For all hunters in cool and cold climates, jackets are critical hunting gear. A bad jacket can be a burden, and a good jacket can add hours or even days (collectively) to your season if it helps you stay warm, comfortable, and active.
We recently tested the KUIU Guide DCS Jacket to see if this jacket can stand up to our needs and demands in the field. And overall, we were impressed.
KUIU describes the Guides DCS Jacket as a “Durable, wind and water-resistant, this outer-layer hooded jacket is built for any season. Features 4-way stretch Primeflex® fabric that provides comfort in a wide range of uses and conditions.” As these are the key selling points, we’d paid particular attention to these aspects when testing. Here’s what we found:
One of the most compelling aspects of this jacket is its durability. I mostly hunt in western states where in the early season in California, it might be in the 30s in the morning and 80s in the afternoon. In these mountain states, the cold of the morning is quickly lost to high body heat from hiking. Unfortunately, many light, breathable jackets needed for the early season or intense days of hiking lack durability. There is no questions that the KUIU Guide DCS Jacket will be my go-to for scouting this year when vegetation is thick and I want to move through the mountains quickly to make the most of my scouting time. I won’t be concerned about wear and tear with this jacket.
Wind and Water-Resistant
I hunt the high country where wind is often the norm and apparel needs to be a barrier to the weather. On a windy day with only a t-shirt underneath, this jacket was great at blocking the wind while remaining breathable while I put miles in. While it did prove to be wind resistant, I am reluctant to describe it as a piece that will keep you warm on its own. Later in the season, you will want to make sure you have necessary layers underneath. This is in no way a deterrent, and KUIU would likely state that’s how this piece is to function.
This jacket is lightweight and breathable. You don’t get the comfort of something like a thick fleece jacket, but you do get the comfort that comes from a lightweight and breathable piece that generally goes unnoticed. Additionally, this jacket keeps you comfortable in the elements, especially with proper layering.
Wide Range of Uses
In the Western U.S., where there is a range of temperatures, the Guide DCS Jacket from KUIU is a jacket that will surely be used for pig hunting throughout the year in California, deer and elk hunting throughout the West in the fall, and for much of the deer and elk seasons as well. I might go with a different jacket during a snowstorm, but for most other situations, the Guide DCS Jacket is going to be my go-to.
Disclosure: KUIU is in a professional relationship with Rack Camp. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.