AO Review: Sitka Stratus Jacket & Pant in Gore Optifade Elevated II Camo

   11.12.20

AO Review: Sitka Stratus Jacket & Pant in Gore Optifade Elevated II Camo

Camouflage patterns are a funny thing. Either they are so well developed that you can vanish into your surroundings like a ghost, or they are so poor that they are comical at best and you stick out like a sore thumb. Most of the camouflage clothing that I have owned my entire life fell into the latter category. It was always hand-me-down pieces that were mis-matched from top to bottom with varying degrees of warmth, rain-proofing, and color matching. This had never mattered to me because I was always a blissfully, cheerful young hunter romping around the woods still filling tags, getting venison, and filling the freezer. Early this year though Sitka Gear approached AllOutdoor to see if we would like to try some of their camouflage clothing for this fall. I thought to myself, why not? As I will outline throughout this review, receiving the Sitka Stratus Jacket and Pant in their GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage might be considered a gateway drug because now I am hooked! Let’s dive in and see what this set of clothing is all about!

Specifications: Sitka Stratus Jacket & Pant in Gore Optifade Elevated II Camo

In this review, we are actually assessing two separate pieces of clothing from Sitka Gear, but they are a matching set that I used while archery hunting for 2 months in the state of Minnesota. To start, we will analyze each article of clothing individually for its characteristics and properties, but in the end we will see how well they either complimented or clashed with each other. The first piece we will look at is the Sitka Stratus Pant that has an MSRP of $299.99 and all of its specifications are listed below:

  • GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II is designed for whitetail hunters in an elevated position.
  • Weight: 28 oz. // Size: L
  • Fabric: GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ with WINDSTOPPER™ Technology, Polyester Micro-Fleece Knit Face, Polyester Micro-Grid Fleece Knit Interior.
  • Articulated Fit: Articulated patterning gives you a comfortable fit for the seated position and frees your legs for a complete range of motion.
  • Thigh Cargo Pockets: Keep necessities close at hand from a seated position.
  • Quiet Snap Closures: All snaps are constructed to minimize noise.
  • GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ with WINDSTOPPER®: Offers complete windproof protection through a durable, lightweight, and breathable membrane.

100% windproof and quiet, the versatile Stratus Pant was built for the fluctuating weather found throughout the whitetail season. A GORE-TEX INFINIUM with WINDSTOPPER® membrane is sandwiched between a hushed micro-fleece shell and a warm and breathable micro-grid fleece interior, delivering windproof comfort on the coldest days of the rut.

sitka stratus

The 2nd matching piece of clothing to go with the Sitka Stratus Pant is the Sitka Stratus Jacket. Both of these pieces have very similar properties as far as the material they are constructed of, and they seamlessly match because of their shared print of the GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage. The Sitka Stratus Jacket has an MSRP of $349.99 with all of its specifications listed below:

  • GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II is designed for whitetail hunters in an elevated position.
  • Weight: 23.9 oz. // Size L
  • Warm micro-fleece with GORE-TEX INFINIUM with WINDSTOPPER technology
  • Constant-connect SITKA Safety Harness Pass-Through Port
  • Removable hood with direct hearing ports
  • Fast-access grunt tube holder
  • YKK zippered chest and hand pockets
  • Durable Water Repellent Finish

The Stratus Jacket has got your back for those long chilly days in the stand. This versatile jacket is 100% windproof and ultra-quiet thanks to a GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® Technology membrane sandwiched between warm & silent micro-grid fleece. A removable hood with specialized hearing ports that improve the ability to hear deer approaching and double layer PolarTec® Alpha® Direct panels retain heat. The innovative Constant-Connect SITKA® Safety Harness Pass-Through Port with Cobrax® secure slide-to-lock snap and magnetic closure eliminates the need to disconnect from a harness when adding or removing gear keeping you safer and quieter in the stand. Comfortable enough to stand on its own into mid-season, but also fitted for insulation under layering to take you well into November too.

sitka stratus

Time in the Field: Sitka Stratus Jacket & Pant in Gore Optifade Elevated II Camo

When it came to putting this clothing to use out in the field that was the true measure of its salt and worth. The first thing I noticed was the overall fit for the Sitka Stratus Jacket and Pant. Sitka Gear offers almost all of their clothing offerings in sizes from Small to 3XL with intermediate sizings of “Tall” in between (Ex: Large-Tall). The “Tall” in the Sitka Stratus Jacket basically means it is longer at the waist so when you are bending over, contorting, and moving your waist does not become exposed to the elements; thus, making you cold. With the pants it is a similar premise where they are a touch longer near the bottom so when you are active the cold does not sneak up your pant line and give you cold feet. I was always an in-betweener for size and the additional tall sizes suited me perfectly. Overall, this Sitka Gear clothing is some of the best fitting clothing – for hunting and otherwise – that I have ever tried in my life.

sitka stratus

The 2nd most noticeable property about this clothing is how supremely quiet it is. When you have a lot of stand hours, sometimes from dawn until dusk, you get antsy and bored with your thoughts (at least I do). So, I am always digging and rummaging in my pockets for my cellphone, snacks, and other items which can cause a lot of noise if your clothing rubs against itself in loud ways. With the Sitka Stratus set, I was basically silent at all times. My fidgety nature was not a hinderance to my ability to hunt whether it was 4 hours in a treestand or 13 hours. I was always indiscernibly quiet.

sitka stratus

One of the most important uses of this clothing was its GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage. Some people might oversimplify that camouflage is just camouflage, what’s the big deal. Well, the big deal is that when I was in a treestand or walking a field edge in this camouflage and would stop for a moment, you literally could not see me. I blended in with the natural environment that well; it is simply that good!

There are a lot of camo patterns on the market that look cool, but never have I had the advantage of vanishing in plain sight like I could with this camouflage. The greatest stamp of approval you can receive is from unsuspecting wildlife. I had one incident where 2 does with 4 fawns were underneath my treestand, and repeatedly stared up at me, but never “saw me” for 30 minutes. This is likely because of the quality of the GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage.

sitka stratus

The final test for this Sitka clothing was its warmth. It kept me warm as long as (here comes the asterisk) the temps were above 30°F with no wind, or 35°F with a potential wind. A lot of my hunting was done around those temps and it was glaringly obvious to me that if it was extremely windy around freezing temps, then I would get cold. If it was a slightly warmer day, even with some wind, then I was fine. In general, if the temps dip any colder than what I endured I would seek out a heated box blind as opposed to being exposed in the elements. So, for much of the early- to mid-season archery hunting that I did it performed great in regards to keeping me warm and keeping me in the hunt.

sitka stratus

Final Thoughts: Sitka Stratus Jacket & Pant in Gore Optifade Elevated II Camo

So, what are my final thoughts on the Sitka Stratus Jacket and Pant in their GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage?… Well, it honestly outperformed my expectations. Its ability to blend in with nature so well and hide me in plain sight was amazing. For Minnesota hunting it could have been a bit warmer, but this is not meant to be full winter gear. It also fit me great and it should fit anyone terrifically as long as you take the time to get your correct measurements and size. The price for the Sitka Stratus Jacket and Pant in their GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage is on the spendy side, but it is competitively in line with other clothing companies and I fully believe it is worth it. The excellent camo, silent construction, and great fit made me a believer and I would recommend this to anyone.

In closing, I want to say thank you to Sitka Gear for allowing AllOutdoor and myself the opportunity to try out their Sitka Stratus Jacket and Pant in their GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage. That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the Sitka Stratus Jacket and Pant in their GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage is something worth spending your money on? Would you wear it on your next big-game hunt? Archery season? Firearm? Muzzleloader? All of the above? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.


Wardrobe & Photography

All of the quality photography for this review was completed by the accomplished and wonderful Savannah Pierson of Savvy Photage. All of the clothing and gear items from this editorial review can be found through their associated links below:

sitka stratus

sitka stratus

sitka stratus

sitka stratus

sitka stratus

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