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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gear Review - FirstLite

Over the years, I have used lots of different camouflage fabrics, but I had never used merino wool until I purchased a set of camo from FirstLite. I have followed FirstLite since its inception, and have met one of the owners, Kenton Carruth, quite a few times. When I needed to make a decision about new camouflage, I decided to give FirstLite a try and I'm sure glad I did. It is the most comfortable, warmest, coolest, and most scent-free hunting clothing I have ever worn.

What do FirstLite and a Thermos have in common?

This fall, I helped my best friend Rick Messmer on an awesome muzzleloader elk hunt in northwest Colorado. The terrain was very similar to Arizona, and the daytime high temperatures were, too. It would start off chilly in the morning, and then rise into the 80's during the day. I was comfortable with just a couple layers in the morning, and while hiking in the heat of the day, I got hot, but I would have been hot no matter what I was wearing. Just like a Thermos, it kept me warm when it was cool, and then kept me cool when it was warm. And just like a Thermos, it begs that age-old question: how does it know? I guess that's just one of the things that is so special about FirstLite's Merino wool.

Rick sporting his full kit of FirstLite while scouting for his elk hunt.

What really stood out, though, was the lack of stink! As I sweated, I could smell the musty wool, but as soon as it dried, there was no smell. After hunting and sweating for five days, when I got home I asked my wife to smell my shirt and she reluctantly agreed...she said she could tell it was not straight out of the washer, but it didn't stink!

I then wore the full get-up on my friend Joel's mountain goat hunt. When we stopped to glass, I added a down insulation layer because when the wind blows at 12,000' in October, it's downright chilly. I stayed comfortable all day as we hiked and climbed. I regulated my comfort by adding and removing layers, and finished the day happy to be wearing FirstLite.

Besides the comfort and lack of smell, I am glad to have a high quality camouflage choice in Realtree MAX-1. Most of what I own is Realtree, from hats and gloves to boots and backpacks. Some people might think it's silly, but I like to have all my camo match - especially when trying to sell photographs!

If you get a chance, take a look at FirstLite. It's available in a few different camouflage patterns as well as solid colors. From what I have experienced, it is the quietest, least smelly, and most comfortable hunting clothing that I have found! And since you can't hunt in Thermos, this is the next best thing!

FirstLite kept us warm and cool (just like a Thermos), and was extremely comfortable and scent-free!