Technical outerwear for hunters.  A new player with a new entry to consider.  The Kuiu Chugach Jacket in Vias camouflage.

If Cabelas had gotten off their collective butts and updated the MTO50 Quiet Pack Jacket four years ago the door would never have been left open for Sitka Gear, then Wild Things and now Kuiu to make a legitimate technical shell layer in camouflage for hunters.  Serves them right, in my opinion, that's what they get for being duplicators instead of innovators.  However, we are the beneficiaries of the competitive spirit that moved in to fill the void.

I have been watching Jason Hairstons activity on the Kuiu website for sometime and waiting to see what they finally came out with.  They are now selling product and I have their flagship jacket for test and evaluation.  Jason, by the way, was formerly the CEO of Sitka Gear.  Interesting, huh?  And, for your information, near as I can tell, it is pronounced coo you.

At first glance, the jacket looks pretty good.  Well made, high quality materials, pit zips (yea!) and the design is very efficient.  In fact, there are only three pockets.  My size XXL weighs 21 ounces.

It is way too early for me to write a full article but this should wet your whistle.  Here is how Jason describes it on their site.

"In my global search for the finest fabrics, I found Toray, based in Osaka, Japan. Toray leads the industry by fusing nanotechnology into its operations, using organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biotechnology to solve the technical fabric industry's most challenging problems. All of KUIU's outerwear is made exclusively with Toray's Primeflex fabrics, which use a patented Spiral Yarn allowing stretch and recovery without elastic. The result is a lighter, more durable, and faster drying fabric.

The KUIU Chugach Jacket is made with a Primeflex 177g/m2, 4-way stretch, laminated 3-layer with a Toray Dermizax 20,000mm/ 20,000mpv waterproof & breathable rated shell fabric. The 100% Poly face fabric is treated with Toray's industry leading Kudos DWR & has a micro nylon backer for durability and abrasion protection. At a mere 17.3 ounces the Chugach Jacket is as light and packable as a 2-layer rain shell with the reliability and durability you can count on from a 3-layer during your once in a lifetime sheep hunt. To ensure reliability, the Chugach is cut, sewn and taped by Tamoda Apparel, a premier cut and sew house located in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is the most advanced 4-way stretch ultra-light rain shell ever produced."

Like I tell my players, I am not looking for perfection just progress everytime we take the field.  The Chugach Jacket from Kuiu appears to be another evolutionary step in the right direction but only time will tell for sure.  As with everything else you see here, the very fact that it is featured on these pages indicates that I think it has the potential of being best in class and earning a GREAT GEAR RECOMMENDATION so stay tuned.  If I like it, I will write more about it here.  If I don't, it won't be mentioned again.

EDITORS NOTE - Still evaluating this jacket but I can say that it is a nice piece.  So far so good.

UPDATE - I will do a full write up on it later but it is time to give this jacket its due and award it a GREAT GEAR RECOMMENDATION.  It needs wider Velcro on the cuff closures and I would like a double front main zipper but beyond that this is an outstanding jacket for anyone needing a technical shell in camouflage.  While it is not the most robust offering its class, the Chugach holds up very well and strikes a nice balance between weight slash durability slash noise.  See what else I said about the Chugach and other jackets in this comprehensive article.       


Wade Nelson

Sorting through the fads and fashion of the outdoor equipment industry to identify and promote the very best wilderness gear for high end recreational users, backcountry professionals and government agencies. 

We can be educated and persuaded but not bought, bullied or bs'd.  Hardcore Outdoor is dedicated to those who can't or won't turn back.


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