Seeking input on FirstLite

Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
73
Location
Jensen Beach, FL & Fircrest, WA
Does anyone have any input or experience with First Lite's camo gear they would like to share?

I am trying to decide what gear to go with. I am a fan of wool, but I am also aware of the benefits of the latest synthetics (Sitka, etc...). Sitka looks great, and it would be a winner were it not for the price. Additionally, I am not 100% certain the Optifade camo pattern itself would be very effective on the Olympic Peninsula. East slope of the Cascades, sure. But I need to accomodate both biome's in one set of camo. If I am wrong here, by all means tell me! :)

With that said, FirstLite offers their gear in RealTree, which is perfect from a pattern standpoint. It appears the quality and construction of FirstLite is great, but only personal reviews can sell me on that. How is this stuff for the hiking, moving, uphill/downhill treks under heavy load? How about while stationary? Rain gear is obviously VERY Important on the Olympic Peninsula, so any experience with that as well. What I am trying to avoid is the readily available RealTree gear from different vendors that is not of athletic cut. I hate the baggy feel of so much of this stuff as if it is designed for sitting in a deer stand. That's all great, but it doesn't work when chasing elk.

Any input helps!

Thanks
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
572
First Lite makes good gear and really has both merino and synthetic layers typically with merino next to skin and then synthetic outerwear. Sitka and Kuiu both offer synthetic and merino pieces based on the usage. The merino stuff is really soft but isn't durable as an outer layer and the piece that comes to mind with durability issues is the merino Kanab pant which they now off an alternative to in the Corrugate Synthetic pant. Synthetics dry faster, but also tend to smell really bad after a few days in them where as merino doesn't have the issues, but it dries slower but still works damp. Merino gains an edge if you wear it for a week straight with no change of clothes on a backpacking trip, but doesn't gain as much if you are camping at the truck with changes of clothes or staying near a washing machine.

With regard to camo you confusing patterns designed to mimic your surroundings (realtree) and those that try to break up your outline at different distances (optifade, fusion). I know in thick cover a lot of guys use the Sitka whitetail patterns from the perspective of color and that its designed to break up your outline at 20 yards rather than 100 like open country optifade. The Sitka whitetail stuff is baggier than their western stuff, but not really baggy compared to any other hunting gear as sitka is the most form fitting of any hunting clothing I have dealt with even over Kuiu and Firstlite. I don't think there is any reason to buy any first lite today that isn't in their fusion pattern or a solid color.
 

belly-deep

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
3,465
First lite is discontinuing realtree so a bunch of it is on sale right now. Check Midway.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
73
Location
Jensen Beach, FL & Fircrest, WA
First Lite makes good gear and really has both merino and synthetic layers typically with merino next to skin and then synthetic outerwear. Sitka and Kuiu both offer synthetic and merino pieces based on the usage. The merino stuff is really soft but isn't durable as an outer layer and the piece that comes to mind with durability issues is the merino Kanab pant which they now off an alternative to in the Corrugate Synthetic pant. Synthetics dry faster, but also tend to smell really bad after a few days in them where as merino doesn't have the issues, but it dries slower but still works damp. Merino gains an edge if you wear it for a week straight with no change of clothes on a backpacking trip, but doesn't gain as much if you are camping at the truck with changes of clothes or staying near a washing machine.

With regard to camo you confusing patterns designed to mimic your surroundings (realtree) and those that try to break up your outline at different distances (optifade, fusion). I know in thick cover a lot of guys use the Sitka whitetail patterns from the perspective of color and that its designed to break up your outline at 20 yards rather than 100 like open country optifade. The Sitka whitetail stuff is baggier than their western stuff, but not really baggy compared to any other hunting gear as sitka is the most form fitting of any hunting clothing I have dealt with even over Kuiu and Firstlite. I don't think there is any reason to buy any first lite today that isn't in their fusion pattern or a solid color.

Thank you for the info and for setting me straight on the theory behind natural camo vs. break-up concepts. Knowing that, I will look more closely at the break up type patterns, and perhaps warm up to the expense a little easier.

Can you clarify your last sentence? I just want to be sure you didn't leave out a "not" in there or if you really meant to say there is no reason to buy FirstLite.
 

jryoung

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
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4,951
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Unable to determine due to velocity
I wouldn't expect to see much Realtree from FL in the future. My guess is the current sale is them liquidating it to go to fusion (which is a great all around pattern BTW). Less royalties to Bill Jordan so he can't lock up so many leases ;)
 

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