By Garth Jenson, September 2015
When it comes to clothing in the hunting industry, honestly every company claims to have the best bang for the buck. I have always subscribed to the old adage that you get what you pay for, that is until I started seeing most hunt clothing companies trying to cash in on "lightweight backcountry clothing" and charging a premium price for subpar material and manufacturing. It’s no secret with people who know and hunt with me that I prefer KUIU clothing because of the quality fit, material, research, and testing that goes into all of their gear because when I’m miles into the backcountry my well-being depends on the weight and performance of all my gear. Although it’s not the most expensive hunting clothing out there, not everyone can afford KUIU’s premium hunt clothing line, so the consumer ends up settling for lesser quality clothing made from lesser quality material. This is where KUIU really stepped up and saw a need out there for a high quality hunt clothing line that everyone could afford.
When I first saw that KUIU was coming out with a lower cost line of hunt clothing, my first thought was, “How can they produce a truly quality line of hunt clothing that is priced less than what they are currently charging for their current line?” They make some of the highest quality clothing on the market today, and I really did not want to see them ruin the great thing they had going like other hunt clothing manufacturers have done in the past. I immediately wanted to find out more about this new Teton line of clothing. I just had a hard time believing that KUIU could produce that much better of a line of clothing than other companies that had been producing that grade of clothing for years. I started to do a little research and learned that the Teton line was still made with Toray fabrics, which really intrigued me because Toray fabrics are used in their high end line as well. That did it for me, I had to get my hands on this line of clothing to see what it was made of.
I ordered the Teton line in the Vias camo pattern to try it out as all of my other KUIU has been in the Verde pattern up until this point. My first impression when I pulled the clothing out of the bag was, "Wow! If this stuff holds up and performs as well as it looks and feels, this could be a game changer." I got my hands on the clothes just in time for a 4-day bonsai backpack scouting trip into the Wyoming backcountry, which I knew would be a great place to run it through the ringer. When I got to the trailhead and suited up for the 5-mile hike in, I was so glad the Teton Stretch Woven pants had the same fit as my all-time favorite hunting pants, the Attack pants. The Teton pants are made of 100% Toray polyester that have the same stretch as the high end line. It was drizzling a bit when we started out, but after about 1 mile in, the rain really started to pick up and I had to stop and throw on the Teton rain gear, which I was a little skeptical of because of how lightweight it was. I hiked through knee high grass and cow cabbage for the remainder of the trek in a steady downpour, and I can honestly say I never got wet. It was a welcome surprise as there aren’t a lot of things that ruin a good backpack trip faster than being soaking wet before you even get camp set up. The rain gear passed with flying colors and is now in my pack during all my early season hunts.
In the Teton line, there are also two jackets, the Teton Soft Shell and the Teton Insulated jackets. These two jackets resemble two of my go-to jackets for all my hunts, the Teton Soft Shell jacket has a very similar fit and feel to the Guide jacket. It has a wind and water-resistant outer layer made of Toray 100% Polyester 50D woven face fabric that kept the chill off while glassing on top of those 10,000' razorback windblown ridges. The other jacket is the Teton Insulated jacket, which uses the same Toray 3DeFX+ synthetic insulation that the Kenai jacket uses and Toray 100% Nylon 20D woven ripstop material, which is quiet, highly breathable, and extremely lightweight at 11.7 oz. This jacket is going to be an ideal backcountry archery insulation layer because of its compact and quiet features. They also have both long and short sleeve T-shirts as part of the Teton line, which are lightweight 93%/7% Polyester/Nylon blend that are extremely fast-drying and breathable. The long sleeve works great for my base layer during early mornings and was perfect by itself for when it warmed up in the afternoon. I almost forgot to mention one of my favorite pieces, the Zip-T fleece that I rarely take off from sunrise to noon. This 100% Polyester mid-layer long sleeve top is one of the most practical and comfortable articles of clothing I own.
I have been using the Teton line all summer for scouting, and I can honestly say it has way outperformed my expectations! It is really refreshing in this day and age to see a company out there like KUIU that strives to bring the best clothing to all hunters in a market that is saturated with high priced clothing that can’t even make it through one hunting season, let alone last for years. Jason Hairston’s vision for cutting the consumer price down by selling online direct is really paying off for hunters. If anyone is still skeptical about KUIU’s model and dedication to bringing the highest quality materials to its consumers for a reasonable price, they need to look no further than the new Teton line. The only improvement I could think of for the future is offering the Soft Shell and Insulated jackets with a hooded option as this can definitely help keep the chill off the back of your neck on those windy, cold mornings. I don’t know of another line of hunt clothing out there that can compare to the cost/quality ratio of KUIU’s new Teton line. For only $750, you can own the entire 8-piece line of Teton hunt clothing! To find out all the details and pricing for KUIU’s Teton line as well as all of their other great outdoor gear, go to store.kuiu.com.