“When my phone rang at 7:24 on Thursday evening ...

“When my phone rang at 7:24 on Thursday evening and Lance was on the other end of the line, I had no idea just how much my weekend plans were about to change. Test the entire KUIU system, every piece of it, for eight days on Kodiak Island. And just as importantly, help Lance get one of those ice-age-throw-back-brown-bears I’d heard about since childhood? Let me think about it!” – Brendan Burns

Thirty-six hours later Lance and Brendan were setting-up camp on the Alilulik Penisula of Kodiak in area strategically located among three large tidal bays and two mountain passes, and from which they were able to hunt both sides of the island. Even with only eight days left in the season, Lance was dead-set on a killing a giant bear or nothing at all. Lance told Brendan, you’ll know it when you see it, it’ll look like a buffalo. So for the next eight days Lance and Brendan hit it hard hiking and glassing for 12-15 hours a day.

Later in the week we’re going to publish more photos and a first hand account of the hunt. Until then, we’d like to talk about the hunt’s MVP,  the KUIU Spindrift.

To get the most out of the limited time on the hunt Lance and Brendan were glassing up to the last minute every day. Most days it was raining and windy and cold, but some evening’s when the weather blew through and it cleared up, it was just plain cold. Brutally cold.

“Most of the big bears don’t show themselves until the last hour of the day. The monsters don’t come out until the shadows hit them. And the Spindrift allowed us to stay out to the very last minute. Its another great tool that lets you to hunt hard the entire time. Sure, we could have gutted it out and froze, but its easier to stay focused when you are comfortable.  That’s the beauty of the spindrift- you don’t have to be cold to go light. It’s the best piece of gear most guys don’t own. You wouldn’t build a house without insulation, right? It’s just insane not to have one, once you have used it you’ll never hunt without it.” – Brendan

For some of you these might be obvious, but here’s five of our favorite reasons to own the Spindrift.

1.         It offers essentially the highest weight/size to warmth ratio you can get in a jacket.

2.         It’s packable and stowable so it’s easy to forget about, until you need it.

3.         It allows you to “bag-down.” Because wearing a Spindrift inside your sleeping bag can effectively add 10-15 degrees to the bag’s heat rating, you can, when the conditions make sense, bring a lighter and smaller sleeping bag.

4.         The Spindrift is built with Primaloft One synthetic insulation, so it dries quickly and keeps you warm even when it’s wet.

5.         The Spindrift offers some much needed comfort in the worst of conditions and environments. It’s the perfect camp jacket, it works great as a pillow, and using it as intended, as layering piece, it can take the edge when it’s cold and dark and you need to glass up until the last second.

For more information on the Spindrift:

http://shop.kuiu.com/spindrift-jacket-p15.aspx

http://blogkuiu.azurewebsites.net/2011/03/01/spindrift-jacket/

http://www.primaloft.com/en/performance/community/blog/kuiu-launch.html

Look for Brendan’s first-hand account of Lance’s Kodiak Hunt in a few days.

This article has 24 comment(s)

  1. Frans Diepstraten

    Wow, those phonecalls don’t come every day! Sounds like a good environment to run a test, though I’d contemplate going in my underwear if that were required! Looking forward to the report.

    Frans

  2. Cameron Meier

    Love hearing about the spin drift! out of all the jackets (Guide, Chugach and Spin Drift) Is it the warmest? I would also love to hear how cold it was and what your whole layering system was? I know everyone is different but it would help give an idea of when you woul need both the 185 and 250 merino layers and if your wearing all three jackets. Etc… Definetly looking hard at the spindrift.

  3. Stephen Hand

    Looking forward to “the rest of the story”.

  4. Richard Wooster

    I own the complete system and am waiting for the gloves to be delivered any day. I plan to put the whole system to the test next week on my New Brunswick bear hunt. If it drops down to the low 40’s just before dark we will find out if we need the spindrift. Stayed tuned.

    Richard

    • Kendall

      +1 on the gloves. Hard to look at that last image without a hint of envy!

  5. Bryan aka TradRag

    That is just awesome! Can’t wait for the full story! {thumbs up} on the Spindrift!

  6. Dennis

    The gloves are on the shopping website!! just ordered 2 pair!. Cant wait to read the rest of this story. Now just the belt and packs, then my wife will leave me alone about spending- at least till September!!

  7. Brendan Burns

    Thanks for the kind words guys.
    Even on short notice it was an invitation I don’t have the willpower to pass up. For the record my wife was actually the “non gear” MVP of the hunt for me. She had a ticket booked in less than 10 minutes from getting the call!

    I will have a full gear list and breakdown for both Lance and I following the hunt details.

    Cameron- The spindrift is definely the warmest piece in the KUIU system.

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment.
    Brendan

  8. Todd “Ramhunter” Brickel

    I couldn’t agree more. When I purchased my outfit the spindrift was the last item I added to my cart. i wasn’t sure if I really wanted it or not, but thought what the heck, if I really don’t like it I can return it.

    Now having it, I would conclusively say it is the best decision I made. Sure it is not your outer layer, but it is one of the most impressive. it is like wearing a sleeping bag.

    Actually one has to have the core system, but of the perceived “nice to haves”, the SpinDrift and the gater are two nice to haves that are must haves in my opinion!

  9. Craig Germond

    I can’t wait for the rest of the story! I’ll be hunting brownies in AK this fall myself.

  10. Jerry Gowins

    I found the Spindrift very useful on a recent wildlife photography trip to SE Oregon. 20-30 mph winds in temps cold enough that it was spitting snow on me on a couple of occasions. With the vest, Spindrift and Chugach jacket and pants over the merino wool I never felt the urge to call it quits and head for the car. Not even close.

  11. Darryn

    You’ve done my dream hunt! The suspense is eating my innards, though the blood on the Havalon is a bit of a give away.
    I went for the Spindrift when I originally ordered and I agree that it is a staple item. A person has to have as much insulation as possible that this athletic gear allows space for and the Spindrift provides that niche.

  12. Don Carpenter

    I got the Spindrift jacket about a month ago which was awesome since we had an unusually cold spring here in Illinois. I used the jacket for a weekend turkey hunt in Wisconsin and it is awesome. It was rainy so I wore an outer rain shell with the spindrift with a synthetic t-shirt underneath and I was amazed at how warm I was. It was probably in the high 40’s and I was so warm that I had to open up both jackets, I do run hotter than most people though. The spindrift wicks moisture really well and dries fast too. It’s super light and packable. It measures 12″ x 8″ x 4″ when stuffed into a pocket. I can’t say enough good things about this jacket.

  13. Brad

    It is my favorite item. I wish it had a hood, but I have field tested it in some pretty cool temps. I need a vest now, that would be a perfect addition.

  14. Cory Benge

    Sounds like a wonderful experience and we are all hoping to read your story and live vicariously through your words and pictures!

  15. Chris

    I’d love to get a Spindrift. Shame the solid color is out of stock in my size. Any idea when these will be available again?

  16. Dan

    Questions for those in the know. Would you say that the outer material is like the Sitka Kelvin noise wise? Thanks in advance.

  17. Gale Smith

    Didn’t I read in one of these blogs that there will be a SpinDrift jacket coming out with a hood?

  18. Brendan Burns

    Thanks for commenting guys, the hunt details are on the way.

    You are all correct on the spindrift. Jason has designed a great piece that is a must have addition to any hunting gear line up.

    Brendan

  19. BMac

    Hey – when will the Spindrift be available again? And is it coming in a hooded version?

  20. Mike P

    Ok…where is the “Rest of the story”, your killing us here 🙂
    Cheers,

    Mike

  21. Benji

    cmon alreadie ,more details lol

  22. Tim Groves

    just got back from a grizz hunt with Lance and am glad to have purchased the Spin Drift jacket. I wore it every day, putting it on and taking it off as my body temp changed. I wore it to bed every night.. I mean every morning as we hunted till 130 and 230 am.

    Tim Groves

  23. Allan

    I ordered a Spindrift Jacket in coffee bean brown for myself, along with every other item of clothing, when the first subscriber’s day came up. Then, when Jason re-opened the orders for subscribers a few days later, I ordered extra items, including a brown Spindrift for my son. He lives in Colorado, so he and I both have worn our jackets in the mountains at night when the temperatures have dropped. Not exactly a grueling test, but they have been great, and very warm. I have several Primaloft jackets from The North Face, Patagonia, and Sitka. The Spindrift is the best built of the group, although all of them are nice. In answer to the question about the comparison with the Sitka Kelvin, the material on the Spindrift is slicker, stiffer and somewhat noisier than the Kelvin, but they are both designed to be worn under an outer shell when hunting, and in that situation are virtually identical in the noise — which is pretty much silent except for the noise of the outer shell covering the Spindrift or Kelvin. I think the Kelvin has a lower grade of Primaloft than the Primaloft 1 that is found in the Spindrift. In that regard the Spindrift is more like the Patagonia MicroPuff jacket, which is also very nice but not cut to maximize its utility for hunting. My son also has a Patagonia MicroPuff and much prefers the Spindrift. I like the Kelvin vest and jacket quite a lot, but the Spindrift is definitely superior and will get the nod on pretty much all my hunting trips. It is sometimes nice to have spare jacket, so the Kelvin will be coming along some of the time too, and the Kelvin vest will have to do until Jason produces a Spindrift vest. As an aside, I sure do like the coffee bean brown color as opposed to the Vias when it comes to traveling to distant hunts, because I can wear the brown for everything without having people know I’m a hunter. I got a really bad reception from a young flight attendant in Australia last month when she found out I was going hunting. Her comment was, “It’s a good thing I am in uniform, or I would say some things to you that I can’t while I am working.” that was really unpleasant, and something the coffee bean Spindrift and the Major brown Guide Jacket don’t subject me to. By the way, the Spindrift works exceptionally well with the Guide Jacket, Guide Vest and Chugach Jacket!

    Allan