The KUIU System: Base Insulation Softshell Rai...

The KUIU System:

Fabric: The platform for great gear

Layering System Performance a must, well below Zero @ 10,000 ft

Choosing the right fabric for each piece of the layering system is the key to maximizing performance.  The weak link theory. Developing a system for backpack hunting narrows the requirements further as weight and durability become paramount.  I have received  a lot of great input on the blog and generated a list of requests:

  • Quiet
  • 4-way stretch (without Lycra if possible)
  • High warmth to weight ratio
  • Packability
  • Fast drying
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Durable
  • Consistent quality
  • Odor management on base

Finding the Fabric

I have done extensive fabric research for the KUIU line and have gone back over the material gleaned from OR to make sure I haven’t missed anything after receiving your input.  Since there has been a lot of interest, I am going to run a series of posts highlighting fabric technology & performance data used in my research.  It is important to understand what you are buying and why. I hope it will help bring-to-light marketing hype versus actual data.


This article has 16 comment(s)

  1. Thia

    very cool you guys!!
    great shots!


    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Thia!

      Hopefully we can work with you this summer for some shots in Idaho!!!

  2. Kevin

    I had a couple more thoughts: A hooded jacket made from the same material as the current Ascent material could possibly the most perfect early season jacket ever created. I like the curent version, but a hood would put it over the top. It would be on the same comfort level as the “hoodies” I sometimes (often) wear for early season stuff – without the bulk. And also, how about some gloves that have some water resistance? Usead a pair of the Jetstream gloves on a hunt this year and loved them… until it rained. I was bone dry except my hands, which were soaked. It took two nights sleeping with them in my bag with me to dry them out. Thanks,


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Kevin,

      I agree with you on the hooded jacket. Having the hood gives jackets the versatility we need in the mountains.

      Your comments regarding the gloves are well noted.

      Thanks for all your help.



  3. Pedro Ampuero

    I am not a believer in odor management, and in long hunts there is no much to do than playing with the wind. So I would not reduce any of the other aspects for incorporating odor manegement layer.

    Can wait to see how this develops!


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Pedro,

      I cannot agree with you more, the wind is everything. I am interested in researching options that help with the build up of odor specifically in base layers. I would like to get multiple days out of a base layer before it stinks too bad to wear. I have used silver in the past with fair results. Thanks for your comments I appreciate it.


  4. Chris Jasmine

    It would be great to look into light weight down items as an insulating layer. Down is warm, light, and packable. I think that a vest and light coat similar to a Patagonia Down Sweater, would be a great addition to any mountain hunter line.



  5. Jason Hairston

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for this feedback. I too am a fan of down and will be doing some research on insulation pieces. I will be digging into synthetic and natural options during this process. Your comments are well noted. Keep the ideas coming.


  6. Scott Tilzey


    As a tall guy it would be great if you could offer some unhemmed pants that could be hemmed to a 36″ to 38″ inseam. There is no technical clothing manufacturer that offers this sizing to my knowledge. I’ve begged Sitka to do this for years and I know guys in the company have done the same thing but I also know from experience that when a company choses to have something manufactured in China its very difficult to offer more options.


  7. Jason Hairston


    I think we talked when I was at Sitka. As you know this is certainly a challenge, what is the inseam you need? 36″? How tall are you? Let me know.


  8. David Long


    It’s been a while since we have talked. What’s your new email address?


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi David,

      I sent you an email. Great to hear from you and I look forward to catching up.


  9. Scott Tilzey


    I emailed Sitka several times and begged and pleaded to no avail. In any case I’m 6’6″ and need a 36″ inseam.


    • Jason Hairston


      I sent you an email. I will try and help.


  10. Drake Atwood

    I personally love the idea of odor management in the gear. I agree with Pedro that hunting the wind is the only way…but here in Southeastern Idaho the wind switches and swirls about every five seconds. So over the years I’ve learned that the least amount of scent you emit the better off you are no matter how good you are at playing the wind. Initially, that was one of the first things that turned me onto Sitka. I have a few items of clothing that are lined with silver like “X-scent” and also some Sitka stuff and I feel like it definately helps. I would love to see the base/core layer to have odor management!

  11. Jason Hairston


    Great comment on odor management. I have tested or researched almost all of the current anti-bacterial treatments to poly. I have yet to find the perfect solution, however I agree with you silver seems to be the best.