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Find a great pair of pants for your high country hunts and you’re likely never to want to try something else ever again. I definitely fell into that category… The last few years I’ve been using pants from North Face and they held up amazingly well on my sheep hunts along with all the hunting I do on the Island for Deer and Black Bear.
Firstly the Open Country Camo Pattern is perfect for hunting the mountains and high country here in BC and is just as much at home hunting Blacktails and Black Bears here on the Island where you blend right into the clear cuts, and logging slashes litterered with scrub, dead timber, moss covered rocks and the woody debris left over from logging.
Second, these pants boast a variety of design features that are attractive to mountain hunters, such as the waterproof bum and knee sections (with removeable knee pads), the built in suspenders (I quite like these), great useful pocket placement and they are made out of a 4 way stretch material.
What Were My Initial Thoughts…?
From the moment I tried these pants on I was sold! Sitka pretty much nailed it with the design and came up with a functional garment that any mountain hunter would see the value in. The padded knees seemed bulky and akward to me so they immediately came out and were never used all season.
The material the pants are made from is very stretchy, picture your wife’s lulu lemon pants, but in Camo, well close anyways…! All kidding aside the stretchiness makes for nicer walking when the going gets rough as there is less friction from the material and you have better mobility. My “other” pants would hinder my movement when the pockets were full, especially when climbing up and over obstacles. Not these pants. The Timberline pants feel great while hiking up through the thick stuff.
Another cool addition worth mentioning is the button system for the leg pockets, it’s not your typical metal buttons, that make noise when you open and close them but a much sleeker rubber design that is both strong enough to hold shut in the rough stuff and silent as a whisper when opening and closing your pockets without the ominous “zzziiiiippppp” of a zipper or sharp “snap” of an ice cold, even frozen metal button.
The pants fit great, I am 5′ 10″ and about 200lbs and went with the 38″ waist in regular, the fit was perfect for me. The built in belt is a handy feature most outdoor pants have these days but after using them for a little while I much prefer the suspenders, they make life so much easier, even with the best belt, when you’re backpacking you build up a sweat and your pants (belt or not) can start to slide down. The suspenders really helped combat that, and are thin enough they didn’t cause any interference with my shoulder straps on the Mystery Ranch pack. They worked better at holding my pants up after a long hike than the belt did.
How Did They Perform In The Field?
My first few trial runs with these pants, were hiking up the lower portions of our local Mt. Arrowsmith in the heat of the early summer…. lol.. Let’s just say, these pants are a little on the warm side! As Sitka has “pit zips” on many of their jackets, some sort of “heat dump” mechanism in the pants would be a welcome addition. Something like a zipper on the (inside leg seam) that opens to a breathable mesh lining, or even a zipper around the knee, a feature my other pants had (where the legs zipped off) and it worked great for dumping heat, you’d just open the zipper 1/2 way and with every step your legs would be pumping the hot air out and the fresh air in. It felt nice, and if Sitka adopted a similar mechanism or some other cool idea, that would awesome.
The warm weather issues aside once it started to a get a little cooler out these pants really started to shine. On our October Stone’s Sheep hunt into Northern BC, they kept me warm and comfortable throughout the hunt with nothing but a thin merino base layer underneath and my Sitka Coldfront Pants as my outer layer when needed. Obviously Sitka is meant to work as a layering “system” and for this it works very well as the Timberline pants fit like a glove inside the Coldfront or Stormfront pants.
The sheep hunt we took these pants on was relatively dry but hunting Blacktails here on the Island put them through the wet weather test. The reinforced waterproof knees and the reinforced waterproof bum worked great for the most part, and only under constant downward pressure for extended periods of time did they start to leak through slightly, and I exected this… One example was kneeling for well over an hour on a wet mossy bluff, in a downpour while hunting an area with lots of buck sign here on the Island, the knees had started to leak through ever so slightly… My legs were totally soaked though, no fault of the pants, as the rest of the pants aren’t made to be waterproof.
Many people are concerned with the quietness of their hunting gear. The Sitka Timberline pants are definitely deserving of an A+ rating in the stealth department. These pants are virtually silent when you need them to be and come in the Open Country camo pattern, which for mountain hunting stands alone at the top!
What Are My Final Thoughts
I wore these pants throughout my entire fall hunting season, both on my sheep hunt up north and 2 full months of Blacktail Deer hunting here on the Island. If I was going out hunting, my Timberlines came with. These pants aren’t cheap with retailers selling them from $250-$300 so their longevity will ultimately decide their value. If I get 3 or 4 years of use out of these pants then there won’t be any complaining. Judging by how they’ve held up the first year I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.
Sitka Timberline Pants Pros:
- They Fit Great
- Stretchy Material
- Great Pocket Placements
- Built-In Suspenders
- Open Country Camo
- Waterproof Seat and Knees
- Very Warm
Sitka Timberline Pants Cons:
- They will be warm for August sheep hunts.
- I really don’t have anything bad to say about these pants!
In conclusion, if you can find a pair of Sitka Timberline pants in your size, and they’re on sale BUY THEM! They are an excellent hunting pant, especially for guys who like to hike in cooler weather chasing sheep, deer or anything in the high country. These pants provide great warmth to weight ratio and are very comfortable to wear. If you’ve already got Sitka outer layers these pants will fit your system perfectly.
2016 Followup and Updates
I’ve been running the Sitka Timberline pant for over 4 years now and they’ve been on 4 Stone’s Sheep hunts, dozens of local deer and bear excursions and have made a lot of miles. The fabric is definitely getting pilled now, there are stains that won’t come out, there is some wear down around the ankles from rubbing on boots but overall they are still in great shape and another sheep hunt or two left in them.
Thanks for Reading!
If you have any questions about the Timberline Pants let us know in the comments section below and we’ll respond to your comment.