First Lite’s 2019 offerings expand its growing women’s line substantially while complementing its current men’s line and building on accessories.
Fall is in sight, and with that comes the swath of new gear from the hunting retail world. First Lite’s latest offerings include a swath of gloves, outerwear, and bib systems for both men and women.
Here, we highlight the notable pieces available right now and provide a first look at the Catalyst setup for women.
Currently available, the Catalyst collection is a soft-shell jacket and pant designed to be quiet, breathable, and wind-breaking. I’ve been patiently awaiting a wind-breaking outerwear option from the First Lite crew, and this setup is pretty cool. The soft-shell, DWR-treated fabric is sturdy yet forgiving, and I dig the fleece option on the interior. This is definitely a figure-hugging cut in both options, so I wouldn’t wear more than a light base layer underneath at most. The tapered sleeve is thoughtful for those of us who bow hunt, and the cut of the pant is boot-friendly without the bulk.
I’ve worn the women’s Alturas for a few years now, and I love them for light hiking and warm-weather hunts. But they certainly weren’t my go-to option for late-fall rifle hunts in windy and cold conditions. I’m looking forward to getting out in the field in the Catalyst system, and with only 66 days until elk season, the countdown is on. Expect a more in-depth review once hunting season is upon us.
Am I allowed to be excited about gigantic mittens made of down for more than glassing? Yeah, I think so. This puffy option for keeping your hands warm while maneuvering binos and scopes on high ridges looks wildly warm. At 3.5 ounces for the pair, they’re dang light. And the fact that they’re fleece-lined just sells them even harder. Now’s where I ask the First Lite crew: When will you launch down booties for base camp?
Coming in August, the Solitude Bib is a part of First Lite’s foray into whitetail territory. Designed for midseason treestand sits, the Solitude Bib pairs as a system with the Solitude Jacket. Both are insulated soft-shell fabric, and the KitLink pass-through side zips on the jacket allow immediate access to the bibs beneath.
Brooks Down Sweater — Men’s: $265-285
The Brooks Down Sweater is First Lite’s answer to the ultralight, packable down often seen on the alpine side of things. At just under 11 ounces, this DWR-treated, 800-fill DownTek jacket is competitive in the market at both price point and warmth-to-weight ratio. And it’s available in both camo and solids, making it an ideal in-between from town to hills.
Building out on the whitetail theme, First Lite ladies now have an option for bitter cold sits in whitetail country. The Sanctuary system boasts 300 g of 37.5 insulation, paired with water-resistant technology and ventilation options that include full side zips on the bibs. The jacket is thick but not exceptionally bulky, with a Shooter’s Cut on the sleeve for shooting flexibility.
Sawbuck Brush Pant — Men’s: $150-160
The Sawbuck Brush Pant takes on a different type of durability, with an eye towards spending all day in — what else — heavy brush. This pant looks to be a great option for the heavy-duty chukar hunter or the mule-deer stalker in the sagebrush sea. With double nylon front panels from thigh to ankle, the Sawbuck protects while aiming for a flexible, climbing-pant type of fit.