Despite the huge popularity of their whitetail line’s Fanatic series, Sitka stuck true to their mission of constantly refining & improving their gear by releasing an all new Fanatic line. With this latest release they introduced two new Fanatic Jackets, a Fanatic Vest, Fanatic Bibs, and an all new Fanatic Backpack.
As the Fanatic series is designed around keeping you warm during extreme cold hunts, Sitka tackled the problems that typically plagues our gear when it gets cold: Sound. With the help of an acoustical engineer – and a sound-chamber at -20 degrees C (-4 F) – they were able to reduce the audible engagement distance of a whitetail by half. The amount of science that went into this was breathtaking, but tune in to our video coverage for more detail on this.
The most noticeable difference with the jacket from the previous version was the fleece mapping, and the fact that there were two versions of them. They have strategically mapped the new berber material on the arms to keep your bow-arm free of the string, as well as improve mobility around the elbow on your draw arm. The new jacket is provided in both a left and a right-hand version which are mirror-images of each other. Similar to the sleeves they also mapped the bottom hem around the jacket to reduce bulk and reduce burr pickup. To improve mobility, they relocated the rangefinder holder and grunt tube pocket closer to your off-hand.
Topping this all off they have created a patent-pending Constant-Connect Safety Harness Port that allows you to stay connected to the tree when donning or doffing your jacket. Both left and right-handed versions of the jacket retail for $449. They also have created a vest that integrates all of these features, minus the sleeves obviously. The vest retails for $279.
The Fanatic Bib took a similar approach, with repositioned pockets and the new, mapped berber on the side pockets and lower half of the legs. This reduces burr pick up without increasing noise. This also should help the pant leg cuff fit with thicker pac boots, which was sometimes an issue with the earlier fanatic bibs. You can pick these up in-store for $439.
The new piece that caught my attention was the new Fanatic Pack. When looking at the pack I couldn’t help but wonder, “why berber on a pack?” However, when you recognize everything in this fanatic redesign was centered around reducing noise, the lack of exposed plastic buckles, berber-lined exterior, and the molle-style closures make perfect sense. As one of the Sitka athletes said “it’s hard to make noise with a cotton ball.” MSRP is $199.
One thing I noticed with all pieces was the pattern looked better-defined than with the original berber. Unlike the original berber which was wet-printed, this new berber is actually individual colored yarns which help increase color definition.
For more information on their 2019 new product releases, as well as all their other high-quality hunting gear please check out www.sitkagear.com.
Also, be sure to check back to our blog at http://selfilmed.com/blog for more 2019 ATA Show coverage.