Category Archives: Clothing

2019 State Hunter Orange Requirements

Shop Blaze Orange

Here’s a quick look at the information we’ve gathered on if and how much blaze orange you might need in the state you’re hunting:

State Required? Rule
Alaska No Not required but encouraged.
Arizona No Not required but encouraged.
California No Not required but encouraged.
Colorado Yes Orange or Pink 500 square inches and a hat solid no camo, rifle and muzzleloader hunts.
Idaho No Not required but encouraged.
Kansas Yes 100 square inches front and back and a hat.
Montana Yes 400 square inches for hunter and anyone acompanying.
Nebraska Yes 400 square inches Head back and chest.
Nevada No Not required but encouraged.
New Mexico No Only required on the White Sands Missile range 244 square inches/ Fort Bliss or McGregor Hat and Vest.
North Dakota Yes 400 square inches and hat above the waist.
Oregon Yes under 18 Hat or other garment must be visable from all directions.
South Dakota Yes More than one garmint above the waist.
Texas Yes On National Forest and Grassland 144 square inches front and back and a hat.
Utah Yes 400 square inches must be worn if an any weapon hunt is open in the area.
Washington Yes 400 square inches above the waist during firearm seasons.
Wyoming Yes Must wear either vest, jacket, or coat.

BlackOvis NWT Merino Series

BlackOvis Merino Wool

For this gear review, I purchased five items from the BlackOvis NWT Merino Wool gear line. The idea was to buy everything from the waist up, give it a go and see what I thought. I bought the following items:

There is actually an additional top in their line, the 200 Crew Long Sleeve Top, but I missed it when I loaded my shopping cart. I can guarantee it will be hanging in my gear room before this September.

When choosing a base layer material, we essentially have three options: synthetic, wool or a blending of the two. As a general rule, synthetics like polyester, capilene, et al. are less expensive, dry faster, breathe better and are typically more durable than wool. For a long time, wool was coarse, itchy and therefore uncomfortable. This was a strong motivator to buy synthetic. Merino wool isn’t a new product. It has been around for quite a while now, but when the industry discovered the amazing merino… it changed everything. A merino wool fiber is super fine, much more fine than a human hair, which translates into incredible “next to skin” comfort. Selective breeding programs and new manufacturing techniques continue to make wool “obstacle”s essentially obsolete.

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2018 Sitka Apex Series Review

ORIGINS

For years Sitka’s 90% series ruled the game in terms of comfortable and quiet technical hunting apparel. However, with advancements in textile development and consumer demand, the 90% series was overshadowed over the course of a time and consequently discontinued. Many fans of 90% were very sad to see it go and wondered what could possibly replace it.

For 2018 Sitka answered that question with their new APEX series. Designed for the spot and stalk hunter who demands silence and performance out of their gear no matter what.

The APEX series features the APEX Hoody, APEX Pant, and APEX Pack. All are purpose built to be extremely quiet, comfortable, and practical for hunters that prefer to sneak up on their intended quarry. I was lucky enough to put these pieces to the test on an OTC Arizona Mule Deer hunt in January of this year and I was very impressed.

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Midweight Merino Base Layer Comparison

If you love spending time outdoors, I’m sure you’ve come to realize how vital your base layers are to the quality of your overall experience. Base layers provide warmth and comfort, and a good base layer is probably one of the most underrated pieces of equipment we have at our disposal as outdoorsmen. When the guys at BlackOvis mentioned to me that they were interested in comparing their BlackOvis brand of base layer with one of the industry leaders in merino base layers – First Lite – I was all over the idea. I don’t think you can have enough base layers, because as the temps drop you can just throw one on over top of the other and layer to keep warm. From late October on, if I’m out in the field, I almost always have at least 2 light to midweight base layers on.

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Sitka 90% Series Explained

Sitka 90% Series Explained

sitka-90-series-explained

In our world of remakes, remixes and new models, occasionally you find that somebody got it right the first time. That the original is still the best. Willie Nelson, Ghost Busters, Pre 64 model 70’s and the Sitka 90% series. This was the idea that started it all. High quality, technical fabrics made into clothing, designed and built specifically for hunters. The days of an old pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, baggy cotton camo, and heavy one size fits most army surplus stuff are officially gone and we never have to go back. When Sitka came out with the first 90% series it really did change the way we viewed our hunting clothing. Hunters realized that they could hunt longer, smarter and more efficiently than before. We found that by choosing a few specific pieces and using an intelligent layering plan we could be comfortable, mobile and safe for longer periods of time further away from a home base. Clothing was now gear. We have come a long way since then and our options for high quality clothing seem to be growing every day, but the 90% series from Sitka just may be the best of the best!

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Sitka Timberline Jacket and Pant- Gear Review

Timberline Pant

Since Sitka Gear came out with the Timberline Pant it has become a tried and true favorite with a vast number of hunters around the globe. The Timberline Pant was created as a super durable and highly technical pant that can be used from mid-late season. The 4-way stretch material makes this pant extremely comfortable and allows full range of motion when climbing up a steep incline and crouching, crawling, or sitting. One of the coolest features is the waterproof/breathable nylon ripstop knees and seat. When you have to kneel down or sit and glass on wet or rocky ground you will really appreciate having it. The pant also features removable knee pads which are well designed and they will conform more to your knee as you wear them. They are available in solid colors as well (Lead and Moss) and the Optifade Open Country camouflage pattern.

Sitka Timberline Pants

 

For 2016 Sitka did some refining on the existing design. They developed a softer and lighter removable knee pad, articulated the knees, did away with the old integrated belt so you can use most climbing style nylon belts, and moved the cargo pockets to a better position on the leg. The material is also new which adds to the comfort and overall performance of this already great piece. For those of you who prefer suspenders they include their comfortable and well designed suspenders with this pant. They are easily removed if you’d rather wear just a belt also.

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Sitka Elevated II Pattern

Building on the science of the old Elevated Forest pattern, Elevated II has been optimized with less foliage and more sky which will lengthen the engagement range and extend seasonal effectiveness to redefine the way people hunt whitetail deer.

GoreOptifade-EII

Not only has Sitka re-engineered the whitetail line to be more resilient, insulated, and quiet, they’ve also improved in the area of concealment. It’s not enough to keep you comfortable in the stand for longer periods of time, they’ve gone one step further in order to extend your concealments’ seasonal effectiveness, so that you can add weeks and not just hours to your time in the stand.

On the comfort side, Sitka has re-engineered all materials in the collection for the quietest and most protective whitetail system ever created. From the cotton ball quiet Celsius series to the specific body mapped thermal needs found in the new Shacket and Fanatic Lite, the whitetail hunter will immediately see the bar being raised.

Sitka Rain Jackets – Stormfront vs. Cloudburst vs. Dewpoint – Which Works Best for Your Hunt!

Finding the perfect rain jacket can be a daunting task. Finding the right one for your hunting style and the weather in which you will be hunting can be difficult without trying them out in the field. While searching for the best Sitka Rain Jacket for your hunt, it’s nearly impossible to find comparisons for the 3 jackets Sitka offers. The Stormfront, Cloudburst, and Dewpoint are all top of the line rain jackets by Sitka, but the one for you may be different than the one you were planning on buying. Here is a breakdown of each jacket:

Stormfront JacketCloudburst JacketDewPoint Jacket
Stormfront Jacket
Cloudburst Jacket
Dewpoint Jacket
Price
$599.00
$349.00
$399.00
Weight
22.00 oz: Medium24.00 oz: Large
18.30 oz:Medium20.80 oz: Large
12.70 oz: Medium14.40 oz: Large
Features
  • Most durable hard-shell in Sitka’s line
  • Foldaway Hood
  • Extended Tail
  • Water tight cuffs
  • 4 Strategicaly located pockets (2 chest, 2 sleeve)
  • Pockets are placed to be easily accessed with a pack on
  • Elevated hand pockets to keep rain water out
  • Pit-Zips
  • Most versitile in Sitka’s line
  • 2 Hand pockets
  • 2 Chest pockets
  • 1 Sleeve Pocket
  • Hood Zips into collar
  • Pull Cords for Hood in chest pocket
  • Pit Zips
  • Lightest weight
  • Most packable
  • Ideal for the ounce counter
  • Pit Zips double as hand pockets
  • 1 True Pocket (Chest)
Type of Hunting
Extended periods of time in wettest conditions. Perfect for more time in the brush. Alaska is a great fit for the Stormfront. Weight is not your first concern
Hunting with a pack, but not concerned about weight. Great for the occasional heavy rain storm. Ideal for early archery bow hunting with the August storms
Backpacking – Count those ounces! Not spending hours each day in rain jacket. You don’t need lots of features, just want to stay dry!
Fabric Details
3 Layer Gore-Tex Fabric
3 Layer Gore-Tex Laminate
3 Layer Gore-Tex Fabric
Technology
Micro Taped SeamsDWR Finish
Micro Taped SeamsDWR Finish
Micro Taped SeamsDWR Finish
Hunting Conditions
Torrential downpour for days
Heavy to Intermediate rain
Light to Intermediate rain for shorter periods of time

Ok, ok I know, it’s a chart with a bunch of info on it. So I am going to tell you short and sweet what rain jacket to buy depending on where you will be hunting.

Stormfront: You will be hunting in long periods of rain, sometimes for days. This is perfect for the guy that needs to wear his rain jacket while bushwacking or hiking through dense brush. Alaska comes to mind for the Sitka Stormfront Jacket. So if you have a trip to Alaska, get the Sitka Stormfront Jacket.

Cloudburst: This is the rain jacket I use the most. I don’t worry too much about the weight I am packing in since I am usually on day hunts or maybe an overnighter. I get all of the features of the Stormfront with a bunch of pockets, but I won’t be diving through brush so I don’t need the full durability of the Stormfront Jacket.

Dewpoint: This is for the backpacker. The guy counting ounces that is going to be hunting bivy style and needs the waterproofing of Gore-Tex but does not need the features with pockets and a stowaway hood.

Also while you are looking for rain jackets, don’t forget the rain pants!

Whichever you choose, it will keep you dry! Backed by Gore-Tex’s Lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that it won’t leak, won’t break down, and if it does Gore-Tex will hook you up.

Sitka Layering in August & September

TysonLayering

With the off-season in full effect, I know I am not alone when I say I could really use a trip to the mountains with bow in hand chasing deer and elk here in Utah. I know you feel the same, that instead of sitting behind that computer screen, you were a few thousand feet higher in elevation. Since now is the time to research what gear you will be using for this year’s hunts, I wanted to give you a glance into my early season Sitka layering system. Now this may not be the best layering system for you, or you may disagree with me completely, but this is the system I have found that works best for me during the early season hunts. This system keeps me dry, warm, and scent free during my 1 to 2 day hunts here in Utah.

Core Layer – Against Skin

Intermediate Layer

  • Sitka Mountain Pants – With removable knee pads and stretchy fabric these pants are ideal for almost any situation. I have even wore them into December (of course with more layers underneath!)
  • On top I am only wearing my Core 1/4 Zip Shirt, this is due to the fact that it is really warm in August and September. If it cools down I will wear the Traverse Zip Tee in its place.
  • Once I get to the top I am breaking out my Kelvin Lite Vest. At only 9.6 oz this vest keeps me warm when my core temperature drops after my ascent and it isn’t a big deal to throw in my day-pack.

Rain Wear

  • Cloudburst Jacket – 100% waterproof Gore-Tex shell. Full rain protection all without sacrificing features. I still get a ton of pockets to keep everything close. 
  • Since my Mountain Pants are DWR treated they will keep me dry, that is unless the storm starts dumping water. At that point it is time to get out the Cloudburst Pants. With full size zips it is easy to put them on over the top of all of my other layers.

With this system you will stay comfortable during August and into September. Granted there are some pieces you may want to implement once the middle to end of September hits, but this will get you through the elements that may be thrown your way during the early season. Now go stock up! The 20% off Sitka Sale is only going for a few more weeks here at BlackOvis!

Would you do something different? Tell me below! 

Sitka Core Series – Review and Layering Technique

BOLD STATEMENT ALERT! When used properly, Sitka Gear is the best hunting clothing around. Now, of course I am biased since I always love wearing my “Opti-Fad” while I trick those huge 16″ bucks into thinking I am just a blurry spot on their eye. But in all reality, my journey to discover the system which is Sitka did take a long time. A “journey” that led me to realize that Sitka has developed the best hunting clothing in my eyes. Unless you understand the layering system behind Sitka, you won’t truly come to love their system and everything that it can do for you. Since Sitka is designed to be layered, you cannot simply buy a Coldfront Jacket and think you have the best camo on the market. The backbone of Sitka is layering, and when we layer we’ll be comfortable, no matter what Mother Nature can throw at us. We all want to stay in the field longer, away from real world responsibilites, and by layering you can stay out longer, go further and be more successful since you are spending more time in the field. Check out this video on the Sitka layering system:

Since you now know why you should layer, you need to know where to start! The Core Series is where it all begins.

The Core Series is part of Sitka’s “Next to Skin” system, obviously meaning it goes on first! The clothing you put next to your skin needs to have characteristics that wick that stinky moisture away all while keeping you smelling fresh and provide comfort and warmth. No that does not mean you can be out hunting for 5 days and come home and expect a snuggle sesh with your wife. Sadly, you will need to shower before that happens, trust me I know. Sitka utilizes a 4-way stretch fabric to allow you to move and stretch so that you can make it up to the top of that peak without having your clothing slow you down. The Core Series is made up of a 100% polyester bi-component technological fabric that actively moves sweat away from the skin, ultimately keeping you warmer or cooler, longer.


There are a lot more experienced hunters out in the industry that will tell you that you must layer. A concept that I had not learned fully until this year. I personally use the Core Series in each of my hunts. I used the Core Zip T all during the archery season, and I will continue to wear the Core Zip T under more layers this weekend on the opener of the rifle deer season. During those earlier hunts, I typically will only wear the Core Zip-T (of course in Optifade Open Country) and it is by far one of the most comfortable shirts I have worn in the field. What has really sold me on Sitka is the way their clothing fits. I don’t want my camo to be too baggy, but also I don’t need it to be skin tight (ahem Under Armour Base Layers.) Sitka has truly designed the Core Series to be your first line of defense, the necessity of your hunting clothing. Sometimes I even wear my Core Crew Short Sleeve underneath my Core Zip-T as an extra layer of defense when it is not quite cold enough for a jacket, but one layer does not quite cut the cold.

Sitka has designed the Core Series to be used at all times, and with a variety of either synthetic fabrics or merino wool, you will find the one that works best for you. Personally I like the synthetic fabrics since they tend to dry out a little faster, but merino is much better in scent elimination. So really you will need to decide based on the hunting situation you are going to be in and your personal preference whether the merino or the synthetic works better for you.

Here are the 3 main key points of all items in the Core Series:

  • 4 way stretch – Making it, oh so comfy!
  • ATB-100 Silver Scent Inhibiting Technology – Keep that stinky BO to a minimum.
  • Moisture Wicking – I don’t want to be soaked when the wind kicks up!

Here is Dale Pearson, Sikta Athlete, explaining why he loves the Sitka Core Series.

So now you need the Core Series right? Well guess what, you can get it right here on BlackOvis.com!
Check out the Core Series on BlackOvis HERE or each piece below, remember it will always ship free: