For my top layer hunting layer, I’ve gone with the Sitka 90 jacket. Optimally, I would have the lighter weight Ascent jacket but I already had the 90 jacket and will probably just layer a bit lighter under it and be prepared to stow it in my pack when daytime temps start to rise by mid-mornings.

Would I recommend buying the Sitka 90 if you didn’t already have a softshell top layer…probably not. The best products I’ve seen are produced by GoLite. For instance, Pete has gone with a thin softshell layer that weighs only 9 ounces and boasts wind shearing properties and durable brush-shedding material.

As I’ve noted several times in the past, the gear spotlights before our trip are just half of the story. When we return, I’ll go through each item and sort the wheat from the chaff. It’ll be interesting to see how our softshell layers compare because there are definitely some serious differences in price to be considered.

In case you are curious, my Sitka 90 jacket (small size) weighs 18.5 ounces which sounds real light until you consider some of the backpacking gear alternatives that are floating around out there in non-camo color patterns.