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Drake or Sitka Jacket?

Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by Wduck77$, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. afmoto

    afmoto Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    San Jose, PRK
    Sitka is "worth the money" IF you have the money! And no, Drake is not "just as good" but you can still go hunting in it and you won't die. Thousands of hunters before us went out there even in army surplus gear, before Sitka even existed, and they killed ducks and had a good time. I didn't start out with Sitka gear but now I have quite a bit of it. I've sat in hard wind driven rain storms in my Sitka gear, without getting cold or wet, grinning like a Cheshire cat, because frankly that's when you can really tell a difference. I also started out with a cheap Remington 870, long before I started acquiring Beretta semi-autos, and I would have a similar answer if somebody asked "is a Beretta A400 worth the money or is a Remington 870 just as good?"

    Without question, I am more comfortable and happier in my Sitka gear, with Simms waders, and an A400 in my hands. It's just nicer stuff, no two ways about it, but it is a luxury. Many moons ago, I was also plenty happy in my Walmart camo, some cheap neoprene waders I found on sale, and the Benelli Nova pump I "upgraded" to from the cheap 870, mainly because I didn't know any better and frankly couldn't afford the nicer stuff. Hopefully our goal as hunters is not to try to impress the other dudes at the check station with our 'outfits', so just get out there and hunt in the gear you can afford right now. If your wallet allows you to buy Sitka, I don't think you'll find too many guys who will say "oh man, I feel ripped off, this stuff isn't any better than my Walmart jacket", but it's also important to live within your means. You'll be much happier in the long run.

    Lastly, there are also plenty of hunters who could afford Sitka gear but they just can't fathom spending that much money for hunting gear. They might also drive a 10-year old Camry, even if they could write a check for a brand new 7-series BMW and not even flinch, but they're just morally opposed to spending that much money for transportation. They're not wrong, they may just have other priorities in life, and may not place as much value on higher end gear. Sitka gear is very nice, but it is a luxury.
     
  2. afmoto

    afmoto Elite Refuge Member

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    San Jose, PRK
    I have a handful of KUIU pieces and I really wanted to like them more than Sitka but their sizing is ridiculously inconsistent. I won't buy anything else from KUIU unless I actually try it on at their Dixon showroom because a certain size might fit me in one pair of pants or jacket, but it won't in another one. I would say KUIU is on par with Sitka, given that Jason Hairston started both companies (may he rest in peace). I think I kind of wanted to support KUIU just because investors and the board sort of ripped Sitka out of his hands, which was kind of a chicken*poop* move:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimcla...m-kuiu-to-50-million-in-5-years/#119f098e551d
     
    freefall likes this.
  3. freefall

    freefall Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Lodi, CA

    Very well put. If I didn’t receive a discount on Sitka I most likely wouldn’t own any of it. It’s simply more than I would want to spend. Some of my favorite hiking (though prAna’s are my 1st choice) & Wader liner pants are from WalMart. Wrangler has a few pair of pants (not jeans) that are all I pretty much ware anymore that are $20 and I absolutely love them.

    Comfort is a key word. I am definitely warmer in a First Lite / Sitka base layer than I am a Walmart one. I am more comfortable in a Sitka Dakota than any of my 4 Drakes (bought 3 used in different colors) because it fits better and is made from better materials. However I hunted for 10-12 years in nothing but Drake jackets / sponges and was warm enough. My main complaints were the sizing was too baggy, the wind blocker doesn’t block anything & they are the worst jacket possible in the rain. Aside from that I liked them and still own them.

    I think part of what messes guys up is managing temperature and perspiration. I see guys take off in 5mm waders with the jacket on beating feet to the spot... that’s a recipe for wet clothes and dehydration. I always leave the truck “cold” rather it’s ducks or deer because I know I’ll warm once I start moving. Once I get where I’m going I can layer up once I dry out from sweating...This is why I got away from Neo’s unless I’m at the club to cut down on weight and sweat... Once your gear is wet (cheaper) your F’d. Good gear made from good materials will dry through body heat over time. Even in cheaper gear, if you can manage your sweat and keep your gear dry you’ll be surprised how much warmer you are all day.

    One thing I’ll never go cheap on is socks though. I have cold feet so I use a good set (Darn Tough) of wool socks and wool liner sock and that’s been a game changer.

    Stay dry, layer according to temps and activity level , use a beanie and you’ll have a much more enjoyable day in the field.
     
    Wareagle1 likes this.
  4. yellowlabhunter

    yellowlabhunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    NorCal
    All is made in China. I don't like it...therefore I cannot buy it. I just purchased a Grizzly cooler because Yeti is now made overseas.

    This is me, only me. I'm just trying to do my part. So Kuiu and Sitka are off my list. When I need more gear, I'm really going to have to dig deep.

    In addition, I believe First Lite is also made in Chinn-aa now...
     
    freefall likes this.
  5. duckrig

    duckrig Elite Refuge Member

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    Willows,Ca
    Like the saying goes. You get what you pay for.
     
  6. Drifly

    Drifly Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    California
    KUIU is great if your are tall and thin. If you’re short and round like me not so much. My son bought me a rain jacket for Christmas last year. It’s a XL and I can barely zip it up when I have a sweater on underneath. It keeps me dry but I can’t hardly breath.

    Drifly
     
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  7. DUCKTWK

    DUCKTWK Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Cali
    Sitka, buy once cry once. well worth the investment cuts wind better than anything out there
     
  8. Out of focus

    Out of focus Elite Refuge Member

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    It appears I am surrounded by experts.
    Get you a Filson wading jacket, it’s bulletproof. AEDA9730-9A30-45EF-8FF2-0E70FD8867D6.jpeg
     
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  9. AJCsurf

    AJCsurf Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Center of the Coast California
    Take the money you would spend on a Sitka outfit and buy an Instagram with 50K followers. Post constantly about reps with your bow, comment and tag other companies, take stupid selfies with your dead animals, post some **** about being hardcore and wear a ton of face paint. You’ll get noticed and eventually the discount codes will be pouring in from Sitka because those are the people they support in this industry. Oh, and buy a tiktok too after you buy and resell a few waders.

    still waiting for my Russel athletic flow deal
     
  10. darkwater27

    darkwater27 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Dec 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    Drake is what I wear, but I can tell you from experience if it rains hard that Equator jacket isn't keeping me dry. But I do love my Midseason weight 1/4 zip, neo cuffs keep water out and its perfect for me.
     
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