer away from this type of research. Thus they learn from T.V. and retailers they have known all their life.