From Base Layers to Outerwear: Building the Ultimate Whitetail Cold Weather Clothing System

Building the Ultimate Whitetail Cold Weather Clothing System

Cold weather hunting tests not only your skills but also your endurance and the quality and flexibility of your gear. Whether snowflakes turn to blizzard conditions or you get into your stand during the biting cold before sunrise, it’s essential to be prepared to match your intuition with your patience and preparedness. The right cold-weather clothing can make or break your late-season hunt.

Making the most of this often challenging time of year requires a complete and field-tested clothing system to ensure you stay comfortable, concealed, and quiet.

From base layers to outerwear and everything in between, Whitetail Properties Land Specialists trust Sitka Gear during the unpredictable fronts and cold and sometimes dangerous temperatures of the late season.

Begin by Layering: Protecting Yourself with a Moisture-Wicking Base

Good insulation and core warmth start with proper moisture management at the base layer. Merino wool is an excellent choice as it offers superior insulation while effectively managing moisture. And on milder days when temperatures won’t drop below freezing, a base layer may even be enough to keep you warm and dry in the field.

TN Whitetail Properties Land Specialist Jordan Couch recently shared his Sitka Gear layering setup for a mild November sit while hunting in Kentucky. He prefers the new 330-gram armor spun merino wool base, opting to pair it with a jacket if needed.

The New Sitka Core Merino System

Offering base layers from zip-off bottoms, leggings, half-zips, crews, gloves, and hoodies–and even boxers and a beanie–Sitka has crafted high-quality strong merino wool blend designed to wick moisture away from your body with a synthetic interior. Preventing sweat from leaving you wet and cold after walking to your stand or blind, merino base layers also resist odor to help you minimize your scent, acting as a natural antimicrobial.

The Sitka Core Merino collection includes 220 and 330 variants to keep you warm and dry during cooler-weather days. In Southern climates or for early-season hunts, look to the ultralight 120 series, which offers a lighter option.

Sitka Core Merino Half-Zip EV II

The heavyweight Core Merino 330 Half-Zip was built as the ideal late-season layering piece. Because Merino wool has an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio, it is able to keep you warmer with less bulk, allowing for more freedom of movement.

Layering Your Hunting Clothing to Regulate Temperature

Embrace the flexibility layering brings to your setup, enabling you to quickly adapt to changing temperatures during cold-weather hunts. When your layers allow you to make micro-adjustments like pulling up a gaiter or zipping up your jacket, you quickly regulate your body temperature and stay focused.

Layering helps you avoid overheating during periods of high activity and ensures warmth while sitting in your treestand or blind, and nothing provides more flexibility than Sitka’s quality mid-layers and outer layers.

Mid-layers provide additional warmth and insulation without compromising mobility; fleece or synthetic materials are perfect for this purpose. Sitka’s Traverse Hoody paired with their Traverse Pant offers a mid-weight fleece to retain warmth while wicking moisture, keeping your core warm and dry.

Sitka Traverse hoody and pant

Choose a mid-layer that offers versatility, such as the Core Merino 220 Half-Zip or the Stratus Jacket with its removable hood, allowing you to adjust your comfort level based on temperature changes. Look for features such as quarter or half-zip designs or adaptable ventilation options, enabling you to regulate body heat quickly.

Iowa Land Specialist Ben Harshyne recently shared how he uses the Sitka Gear Ambient Hoody as the perfect mid-layer for late fall hunts and well into the rut and winter. In the video below, Ben breaks down the benefits and best use case for each piece of gear in his layering system.

Layering with the Sitka Stratus System

Choosing the right outerwear is equally important for withstanding the rigors of the hunt, including inclement weather conditions. A windproof and water-resistant jacket and pants, offered in the Sitka Stratus System, are essential to protect against rain, snow, and frosty winds.

Opt for garments with breathable membranes to prevent overheating and moisture build-up. Additionally, consider garments with noise-reducing technology to enhance stealth during close encounters, like the fleece outer fabric of the Stratus system.

The Stratus System was designed for a broad range of conditions and temps. Everything from the cold, windy days of the late season with the right insulation layers all the way to being worn on its own during the mild mid-season temperatures.

Alabama Land Specialist, Ben Richardson, appreciates the versatility that Stika brings in all its offerings, utilizing the Stratus bibs and jacket for his outer layer.

Layering with the Sitka Stratus System

The Stratus Jacket is perfect for long, chilly days in the stand. Crafted with a WINDSTOPPER® by Gore-Tex Labs Technology membrane sandwiched between warm & silent micro-grid fleece, this versatile jacket is also 100% windproof and ultra-quiet.

When locked in through the Constant-Connect SITKA® Safety Harness, disconnecting from a harness when adding or removing gear keeps you quieter and warmer (or cooler!) in the stand without compromising your safety.

In the video below, Indiana Land Specialist Andrew Malott shares how he likes to use the @sitkagear Stratus System and how the addition of the Subalpine Pattern to this gear will allow him to stay comfortable, no matter when in the season a cold front might hit.

The Stratus Pant was built with the same WINDSTOPPER® by Gore-Tex Labs membrane as the Stratus jacket, delivering windproof comfort with a warm and breathable micro-grid fleece interior. Sitka even designed these pants with articulated patterning to provide a comfortable fit when seated in a blind or stand, allowing your legs total range of motion in the field.

Sitka Stratus Pant in Elevated II

Layering with the Sitka Fanatic System

In the coldest climates, your clothing system needs an additional layer of warmth. That’s where the Sitka Fanatic System comes in, providing a fully-featured late-season jacket, ultra-warm bib overalls, a high-performance hoody, cold-weather beanie, and ultra-warm gloves.

The Fanatic Bib works by trapping your body heat with PrimaLoft® Silver Hi-Loft Ultra Insulation, resulting in ultra-quiet, wind-proof warmth. Low-bulk hems and full-length side zips also provide easy on/off in the stand without having to remove your boots.

Layering with the Sitka Fanatic System

The Fanatic Jacket uses sound-suppressing fabric to provide ultra-quiet warmth. PrimaLoft® Silver Hi-Loft Ultra insulation keeps you warm on even the coldest days in the stand, and body-mapped construction optimizes the draw cycle for bowstring clearance. The jacket uses high-loft Berber fleece and WINDSTOPPER® by Gore-Tex Labs Technology barrier for 100% windproof warmth.

Sitka Gear Fanatic Jacket in Elevated II

Layer Up with Sitka Gear

Land Specialist Ben Harshyne gears up to chase his target buck. Read more at
Land Specialist Ben Harshyne gears up to chase his target buck. Read more at

Nothing matches Sitka Gear for quality, warmth, and layering flexibility. Each fabric is sound-tested compared to whitetail hearing engagement. Having field-tested a number of their products over the years, Whitetail Properties Land Specialists turn to Sitka when building robust and reliable layering systems during the rut and throughout the season–and the year.

Preparing for cold-weather hunting goes beyond fine-tuning your hunting skills; it involves selecting the ideal layered clothing system that keeps you comfortable, concealed, and ready to seize opportunities.

From moisture-wicking base layers to weatherproof outerwear, each component plays a crucial role in ensuring your success during the intensity and exhilaration of late-season hunting. By choosing high-quality garments from base layers to mid-layers and outerwear, each component plays an equally important role in your confidence, adaptability, and comfort in the field.

To build your Sitka Gear system, visit their System Builder.

Chances are, your local Whitetail Properties Land Specialist would be happy to share their favorite late-season and cold-weather hunting clothing system with you. To find and begin taking advantage of owning your own hunting land, browse available land listings near you or get in touch with your local agent.

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