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A Midlayer That’s Anything but ‘Mid’: Sitka Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket Review

A midlayer that comes in hot with maximum efficiency is how I’d describe the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket from Sitka Gear.
sitka ambient 100 hooded jacket review(Photo/Josh Kirchner)
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When it comes to building a layering system, the most chatter seems to be around base layers and insulation layers. Rightfully so, because those land on completely opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of capability.

One breathes extremely well to keep cool and dry. The other traps heat to keep you warm. What resides between those two is a midlayer. And the Sitka Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket is among the finest.

A good midlayer should not only help with insulation but also breathe and help transfer moisture away from your skin. Your base layer will move the moisture directly away from your skin, and the midlayer will get tagged in from there. Let’s break down the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket from Sitka.

In short: Hunters looking for a super-comfortable active insulation midlayer that can be worn whether it’s 20 degrees or 60 degrees will fall in love with the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket. Sitka hit the nail on the head here.

Sitka Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket


  • Outer shell 20D ripstop nylon
  • Insulation PrimaLoft Evolve active insulation
  • Sizes M, L, LT, XL, XLT, XXL


  • Lightweight and packable
  • Super comfortable
  • Breathes when on the move and retains warmth once slowed down


  • Expensive

Sitka Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket Review


the sitka ambient 100 hooded jacket
The Sitka Ambient 100 hooded jacket; (photo/Josh Kirchner)

The goal was to create a piece that would breathe when on the move and retain warmth when you’ve slowed down. The result is the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket, and it is without a doubt one of the finest midlayers ever made.

It is a full-front zippered hooded jacket, and its outer lining is made with durable four-way stretch nylon topped with a DWR application. You’ll find both zippered chest and hand pockets and a sculpted hood that won’t invade your vision. Hunters have the choice of five colors with the Ambient: Mud, Sitka black, Optifade elevated II, Optifade subalpine, and Optifade open country.


PrimaLoft Evolve Active Insulation

primaloft evolve active insulation on the sitka ambient 100 hooded jacket
PrimaLoft Evolve Active Insulation; (photo/Josh Kirchner)

The real gem of this piece is the 100g PrimaLoft Evolve Active Insulation. It’s the magic behind the piece’s ability to breathe when you’re on the move and retain warmth once you’ve slowed down.

A perfect example of when this technology would be useful is first thing in the morning when you’re hiking to a glassing spot. It’s just cold enough not to want to take off the Ambient; so don’t and enjoy your hike a little warmer than if you had taken it off.

DWR Application

The weather in the mountains can be quite bipolar. One minute, it could be sunny, and the next, snow might roll in. For that reason, having a DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket is a big plus.

By no means is this a replacement for rain gear. It’s perfect, however, for that quick drizzle that might swing through when you’re in pursuit of an animal and don’t want to sacrifice time to grab your rain gear.

Sculpted Hood

man wearing ambient 100 jacket with hood on
Warm and secure with the Ambient 100 hooded jacket; (photo/Josh Kirchner)

Another much-appreciated feature of the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket is the sculpted hood. That basically translates into a low-profile hood that you can be sure won’t blow off of your head while you’re sitting there glassing. The hood is, of course, also lined with the PrimaLoft Evolve Active Insulation, so when in use, it provides added warmth to your noggin and back of your neck.

My Experience

The very first thing that came to mind when I picked up this jacket was “comfort.” It’s a bit looser-fitting piece, at least for me, and the inside is ridiculously soft, which did not disappoint in the comfort department.

During January 2024, I had the Ambient out in the field bowhunting deer for 14 days in the desert. Throughout that time, I experienced rain, snow, heavy winds, lots of hiking, a bunch of thorns, and lots of glassing.

The DWR performed great, and I loved how the form-fitted hood kept my head/neck warm — and it didn’t block my side view when trying to glass. There was also quite a bit of brush busting that happened, and the outer nylon shell was held up.

hunter wearing sitka ambient 100 hooded jacket
(Photo/Josh Kirchner)

Of course, I just had to try this “Active insulation” bit that was so talked about for the Ambient. So, I left the jacket on for a mad dash toward a real nice coues buck. I wanted to see if I was a ball of sweat by the time I got there or not. To my surprise, I was not. The jacket wasn’t soaked through with sweat, either.

On that note, my assumption was I’d want to take it off by the time I got to the deer. The truth is, though, I left it on throughout the entire stalk. The buck got away, and the jacket stayed on.

What’s Wrong

If I’m forced to pick one thing wrong with the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket, it would honestly be the price. This thing is pricey for just a midlayer, coming in at $299. As we’ve gone over, it’s not just a midlayer, though, and anything but ordinary. With that said, many will never know the glory of the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket due to the price tag.

Final Thoughts

man wearing the ambient 100 hooded jacket while scouting with binoculars
Exploring in comfort; (photo/Josh Kirchner)

In this day and age, clothing is 100% gear, and the Ambient 100 Hooded Jacket is a prime example of that. A functional, purpose-built piece of clothing that will no doubt add more efficiency to anyone’s system. Since I’ve acquired the Ambient 100 jacket, it hasn’t stayed home on any of my hunting trips, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Take that for what it’s worth.

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Josh Kirchner

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