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Hot-Weather Hunting Clothes You Need to Know: Meet the First Lite ‘Trace’

First Lite's innovative fabric is a breath of fresh air for hunting whitetails in hot, humid conditions.

Hunter wearing First Lite Trace deer hunting apparel(Photo/First Lite)
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KineticGrid, a new fabric tech, is central to the performance of the Trace System garments. It involves bonding fabrics with a thread that literally melts away and allows airflow in its place.

The Trace System was developed to meet the needs of early-season southern whitetail hunters. That means keeping them cooler and comfortable through days when both the temperature and humidity peak above 90.

“The problem I’ve been trying to solve is that we’ve always built clothes that work well in hot weather, but what we never did was figure out how we can take the systems that worked well in hot weather and optimize them for a hot-weather, high-humidity whitetail hunter,” said Gregg Farrell, First Lite’s whitetail product line manager.

Thanks to KineticGrid, First Lite presents its most breathable, lightweight layers that also stay silent in the field. Read on to learn more about the tech in the new Trace hot-weather system and what makes these hunting layers so versatile.

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First Lite Trace deer hunt
(Photo/First Lite)

What Is KineticGrid?

First Lite told us that KineticGrid fabric uses melt-yarn technology, where a thread is woven into the fabric during production but later melted away. This method creates a porous material that allows air to flow through the garment while retaining its structural integrity and durability.

The goal of staying comfortable in environments with high heat and humidity is to preserve a microclimate between a layer of clothing and your skin. And the best way to accomplish that is to allow for airflow, Farrell explained. That’s what KineticGrid allows to happen in the Trace top and pants.

“The entire garment is letting air come through, so it’s coming in one side, it’s going out the other side,” he said. “The technology allows these pieces to breathe incredibly well, dry incredibly fast, remain silent, and they’re durable enough that you don’t have to baby them.”

First Lite Trace System

First Lite told us it spent 2 years developing and testing the Trace System in hot, humid climates across the U.S. It proved its merits to First Lite testers on August pronghorn hunts and axis deer hunts in Texas.

It’s not all high temps, either. First Lite stands behind its Trace Quarter-Zip and Pant on high-output hunts like early-season archery elk hunts.

The Trace Pant and Quarter-Zip come in six colors, including the brand’s proprietary Specter, Fusion, and Cipher camo patterns.

Trace Quarter-Zip

(Photo/First Lite)

The KineticGrid fabric boasts stretch, breathability, and fast dry times. The tight-knit build can also help prevent bugs from reaching your skin and adds to the layer’s durability.

The quarter-zip has odor control and DWR finishes to boot. The HeiQ Pure Odor Control Technology works by deterring odor-causing bacteria from forming in the garment and aids scent control while hunting.

It has an articulated fit for greater movement, a quarter-zip for dumping heat, and a low-profile collar to help conceal and protect from bugs and sun alike. The dual side drop pockets are designed to help stash gear quickly and are bino harness compatible.

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Trace Pant

First Lite Trace Pant
(Photo/First Lite)

Similar to the Quarter-Zip, the Trace Pant has a weather-resistant treatment for brushing off moisture and an odor-fighting finish to offer scent control, too.

The KineticGrid fabric is also stretchy, designed to help the pant flex with you. And for breathability, outer and inner thigh vents target enhanced airflow.

The Pant has top- and side-entry cargo pockets for reaching inside while seated. Zippered rear pockets offer a secure hold for a wallet or map, and jeans-style front pockets include a knife sleeve. Additionally, a low-profile built-in removable belt lets you adjust the fit on the fly.

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Where to Wear Trace

First Lite positions the Trace hot-weather layers as the lightest-weight system on the market. But beyond its light weight and breathability claims, the Trace System is also designed to let you kneel, climb, and brush up against trees and brush without worry. The tight-knit fabric further helps protect against the sun (and bugs).

“Even though these pieces are lightweight and designed for hot weather, they’re meant to be in the field,” Farrell said. “They’re going to perform exceptionally well for those hot-weather, high-humidity pursuits where you still need to be quiet, and you still need to be able to rely on your gear to hold up.”

First Lite recommends the Trace System for any hunting pursuits where the temps rise above 80 degrees, especially in high humidity. That said, it can advertise continued comfort when temps start off cooler but the hunt is more active, such as alpine or early-season Western hunts that cover rough terrain.

Versatile & Light

The quarter-zip and pant are available in seven colors and patterns, which means hunters can enjoy First Lite’s lightest and most breathable layer in different scenarios. And that means hunting more than whitetail, too.

Hot, humid conditions often linger into early waterfowl and dove season, where the Typha pattern may fit in the best. Elk season can involve high-output hikes just to get into a position for sighting, so the quarter-zip can work as a base layer while it’s cooler and on its own while riding out the hottest part of the day.

If you’ve struggled to stay cool during hunts in the transitional seasons, consider First Lite’s Trace System.

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(Photo/First Lite)

This article is sponsored by First Lite. Check out the Trace System for hunting in hot climates.

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