One of my most anticipated new pieces of gear for 2011 has finally arrived at my doorstep. The brand new Sitka Fanatic Jacket. Designed to be the perfect suit for the hardcore whitetail hunter, this piece had me excited from the moment I caught wind of it in January. With a Gore Windstopper fleece lining providing wind and weather protection, and 130 grams of Primaloft insulation, the Fanatic seemed to have the perfect blend of specs for a treestand hunter. But on top of that I was also excited about some neat new features such as the grunt tube, rangefinder and the kangaroo hand warmer pockets. That being said, when I received my Fanatic the other day, I immediately checked it out, tried it on and took inventory of the new features. I’ve listed some of my initial thoughts below!

 

Initial Thoughts:

- The side zip is a little strange at first, but I imagine I’ll get used to it. That being said, the benefits of this design are AWESOME. No zipper under your nose/mouth (which I know will be huge on those cold November days) and the kangaroo pocket. I can see me using the hand warmer pocket a ton.

- Speaking of the Kangaroo pocket. It’s big, lined with a nice warm fabric inside and has zippers on both sides so you can close it up when not in use. I’m a fan. I could see this also being perfect for keeping my cell phone in and even a small paper back book.

- Tons of pockets – especially love the grunt tube, range finder specific ones. They seem to be a of a good size that they should hold most makes and models. There’s plenty of other storage too on the sleeve, on your chest, stomach, etc.

- In regards to size, I feel like the Fanatic is a touch bulkier than the Stratus or Kelvin. It’s obviously got more insulation than the Stratus, and it has way more pockets than the Kelvin, so I think that explains the difference.

- Speaking of insulation, the Fanatic seems to have a lot of it. The interior is lined with a light fleece, with the Primaloft insulation behind that. On first trying it on it seems comfortable, warm and puffy!

- “Wrist gaskets” are very nice and extra reinforced. On one of my older Sitka shirts, with thumb loops, I had a few seams tear loose. But I can see that they have reinforced these thumb loops on the new Fanatic. Looks great and should be really functional.

All that being said, the real test will come this fall. Can’t wait to give it a try in the treestand, I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted.

For more information about Fanatic and other Sitka Gear, visit the Sitka Gear website.