Gear Review: First Lite Sanctuary Jacket

November 28, 2015 — Leave a comment


When the temps really drop, you have to step your insulation game up quite a bit. You can get away with fewer layers and less insulation when you are hiking hard through the hills, but when you have to stop and sit for a long period of time and the temps are below freezing, you need something that can keep you warm while also being functional. Functionality is a key ingredient, especially for bowhunters, since some cold weather gear is bulky and gets in the way too easily or restricts movement. For those who need a very warm option for very cold days of glassing or sitting in a tree stand, the Sanctuary jacket (and bib pants, for that matter) from First Lite is for you.

Heavy on Purpose


The Sanctuary Jacket is a heavy outer layer for very cold days (And it is heavy. You notice the weight of this piece as soon as you pick it up). The body has 240g insulation while the sleeves and hood have 160g insulation. This combo helps keep your core temperature consistent while allowing for full range of motion in your arms and decreased restriction for hearing through the hood.DSC_0029

Inside the jacket are strategically placed pockets that can house hand-warmers for increased warmth inside the jacket. The Sanctuary’s interior is roomy for additional layering. If you do not want to layer, you may want to go down a size (I ordered a medium and found that it fit a little looser than I prefer as I do not like too much space inside).

The fabric utilizes 37.5 Cocona Active Carbon Technology which works by moving perspiration to the outside of the garment where it is functionally neutralized and evaporated. The carbon element that makes up the 37.5 technology eliminates human odor before reaching the outside of the garment. The exterior fabric utilizes a DWR finish to provide maximum water and wind resistance. What is very impressive about this jacket is the fact that although the jacket is water and wind resistant, it is practically dead silent. This will allow you to get into position and come to pull draw as silently as possible.

Sealed Up from Top to BottomDSC_0026

The zippered hand pockets have elastic gasket cuffs that allow you to put your hands inside of the jacket and close to your body to keep your hands warm while not allowing the cold outside air inside your jacket. This makes it possible to wear thinner gloves and avoid bulky gloves that can limit your ability to shoot your bow. The hood also provides maximum insulation around your face while preventing air from getting inside.DSC_0027

Big Jacket, No Bulk

The Sanctuary jacket utilizes the same Shooter’s Cut that all other First Lite tops use. The Shooter’s Cut allows for maximum range of motion while reducing excess material. This prevents bulky fabric from getting in the way of your shot when the time comes.

This jacket is incredibly warm and is very functional. If you spend time in a tree stand in the late season or if you spend long amounts of time glassing or still-hunting in the colder months, you need to give this jacket a hard look. Check it out at

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