By Kurt Racicot, SG Founder & Lead Designer
Despite all the technical apparel options available to hunters today, hunting still poses the unique challenge of staying warm and dry throughout changing levels of activity while also trying to remain undetected from prey. One hour you’re sweating it up a steep ridge in cold conditions, and the next hour you’re playing a gradual game of chess with an animal as conditions warm. These changes can often be instantaneous when a slow stalk turns into a race to the finish, and anyone who’s spent time in the mountains knows the weather can change drastically in minutes.
Our hunting apparel line is designed to balance adaptable weather protection, breathability, and lightweight packability for mountain hunters.
Our systems give you the ability to layer for any condition, but we also design products with fabrics and features that allow you to regulate on the move without having to shed or add layers as often.
As with any of our designs, the process of choosing the best technical fabric for apparel starts with clear intent: what activity level and conditions is this piece for? In the case of the new Cirque LITE Jacket, we sought to create an insulation layer that can be used during high activity in colder conditions but can also bridge into the early season as primary insulation or even as an outer layer during lower activity in cool temps. In order to achieve this, the jacket needed adequate insulation but it also needed to breathe extremely well.
We started with the insulation, mapping panels across the torso, back, arms, and hood to provide core warmth in critical locations. We searched for an insulation that could hold heat while also purging sweat to keep the user dry from within. The insulation needed to be lightweight and not migrate, which enables larger paneling and a more solid face fabric to add wind resistance. We settled on Primaloft Gold Active Insulation for its ability to move moisture and maintain loft across large areas.
Next, we sourced a face fabric for the insulated areas. Of all the fabrics we tested, Pertex Quantum Air was by far the best. This innovative woven fabric is highly air permeable from the inside out while simultaneously achieving an impressive level of wind and water resistance from the outside in. It is also treated with a durable water repellent to bead and shed light precipitation.
We then moved to the side panels. Because this area is exposed to higher levels of sweat, we needed a fabric that could hold heat but move moisture even quicker than the synthetic insulation. A tried-and-true microgrid fleece fabric worked perfectly in this application, allowing sweat to escape while on the move and then dry quickly to lock in heat during lulls in activity. We also treated the side panels with Polygiene odor control to keep the stink at bay.
The Cirque LITE checked every box throughout our testing, keeping the wearer dry and thermally regulated. This drastically reduces the need to shed or add layers, which means the hunter can stay stealthy, focused, and in pursuit.
This story first appeared in the 2023 Stone Glacier catalog. If you want a paper copy of the catalog delivered to your mailbox, consider joining our catalog mailing list.