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New from Sitka Gear — The Kelvin Aerolite Jacket

Brady Miller Sitka Aerolite Jacket on spring hunt

Photo credit: Luke Dusenbury

Sitka Gear has once again taken their clothing line to a new level for 2021. And they've recently added to their Aerolite Collection with the Kelvin Aerolite Jacket.

Myself and Trail Kreitzer have been testing the Aerolite pieces (sleeping bag, jacket and vest) since early fall of 2020. 

What is the Aerolite Collection?

These products harness the insulating property of trapped air to make your gear lighter and body warmer, even in the wettest conditions! No longer do you need bulky and heavy synthetic insulation pieces when hunting in wet environments.

Sitka's Kelvin Aerolite Jacket

Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Jacket stock image

The Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Jacket is offered in Subalpine, Open Country and Coyote.

The Kelvin Aerolite Jacket is a super compressible synthetic insulation jacket that maximizes warmth while minimizing bulk. Which is perfect when you need an insulation piece underneath your other layers when the temperatures drop.

Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Jacket compressed

One huge feature... it takes up very little space in your backpack! Photo credit: Cody Boor

Materials

The new Kelvin Aerolite Jacket is made with Synthetic PrimaLoft Gold Insulation with Cross Core technology that replicates the aesthetics and performance of down insulation BUT with warm-when-wet performance.

  • Weight: 16 oz.
  • Lightweight insulation (35% recycled) is infused with silica aerogel, a nearly weightless material that’s composed of more than 95% air and acts as additional thermal insulation
  • 20-denier polyester face with durable water repellent finish, 20-denier polyester backer
  • DWR finish resists precipitation and prevents face fabric from wetting out
  • Gusseted stretch cuffs allow for smooth, easy layering and unrestricted shooting
  • Fitted hood provides low-profile warmth and concealment; doesn’t obstruct peripheral vision
  • Deep, zippered chest pocket safely stores your valuables

Check out the video below to see Trail and Sitka's Big Game Product Manager John Barklow run through the details of the jacket.


How does Kelvin Aerolite Jacket compare to the Kelvin Lite Down Jacket?

This is probably the biggest question everyone is asking. The warmth rating for the Kelvin Aerolite jacket could be summed up as a 3 out of 5 and compared to the Kelvin Lite Down Jacket at a 4 out of a 5. So while they are similar, they are made out of completely different ingredients and they have different use cases.

Comparison between the two pieces

  Kelvin Aerolite Jacket Kelvin Lite Down Jacket
Insulation Material Synthetic PrimaLoft Gold Insulation
with Cross Core technology
900 fill PrimaLoft Gold Down Blend
Arms & lower back Insulation: 60grams of PrimaLoft Gold Active Synthetic
Weight XL = 16.60 oz XL = 18.60 oz
Cost:  $299 $349

Note: The weights listed are from my personal jackets.

In addition, the Kelvin Aerolite Jacket has a hood closure tension cord, chest pocket and a drawcord adjustment on the waist. Whereas the Kelvin Lite Down Jacket doesn't have those features.

My experience with the Aerolite Jacket

I took the Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Jacket on several backpack hunts in the fall of 2020. It went with me on a grueling solo hunt deep in the mountains and I followed that up with several other hunts testing it out in the snow. The first hunt I had it on was a great test of the performance due to the constant snow and rain experiences in October.

Trail Kreitzer wearing the Sitka Kelvin Aerolite jacket

Trail Kreitzer has also been using the Kelvin Aerolite Jacket since early January. Photo credit: Brady Miller

Also this winter I used the Kelvin Aerolite jacket on a Coues deer and mule deer hunt. With cold mornings, this was a phenomenal piece to have with me. Then once the temps rose, I just tossed it in my backpack and barely even noticed it was there. Then later in the day while sitting in the shadows, once it got a little chilly, I just tossed the jacket back on. And then to wrap it up, I also took this jacket on a spring bear hunt. It's seen a vast amount of weather conditions!

Sizing

Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Jacket

For reference, I’m 6’5” tall and I was using the XL Kelvin Aerolite Jacket. I believe I received my jacket so early that there wasn’t an XL Tall version available at the time. So right now if I bought one, I’d go with the tall version. I'd say it has an athletic to standard type fit. I've been able to have a Core Lightweight Hoody and a Heavyweight Hoody underneath the jacket. Plus, the Kelvin Aerolite Jacket actually lays really flat on the arms and body, which really makes it great if you have to add a layer over top. And finally, what I really enjoyed about the Kelvin Aerolite was how little room it took up in my backpack, and then in the wet conditions, when I put it on, it kept me warm and comfortable. 

Overall if you're looking for a very versatile piece that can accommodate hunts through roughly October, this is going to be the ticket! Just like other insulation layers, you'll probably want to avoid hiking around in it with a loaded backpack as you'll get hot fast! As a lightweight insulation piece for the mountains, this jacket served me very well in 2020 and on all hunts and scouting trips I've taken it on already in 2021.

You can check the new jacket in the goHUNT Gear Shop right now.

Pick up the Kelvin Aerolite jacket here

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