I wanted to let you all know we have creat...

I wanted to let you all know we have created a new feature in The Hunt from our photo shoot East of Reno.  There have been requests for an easy format to view Vias camouflage to have a better understanding of the its effectiveness at various distances and environments. I have enclosed a link to the section for you to review.  Please note there are 4 pages to this new feature. We will add more photos in the future as we shoot them.   I hope you all have a great weekend.

Vias Test

Jason

This article has 38 comment(s)

  1. Lloyd

    Jason those pictures look amazing. I am curious what it looks like in a timber setting?

  2. Tom Ryle

    Great photos! Very thorough fall/winter test. Vias is a case study in simplicity when the most of the industry is fixed upon complexity. Photorealistic patterns may have their place in some instances, such as waterfowl hunting, but it is my opinion that breaking up form, vivid contrast, and overall confusion are far more effective camoflauge tenets on big game with limited color perception (deer, elk, sheep, etc).

    I will be taking some B/W images of Vias in the lush evergreen habitat of the Pacific Northwest to reinforce my point. You are welcome to the images when they are ready.

    Tom

    • Curt Cabrera

      Tom, I couldn’t agree more!
      I think far too many folks get hung up on matching exact colors. Also, they forget that amimals don’t see like we do. Contrast is what is needed to create confusion and break up the human outline.
      I’ve taken enough photos of myself, here in the NE, in my proto-type gear while testing, to know that Vias does an outstanding job at doing just that…shattering the human outline! Hardwood ridges, cedar swamps, evergreen thickets, overgrown orchards, and up in trees…..it simply works!
      Some folks are also concerned about turkeys…..I’ve been out in the woods every morning for 3 weeks now scouting for our opener May 1st and have turkeys literally yards from me that didn’t have a clue….again, Vias works!

      Curt }>>———>

      • Hornhunter

        I couldnt agree more with Curt in the purpose of camo is to break up the human outline. At long/medium distance the Vias pattern is far better at doing this than your small patterned or small leafed camo that turns into a solid blob. Years ago all that was out there for camo was the military woodland or wool plaid that had the same large pattern and was worn in all sorts of surroundings. Not blending in perfectly color wise sure didnt keep our grand fathers or great grand fathers from taking some of the largest mule deer and game out there. And we all know how good a mule deer and other wary eyes are at picking you out of a tree lineup. I like the Vias pattern as when I recieved my Guide jacket and Attack pant I was suprised at how much better it looks in person and will work great here in the NE Nevada sage, juniper or timber and look forward to trying it in the not so gray areas. Camo is just another tool for us to use and if the wind is at our backs and we sound and move like a herd of Buffalo it wont matter if we look exactly like the rock/brush were moving through. Camo doesnt make up for poor woodsmanship, Stil have to hunt.

        • Jason Hairston

          Great comment Hornhunter! Thank you.

          Jason

    • Jason Hairston

      Tom,

      Vias was not developed for the rainforest. However I am very interested in your opinion of its ability to be effective in your world. This is the biggest challenge for Vias. I am not optimistic.

      J

  3. Kendall

    While these images and the explanation really help to boost my confidence in the camo pattern, I gotta be honest until an elk looks right through me or walks right past me looking at me as if I’m a bush/tree/etc, I won’t be sold on the camo.

    Oh I am stoked on the gear I bought and anxious to use it to see both how the builds/fabrics along with the camo work out, but I’ve got 2 camo patterns in my closet that have proven themselves time and time again.

    • Jason Hairston

      I am looking forward to hearing your experiences with KUIU Vias. Please let us know how it performs.

      J

  4. LEE JOHNSON

    Hi Jason, I wanted to leave a color comment. The Arcteryx taragon color would be nice I think. Love my new gear!Thanks,
    Lee in Santa Barbara

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Lee,

      I love that color. Well noted.

      j

  5. Cody Lujan

    Vias looks good in the dry country and is already serving me well here in the Gila National Forest and Wilderness. I’ll be curious to see how the light coloration breaks up in some greenery.

    Prayin’ to the rain gods here in the desert,
    Cody

  6. Brandon Hammonds

    Looks un-real! great job! It’s blends and great depth!

  7. Matt

    Great pictures! Thank you for taking the time to share them. September can’t get here fast enough!

  8. Clayton Lamb

    Looks awesome in the dry country.

    I would love to see a high country BC type pattern.. These colors would not fit in above treeline in grey/black rock, and lush green grasses. The break up is awesome, but seeing as sheep can see color, would be awesome to see some greens and dark greys!

    I have three items coming in the mail, I am excited!

  9. Josh

    I wore my guide jacket during a recent turkey hunt in Western Kentucky. I was curious about how I might “stand out” with an open terrian pattern in a wooded area…especially to an animal who sees color and sees things well. I would have to say that my questions were answered when I shot a nice tom at 20 steps and he didn’t have a clue I was there. I’m enjoying the camo so far and anxious to see how it performs for my trip to Montana this fall!

  10. J.R.

    Great illustration of the Vias camp. Now that KUIU will have it’s full first hunting season for 2011 it would be great to see the Vias in a number of different settings. Setting such as the golden aspens in Utah, soggy douglas firs in western Washington, vast plains in North Dakota, pinon dotted hillsides of New Mexico, etc. etc. I think it’s pretty clear already how versatile the Vais will be.

    On a side note, have you considered creating different blends of colors in the same pattern?

  11. Justin Starck

    In my independent camo test, I noticed that you might not blend in all the time, but you also don’t stand out as human. It really does break up the human outline but I think it might be a bit too extreme. I am worried that the extreme contrast will actually make movement more noticeable but, then again, when do we get away with any movement anyway.

    I have linked my camo pattern test to the KUIU Facebook page for anyone to check out. We did our best to test the patterns in a wide variety of western terrains including, aspen, rock, sagebrush, spruce, grass and timber. Understand that we were limited by the current snow conditions.

    • Jason Hairston

      How did that Turkey you just shot like the pattern:) Congrats Justin.

      J

      • Justin Starck

        I don’t think he appreciated it as much as we do.

  12. Paul Chrena

    Looks good! I like the color pictures so us humans can see you… LOL! Getting ready to find out what the turkey in Indiana think of vias camo.

  13. Mike P

    looks great, will blend in perfectly in Southern Alberta and also up in the rocks for sheep…hoping mines here next week and it will get a test run on turkeys 🙂

    Mike P

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike. Please email in your photos to us.

      J

  14. Allan

    Jason,
    Vias is exactly what I thought it would be, except in one environment — snowy terrain. I have always known that, with the exception of deep, total coverage snow conditions, there needs to be a mix of darker colors in a snow camo pattern in order to adequately hide a hunter. But Vias is amazing in those snowy photos and hides the hunter BETTER than most of the snow camo I have seen that end up being too white and reflective. In the other environments Vias acts much like a great combination of ASAT and Predator, both of which are favorites of mine. Unlike the ASAT and some of the Predator, Vias does not have the longer, somewhat vertical lines to break up the outline in the way Tiger Stripe camo does, instead using more irregular shapes and a more random pattern that seems to work very well. The ASAT is more limited in colors and shades, which is one of its very few shortcomings in my opinion. Some of the Predator camo patterns do the same, while others get a little busy and don’t provide the larger contrasting fields. In the right environment, each of them has its own advantages. However, for those of us who will find ourselves in various environments on a single hunt, as we traverse open fields and rocky slopes to arrive in timbered or brushy areas, or for others who cannot afford to purchase a different set of high quality camo gear for each environment we hunt throughout the year, a really good, versatile camo pattern is a much better choice than a limited, specialized pattern. As much as I like my ASAT and Predator, the Vias appears to be more versatile in a variety of conditions. I agree with you that the greatest challenge to Vias will be in lush green settings like the northwest at various times of the year or the south in spring. I know that here in Oklahoma during spring turkey season, where we sit in new green growth or backed up to dark green cedar trees, that my incredible ASAT leafy camo suit stands out like a beacon that stops turkeys in their tracks at 70 yards, but just wearing solid green or a green plaid works fine. The green Predator patterns are unbelievable in those conditions, but Predator is primarily a camo pattern company, not a high end clothing and equipment company, so their clothing is pretty basic compared to Kuiu — certainly not the high quality materials and build that Kuiu is producing. I don’t think you need to offer the range of camo patterns that Predator has, and we couldn’t afford to buy them all from you if you did. With the versatility of Vias, the deep green environment seems to be its greatest challenge, as you have acknowledged. My best friend is hunting turkeys in western Oklahoma in his Vias as I write this, so I will know more soon about its effectiveness for that purpose, but your idea of a new green camo pattern for Kuiu is probably valid. Whatever you design will be a good one.

    I was very pleased with the photo with the Major Brown Beanie and the Coffee Bean Spindrift Jacket since I have both of them in the FedEx truck headed my way. They really look good. The Arcteryx taragon color that was suggested above is a good one, but so are many of the other greenish colors that others have suggested. I can hardly wait to see what you have in mind.

    Allan

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Alan, I always appreciate the time and deep thoughts you put into your comments. I really appreciate your input. I look forward to you receiving your gear. Thank you for your patience.

      Jason

  15. Greg Maund

    I’m looking forward to trying this pattern out. We hunt mostly interior forest ( British columbia ) and mostly for Elk. We have been using Sitka the last few years with pretty good success. However its hard to find here and the guys who do sell it are inflating the price. Kuiu could be what saves me this fall.

    Greg

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Greg for the comment. I look forward to hearing from you and your feedback on the gear.

      Jason

  16. Allan

    Jason,

    My best friend, Doug Burns, who was with me in Reno when we had lunch with you, just got back from turkey hunting in green conditions in western Oklahoma. Just as I suspected, Doug had hundreds of turkeys around him over the last week or so, and the turkeys would often spot him in the Vias camo even when he was sitting totally still. That was the same thing I experienced with my ASAT leafy camo. Without me mentioning the green Predator camo, Doug commented that what was needed under those conditions was something more like the green Predator. He also recalled that when walking 30 feet behind another hunter who was wearing green Predator while bowhunting elk in New Mexico, Doug had often lost sight of the other guy in the green pine areas. He thought the Predator pattern played tricks on human eyes as well as ungulate eyes in those conditions. That has been my experience too. Other than for green country hunting, Doug thought the Vias was terrific, and would be great for deer hunting, including from a tree stand. Doug is also a huge ASAT and Predator fan and thought the Vias was the equal of either of those in most conditions and only needed the addition of a green pattern (like you are planning) in order to fit every situation. Doug agreed with me that a break-up design like Vias with some widely-spaced, black, vertically-oriented, branching lines in a predominantly multi-shade green pattern (perhaps with some brown, tan and/or rust added) would be ideal. The green Predator patterns are a good start to look at since you think they are effective.

    Doug LOVES all his Kuiu clothing, including the Merino base tops and bottoms, the Attack Pants, the Guide Jacket, the Guide Vest, the Chugach Jacket and Pants, and the ball cap, all in Vias. He wore all of them every day of his hunting and in temperatures from around 30 to 85 degrees, and from sunny to light rain. The only piece of clothing he did not wear yet was his Guide Beanie. He was especially impressed that the pants did not ever seem to get dirty, even crawling around on the ground after turkeys for days, and that they fit so well and had enough stretch in the fabric to be super comfortable. His only thought for improvement on the pants was he wished they had more pockets, which was something he would have liked for all the Kuiu clothing. He likes to be able to have all his essential items in his pockets so he can drop his pack when he needs to or not carry one at all for some hunting. Doug was turkey hunting on his own ranch where every plant seems to want to stick to clothing. As opposed to his other hunting cloths, Doug was thrilled that nothing stuck to his Attack Pants, Guide Jacket and Vest, or Chugach Jacket and Pants. For years our main hunting clothing has been various fleece items for cooler temperatures, cotton blends for warmer temperatures, and most recently a lot of Sitka Gear. The fleeces were always the quietest, but they ended up getting covered with grass seeds, burrs, stickers and other plant materials which would take hours to pick out (to the extent we could) and were a pain (sometimes literally) to have in the clothing. Also, the fleece was too warm for lots of hunting — like most of the spring turkey hunting. And we all know the limitations of cotton blends as far as temperature range, water retention, etc. Sitka Gear was a huge improvement in most ways over much of the previously existing clothing, but I still heard many complaints from bowhunting guides who thought the hunters made too much noise when stalking animals up close while wearing Sitka. The prevalence of Sitka Gear in our elk hunting camps, where 75% of the hunters were wearing it, showed just what an improvement it was for hunters over what was available before. In addition to using it for deer, elk and other hunting, we also wore Sitka Gear exclusively on our Yukon moose hunts, except for me wearing Merino long underwear beneath or instead of the Sitka base layers. Despite the great qualities of Sitka Gear, Doug really liked the fact that the Kuiu clothing was quieter, lighter, thinner, stretchier, more water and stain resistant, more comfortable, and had a wider temperature range than Sitka Gear and every other type of clothing he had ever worn (of course, pure fleece is probably quieter than any other material). He thought the Merino wool base layers and the Attack Pants felt cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather, although he could feel the build up of warmth when exerting himself when he was wearing the wool underneath another piece of the clothing, as one would expect and find generally desirable. He thought the Chugach Jacket and Pants were very waterproof, light and comfortable, with significant stretch, and that they were pretty quiet for hardshell pieces.

    The fit on all the clothing was very good for Doug with a couple of caveats. Doug is 6’3″ tall but is relatively short-waisted with long legs and long arms. I am 6’1″ tall and have the same torso length as Doug, but his arms and legs are 2″ longer than mine. The XL Attack Pants fit Doug perfectly even with his long legs. The Guide Jacket would have been a perfect fit for him also except the sleeves were about an inch too long, even with his long arms, so he had to roll them up to keep them out of his way which exposed some of the fleecy lining and subjected it to picking up the plant materials. The sleeves would have been fine if he had the ability to cinch them around his wrists above his hands to keep them from falling down to his thumbs. The lack of a sleeve circumference adjustment may be something that needs to be addressed. The Chugach Jacket does not suffer from that omission and was a perfect fit for Doug. He also loved the fit of all the other clothing, although he did not try on the Guide Beanie. He has a big head, and others have complained of a tight fit, so we will see how that works for him. Like Doug Campbell, Doug Burns has facial hair but had no complaints about the zippers on the Merino tops; however, but Doug Campbell is probably zipping the tops all the way up all the time to combat those cold Montana temperatures, so he has had more opportunity to experience the snagging problem. Doug Burns did not order the heavier Merino underwear the first time around, but he is now placing another order for that and some other Kuiu equipment.

    When I get my orders delivered in a couple of days, I will let you know if I have any thoughts that are different than Doug’s. I am not sure how he got me to write his review for him, except that he has always been kind of a Tom Sawyer type! 🙂

    Allan

  17. Rick

    I apologize if I missed it but is the Mothwing original color of Sitka Gear an option? To date it is still my favorite for a variety of hunting conditions. The way I see Sitka and KUIU is for the high mountain extreme condition type hunts i.e., sheep, goat, late season elk hunts, Alaska, Canada hunts. On these type of hunts a person cannot afford to be ill prepared. Does this gear work for my Idaho, Mt, deer hunts at 7,000 feet? Certainly but there are alot of less expensive options for that, not everyone can afford hunting clothing at this price. If the Vias pattern is great for the extreme hunts then take a look at the suggestions listed above for other camo options. I love what you have done and am going to try your rain gear for a Yukon sheep hunt in August. Thanks for making camo mountaineering clothing affordable. Cannot wait to try it out.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for the input Rick. Well noted.

      J

  18. Dewey Riesterer

    I would also be very interested in a green-based option in the Vais camo and hope to see this introduced in due course. I often use the inexpensive Cabela’s Microtex clothing in their “Outfitter” pattern and it is OK, all in all, but a little better definition and slightly darker overall colour would, IMO, work even better.

    I like to “stalk” game animals that I have no intention of shooting in various seasons of the year, as I am a keen student of environmental biology and can learn much about their behaviour by this method and it is good practice for when I do want to “make meat” for our annual supply. So, with a lot of camo clothing on hand, now, my favourites have been the original “Treebark: for above timberline here in BC and the Cabala’s I mentioned and I think that the “Vais” in two shades would be even better….JMO.

  19. Ben

    Jason,
    To start off, I dont exactly have the right words to describe how awesome the Vais camo pattern is and cant wait to use it out here in Arizona. I thought nothing would get better than Optifade.
    Late last year I purchased the whole line of sitka gear. Including 90% pants and jacket, traverse, core, ect. I was really impressed with the gear on my deer and Javelina hunt. Being a 18 year old college kid it was quiet a large investment to get all the gear.
    A couple days ago my buddy and I were talking about sitka gear, thinking there would be no competitors even close for a long time. He told me there was something he had to show me. He pulled up the Kuiu website and that was it, I was sold! I bought the 185 shirt and a couple hats for my friends right away.
    As soon as I receive my next paycheck I will be purchasing the Attack pants, guide jacket, beanie, and probably more. I cant wait to get the whole line and use it this season.
    In the picture of my Javelina last year im in all sitka gear.
    This year ill be decked out in Vais camo Kuiu gear in all my photos!!
    I wanted to let you know how awesome this gear and camo is. Hopefully sometime soon ill be back home in northern california to visit your shop and meet you in person.
    Sincerely,
    Ben
    Tempe, Arizona

    • Ben

      Sorry about the typo. Vias*

  20. Brent Hahn

    Jason, headed to coast range in Oregon to check some cams, first nice day in a while, maybe get some pics of the vias in NW Oregon coast range.

    On a different note I have been wearing the light weight merino shirt for 4 days(not sleeping in it though) doing everything,mowing lawn, weed wacking, general chores, going hiking on coast today and tomorrow in it, no smell in the pits yet!
    while getting ready to go I was digging thru my socks trying to find the right combo of liner and sock thickness for the boot I am wearing, I saw the ad in HF for Kenetreks socks in the latest issue, i have mostly smartwool, but have lorpen, bridgedale, cabelas ultimax(I try alot of socks). Putting all this together in my head and thinking of KUIU, I think it would be a no brainer if you did the research and came out with the best socks even if they were very similar to the top end brands out there right now . Smartwool makes great socks but I have so many different pairs of different thicknesses/lengths I can’t get more of the ones I like because they all look so similar and they change the colorscheme/design so often I don’t even know which ones I have anymore! I mostly use the trekking socks (crew length) with a liner(coolmax). I would offer 2 liners one just a thin durable wicking slippery dude, 1″ longer than crew length so you can fold it over the top of the outer sock, and one similar but with reinforced( thicker) toe and heel area, also 1″ longer than crew sock both should have built in bacteria(stink) inhibitor of some form . Also recommend 3 different sock thicknesses, with vastly different color schemes so it is simple to tell diff and never change color of thickness even if you change design, doesn’t have to be entire sock just toe and heel area or top stripe.
    then no brainer part would be just like the Kuiu clothing I have right now,if you need socks, you just buy Kuiu, period. you don’t have to waste precious time and $$ reading advertisers claims which may or may not be true.
    Believe me I have spent thousands on hunting clothing and boots….many thousands over the years, trying and testing what will work for me on my bowhunts. I have already given away large garbage bags full of “top of the line” hunting clothing which never made it on any hunt, and still have an entire closet STUFFED with clothing that I will never use. The best part about what you have done with the Kuiu line is to relieve me of research duties and wasted $$ testing out products myself. Thank you Jason!

    sorry for the long post, I need some socks!
    Brent

  21. Allan

    Jason,

    As you know, a week ago I finally got the chance to try out pretty much all the pieces of clothing that Kuiu is producing, but then I had to go to New York City on business for a week, so here is the review. April 31 in Oklahoma City was a gorgeous, sunny, 65 degree, low wind day which was one of the best days of the year but not great for testing the clothing outside. I did try on all the clothing — or at least one of each type when I had duplicates. Then on May 1 the weather turned cooler, rainy, windy, and just plain unpleasant, but great for trying out the Kuiu clothing. Here are my impressions of the various pieces starting at the base layers and going outward. I am 6’1″, 190 pounds and normally wear size large in everything, with 34″ sleeve length, 34″ waist, and 34″ leg inseam. I guess you could say I am “cubic” in my measurements. I have a 42-43″ chest and size 7 1/4 hat size. I tend to fill out all the measurements in normal size large clothing and 34×34 pants. In the Sitka Gear I wear size large in everything, with the long length pants, and all the Sitka Gear pieces fit me perfectly with no extra room to spare. My perfect weight is about 175 pounds, so I consider myself to be 15 pounds overweight, although most people think I am thin looking. LOL. Since you designed Sitka Gear, I assumed correctly that I would fit well into size large Kuiu clothing and the 34″ pants.

    Merino tops: Great fit on both the 185 and the 250. The neck is slightly larger than my body, but I don’t like to feel choked, so it is pretty perfect. The 185 is very smooth, sleek and cool feeling to my skin but retains heat when needed. The 250 is somewhat difficult to distinguish when viewed without the 185 beside it, but definitely is warmer and a great overgarment when wearing the 185 underneath. I personally could wear the 250 alone without itching, I think, although it is a little rougher than the 185. I thought at first that I would like to have a zippered pocket on these tops, but they do not have enough “body” to support a pocket and are of maximum utility without pockets. This is where you need to produce the lightweight button-up shirt with two (or more) fastening or zippered pockets, collared (I liked the suggestion someone made of short, rounded collar points), long-sleeved (with roll-up tabs) Vias camo shirt that can be used in warm weather or with the Merino base layers for cooler to cold weather. I love the brindle color and the Vias camo for the Merino tops, and have both weights in both colors. The length of the sleeves, the body and the neck are all exactly right, and the shoulder width is too. The zippers and zipper pulls are correctly sized and configured. Doug Campbell suggested a cloth zipper guard to protect his facial hair, and that would be great, although not necessary for someone like me who is clean shaven. After some time in the field, many of us who normally shave may have growth that will benefit from the cloth guard, but I am not personally concerned about that. I would rate the Merino tops in both weights a solid 10 — perfect!

    Merino bottoms: I have the same comments about the fabrics, although the bottoms only come in the brindle color that I love. Who needs camo underwear bottoms? I don’t! I would like for you to make the exact same bottom in a boxer style. The fit and length are great for me, and the elastic is not to tight or too loose. Again, a solid 10 — perfect!

    Attack Pants: I got both the Charcoal and the Vias pants. The colors are both excellent, but I would like to have more colors — Major Brown, Coffee Bean, your choice of green, your new green camo, dark charcoal, etc. I will be wearing my Charcoal Pants as everyday clothing as well as when hunting or doing anything else outdoors. The Vias pants will be reserved mainly for hunting, of course. I would like to buy several more pairs in other colors. First, I want to give you my only somewhat minor complaint about the pants. The upper front pockets are loose at the openings and bulge out, exposing the top interior of the pocket and allowing junk to fall into the pockets. I don’t like that. The loose, horizontal top openings do allow easy access and maximum room to put things, but I would gladly compromise some of that maximization in order to have a better looking pocket that tends to collect less trail debris. For me, the best of all worlds would be to have the top pockets at more of an angle and zippered with no flap, but either the zipper or an increased angle would go a long way toward solving the problem with the pockets. My friend, Doug Burns, told me he would like bigger pockets (large, pleated cargo pockets) on the legs to hold more gear. That would be okay with me as an alternative, but since I will be wearing these as everyday pants as well as for hunting, and I don’t normally carry as much as Doug in my pockets when hunting, I am fine with everything about the pockets except the tops of the upper front pockets I just discussed. The fabric is wonderful and very water repellent. It stretches nicely, but not too much. I love the gusseted crotch, the webbed button, the zipper, the cut, the length (which is slightly longer than I normally wear, but just barely, and better a tad bit long than too short). The taper of the legs is great, especially with someone like me who does not have skinny legs and wears large boots (size 13). The stitching and construction is incredible, just like all the clothing. This pant is amazing, but it will not replace the Sitka Gear 90% pants that I love dearly. You really need Guide Pants, preferably with a set of removable suspenders like the 90% pants, that are cut a little larger for more layering, exactly like the fit of the 90% pants. Only because of the upper pocket tops, I rate the Attack Pants 9.5 — almost perfect.

    Guide Beanie: I got both the Vias camo and Major Brown Beanies. Like so many others, I have commented previously on how much I like the Vias camo, so I will say no more here about it. I will take a moment to comment on the Major Brown color. I thought I really liked it from the pictures, but I have to say after getting the clothing in the color that I now love it. For me it is a wonderful color and shade — just right for most purposes in the outdoors where a solid color is chosen. It also looks great around town. I even wore my Major Brown Guide Jacket to church on Easter Sunday and got compliments on it. This brown will work in almost any setting and looks very nice. It will be perfect for wearing to and from hunts, as well as in the field where a solid is suitable. I know some guys have worried about wearing it out hunting because it might look like a bear, but I suggest having orange on if you are concerned about getting shot by another hunter. The Beanie has been criticized by some people as being too small in circumference and too tall in height. On my size 7 1/4 head it fits fairly snugly but not overly tight, and the height is about right. I love the construction and the Guide fabric, but the Beanie does feel a little tighter and stiffer than I would ultimately prefer. I understand the Guide fabric will soften and stretch somewhat with wear and washing, so I am going to accept that as being true and ultimately getting the material and fit exactly where I would like it to be. So, assuming the fabric will soften and stretch some, I will give the Guide Beanie a 10 — perfect!

    Merino 185 Beanie: I have already talked about how great the fabric and color is in discussing the 185 top. The fit and feel of the 185 Beanie is great. When I pull it down over my ears my head exactly fills the Beanie with just enough stretch of the Beanie to hold it comfortably in place. The cut and construction could not be any better. The 185 Beanie is so light and compact that no one should ever be without one in the field. I will be ordering more. My rating is 10 — perfect!

    Merino 185 Neck Gaitor (I think Kuiu has misspelled the word “gaiter”): The Gaitor is a very simple tube made with the wonderful Merino 185 material. It has a nice fit and will be individually adaptable for a variety of uses. I only bought the Vias camo version thinking I would only use it for hunting, but I have now changed my mind and will be buying a Brindle version. I have other neck gaiters that are much bulkier, heavier and less useful. Because I have not tried the Gaitor in all its potential uses, I cannot say how well it will work in every situation, but for providing comfortable warmth and added concealment in a light, compact item, I am convinced the 185 Gaitor will work exceptionally well. I rate it a 10 — perfect!

    Guide Vest: I got the only color offered so far — Vias Camo. The vest is exceptionally well made with the fabulous Guide material. Maybe I would like to have a vertical chest pocket on the outside, but the Vest is so unbelievably perfect in every way that I would hate to make any changes for fear of having it come out less than perfect. This garment fits me exactly everywhere! The height and circumference of the neck, the circumference of the chest, waist and hips, the length, the armholes, and everything else seems to have been created for my body. The stitching, glued seams, and other construction is the best of the best. The design of the collar, yoke, pockets and vest as a whole are unmatched. The zippers are spec’d. exactly right and installed expertly. I love the piping on the arm holes, the way the hand pockets are set into the side seams, and the neat little pocket in the interior. I saw a criticism of the pulls on the hand pockets being at the top when closed, but I greatly prefer that on this vest and the jacket. The wind and rain flap on the inside of the front zipper has the same seam piping as the arm holes and is highly unlikely to buckle and snag like on so many other vests and jackets. The entire neck area has a low-nap fleece around it (including covering the zipper) to make the vest feel very nice and not abrade ones neck, and the rest of the interior fabric is also a comfortable low-nap fleece. Finally, there is an elastic draw cord at the bottom with two spring barrel locks on the sides. My rating is 10+ — perfect with better features than what I could even ask for.

    Guide Jacket: I bought the Guide Jacket in both the Vias camo and the Major Brown colors which I have already discussed. The Guide Jacket is pretty much a Guide Vest with sleeves, pit zips, a hood, and no arm holes, so all my comments on the Vest generally apply to the Jacket. The hood is exceptionally well designed and has great fit and adaptability with elastic draw cords at the back of the head for better vision and head volume adjustments, and around the face to snug up the interface between skin and the hood fabric to keep out cold, wind, rain, and snow. As I said earlier, I wore the Major Brown Jacket to church in the rain, wind and cold and stayed cozy, warm and dry inside it while others were getting drenched and cold. My wife noticed the ram’s skull Kuiu emblem and thought it looked really cool. Like the other garments, the Guide Jacket is light and compact, making it perfect for just about everything, especially the mountain hunting it was designed for. The pit zips have the double pulls and are long and perfectly positioned for good ventilation. They are also inconspicuous and comfortable when closed and do not rattle to spook animals. As I mentioned with the Guide Beanie, users of the garments made with the Guide fabric have stated that it will soften and get quieter with wearing and washing, so I am expecting the moderate stiffness and noise in the Jacket, Vest and Beanie to dissipate over time as has happened in the past with other fabrics I have worn. The Guide Jacket was my most coveted Kuiu garment, so it is also the one that has brought be the greatest disappointment with one fairly minor aspect that is so annoyingly detractive of perfection. This is the same characteristic that bothered my friend Doug Burns, which I wrote about in an earlier post in this thread. The sleeves fall about an inch and a half below my wrist, and there is no closure mechanism to adjust the wrist circumference to prevent the sleeves from falling down over the upper part of my thumb and hand. I have to roll up the sleeves which is annoying, looks unsightly and creates a cuff that can catch dirt and debris and interfere somewhat with my activities. I understand that the objective was to keep the sleeve area unobstructed, but the result leaves a lot to be desired from my standpoint. The length of the sleeve is fine as long as there is a way to cinch it up. The customary mechanism is a matching fabric tab with Velcro hook material sewn on it and fuzzy loop material sewn on the body of the sleeve, similar to what is on the Chugach Jacket. I hope I can get some of the Guide fabric so I can have the adjustment tabs made or else send my two Guide Jackets back to have the tabs installed. I know I can’t leave the jackets the way they are now, because they will drive me to distraction! I like a wider tab than what was put on the sleeves of the Chugach Jacket, and I would like a wider strip of Velcro hook material with the tab positioned differently than the one on the Chugach Jacket. I have an REI jacket that has the best sleeve tab I have ever seen at the perfect position, and I will send pictures to you Jason. I do like the idea of an outside, zippered chest pocket on the Jacket. Skipping ahead, I can tell you that the fit of the Guide Jacket is slim, but I was able to put on the 185 Merino top, the 250 Merino top, a lightweight two pocket shirt, the Guide Vest and the Spindrift Jacket and still not feel uncomfortable, although there was no extra room and a slight bit of binding that was not a problem because of the stretch in the Guide fabric. I then put the Chugach jacket on with all the other layers underneath and was able to get it zipped, although with even a little less flexibility of motion, but enough for me not to feel uncomfortable. The Guide Jacket will be wonderful once I get the sleeve adjustment problem fixed, so I rate it an annoying 9 — easily capable of achieving perfection.

    Chugach Jacket: I bought the Chugach Jacket and Pants in the Vias camo because the Frost Grey looked too light for what I would mostly be using it for and no other colors were available. After seeing the Major Brown color, I would buy another set of the Chugach rain gear in that wonderful color in a heartbeat. I also would buy it in a medium green color if that were offered instead. The Chugach fabric is much noisier than the Guide fabric, but it is a hardshell material, not a softshell material like the Guide fabric. Compared to other hardshells, the Chugach is relatively quiet and has a very nice feel to it. The fit and basic construction design is very similar to the Guide Jacket, which is superb, and there are even Velcro closure tabs on the sleeve cuffs that eliminate that source of annoyance I have with the Guide Jacket. I don’t prefer the placement of the tabs because they are difficult to reach and adjust, but that objection is very minor, as is my preference for a wider adjustment tab that is easier to put in place without the tab twisting and contorting. The hood is designed much like the one on the Guide Jacket, although the inside fleece material is only present at the back. This is actually a good thing since the fleece at the front would tend to get wet, and we will almost always be wearing another garment underneath that will go between our necks and the fabric of the jacket. The waterproof zippers on the front and pits are excellent and the non-waterproof pocket zippers are well protected behind wide flaps. There is also that nice little interior pocket that we will all appreciate. The elastic draw cord at the bottom of the body is like the ones found on the Guide Jacket and Vest and is very nice when extra sealing is desired. The Chugach Jacket is very light and compact and will be in my pack at all times when I am out hunting or hiking. I have to accept the limitations of the noise that is still inherent in a hardshell fabric, so I can’t fault the Chugach Jacket for that “problem”. If I am out in the rain the noise will not be an issue, and I sure want to have the protection. If I have to put on the rain gear for warmth when it is not raining, then I probably will make too much noise to effectively hunt most animals with my traditional archery equipment, but I would normally have no problems when using a rifle where my range to an animal would be 50 yards or more (sometimes much more) most of the time. Based on the state of the art in hardshell fabrics, I rate this a 9.95 — almost perfect with just a tiny deduction for the design of the very nice but not quite ideal sleeve cuff tabs.

    Chugach Pants: Same great hardshell material as the Jacket with the same noise factor. Aside from that inevitable issue, the Chugach Pants are right there with the Guide Vest as being at the pinnacle of perfection. They are light, compact and essential in my pack. Starting at the waist, there is nice elastic that allows the pants to fit very well, especially with the lightweight, integral web belt that has a terrific plastic buckle for easy fastening and unfastening. There is a front fly opening with top snap and zipper to make dressing, undressing and addressing calls of nature much easier. A hanging loop is sewn into the back of the waist to allow the pants to be easily hung to dry, something common in jackets, but not always in pants, although the Attack Pants have this too. There are outside waterproof zippers with double pulls that run from all the way up at the hips down to the cuff where there is a two position, snapped tab closure. This system will eliminate the most common problem with rain pants: getting them off and on when wearing boots and other pants. Like the Attack Pants, the Chugach Pants have a gusseted crotch which is vital for rain pants that have limited stretch, even though these stretch more than most. Some people might prefer pockets on the Pants when there are none, but that does not bother me with rain pants that are primarily designed to protect me from the outside elements. Besides, the side leg zippers have a pull at the top so I can unzip the Pants to easily get to the pockets of my Attack Pants underneath. I don’t want to be transferring objects between pockets anyway just because it starts raining. A final design feature of the Chugach Pants is the addition of another layer of fabric inside the legs that creates a boot or ski or crampon guard to reinforce the legs and prevent tearing of the fabric. I love the Chugach Pants and give them a 10+ rating — perfection plus!

    Spindrift Jacket: I bought two of the Coffee Bean colored Spindrift Jackets, one for me and one for my son. The Vias camo Jacket looked nice, but I already have a Sitka Gear Kelvin jacket in the Mothwing Mountain Mimicry that you designed, and I will always have the Spindrift Jacket underneath an outer layer when hunting. So, I wanted an insulated jacket that I could wear to and from the hunt as well as when hunting. I love the Coffee Bean color, and it goes well with the Vias camo and the Major Brown, as well as with almost all of my other clothing. I normally prefer to have some type of elastic or drawstring at the bottom or waist of my jackets, but the trim fit and underlayer design of the Spindrift somewhat obviate the need for a way to further seal the bottom of the jacket. Furthermore, the shape of the bottom seam, with an extended length back, would make elastic or a draw cord awkward. The Jacket material is fairly slick and thin which makes it slide over clothing easily and allows outerwear to slide over it without binding. The Primaloft One insulation is warm but thin, so the jacket is super light, super compactable, and can always be available at the bottom of a pack to provide protection from the cold when needed — something that can be a life saver in the mountains. I would like to see some Spindrift Pants soon to complete the set. The Jacket has two large hand pockets on the side seams, but I would like to see a third pocket on the chest, either inside or outside, or both, although I would not downgrade my rating on the jacket for lack of additional pockets. Like all the other Kuiu products, the construction is outstanding. I like the elastic banding on the sleeve cuffs that works extremely well in keeping the sleeves properly positioned. I have seen similar jackets with a microfleece liner around the neck like is found on the Guide Jacket and Vest, and I like that kind of liner. It helps keep me from making noise when I turn my head after I have developed a stubble after several days of not shaving. The Spindrift Jacket is well proportioned to fit under the other outer layers in the Kuiu system. It is not 100% what I would have picked, but very close. I rate it 9.8 — almost perfect.

    Kuiu Cap: I really wasn’t that thrilled with the idea of another cotton ball cap, but I wanted to get a cap with the Vias camo pattern to complete the outfit, and I wanted to show off the Kuiu brand, so I bought a Vias cap and decided not to get one in Cigar Brown. Now I wish I had one in both colors. I had read some complaints about the fit and construction, but I can say that my Kuiu Cap is very well constructed and fits my head perfectly, unlike many other ball caps on the market. It also looks great in the Vias camo. I hate those horrible little torture devices they put on the tops of the caps for no good reason except to irritate me, so the first thing I always do is grab a pair of pliers and remove the button. I have done it a hundred times, so it only take a minute and leaves the cap looking just fine and feeling a hundred times better on the nearly hairless top of my head. When I adjust the Velcro tabs so that they fully overlap, the fit is perfect. I still would like a short brimmed cap for traditional bow hunting that is made out of a synthetic material and one made from Merino wool, but for a cotton cap with a long brim, this one is very nice. For what it is — a cotton ball cap — I rate the Kuiu Cap a perfect 10.

    I can hardly wait to get the Icon pack frame and the Icon 3000 and 6000 packs so I can see what they are like, but so far I am really please with everything I got. I sure won’t be sending anything back, except maybe if I can get some Velcro tabs sewn on the sleeves of my two Guide Jackets. Sorry if this review was too long, but I don’t know how to do it half way.

    Allan

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Alan,

      We all really appreciate you taking the time to write up such a detailed review! Thank you!

      Jason

  22. Lindsey

    Wow! I have got to get me some of that camo! We hunt in that very kind of terrain. Sage, pine, and open all in one. Definitely ordering me some!