KUIU ULTRALIGHT VERDE CAMO PATTERN MOUNTAIN HUNTING CLOTHING REVIEW
Attack Pant, Guide Jacket, Guide Vest, Merino Crew Shirt, Guide Beanie, Merino 185 Beanie and Neck Gaitor
KUIU hunting clothing is all about lightweight functionality and designing the finest, high quality materials. Designed for extreme hunters who dare to “tackle” the toughest weather conditions and terrain on the planet KUIU’s clothing is designed for dependability, high performance, packability, and durability in helping hunters step up to the challenge of Mountain Hunting.
KUIU’s Verde Camo was released last fall at the request of customer’s who wanted a green-based pattern that was an alternative contrast to the traditional Vias Camo, but with the same Macro contrasting principals to break up your silhouette when hunting “out on the mountain.” Verde is made up of the same contrasting Micro pattern that enhances the effectiveness at close distances. The combination of Macro and Micro patterns have made Verde extremely versatile at any distance.
The fabric used for KUIU’s “guide clothing system” is Toray’s Primeflex, manufactured in Toray, Japan. Toray leads the industry by fusing nanotechnology into its operations by utilizing 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 Primeflex fabric allows the clothing to move with you which is a critical component when Mountain Hunting.
For their layering system KUIU’s extensive research led them to Merino Wool that was a perfect fit for Mountain Hunter’s ultralight performance demands. As with all products, however, not all Merino Wool is of the same quality so KUIU found The Merino Company (TMC), based in New Zealand. TMC manages a robust global supply chain from the top Merino growers in South Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. This supply chain affords TMC consistent access to the highest quality Merino wool in the world. KUIU’s 185 Zip-Tees are made with a 185-gram Interlock, 100% TMC merino wool. The Merino 185 collection is incredibly comfortable next to skin, naturally anti-microbial, odor resistant and moisture wicking. Simply put, this collection has been designed to be incredibly comfortable and effective in a range of conditions and temperatures, and to be worn and relied on for days and hours on end.
When you spend as much time out on the mountain and high deserts as I have for the past 20 years, lightweight, quality, warm clothing is at a premium. Since I’m one of those people who doesn’t seem to have a lot of body fat for insulation and my resting pulse rate can get as low as 50 with blood pressure hovering around 90, this translates into a metabolism that doesn’t burn very hot. Believe me, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than trying to glass while shivering in a bitter wind. With that said here is where KUIU’s Mountain Hunting clothing has become a mandatory “change agent” for me whether I’m hunting in the cold or in blazing hot temperatures when chasing big desert rams. Having been a long time fan of Sitka I chose to field test a “kit” of KUIU clothing last fall in their new Verde Camo. I chose KUIU’s Attack Pant, Guide Jacket, Guide Vest, Merino Crew Shirt, Guide Beanie, Merino 185 Beanie and Neck Gaitor for my hunts but will definitely be utilizing more of their clothing after the extremely positive experience I have had out on the mountain this fall with their gear.
Believe me, I put this clothing to the ultimate test in some very difficult weather conditions as well as terrain. My KUIU Guide DCS jacket and Attack pants performed flawlessly in the new Verde camo although I did get some “sheep blood” and mud on them! I simply love the Verde pattern but wouldn’t hesitate to wear the KUIU Visa Camo either. The Toray Primalflex fabrics are incredible. As much climbing as I do through rugged ledges in desert sheep country I need clothing that will not restrict my movement in any way. Wow, the KUIU Guide Jacket, Vest and Attack Pant met my expectations in every way possible. I found this material to be unbelievably comfortable and allowed me to move with the mobility that I demand. Sometimes hunting clothing just doesn’t fit you properly and can hinder your movements but the cut and fit of KUIU’s Attack Pant and Guiding jackets didn’t limit me in any way because they are not bulky.
I was extremely impressed with how light this clothing was but it also demonstrated some outstanding insulation qualities for warmth. It “breathed” very well when I was hiking under load! The vest worked well for me when it was cold in the early morning while I was hiking through steep terrain to get to a predetermined location. After taking my pack off and sitting down to glass I quickly threw on my Guide Jacket for extra warmth, pulled out my KUIU beanie, and I was immediately comfortable. The zip vents under the arms were well thought out for use after you have been sweating or need a little more ventilation.
I’m a Mountain Hunter who needs pockets for various items and found the chest pocket, shoulder pocket and two hand pockets on the guide jacket very convenient. The Attack Pant’s thigh pockets with YKK zippers were exactly what I expect in a hunting pant. These pants also feature two hand pockets and rear pockets that also feature the zippers. Something else I appreciated in the design of the Attack Pants were the two hip-zips for ventiization when hiking in hotter weather.
After countless miles of hiking in difficult terrain this fall I found that my KUIU clothing was extremely durable, tough, and met my hunting challenges in every way. I appreciated the weather and wind resistance of KUIU”s material. Many other small features such as the articulated knees in the pants, double bar tacked belt loops and soft brushed lined collar on the jacket make this clothing a Mountain Hunter’s dream.
In writing this review I would be remiss if I didn’t address KUIU’s 185 Crew-Tee, guide beanie and neck gaitor that I used for my layering system. The 185-gram Interlock, 100% TMC merino wool is absolutely “great.” When you think of wool you may have the perception that is will itch. That’s not the case with Merino Wool. I found it to be very comfortable on my skin, and is naturally anti-microbial, odor resistant and wicks moisture, besides being warm. After spending extended days out on the mountain these qualities become very important to you. I liked the welded chest pocket on the Crew-Tee and enjoyed the stretch Spandex fibers used for the mobility and durability.
Regarding the KUIU Guide Beanies, I found that they proved to be invaluable on cold mornings, evenings, or for use during the day in damp, inclement weather. The Toray stretch soft shell was comfortable, weather/wind resistant and very breathable. I used the 185 lighterweight, TMC merino wool beanie when it wasn’t as cold and the heavier guide beanie when the weather was really frigid. Both beanies fit well over my ears. I also utilized the 185 TMC merino wool neck gaitor for extra warmth when it was cold and windy and even pulled it up over my face when needed.
What They Could Do Better
I loved KUIU’s Mountain Hunting Clothing and look forward to their new hotter weather clothing for desert sheep guides like me who spend part of our season in temperatures that can just make you sweat thinking about the heat. I understand that Jason and his team at KUIU will release this clothing sometime next spring.
In concluding this review, I would highly recommend KUIU’s Mountain Hunting Clothing and all of their gear or accessories for the hard core, passionate Mountain Hunter who is looking for high quality gear. The price you pay is well worth every penny in my opinion. I’m really happy with the new Verde Camo and can’t believe how well this clothing has held up to the abuse I put it through this past fall.
Good luck everyone and continue to “keep your boots” warm for your next adventure out on the mountain.
Kuiu Verde Camo Hunting Clothing Review