What hunting clothes does Steve Rinella Use? Steve Rinella uses First Lite and Kuiu brand clothing.
Steve Rinella advocates using a hunting clothing system, while this could be more expensive upfront as you have to buy multiple pieces of clothing for your kit, in the long term it could be cheaper because many of these clothing pieces can be used in conjunction with one another to create a versatile layering system.
First Lite Hunting Clothing
First Like was founded by Kenton Carruth and Scott Robinson. They are known for hunting gear for both the weekend hunter or the expedition hunter in mind. The company has a wide range of technical hunting clothing and is known for using merino wool in many of the products building of years of research and use in the hiking industry.
Kuiu Brand Clothing
Another brand you often see Steven Rinella using prior to his sponsorship with First Lite is Kuiu brand.
You may be wondering how do you actually pronounce Kuiu? It is pronounced Koo You.
Kuiu is an American hunting gear and apparel brand that has a direct to consumer model. So if you are wondeirng where can you buy Kuiu gear you cannot go to your local store or other online retailers to purchase, you have to purchase directly from Kuiu.
What Is A Hunting Clothing System?
A hunting clothing system is essentially building a head to toe set of gear that can work together by layering and adding or subtracting pieaces as the temperatures and weather changes. This layering concept has been successfully used both in the US Military as well as many individuals who are interested in hiking.
This has been made famous with the military clothing system, like the US Army uses the ECWCS (Extended Cold Weather Clothing System). The ECWCS stated temperature rating is from positive 40 degrees Farenheight to negative 60 degrees. Now these aren’t comfort ratings, but bare minimum survival ratings. Remember comfort level can depend highly on the user, we all have different temperature tolerances.
Building Your Hunting Clothing Sytem To Tackle Any Weather – Questions To Ask Yourself
When you first decide you want to invest in quality hunting clothing and build a system of clothing that you can select form to cover the exact situation, you need to consider a few things.
Will You Be Stationary (Still Hunting) or On the Move?
If you are stationary and in colder weather you can wear more bulky clothes any not be uncomfortable. Where if you tried wearing the same clothing when you are on the move you would likely be uncomfortable due to the bulk of the clothing be restrictive, while you would also likely overheat due to all the insulative layers.
When I am whitetail deer hunting in New York in early December I ofter still hunt and if not dressed appropriately it can get pretty cold!
What season(s) you will be hunting in
If you are really interested in hunting you already know that you can face a variety of weather conditions depending on what is in season and what time of year you are hunting in. For example, here in New York State hunting for white tail deer you can experience everything from 60 degree days to sub freezing days and everything in between.
This is perfect scenarios for a hunting clothing system.
Spring can be kind of a wildcard, here in the Northeast US you can have snow, rain, ice or really warm weather. In general, for early spring I would continue to use my winter hunting gear and remove one of the insulating layers as needed when the temperatures get warmer. For example, as the temps warm up still use your winter jacker but remove a fleeze layer, this will allow you to incrementatly regulate your temperature.
Likely in summer you will need gear that helps regulate body temperature and wicks moisture away so you have evaporative cooling and do not get overheated. Generally speaking you may need some headwear that provide some form of additional shade to keep the sun off of your head and neck.
Fall depending on the temperatures where you are you often can get away with using some of your summer hunting clothing, but have a layer on top such as a fleece and/or shell. This will allow you to use the summer gear during warmer fall periods while adding the fleece layer for early morning or evening hunts.
Winter you can often get away with using a base layer that insulates, with much of your Fall gear but adding an additional heavier insulating jacket and pants or bibs. Winter has the largest variation where you really need to dress based on your activity, if you wear too many insulative layers for a hunt where you are moving around you will quick overheat and sweat which can create issues in cold weather.
What environment you will be hunting in
If you are someone who hunts in a certain area that has similar terrain, plants and colors than a single camo may be adequate, but if you hunt everywhere from the East Coast of the United States to out West the terrain and colors are different so you may need to have a different style of camo.
Steve Rinella’s Hunting Clothing Recommendations
Lets start looking at the clothing Steve Rinella recommends, we will start at footwear and work our way up to headwear. One thing we do have to consider is many famous or professional hunters (which I would consider Steve) may receive free gear and/or sponsorships from suppliers or manufacturers.
So I recommend to not take what he uses or recommends as the sole reason you choose a certain piece of gear, you should also see what other people are saying about the gear as well.
I haven’t saw Steve recommend specific brands of footwear but he has some general suggestions that you can utilize. For warmer month hunts you can use boots that are almost built like a hiking boot. These are fairly inexpensive and can be used for still hunting or hike and hunts. Personally, I have good luck with Asolo hiking boots, but you can also look into almost any type of hikers.
Next let’s discuss boots you can utilize when it is wet out, where you will be dealing with mud and wet clay. Steve recommends rubber boots for these type of hunts. Personally, I have had good luck with Muck brand boots.
For winter Steve recommends Pac Boots, they usually have a leather upper and softer rubber sole. These help give you traction in colder weather, they often also have removable liners so you do not have to have the challenges of drying the inside of boots. Simply get a second set of liners, dry the first ones while you are using the backup liners.
For socks good quality wool socks of varying thickness are ideal, for winter you may want to add a thin pair of liner socks that wick moisture away from the feet. I haven’t saw anywhere Steve makes a specific recommendation for a certain brand but I have had good luck with Smart Wool or for those of a more budget friendly option Costco’s wool socks are reasonably priced.
What are boot gaiters used for? Gaiters are great for keeping sand, rocks, sticks and other debre from getting into the top of your boots, as well as helps keep your lower legs dry from brushing up against damp grass. They can also help keep ticks from crawling under your pant legs.
I have seen Steve wear both First Lite Brambler Gaiters as well as Kuiu’s Yukon Gaiters. Both are well respected gaiters that should serve you well.
For a base layer you have two options synthetic base layers and natural base layers. Personally I like merino wool base layers and from what I have read that is what Steve Rinella recommends as well.
You can use merino wool in the warm months as it wicks moisture well, and you can use it in colder weather as it provides insulation.
First Lite makes two different base layer bottoms the Kiln Boot Top Bottom which goes to the top of most hunting boots (removing bulk from your boots), and the Furnance Long John which is a full length base layer and is a heavier weight merino wool than the Kiln Boot Tops.
Likewise for your top base layer First Lite have henly and quarter zip long sleeve base layers.
Mid layers for hunting is great, during fall and late spring this may be all you need to wear for your outer layer. This can be as simple as a fleece jacket. You will often see hunters during the colder seasons wear the mid layer as they are walking into where they plan to hunt and only put on the outer layer once they reach their stand.
Steve recommends the various fleece options from First Lite or if you are looking for a more natural option you could go with one of the merino wool base layers they offer.
Outer layers are one of the most important layers, getting this layer right is important for multiple reasons. First, it is the first line of defense against the elements. Wearing the wrong outer layer for the weather conditions surely will make your outdoor adventures miserable.
When building out your hunting kit you should have a variety of outer layers. First I would recommend a Gortex Camo Rain Jacket, this can be worn during rainy hunts year around and in a pinch can be used as an overshell/wind breaker with insulative clothing under it for winter hunts.
A dedicated puffy coat made from synthetics or down can be used as well for extreme cold, just be sure to pack them in so you don’t over heat or destroy them on brambles.
For more moderate temperatures you can often wear a mid layer as an outer layer (ie fleece or light long sleeve t-shirt) depending on the temperatures.
Headwear can be an inexpensive area of your gear selection. At a minimum you should have a camp hat with a brim to keep the sun off, a winter hat for when temperatures drop and potentially some form of orange headwear for states that require orange (unless you don’t hunt these areas).
Steve often uses the First Lite Brimmed Beanie hat for cool weather hunts and one of First Lite’s ball hats for many warmer season hunts.
First Lite offers a number of gloves that are a great choice if you are looking for the gloves Steve Rinella wears. They have merino wool liner gloves, more winter style camo gloves and a wicking liner glove that doesn’t insulate but is used for covering your skin during the warmer months.
Wrapping up Steve Rinella obviously has an agreement to use much of First Lite’s gear, which this is normal in many sports and hunting is no different. First Lite really does make some quality gear at fair prices.
If they are out of your price range you can find numerous other makers that have similar gear and just use the style of First Lite gear as a model for your gear selection from another brand.