For several months leading up to the 2015 ATA show, it had been rumored that Sitka Gear was overhauling the Optifade Forest pattern and would lunch an all-new whitetail product line. To say I was excited to walk into their booth when we arrived in Indy was an understatement. Much to my delight, all of the pre-show hype was well warranted. The new EVII (Elevated Forest II) pattern was awesome and you could tell immediately that Sitka put a lot of thought into the design of their new whitetail line. There were many great new products available, but for me, the Fanatic Hoody stole the show. I knew the minute I laid eyes on it I had to have one!
10 short months later, October had finally rolled around and I had the opportunity to put my Fanatic Hoody to use. I had initially expected to use the Fanatic Hoody as an early season piece. But I quickly found that the Fanatic Hoody is extremely versatile and great for nearly all season. Regardless of whether it’s being used as an outer layer in the early season or as an insulation layer when the temperatures drop, the Fanatic Hoody is packed full of great features to keep you comfortable and on the stand.
Aside from my feet, there are two main locations I must keep warm in order to remain comfortable, my hands and my neck. If either gets cold, I find it hard to sit still and focus. The Fanatic hoody has a few great features that specifically help with both of these locations. The hood itself is designed with the whitetail hunter in mind. Featuring a built-in face mask, this hood is made to fit snugly and is cut to maximize your peripheral vision. I find that I really like the tight fit of the hood as it helps to cut back on the hearing impairment like some hoods create. The built-in facemask is also a huge hit. I don’t always wear a facemask, but when the sun is hitting my face, I like to have one with me to reduce any glare that may alert a deer. With the Fanatic Hoody, I never have to worry about packing a facemask as the build in facemask is easily accessible from directly within the hood. As far as my hands are concerned, there are two things about the Fanatic Hoody I really like. The large front pocket near the waistline serves as a great place to tuck your hands away while sitting idly on the stand for warmth. The sleeves on the Fanatic Hoody feature built-in hand mitts that allow for additional shielding from the elements, while allowing you to retain dexterity when holding your bow in hand. Like many other garments in the Sitka Gear lineup, the Fanatic Hoody has thumb slits just on the inside seam of the sleeves that allow you to put additional layers of clothing on without your sleeves riding up your forearms. Another great feature about the fanatic hoody is the extended tail on the back of the Fanatic Hoody. Whether it is tucked into your pants or just hanging loose, the long back on the shirt helps stop the cold from getting to you.
There is definitely no shortage of good things to be said about the Fanatic Hoody. Like everything else Sitka Gear produces, the durability and thoughtful design of the Fanatic Hoody is top-notch. One word of warning, I am not the only one who has fallen in love with the Fanatic Hoody! As a result, they can be very tough to get your hands on. If you happen to find one in your size at a local retailer, I’d strongly suggest you grab it before someone else does.
For more information on the Fanatic Hoody and other great products made by Sitka Gear, be sure to visit their website HERE. You can also read my initial impressions on the new EVII Pattern and 2015 Sitka Gear Lineup from my Sitka Gear recap at the 2015 ATA show HERE.