The Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket is a new versatile hunting jacket by First Lite. For this review, we field tested it in the arid backcountry of Utah while in pursuit of mule deer.
First Lite aims to set a new standard in versatility for female hunters. The result of this effort is the Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket, a product engineered to provide the same performance benefits as the brand’s Men’s Sawtooth tailored to a women’s fit.
The hunt provided a perfect testing ground: temperature fluctuation, physical exertion, and long static periods behind glass. This review gives an in-depth look at the design, fit, and performance of First Lite’s new Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket ($200-210).
First Lite Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket Review
In 2007, Kenton Carruth and Scott Robinson founded First Lite Hunting Apparel after spending one too many hunting seasons wearing bright-colored merino from their skiing and biking kits. The fabric kept them warm on cold mornings, cool as they gained elevation, and astonishingly odor-free.
Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket: Versatility via Merino Wool and Nylon
For female hunters, the lack of technical apparel options is discouraging. With that said, there are a handful of brands, including First Lite, who have launched technical gear that provides sportswomen the quality and functionality they need.
That quality is apparent in the build and construction of the Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket. Under the arms and throughout the back, you’ll find a midweight 300-g, 20.5-micron, Merino-X fabric. It provides odor resistance and breathable warmth. DWR-coated nylon panels provide durability and water resistance. And the 60 g of body-mapped synthetic insulation hide behind nylon panels in the chest for added insulation and wind resistance. The jacket comes in four color options including black, fusion, cipher, and conifer camo patterns.
Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket: Fit for a Woman
Before diving into the performance of the jacket, let’s talk about fit. I found the jacket to run true to size, with adequate length in the sleeves and torso. I feel some tightness around the backs of my shoulders when paired with a midweight base layer. This is due to the lack of stretch in the nylon/insulating layers. I opt to keep my next-to-skin layer light (like the First Lite Women’s Wick Quarter Zip or the Sitka Women’s Core Lightweight Crew LS). After making the switch, the tightness is less noticeable.
The hood frames your face and blocks the wind without any irritation from the zipper. There is a stretchy band around the bottom of the jacket that’s snug yet flexible for all hip sizes that doesn’t ride up, even when bending to fix your boot laces.
The upper left pocket offers room for game calls, a cellphone, or other small items. A noticeably soft and comfortable fabric lines the hand pockets.
Field Test: Utah Mule Deer
I wore the Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket on brisk mornings that dipped into the low 30s and evenings that topped out at the mid-60s. During periods of substantial elevation gain, I felt a mild sensation of overheating, which is to be expected while hiking. But surprisingly, it was never enough to make me want to take the jacket off completely.
Merino wool makes up the entirety of the main back panel. This undoubtedly contributed to my body’s temperature regulation during the climbs, even with a heavy pack on.
After working up a sweat and stopping for a glassing session, I noticed the same merino back that I had loved while climbing became an Achilles heel for the wind. However, nestling against a windbreaking tree, rock, or pack was an easy solution.
The jacket was perfectly silent, something I’d also wear during an early season whitetail hunt.
Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket: Lasting Impressions
After hunting in the Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket for mule deer on Utah’s rugged terrain, it’s now a staple in my wardrobe. I continue to wear the jacket for other outdoor activities like hiking and fishing,
Although this piece is classified as outerwear, it’s not a replacement for your insulating puffy jacket or waterproof rain jacket. Instead, I’d recommend using this piece as a versatile addition to your layering system.
For a whitetail hunter, this piece can be worn as an excellent outerwear option during milder weather. When the temperatures drop, it also works as an insulating layer under an outerwear jacket.
Whether you’re a western hunter or whitetail hunter, I’d give the First Lite Women’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket a serious look.