I recently had the opportunity to test and use 3 of First Lite’s newest additions: The Cirrus Puffy, VAPOR StormLight Jacket, and SEAK StormTight Jacket. I wanted to write up my thoughts on these new pieces as I think that everyone will have a place for these items in their packs this fall.
Cirrus Puffy Insulation Jacket
The Cirrus Puffy is a hoodless insulation jacket. The Cirrus has generous fill for an insulation layer and the synthetic fill holds its position and shape while insulating well. The torso is shorter than other layers, so it might not be good for an outer layer if you are taller. I found that it sat a little high on my waist, but then again I have a long torso. The Cirrus also compresses very well so it fits well under an outer layer and in a pack. If you hunt in conditions in which temps can drop rapidly and you need to be able to add or remove an insulation layer quickly, this jacket belongs in your pack.
VAPOR StormLight Rain Jacket
The VAPOR is a 1.5 layer rain jacket that is intended to be packed away until you need it. It breathes well for a rain jacket and fits well. It is slightly oversized so that you can easily throw it over whatever layers you are wearing at the time.
One drawback is that it is relatively noisy. This is very much a dedicated rain jacket that would not likely do well as an outer layer when it isn’t rainy. Also, since it is only 1.5 layer construction, it is not built for brush busting at all. This jacket is very light and will not be noticeable in your pack as it packs down to next to nothing.
SEAK StormTight Rain Jacket
The SEAK is a phenomenal jacket. It is not merely a heavier version of the VAPOR; instead, it is a 3.5 layer-constructed shell that is waterproof, breathable, and durable. It is not as noisy as the VAPOR and it fits very well, allowing for just enough room for your layers while still maintaining the shooter’s cut shape. The hood fits great and covers well while still allowing good peripheral vision. While the price might be steep ($425 MSRP), this jacket is a game changer when it comes to rain wear. If you hunt in consistently wet conditions, or if you need a rain shell that will stand up to brush busting, you need to give the SEAK a hard look.
First Lite has some great products coming out this year so be sure to get your shopping list ready now because they will be available for order early this summer.