SITKA Arrowhead Equipment Midlayer Jacket; It’s good for everything.
A good midlayer jacket can see more use than just about any other item of clothing. It can be worn around town for a light jacket when the weather turns chilly or it could be worn under a GORE-TEX outer layer to provide some additional warmth when it’s cold and wet. Any really well thought-out midlayer jacket packs down into a tiny package, offers maximum breathability and warmth, all while still retaining a good degree of water resistance. SITKA Arrowhead’s new Midlayer Jacket does all of these things.
Midlayer jackets I’ve owned in the past see the most use running errands around town, because I spend more time doing that than working outside or shooting at the range. I care a lot about how one looks, because if it doesn’t look too extreme, I can use it for everything. SITKA’s Midlayer Jacket is nondescript and has no loud logos or camouflage patterns. It’s available in black, lead (dark gray), and coyote. The black and gray colors make it a good fit for a “go anywhere” jacket. There are no Velcro patches anywhere, just three pockets: two lower torso hand pockets and one chest pocket on the left side. Each zipper has a small garage to prevent water from entering quickly through the zipper.
The outer shell of the Midlayer Jacket is made from Aerolite H600 30d Nylon Ripstop with DWR. 30d Nylon is light weight that offers my ideal balance of abrasion resistance and “packability”. Any midlayer jacket worth its salt can be stuffed down into a tiny corner of a backpack and be forgotten until needed. This one qualifies. Sitka’s jacket packs down into the sleeve and measures about five inches in diameter by six inches long when done. It’s possible to pack it a little bit smaller, but I like that size because it’s also a useful pillow when flying on an airplane. The 30d Nylon has a DWR coating that offers a surprising amount of water resistance. I wouldn’t plan on staying dry in a downpour, but the water resistance of this jacket is plenty of protection against a light drizzle.
The insulation is where the magic happens with this midlayer jacket. This jacket is similar to SITKA’s Kelvin Active jacket, so it offers warmth with maximum breathability, important capabilities when the guy wearing it alternates from moving to static positions and transitions rapidly between the two. The insulation is a light fleece material called Polartec Alpha 4004 Breathable Insulation. Its ability to breathe lets perspiration out during periods of activity so the wearer stays dry. Letting the moisture escape doesn’t affect this jacket’s ability to retain heat, so it offers a great combination of warmth without making the wearer sweaty.
While the Midlayer jacket does just fine on its own, it also pairs well with the Wet Weather Jacket. This combination is very warm and would do well in a downpour. The flexibility from having the ability to wear one or the other of these items separately or together lets the two garments cover a wide temperature range and protects the owner from both cold and wet weather.