I’m a huge fan of KUIU from the company structure to how they take direction from the loyal customers via their blog. Between that and Jason Hairston’s expertise the result is amazing outdoor gear. I’ve worn the KUIU Guide DCS Jacket a lot this season in various environments. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m doing my best to build a dual purpose set of gear that works for both whitetail hunting around home and backcountry hunting.
Since I won’t hit the trail for elk until September I’ll focus on how it performed strictly for whitetail hunting. Here in Virginia the temperature can vary greatly. This jacket is great for basically any temperature under mid 60’s if you’re sitting still. For warmer temps and the walk in the jacket has pit zips that to my surprise, do an awesome job of venting without letting you get too hot and sweaty or too cold. Jason and the team at KUIU have really thought of everything with this jacket. This is the latest version the DCS (Double Chest and Shoulder), referring to the additional zippered pockets. The chest pockets are convenient for storing a small map, cell phone, beanie or neck gaiter. The shoulder pocket is pretty small but I found it perfect for carrying a diaphragm turkey call in it’s case. There are also hand warmer pockets, and interior pocket and the hood has two way adjustments.
Where this jacket shines though isn’t the pockets or pit vents it’s the fit and stretch. The jacket is thin but has a fleece lining so it’s warm but not bulky which on it’s own improves how you can move in it. The athletic cut along with the gusseted arms and the stretch of the Toray PrimeFlex fabric make it stay put and move with you no matter what. Climbing a tree with screw in steps or climbing sticks is a breeze and so it climbing with a climber. Also the tail of the jacket is cut a little long so bending or crouching the small of your back isn’t exposed. Also when sitting in a tree stand for ours it doesn’t ride up. The jacket is not completely waterproof but does have Toray’s Kudos Durable Water Repellant treatment which is more than sufficient in anything but a downpour. It has also stood up well after pushing threw some thickets and briar patches with no rips or punctures.
The Guide DCS Jacket is packed with features, pretty warm and weights in at 24 oz! I say pretty warm because this is not a replacement for a big heavy parka it is part of a layering system. If you’re going to be sitting in a tree in low temperatures you need to layer effectively. For super cold days I would layer it with at least one mid to heavy layer of PolarMax base layers and my Carol Davis Body Sock that’s made of PolarTec Fleece. Cool days I’d have to 2 layers; a lightweight and a mid weight layer.
With a price tag of $229.99 it’s an investment in a quality, durable,lightweight garment. I didn’t really go over the KUIU Verde Camo as I covered that in this POST but it is a highly effective pattern in every environment I’ve tried it in. To learn more about KUIU check out their website and blog. I would recommend subscribing to the blog to keep up with all the new stuff Jason is coming out with and special offers. KUIU also has a full line of packs, base layers, outerwear and accessories. You can also ‘Like’ them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.