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Hear Sitka Gear's product manager and a Univ. of Georgia professor explain how they made an extremely quiet hunting apparel system.
Scent and vision are two big ways we guard ourselves from a deer's keen senses. New camo patterns are unveiled each year, and scent control technology has a huge place in today's deer hunting gear consumer market. Now some brands are moving beyond those factors and increasing research and development around sound, specifically the noises produced by the movements we make climbing a treestand, drawing a bow, or walking through the woods.
At the forefront of the silencing efforts is Sitka Gear, who explained what they've done to address the sound given off by their Fanatic System, which has been completely redesigned to better provide hunters with the sort of edge they need in the deer woods.
Through rigorous effort led by Whitetail Product Manager Chris Derrick, the team at Sitka was able to use research developed by Dr. Karl Miller and the Univ. of Georgia to find a way to adjust and test the loudness of the hunting clothing and gear. The changes made have been proven to lower the sound by 50%, meaning a deer that could hear movements made by the old Fanatic design from 80 yards away could now be 40 yards away before the sound from the same movement is noticeable.
Berber fleece and GORE-TEX Infinium with Windstopper Technology combine to create the textile makeup of the jacket, bibs, vest, and pack. The fabric is burr-resistant, aimed at stopping those annoying tag-alongs from inundating your gear.
The unique left- and right-handed, diagonal zipper design helps specify the gear you own for your actual needs, and the Constant Connect Safety Harness Port allows for fast and easy layer changes without releasing safety harness tethers. The rangefinder pocket was relocated for less bulk, and new body-mapping tech made it warmer and more mobile.
Sitka's GORE OPTIFADE Elevated II concealment pattern is again at work on the new design. Combined with a good base layer, the system seems perfect for late season whitetail hunting in reasonably cold weather, from the Northeast to the Midwest, and even into Canada. The insulated front hand muff certainly helps that sentiment.
The new Sitka Fanatic System includes the Fanatic Jacket ($449), Fanatic Bib ($439), Fanatic Vest ($279), and Fanatic Pack ($199). The redesigned Fanatic line will be available in summer 2019.
Outerwear advancements that can claim these sorts of improvements and hold up in a variety of weather conditions are only going to help the odds. Just because you're wearing an awesome jacket doesn't guarantee you success, but functional gear that makes you more comfortable can give you realistic encouragement to push yourself farther, stay in the stand longer, and give yourself more legitimate opportunities.
Sitka products continue to push the envelope, and the new Fanatic System looks to be worth it for the upcoming hunting season.