The Sitka Jetstream reigns top of hunting jackets; after two seasons of using this jacket, I’m going to delve into what makes the Sitka Jetstream so good.
The first thing a good hunting jacket should do is fit well. I must say I was pleasantly surprised the first time I put on the Sitka Jetstream. It is an extremely well-fitting jacket.
Being 6′ 4 tall it can sometimes be hard to come by good fitting hunt clothes, jackets usually tend to ride up your arm when you shoulder a rifle or ride up your lower back when lugging gear or quarry around.
The Sitka Jetstream completely eliminates these problems. The sleeves don’t have wrist straps but why add unnecessary straps that will only add to the weight and clutter the jacket, the sleeves fit perfectly.
Sitka uses what they call “Articulated Fit” for the jetstream. This is designed to give the maximum range of motion with minimal bulk, and I truly believe they succeeded with this.
Any hunting jacket worth its salt must be able to not only withstand weather extremes but it must be able to perform during these extremes, this means keeping the hunter warm or cool depending on the stream.
Sitka uses Gore-Tex across its range of products. Gore-Tex is exceptional for wet and windy weather.
The Sitka Jetstream is excellent in extreme wind. Sitka opted for GORE-TEX INFINIUM with WINDSTOPPER technology for this jacket.
Normally during extreme wind, you would expect some wind to make it through your jacket and quickly make you cold, I did not find this with the Jetstream. This Jacket is so good at keeping the wind out that I usually choose to wear this jacket as my fishing jacket on open water and on my mountain trips where I expect the wind to be strong.
Most hunters contend with ever-changing weather conditions, you can quickly go from dry and sunny to wet and windy.
The Jetstream performs moderately in wet conditions. While it is excellent in the wind department it is not as strong in the waterproof department.
For light rains or passing showers, I have no hesitation in wearing my Jetstream but anything heavier than that and I will be using something else.
During some heavy rainfall, I found that water starts seeping in through the seams, particularly the large seam across the back.
However, Sitka does only claim that the Jetstream uses a Durable Water Repellent finish that resists light precipitation. They do not claim this to be a fully waterproof jacket.
The design of the Sitka Jetstream Jacket is where things get interesting. One thing I admire Sitka for is their innovative technology and the thorough research they do for their products.
The Jetstream is not only made of extreme weather-facing material, it is also made from an extremely comfortable material.
I will admit I find myself wearing the jacket far too often, even grocery shopping because of how comfortable it is to wear.
The outer of the jacket uses a gore-tex Infinium Windstopper with a polyester softshell face. This is great for facing down the weather but it is also durable. I’ve taken this jacket through some extreme conditions and haven’t managed to damage it yet.
The outer material is not silent but it is one of the quieter softshell jackets I have come across.
The inner material is the one that makes me keep grabbing this jacket for most outings. The inside of the Jetstream jacket is made from micro-Grid Polyester Fleece Knit Interior.
The fleece interior provides a comfortable fit with a warming touch to it, yet it’s light enough to perform physical or strenuous activity.
Sitka really went all out on pockets for the Jetstream jackets and it’s one of my favorite things about this jacket.
The Sitka Jetstream is equipped with 6 pockets. While this may seem like a lot Sitka has managed to fit them in a streamlined fashion without making the jacket feel clunky.
The number of pockets is another reason why the Jetstream now doubles as my fishing jacket.
The two standard pockets on the side are large and can easily hold a pair of gloves and still have room for other things. The pockets don’t just open forwards as you would expect of most pockets but they have some opening on both sides of the zippers.
Inside these pockets, you will also find a tab for tightening the jacket around your waist.
The left arm of the Jetstream houses the next pocket up. This is a small pocket that is split into two once you unzip it. It’s not a large pocket, but more streamlined to fit on the sleeve.
I make use of this pocket by putting any documents or licenses into it. The pocket is about 6 inches wide in total.
The chest pockets number 3 in total. Two relatively large in total and one smaller one.
These are probably the most used pockets on my Jetstream jacket. These pockets are great for holding a phone or glasses, or sometimes I’ll stuff my Jetstream beanie hat in one.
All pockets come with cord tabs on the zippers, this makes them extremely easy to open and close especially if wearing thick gloves.
One of the next greatest things about the Jetstream jacket is its breathability.
Normally form a jacket that performs so well in the wind you wouldn’t expect great breathability. However, the Jetstream jacket comes equipped with two large ventilation ports under the armpits.
I find myself using these pit zips frequently, they offer good breathability throughout the whole jacket.
This is a great added feature for if you were working up a mountainside and started getting hot after you reach the top you can close the zippers again.
The openings measure about 12 inches on a size large. They are also double zippered allowing you to open any section of the port you like.
The Jetstream jacket comes in five different patterns. Most of these patterns are the same that Sitka uses across its entire range.
As we know Sitka put a lot of research and technology into developing their patterns
I choose the Optifade Open Country which is for ranges of 50 yards and more in rocky terrain above the timberline.
The other pattern option is Optifade Subalpine, the other three colors are solid.
I find that the Open Country works great in most scenarios and I think it performs particularly well in snow.
Is the Sitka Jetstream Jacket Durable? That is a resounding yes. I have put this jacket through everything, mountain hunts, mountain fishing, upland hunts, through briars, brush, thick cover, snowstorms, thunderstorms, dogs jumping on it, etc.
It performed admirably through all of these, maybe except heavy rain, but more importantly it held up and came out without even a scratch. After two seasons the jacket is as if I just purchased it.
Who is This Jacket For?
The Sitka Jetstream is one of the best hunting jackets out there for active hunters, think mountain goat, sheep, or mule deer hunters. If your hunt requires physical exertion then the Jetstream may be suitable for you.
I wouldn’t call it a pure Alaska jacket purely down to the waterproofing may not be up to the rains they get there. But it’s a great jacket for almost everything else.