Sitka vs Kuiu: Which One is Better?
If you have recently spent time researching top quality hunting apparel, you have likely compared Sitka vs Kuiu products.
Both companies are front runners in the hunting apparel industry and offer top-notch products.
Luckily, we have conducted all the necessary research to assist you in making a decision.
History Of The Brands:
Sitka was formed in 2005 by Johnathan Hart and Jason Hairston.
This company is based out of Napa, California and is founded upon the principle of providing hunters worldwide with the highest quality hunting apparel.
In an interview with the Napa Valley Register, Sitka Co-Founder Johnathan Hart said:
“Our goal was to embrace the technology of textiles, fabrics, and construction, putting together a layering system that gives hunters the flexibility they need in the outdoors.
We want to make gear that’s lighter and form-fitting, that stretches and moves with the body.”
The company is named for Sitka, Alaska, a frequent destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all walks of life.
Hart says that Sitka gear represents “embracing adventure.”
Sitka is now owned by Gore, a company that is most notably known for their performance clothing lines.
Kuiu was founded in 2010 by Jason Hairston and is headquartered in Dixon, California.
Jason Hairston was also the Co-Founder of Sitka gear and remained with the company until 2009 when it was acquired by Gore.
Following his departure from Sitka, Hairston sought to breathe life into yet another hunting apparel company.
This one with a strict dedication to creating the highest quality mountain hunting gear that the hunting industry had ever seen.
In his biographical content on Kuiu.com Hairston said:
“I wanted to create a brand that stood for uncompromised quality, uncompromised performance, and where the whole process- the design and technology and sourcing, are shared with the consumer.”
Hairston approached the creation of Kuiu with the well-being of the company’s consumers firmly in mind.
He stated that:
“From my experience at Sitka, I knew this idea wasn’t viable or realistic within the existing retail model- everything I wanted to make would just cost too much.
So I thought, why not bypass the retailer? Why not take the middleman out of the process and move everything one step closer to the consumer?
By selling directly online we could make the best products, keep the prices down and manage, to our standards, every aspect of the customer experience.”
Sadly, Hairston passed away in 2018, but his company lives on, carrying the values that he set forth from its inception.
How They Compare:
Sitka and Kuiu are both without a doubt, top tier hunting apparel manufacturers.
If you were to choose to clothe from either one of these brands, you will assuredly be satisfied with the purchase that you have made.
However, every company has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.
Therefore, choosing one of these two brands over the other in a sweeping fashion is simply not as straightforward as one might assume.
While one consumer might seek certain qualities in a garment, another might find these same qualities of little value to the style of hunting in which they participate.
In this review, we will outline several key factors that drive consumers in their decision-making process when choosing hunting apparel, and choose a clear winner for each category.
When it comes to staying warm on a hunt, Sitka gear edges out Kuiu.
This is due in large part to a variance between the two companies in the intended use of their products.
Sitka offers a multitude of clothing for those facing bitter cold winter temperatures.
Sitka’s offerings seem to be made of noticeably heavier construction, leading to more depth in temperature regulation, as well as durability.
Do you want to remain comfortable on even the longest and most demanding of hunts? Kuiu definitely has you covered.
Kuiu clothing is known for its lightweight construction that will not lead to fatigue when your hunt takes you far from your truck.
Sitka on the other hand, while still not excessively heavy, is undoubtedly more cumbersome than Kuiu offerings of the same class.
Kuiu also gets additional credit due to its excellent breathability and stretch.
You will never be left feeling as if you are clothing-bound with a limited range of motion.
This is due to Kuiu’s signature Toray technology.
Water Resistance: Sitka
Does the weather forecast for your next hunt appear to be somewhat unsettling?
Dawn your Sitka rain jacket and head afield with pure confidence knowing that you will remain dry for the long haul.
Sitka Utilizes Gore-Tex Technology, which is renowned for its extremely high level of long-lasting water resistance.
While Kuiu clothing does feature some level of water resistance, the majority of their product line cannot begin to compare to Sitka in this category.
Utilitarian Features: Sitka
When it comes to additional features, there is no competition.
Typical Sitka clothing offerings feature a number of pockets of varying sizes and functions.
This comes as a great advantage for those that are heading to the woods for an extended stationary sit.
On the other hand, Kuiu apparel takes more of a no-frills attached approach to clothing manufacturing.
Pockets and additional storage compartments are very limited.
Kuiu apparel is inherently cheaper in virtually every comparable category in relation to Sitka gear.
This is more reflective of the two companies different business models than any other single factor.
Sitka is sold through a number of retailers worldwide. This effectively leads to price inflation that is passed on to the consumer.
Kuiu shuns the idea of marketing through retailers, instead opting to market straight to consumers through online sales.
This reduces overall price points and allows pricing to remain lower than other brands within the same market share.
Summary - Sitka vs Kuiu:
The following list outlines the pros and cons of both Sitka and Kuiu apparel in a side-by-side manner for ease of comparison.
Sitka - Advantages
Sitka - Disadvantages:
Kuiu - Advantages:
Kuiu - Disadvantages:
Best Uses For Each Brand:
At this point in our Sitka vs Kuiu analysis, it has become clear that we are not comparing apples to apples.
Each of these two brands has their own set of unique characteristics that make them better suited to certain hunting pursuits than others.
Hunters across the world differ in their preferred outdoor pursuits.
It is of value to highlight the particular scenarios where each of these two quality outdoor apparel brands shines.
Deer Hunting From Treestand
If the bulk of your time afield is spent pursuing whitetails in the eastern half of the United States, then you likely spend immense amounts of time in a good treestand.
This is perhaps the best of all applications for Sitka gear.
When spending long hours on the stand, it is quite easy to become chilled when temperatures turn frigid.
Luckily, Sitka has you covered with their Merino Core technology. You will be able to weather even the coldest of mornings without batting an eye.
Additionally, the adequate number of pockets that are typical of Sitka clothing makes storing all of your gear a breeze.
You will have a place to put your calls, wind detector, GPS, and any other gears that you choose to take to the stand with you.
Northern Wilderness Float Hunts
When traveling to the upper expanses of Canada or Alaska, Sitka Gear can easily become your best friend.
Many hunts for the big game are conducted by floating the vast waterways while attempting to locate the game.
When this is the case, you need clothing that will keep you dry during the frequent periods of heavy rain, and warm when the frigid winds wail.
If these are the conditions that I am faced with, I am reaching for my Sitka Gear first.
Moose, bear and even caribou can be hunted in this manner, and when the game is spotted, the boat is typically beached.
A hunter will then set out on foot in order to position themselves for an effective shot.
This is where Sitka’s abundance of pockets will come in handy.
A hunter can grab only what is needed, adequately stocking their pockets for the stalk that is to follow, and proceed with all gear at the ready.
High Elevation Mountain Hunting
If you reside in the western portion of the United States, you are more than likely well accustomed to the strenuous conditions.
You'll be pursuing any number of big game species over steep slopes and through rocky gullies.
This atmosphere is where Kuiu gear really shines.
As elk, mountain goats, and sheep test every fiber of your physical agility, you need clothing that can keep up.
The superior flex-fit and breathability of Kuiu gear do just that with ease.
Kuiu gear will truly work just as hard as you do.
Hike-In Public Land Hunts
Many of the states that lie between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains have an abundance of walk-in public land hunting opportunities.
A number of these areas prohibit motor vehicle traffic in restricted areas, allowing access only on foot.
This is yet another situation where Kuiu clothing has the potential to save the day.
When the only thing stopping you from ample mule deer and pronghorn antelope hunting is a multi-mile hike, your apparel has to be up to the task.
Kuiu clothing will put you in a position to cover the distance in comfort, allowing your body to breathe even in stifling heat.
Kuiu clothing’s minimization of pockets will be a non-issue here, as the vast majority of a hunter’s gear will be carried in with the use of a daypack or pack frame/pack combo.
Top Pick For Each Brand:
Both Sitka and Kuiu have a full line of hunting apparel that any die-hard outdoorsman would be proud to own.
However, like any brand, each has one stand-out product that is so revolutionary. It is a must-have for anyone planning to go afield in the months ahead.
Here are our picks for each brand.
Sitka Incinerator Jacket
There simply aren’t enough words to accurately describe all that is great about this jacket.
If you hate being cold and wet, then this is the ultimate in hunting jacket technology.
As with all Sitka Apparel, the Incinerator Jacket is sealed with Gore-Tex Technology, making it extremely water-resistant.
If this isn’t enough, then you will be impressed to hear about Sitka’s new PrimaLoft Technology.
PrimaLoft configured clothing features ultra-fine fibers that are engineered to fully retain heat, even when wet.
Sitka’s engineering team even had hunter safety in mind when designing the Incinerator Jacket.
This jacket features a safety harness pass-through port that allows a hunter to secure the straps of their treestand harness directly to the clothing.
This not only promotes hunter safety but makes it as comfortable as possible in the process.
Kuiu Peloton Crew
There has never been a base layer anywhere on the market as advanced as the Peloton Crew.
It will keep you hunting in comfort long after many hunters have retreated to the truck.
The Peloton Crew has an unparalleled drying time, meaning that even the sweat shed on a hot day will quickly evaporate, leaving you dry and ready for whatever your adventure throws your way.
This base layer will also keep the game from picking out your location.
This is due to the garment’s treatment with Toray Makspec Technology that effectively controls human odor, leaving the game clueless as to your whereabouts.
Clothing For The Adventurer Within
With the information provided in this Sitka vs Kuiu review, you should have everything needed to plan your next hunting apparel purchase.
No matter your decision, rest assured that you will be well outfitted for any adventure that awaits.
As always, leave any comments or questions you might have.