Technical Pant Comparison – KUIU vs Sitka Gear

The pieces I plan on comparing and giving my opinions on in this review are the following: 

KUIU

Attack Pants (17.8 oz 34”)

SITKA

Ascent Pants (18.7 oz 34” Talls)
Mountain Pants (24.2 oz w/o kneepads and belt and 27.9 oz w/ kneepads and w/o belt 34” Reg)

(All above weights are from my personal scale)

KUIU Thoughts:

The KUIU Attack pants very closely resemble the original (2005) Sitka Mountain Pants.  This shouldn’t be a big surprise as the same man played a role in designing both pairs of pants.  The KUIU Attack pants are a step above the original Sitka Mountain pant though, mainly due to the Toray 4 way stretch fabric.  (Go to KUIU’s website to read more about this high tech fabric.) The Attack pants are a fairly ‘basic’ pant when compared to the current Sitka pant offerings.  I don’t want to give the wrong idea though.  The KUIU Attack pant is a highly technical pant that outperforms most other pants in its class and is a pleasure to wear.  There just aren’t many frills to the pant except for the technical fabric, the nice cut, and the 6 pocket design.  The 4 way stretch and cut of the pant means no binding while hiking.  My Vias Attack pants performed so well when hunting that I picked up a pair of the Charcoal Grey ones to wear while pursuing non-hunting activities.  With the exceptions of a few snags when wearing my Attack pants through catclaw, they have worn great and are comfortable enough to wear relaxing around the house.  They repel moisture well and dry very quickly.  I’ve worn them in temps from the teens (with base layers) to mid 80’s and they haven’t been too warm.  They wick moisture well and my legs never felt overly sweaty when wearing them in warmer temps.  Overall, these pants are a great choice for active mountain hunting.
 

Sitka Thoughts:

I have and have used multiple generation of Sitka technical pants, starting with their first generation Mountain pants in Mountain Mimicry (MM) 1.0, to the first generation Ascent pants in MM2.0, to the latest Ascent pants in Optifade and the new Mountain pants in Optifade.  For this review/comparison, I’ll stick to the latest Optifade versions of the Ascent and Mountain pants.

Sitka’s Ascent and Mountain pants have a few more features than the KUIU Attack pants, but are both heavier than the Attack pants.  These features include zippered pockets on the outside of the leg cargo pockets, reinforced areas at the bottom of the hip pockets, and silicone ‘stay tucked’ strips on the inside of the waistband to help shirts stay tucked in.  I used to like the silicone strips because it would help the synthetic Core shirts stay tucked in, but I don’t miss the silicone strip on the KUIU Attack pants when wearing the longer tailed KUIU 185 or 250 Merino shirts.  The Sitka Mountain pants have an internal belt and removable kneepads.  I really like the removable kneepads and that is probably the only thing I feel the KUIU Attack pants might be missing.  However, I don’t like the thin internal web belt on the Mountain pants, and I’ve recently removed the stitching that holds it attached to the pant and removed it.  The back ‘belt loop’ is just wide enough that I can force a full size web belt through the opening and use a regular web belt.  I like this better although I have to put the belt in the pants before I put them on.  The Mountain pants have bigger cargo pockets than the Ascent pants and also have a more durable fabric on the instep at the ankle.  The Sitka pants have suspender loops while the KUIU Attack pants do not. 
The Ascent pants are lighter weight than the Mountain pants, but I have used the Mountain pants in warmer temps during early season archery elk hunts and haven’t been too warm.  I normally wear my Mountain pants during later season and colder temps.  I would put the KUIU Attack pant as a slightly heavier fabric than the Ascent pants, but not as heavy as the Mountain Pants.  Both the Ascent and Mountain pants utilize 4 way stretch fabrics that don’t bind and hike very well.  I haven’t had any durability issues with either pair yet, except for a few snags or increased ‘brushing’ of the outer fabric after going through thick, stiff brush. 

Since I purchased my Mountain pants Sitka has released the Timberline pants.  These are similar to the Mountain pants, but have a waterproof seat and knees.  At first I thought that was overkill as when the kneepads are in the Mountain pants they are waterproof in the knees, but having the waterproof seat would be nice at times for sitting on rainsoaked mountainsides or in snow.  However, the waterproof seat wouldn’t breathe as well.  I don’t plan on upgrading, but if I was to decide between the Mountain or Timberline pants I might go with the Timberline as long as my main uses were in very wet climates or winter use. 

Fit and Sizing

In regards to sizing, the KUIU attack pants have a 35 inch hemmed inseam.  I normally wear a 32 inch inseam in jeans.  I’ve kept my Attack pants the original length as I like having longer pants that don’t ride up over my boot tops when sitting down.  The stretch in the pants helps with this also.  I purchased Talls in my Ascent pants, but regular length in my Mountain pants.  The lengths seem very similar between the two pants, with the KUIU Attack pants being slightly longer than the Sitka pants.  I normally wear a 34 inch waist and I purchased 34 inch waist in all the pants.  In jeans, I prefer a relaxed fit, but the athletic fit of these pants works for me.  The 4 way stretch might play a factor in that also.  Pocket layout for all the pants is similar, but the Mountain pants probably have the largest thigh pockets. 
In summary, all three of these pairs of pants are exceptional technical mountain hunting pants.  I’ve had my Ascent pants soaked in a late afternoon hail/rain storm where I had to get under cover before being able to put on my rain pants.  When the hail stopped, I put my rain pants on and within 30 minutes, my pants were dry underneath my rain pants.  I’ve worn my Mountain pants with a base layer while glassing in between white out conditions and never felt my legs get wet, even without any rain gear covering my pants.  It is that kind of performance I expect from these high end pants.  In choosing a pair of pants, I think it would come down to individual preferences of brand / camo pattern, features, and fit.  If I was hunting off my back on a backpack hunt, my choice would go to the KUIU Attack pants, mainly due to weight.  However, all three pairs of pants discussed in this post are great technical mountain hunting pants.

Here are links to the different posts in the KUIU vs Sitka Comparison Series:
Introduction
Base Layer Comparison
Pants Comparison
Jacket and Vest Comparison
Accessories Comparison
Conclusion

Comments

  1. I don’t know how long it will last but I like the Sitka Mountain Pants. Perfect for

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  2. hey there is very helpful article .great share .keep share

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