Kuiu vs Sitka gear: 3 top differences
Ah, the good ol’ debate. Kuiu and Sitka are quite possibly the most discussed pair of hunting/tactical gear brands. You won’t see people talking as much about Arc’teryx or First Lite…
So what’s up with that? Is it just down to a big load of fanboys on each side?
I don’t think so. Both Kuiu and Sitka are high-class gear. They’re darn worth their price tag…but they also differ from each other in some regards.
Let me dig deeper into that and do read on 🙂
Kuiu vs Sitka:
Sitka’s tactical gear is perfect for those of you who do a lot of stand hunting. Treestands and a more invisible approach are what several lines of Sitka focus on.
In other words, wearing them you’ll be as silent as a cat on the prowl.
I’m mainly talking about the Whitetail line and the Stratus line. Out of those, I’d vote for the latter – especially these Stratus pants and the outstanding jacket will turn you into a deadly stand hunting machine.
Kuiu is way better fitted for active hunting.
Plenty of choices here too, but I’m fond of their Peloton line. The manufacture technology involves scent control to keep things in check while you’re out there hunting.
Sitka vs Kuiu gear:
Generally speaking, there’s a slight difference in what those two focus on.
Sitka is definitely way more durable – especially their mountain pants or merino shirts. You won’t see fraying which is why a lot of their crews/shirts like this one are so popular. The same applies for their Optifade mountain pants that are possibly one of the best deals you can get with tactical gear.
There’s a slight downside to that – weight. Sitka gear can lean on the heavier side compared to Kuiu. However, it also fares well with extremely cold temperatures and stays warmer.
So where does Kuiu excel?
Kuiu definitely doesn’t come as tanky. What they focus on is better fit and stretch. Kuiu Chugach and Yukon (and the Yukon rain jacket in particular) are good examples of flexible, lightweight gear that simply fits well.
In many cases Kuiu also focus on a cleaner/minimalistic design. That’s more than great, but with some product lines things might feel a bit too…dull and not as stylish/cool as some Sitka gear.
There’s another side to this: utility. As I mentioned, Kuiu is lighter because of this minimalism. However, Sitka has better utility given the fact you’ll see a lot of features like chest pockets.
A word on the technology used
The final difference (well, generally speaking) is one rooted in technology.
Kuiu relies on Toray technology (talking about their Dermizax NX). You can see that with the Chugach line – stretchier, breathable and as I mentioned before quite flexible. The good fit you get is a direct consequence of that newer tech.
On the other hand, Sitka sticks to Goretex and its latest technological developments.
Similar to what Arc’teryx do for their hardshells, the Goretex delivers durability and extreme rain protection.
Now, there’s a lot of talk about those two technologies. Some say Dermizax NX blows Goretex out of the water in terms of breathability and comfort. I won’t go too deep, but I think a lot of people forget that there are several Goretex varieties, and Sitka don’t stick to the older tech.
Their gear is quite breathable, though not as elastic/mobile as some Kuiu offers.
That said, if you’re looking for packable rain gear, Sitka’s Dew Point is the ultimate companion you’d want.
It’s not neccessarily one against the other
There are plenty of cases where you can combine Kuiu and Sitka gear. And why wouldn’t you? Except if you’re a fanatic of either brand, of course.
Pairing up Kuiu gaiters or gloves, or mountain pants with Sitka jackets or base layers or whatever…It’s something a lot of hunters/outdoor enthusiasts do and it makes perfect sense.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at other brands too. I’ve written a bit on First Lite and Kryptek too – though I think both of them are a small step below Sitka or Kuiu.
Repeating myself a bit, but…why wouldn’t they? Both of these brands are premium quality and their products should serve you for quite a few years. If you feel like it and your hunting/trekking style allows it, mix things up a bit.