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Bug Off: The SITKA Equinox Guard System Review

SITKA’s Equinox Guard System provides your turkey camo and insect repellent in one, eliminating the need for spray-on or additional forms of bug repellent.

Turkey in foster(Photo/Adam Moore)
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Sometimes fighting off the mosquitos and ticks makes up half the battle in the turkey woods. If you’ve ever forgotten to pretreat your clothes with permethrin or left your ThermaCell at home, sitting in extra buggy conditions can get downright miserable. Not to mention the serious mosquito and tick-borne diseases. The Equinox Guard System is a lightweight camo option for turkey hunters that frequent the buggy conditions of the South or warm late-season temps. 

In short: The SITKA Equinox Guard System makes for an excellent turkey camo and ensures that you’re not without insect repellent, even when you leave the spray at home.

SITKA Equinox Guard System


  • Insect Shield lasts 70-plus washes
  • Pants, hoody, gloves
  • Sizes M to 3XL
  • Breathable mask deploys from hoody
  • UPF 50-plus
  • Polygiene odor control technology


  • Keeps the bugs away
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight


  • Expensive

SITKA Equinox Guard System Review

SITKA refers to these clothes as a system for a few reasons. First, the treated pants, hoodie, and gloves should be worn to provide almost complete protection from insects. Second, each piece of clothing conveniently connects to the other for maximum protection against crawling insects.

Men's Sitka Equinox Guard Pants

The pants have internal leg gaiters that stuff inside your socks to prevent ticks from crawling up your pant leg. Similarly, the hoody has an extra long tail you can tuck into the pants for similar purposes, while the extended cuffs on the gloves provide more protection when worn in tandem with the sleeves. I also appreciate the hoody’s built-in face mask, so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with one separately. 

Treated with Insect Shield, the Equinox Guard System should retain its effectiveness for 70 washes. Most hunters should get several seasons out of the Equinox Guard System, but if you save all your vacation for turkey season, it might fade sooner than later. 

Testing the SITKA Equinox Guard System in the Field

Testing sitka equinox in the field

I’ve been using the SITKA Equinox Guard System and turkey vest since the beginning of last season. I hunt in my home state of Mississippi, where we have a season that runs for 48 days. While we have the occasional cold snap, spring brings warm, muggy weather — the perfect conditions for testing insect-repellent clothing.

If you’re wondering if the built-in, odorless Insect Shield works, it does. I never had an issue with mosquitos anywhere I was covered. However, mosquitos will find the chink in your armor. This means anywhere you’re not covered (like your index finger and thumb or face).

Despite being almost fully covered, I did have to apply extra mosquito repellent to areas of my face. But again, I hunt some of the buggiest swamps and creek bottoms of the South, so I was still impressed with how effective the Insect Shield proved. And I don’t see this as a knock against the Equinox Guard system. Mosquitos are just notorious for finding any opening they can. 

Where the SITKA Equinox Guard System Excels

For a lightweight, breathable clothing system that keeps the bugs away, this system does an awesome job. Last spring, I hunted several days that flirted with 90 degrees and humid conditions. Unlike other breathable materials, you don’t have to worry about mosquitos penetrating the fabric.

Even on days when I logged several miles, I never felt too warm in the Equinox Guard System, and it took several steamy run-and-guns before I needed to wash this system. I even used this system during a September velvet hunt, so I didn’t have to use a ton of spray-on repellent. And the solid color options are excellent for summer scouting trips.  

Where the SITKA Equinox Guard System Can Improve

Sitka Equinox Guard System

If the price gives you pause, you’re not alone. I had the privilege of testing a sample Equinox Guard System, but I would struggle to pay $450 for turkey camo, even if it meant I didn’t have to buy or reapply extra insect repellent. And if you’re a diehard who spends 30-plus days in the turkey woods every year, you’ll probably wear out the Insect Shield all too soon. That being said, if you hunt notoriously buggy conditions, not contracting Alpha-gal or another insect-borne disease is worth a lot more than $450.

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Final Thoughts

Killing a gobbler is hard enough. Fending off mosquitos and other critters adds another level of complexity. The SITKA Equinox Guard System allows you to focus on calling a tom into range instead of reaching for the bug spray again.

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