Sitka Kelvin Lite Hoody Review

Sitka Kelvin Lite Hoody Review

The Sitka Kelvin Lite Hoody is a lightweight hooded synthetic insulated jacket that is perfect for use from mid-season hikes or hunts, to moderate aerobic winter activities such as hiking or snowshoeing. This jacket is well insulated to take the chill out of these activities with durable 4-way stretch panels on the sides which increase the range of motion and overall breathability of the jacket.

Weighing 16.9 ounces in a men’s large, the Kelvin Lite Hoody is available in three colors (2 camo patterns and one solid color).  It has three zippered pockets; two on both sides of the torso and one large chest pocket to hold and protect your gear. These pockets are micro fleece-lined for comfort and an added degree of warmth.

Sitka Kelvin Lite Hoody

Warmth
Water Resistance
Breathability
Comfort & Mobility
Hood Adjustability
Weight
Durability

Premium Camouflage Mid-Layer

The Sitka Kelvin Lite Hoody is a lightweight hooded insulated jacket that is perfect for use from mid-season hikes or hunts

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Specs at a Glance

  • Fabric: Woven Polyester shell and liner
  • Insulation: 80 g/m2 of Primaloft Hi-loft insulation in the body, Polartec Alpha insulation in the side panels
  • Color Choices: Subalpine camo (shown), Open Country camo, and “dirt” (brown)
  • Polygiene: Odor Control Technology helps to neutralize odor caused by perspiration
  • DWR finish: Yes, resists light precipitation and prevents shell fabric from getting wet
  • Fit: athletic/trim
  • Weight: 16.9 oz
  • Central features: Fitted hood, gusseted cuffs, and breathable 4-way stretch side panels.

Hood

The hood is form-fitted with adjustments on the back to micro-adjust and increase warmth and is cut in such a way that your peripheral vision is not impaired while hiking or glassing. I also found that I could wear a standard ball cap with the hood in place without the need for adjustment.

The stretch hood is fitted and easily used with a billed cap.
The stretch hood is fitted and easily used with a billed cap.

Sleeves

The sleeves and cuffs are tapered and gusseted to fit semi-snug and securely. This proved beneficial when adding more exterior layers as there was no snag or creep of the sleeves as the additional layers were added. The only foreseeable drawback is that the tapered sleeves may get hung up slightly on a larger sports watch/GPS such as a Suunto 9 or Garmin forerunner.

The design of the jacket features an athletic cut through the torso
The design of the jacket features an athletic cut through the torso

Insulation

This jacket has 80 g/m2 of Primaloft Hi-loft synthetic insulation in the body of the jacket with Polartec Alpha active insulation in the side panels. Primaloft has proved to be a valuable insulation technology for hikers and hunters alike. Arguably down is lighter and more compressible, but easily compromised by moisture and compression. Primaloft will keep you warm while withstanding the harshness of outdoor environments, all in a lightweight package that doesn’t sacrifice movement or breathability. It has good compressibility for packing, and could only be improved if it could be designed to pack itself into its own pocket or include a stuff sack.

Assessment

I found this jacket to be exceptionally lightweight, warm and comfortable. The design of the jacket features an athletic cut through the torso which for a full-figured guy like me, made it noticeably snug in the armpit area. I was initially concerned that this would restrict motion and or cause under-layers to ride up. This notion was quickly forgotten as I engaged in outdoor activity; in fact, I came to appreciate the sporty fit when donning extra shell layers. The form fit of the jacket didn’t bind or bunch in the shoulders or armpits as can be the case with other mid-layer jackets.

The Kelvin Lite Hoody also felt a tad short, the back of the jacket fell just below the waistline and front of the jacket sits even with my belt, so for those with longer torsos, Sitka does have a “tall” designation for medium to XXL sizes. The side panels provide breathability in mild to moderate aerobic activity. I have worn this jacket in temperatures ranging from 30-50 degrees and it provides comfort in winds up to 15-20 miles an hour in 40-degree weather before you notice any chill coming through the front, back, hood, and sleeves of the jacket.

Kelvin Lite hoody is available in three colors 2 camo patterns and one solid color
Kelvin Lite Hoody is available in three colors 2 camo patterns (subalpine shown) and one solid color

Recommendation

The Sitka Kelvin Lite Hoody is very comfortable and comparable to wearing a soft pillow. Its glove-like fit lends itself to easy layering while maintaining mobility. It performs well as a stand-alone jacket in temperatures from 30-50 degrees with an appreciable amount of breathability under moderate aerobic activities. Additionally, it performed well as an insulation piece when temperatures dipped below 30 degrees. The DWR finish is a plus when used on cooler days when the weather can’t make up its mind between sunshine and sporadic rain. I have come to appreciate the utility and functionality of this jacket, and would definitely recommend it to others as a warm and purpose-built jacket.

Disclosure: Sitka provided the author with a garment for this review.

About the author

Sven Peery is an all-season outdoorsman who enjoys backpacking, camping, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. He is also an experienced hunter and fisherman who is not afraid to wander off the beaten path. His wanderings have led him to hike and explore the vast trails of the High Uinta Wilderness, Wind River Range, and the Frank Church Wilderness in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho respectively. Sven spent 8 years with a county Search and Rescue team in Northern Utah. His training includes man tracking, wilderness survival, backcountry, cave, and high angle rescue. Whether hiking in National Parks with family, rising up to 13,527 feet elevation of Kings Peak, or dipping nearly a mile below the rim to cross the Grand Canyon, he is always ready for the next adventure!

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4 comments

  1. Great review. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Kuiu/Sitka/First Lite sites trying to figure out which garments I want to purchase. Most of my needs are already satisfied by my backpacking clothes but could use some new outerwear for bushwhacking.

    Have you had a chance to check out the durability of this item? How’d the shell stand up to abrasion or thorns?

    • While there is a lot of overlap, one of my takeaways of how hunting clothes differ the anti-body odor (scent) treatments they have. Sitka also makes some Mountain Pants that have knee pads in them. I’m learning too. :-)

      • Absolutely. I’m trying to find that middle ground between my backpacking apparel and my bulky tree stand hunting clothes. Hoping to get some backpack hunting trips in either this year or next.

    • The polyester shell has a pretty tight weave however the overall softness of the cloth would make me use cation off trail. It is certainly durable but I wouldn’t hug a hawthorn or or race through a rose bush with this jacket on. All three companies that you mentioned have great clothing lines in technical fabrics, For me it really comes down to camouflage pattern preferences and overall fit/comfort.

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