Author / Kurt Racicot, SG Founder & Lead Designer
Some of the less talked about gear design features are some of the most important in the field. Correct sleeve length, elbow articulation, and wrist coverage on outer shell layer jackets like the M5 and M7 are key to staying warm and dry.
Protecting the cuff from wind, moisture, and cold are a necessity to prevent heat loss through the wrist, which causes cold hands. Hunters use a wide range of arm motion from drawing a bow, to glassing with binos. The ideal sleeve length should cover the entire wrist close to the base of the thumb through this entire range of arm motion.
Aggressively articulated elbow patterning and extended sleeve length prevent the sleeve cuffs from migrating up the arm exposing the wrist when the elbows are bent or arms raised. You have to provide enough room in the jacket for the elbow to bend without pulling the cuff down. The extended sleeve and adjustable wrist diameter also allow the sleeve to be positioned under the glove when using a late season snow glove with a snow skirt, or over the cuff of your glove when using a fleece glove or waterproof glove in wet conditions.
Small design features make a big difference in miserable weather. Staying warm and dry results in staying focused on the task and extending your time in the field, which in turn increases your chance of success.