Field Ready: Sitka’s New-For-2023 Intercept Collection

A lightweight, durable, keep-you-scent-free option available in Optifade Subalpine and Deep Lichen, Sitka’s all-new Intercept Collection is a dynamic garment duo.

by Mark Kayser

Be honest. As a hunter, if you could snatch any superhero attribute, invisibility, like the Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman, would be at the top. Imagine being able to ghost right up to a herd bull or haunt a whitetail bedroom. Yes, I know. Somehow you would also need to make your bow or firearm disappear, but that is in the details. 

Sitka Gear, yes, that company responsible for the content of many humorous hunting memes, has launched a new collection of clothes taking you in the right step to becoming an invisible person. Branded the Intercept Collection, this series relies on old and new know-how and material to craft worthy hunting attire. The Intercept Collection manages odor, noise, and concealment, all wrapped into one product. Here’s how. 

What Stinks?

Since you first passed hunting education, your mentors stressed staying downwind of your big game target. In the early 1990s, a startup company named ScentLok introduced an innovation that captured your odor in clothing and, with a mere trip through a hot dryer, restored the garment to work again and again. Lawsuit aside, ScentLok still holds an edge in the scent containment market. I say, why not? My scent-free hunting presence includes scent-eliminating laundering, the liberal use of scent-killing products like Scent Killer Gold, and a downwind position. 

Sitka Gear utilizes an ancient fabric known as wool, specifically Merino wool, to manage your BO. Taking 220-gram ArmorSpun Merino Wool, with its noted ruggedness, Sitka combined it into the garment for its ability to control odor. This textile is the basis for the Intercept Collection. 

Mark Kayser is scouting while wearing the Sitka Gear Intercept Hoody and Pant. Both were exceptionally comfortable and regulated the heat well.

Of course, you need a bit of odor management below the waist as well, especially if chili is on the camp menu. Chili aside, your groin, buttocks, and legs emit an awful amount of BO. To help in that control area, Sitka also utilized wool in the pant, but to ensure the garment flowed with your movement, Sitka bonded it with polyester material to form a poly/wool synergy. 

In addition to odor control, the wool components in the hoody and pant aid in temperature regulation as you expend energy during a hunt. 

My first hunting garments were wool based. Even a pair of my grandfather’s World War II wool pants that I absconded with kept me on the hunt when purchasing new clothing was out of reach for a college-poor hunter. Cared for responsibly, wool can last generations. My grandfather’s WWII pants hanging in my garment room are proof. 

Do You Hear That? 

Critters will not hear a thing while you wear the Intercept Collection. The wool and poly/wool construction ensures a fabric free of abrasiveness, scratching, or swishing. Regardless of leg, thigh, or arm movement, the contact of fabric to fabric or other materials is hushed. 

The wool and poly blend used in both the hoody and pant make the garments comfortable and quiet.

Sitka takes it a step further. They understand you will be stalking aggressively at times. That equals dropping to the ground and crawling with knees and elbows as contact points to Mother Earth. Taking a cue from our service members, Sitka engineered removable elbow and knee pads of military-grade D30 material. The padding guarantees a soft cushion when encountering rocks or cacti, plus a quiet landing for each move. 

While donning the hoody and pants during a recent scouting trip, I pulled my customary Kayser Krawl. I need to reach the summit of a ridge for a non-silhouette peek over the top. I encountered one prickly pear cactus that was no match for the knee pad. I could  feel the elbow pads working in unison with the fabric for a muted approach. 

Built in knee and elbow pads helped cushion Mother Earth while crawling, which Kayser does all the time.

Did That Rock Just Move?

Sitka’s Intercept Collection is available in their effective OPTIFADE Subalpine camo. Sitka offers the duo in a solid color called Deep Lichen, too. This option is perfect for those who wish to stay uncommitted to camouflage. Sit still and keep your eyes focused; these colors will afford ample camouflage. 

Last year I tested the Apex Hoody in Subalpine camo and fell in love with one element. Sitka built a facemask into the front of the hoody. The panel pulls up quickly and fits snugly. Not only did I use it to shroud my face, but it was delightful (yes, delightful) when the wind whipped up windchills. The hood itself also fits snugly with its contoured design. Someone thought this idea through for the hardcore hunter. 

As a hoody fan (I practically live in them except for summer), I was excited to slip this one on to test its attributes. Like my Apex test of 2022, the Intercept Hoody passed with flying colors. It excelled in fit, comfort, and quietness for moderate fall temperatures or as a layer. Despite wearing it in summer temperatures while scouting, I also did not get a hint of BO. If it did feel a bit warm with a touch of BO on the horizon, I unzipped the front for ventilation — thumbs up for the hoody that weighs a mere 14.4 ounces. 

The Intercept Hoody includes a built-in face mask for camouflage and to ward off windchill.

As for the pant, they weigh a bit more at 20.8 ounces. Still, they are very manageable for a rugged hunting pant. They also fit comfortably with the added flexibility due to stretch nylon on the face of the pant. Stretch nylon also increases wear protection for years of service. You can unzip to ventilate, with the added breathability afforded via mesh hand pockets. 

I cannot wait to test the Intercept Collection on upcoming elk hunts. I will follow up to tell you how they and I did in the testing world of public-land elk. 

 

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