BUILDING KUIU

KUIU CALLED OUT

After reading the Price Points Thread on our forum questioning KUIU’s pricing structure, I thought it might be helpful to write a detailed post of where KUIU comes from and what drives our products and pricing.

After reading some of the posts it is clear many of those who commented have not been part of the brand from the beginning. Or have been given wrong information in how our competitor’s gear compares.

BRIEF HISTORY

I co-founded Sitka in 2005. Our product line was an attempt to bridge the gap in design and technologies between hunting and mountaineering gear. I launched and operated Sitka from my home office and garage in Dixon, California.

In July of 2006 we introduced the first Sitka product line in the Schnee’s Boot catalog, based in Bozeman, Montana. Schnee’s was the only retailer to pick up Sitka that first year and sold the all the 2006 inventory we bought in only 90 days.

In just a few months Sitka had exploded in popularity and demand as the first technical mountain hunting brand in the world. In 2007 Sitka was carried in every major big-box retail store in the United States and Canada.

In 2008, longtime Patagonia designer Richard Siberell introduced me to Toray at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. He explained all the advantages of Toray’s patented Spiral Yarn technology, fabric performance and the industry leading innovations.

I quickly pushed to build a Sitka program with Toray fabrics but could not make the margins work. Our gear prices were going to double and retailer buyers were already complaining Sitka was too expensive.

We had to kill the program, but I could not get the Toray fabrics out of my mind.

In 2009 my business partner and our CFO, feeling pressure from the failing economy made some bad decisions and lied to our shareholders, threw me under the bus, stabbed my family in their backs and sold Sitka to W.L. Gore for pennies. Then forced me out of the company I built. All of it was never needed as Sitka would have survived.

I was down but not out and highly motivated and determined to build a new business model. A business set up to bring to market a line of the most advanced technical mountain hunting products ever produced featuring Toray fabrics.

This new company would be one of integrity, honesty and transparency, focused on making the best products possible with the best possible service. I took everything I learned from creating Sitka and used it to build a much smarter business plan.

I eliminated the retailer to focus on making products without price restrictions. I wanted no limits on materials, design or manufacturing. I would no longer sacrifice quality to hit price points for a retailer. And I wanted an emphasis on service and customer experience.

Rob Moore a loyal friend and investor at Sitka believed in me and financially backed KUIU. Without Rob none of this could have happened.

 

TODAY

KUIU is on a growth rate 3 times faster than Sitka, built on a foundation of world-class materials made by the finest factories, relentless innovation and service with total transparency.

KUIU products significantly reduce weight and drying times while increasing moisture management, breathability and durability and hunter performance in the most demanding conditions in the world. The products have driven the growth of this brand.

Behind the products I have assembled an incredible team of people to help me realize my dream of KUIU. The talent and drive at KUIU, the attention to the smallest details, make this customer brand experience like no other.

Below is a brief highlight of the suppliers, materials and innovations we have brought to market to date.

SUPPLY PARTNERS

Toray, Osaka Japan

  • $20 Billion Company
  • Chemistry is the foundation of Toray
  • Chemical
  • Aerospace
  • Nano Technology
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Synthetic Fabrics
  • The FINEST performance synthetic fabric supplier in the world.
  • More innovation to the performance fabric sector than any other supplier.
  • Primeflex Yarn
  • Dermizax NX Laminate- World Leading 40,000 mvt breathability rating.
  • Kudos DWR
  • QUIX DOWN
  • Stunner Stretch Down Proof Fabrics
  • Dot Air fabric technologies

The Merino Company, Levin New Zealand

  • New Zealand’s oldest Merino Wool supplier
  • Worlds Leading Innovator in Merino Wool
  • New Yarn Technology-2014
  • Vertically Integrated Supply Chain
  • 100% New Zealand merino wool.
  • Exclusively 17.5 Micron Ultra-Fine Merino Wool.

Pittards Leather, Yeovil England

  • The Finest Performance leather Supplier for gloves on the planet.
  • Oil-tac Enduro Performance Leather

Bemis Heat Bonded Films and Glue

  • The #1 film and glue supplier for seam tape and welding.

YKK Zipper

  • #1 performance zipper supplier in the world.
  • Exclusive zipper supplier for all of KUIU’s products.

Cordura

  • 160D 100% Nylon Rip Stop Cordura
  • Used in all Icon Backpacks

 INNOVATIONS TO MARKET

  • Toray’s Dermizax NX waterproof breathable membrane. Industries highest breathability rating @ 40,000 MTV with a 200% stretch rating.
  • Toray’s QUIX DOWN- nano-technology created the highest performing waterproof down application available.
  • Toray’s Primeflex Fabric- Patented Spiral yarn technology allows for 4-way stretch and recovery without elastic.
  • 95% to 5% Polish Goose Down
  • Toray’s Dot Air Fabric- Micro openings significantly increases airflow through fabric.
  • KUIU ICON Molded Carbon Fiber frame- The worlds first molded carbon fiber backpack frame – Patent Pending
  • Toray’s KUDOS DWR- the most effective and durable water repellant fabric treatment available.
  • Toray’s Stunner Stretch Fabric- first ever stretch down proof fabric.
  • Pittards Enduro Oil Tac Performance leather.

PRODUCTS

Super Down Products

  • Quix Down water repellency-significantly better performance than any other waterproofing down application.
  • 100% Polish Goose Down
  • 850+ fill
  • 95% to 5% Down to Feather Ratio.
  • Toray Stunner Stretch fabrics.
  • The 1st stretch down proof fabrics.
  • Super Down Sleeping Bags in 2014

Chugach & Yukon Products

  • Toray Dermizax NX Laminate featuring the world leading 40,000 MVT rating.
  • The highest breathability rating for a water proof breathable garment ever produced.
  • 200% 4-way stretch rating.
  • Yukon Gaiter: First ever seamless 4-way stretch gaiter.

Toray Prime Flex Fabrics

  • Guide Jacket, Pants and Beanie
  • Attack Pants
  • Face Fabric for Chugach & Yukon products
  • These fabrics used in all of our outer wear fabrics use Toray’s Spiral Yarn which is patented and allows our fabrics to have NO ELASTIC which is so significant to performance, weight and longevity of a fabric.
  • Toray fabrics are made exclusively in Japan. Not China or Taiwan like our competition. This is why we get the nice hand feel and longevity out of our gear.

Icon Backpacks

  • Patented Carbon Fiber Frame Design made by Rocket Composites in Sacramento, California, USA
  • 11 ounces
  • Modular System
  • Assembled to order at KUIU, Dixon CA.

Zamberlan

  • Fine Italian made mountaineering footwear.
  • KUIU Pamir Boot.
  • The most advanced hunting boot ever created.

Camouflage

  • Vias
  • Verde

VERTICAL PRODUCTION

  • Developed a very unique vertical supply chain to insure quality and lower lead times.
  • Toray makes all of our products featuring Toray fabrics. This insures the quality and performance of our products versus using an independent factory. Toray implements Japanese technicians and quality control standards, which are the highest in the world.
  • The Merino Company produces all of KUIU Merino Wool hunting products.

I am transparent about ALL the ingredients in our products to build trust with our customers. Our gear is expensive to make because it is made only with the best by the best. We have absolutely nothing to hide. This should be evident in the list of suppliers, brand name materials and innovations KUIU has brought to market listed above. A list that is unmatched.

To accurately compare the competitions products against KUIU you need to look at the same product details. The details such as the fabric brand name, the country of origin, quality and percentage of down, the micron in the merino wool and the breathability of the rain-gear all matter. Most brands will not share this information because you would not buy their products if you knew. These small ingredient details are what make great gear.

And please do not listen to Pro-Staffer’s and bribed forum administrators telling you the free gear they promote is just as good as KUIU’s. This industry is filled with these bribed “pro-staffers” who one day are recommending Leica and the next day telling you Nikon is just as good.

KUIU does not have a prostaff because I do not believe in bribing people to promote our products. Instead we invest the money into building products the right way so our customers do the talking for us.

If you care about what is in the gear you buy then put your trust in KUIU and my relentless pursuit of the finest materials and craftsmanship on the planet.

And if you still do not believe me then please ask the over 1,500 Professional Guides whom now only wear KUIU and recommend it to all their clients. Most of them are Sheep Guides working in the most remote and demanding conditions in the world. They demand the best. So should you.

I look forward to your questions and comments.

Happy Holidays!

Jason

282 comments to KUIU CALLED OUT

  • John Bingham

    You just earned this guides business for 2014.

  • Kyle Johnson

    You didn’t ask for an amen but I think it is deserved! Amen!

    RE: prostaffers… have to laugh at the same thing, especially when they switch bows and optics. Btw, I think there are many of us “unofficial” prostaffers who have enough gear to wear it daily.

    Thanks for making a great product.

  • Brandon

    Thanks Jason for the best hunting gear out there for good price. You and your family have a great Thanksgiving!!

  • Bill Gaines

    I don’t want to buy anything but KUIU. I’m 5’6″, when are you going to make some pants that I can wear so I don’t have to buy an inferior product.

  • Cresston

    Boom. You nailed every point. Anyone that compares would agree with you hands down. No one comes close on quality and price point.

  • Armosino

    Well put Jason.
    I was there waiting for my time-slot to place my order on launch day.
    I have never regretted a purchase.
    We as consumers have the privilege of making our own purchasing decisions.
    I choose KUIU.
    Quality and thoughtful design is where I focus as a consumer of hunting equipment.
    From Elk and late blacktail here in Oregon, to sheep in the NWT, your design has met my needs an not let me down.
    As I told you in Reno last year, you have created more than a brand.
    No matter where we are,Las Vegas an NFL sideline or the Norman Wells airport KUIU folks meet, share stories and create friends.
    Keep up the great work.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all.
    Tom

  • Hak

    I hunt and fish all over the world and the Kuiu has the best product line I have experienced. I have been involved with product testing from a variety of companies including Gore and Sitka, and the attention to detail combined with the quality of material plus functionality make this a brand I plan to stick with. I also value the business model as I feel Kuiu listens and responds to my needs and I do not see much value in retailers for these type of offerings.
    Keep up the good work!

  • leverett

    I have been wearing sitka from the start and also kuiu from the start. Thanks for a great product.

  • Shane Close

    Jason, great breakdown. I have supported Kuiu from the beginning and will continue to support Kuiu as much as I’m able. I love my gear and can’t wait to get more. I’ll help out any way that I can to help Kuiu succeed and am not shy about recommending Kuiu to anyone.

  • perry madl

    I love your products but they don’t seem to be in stock when I need them, still waiting on neck gaiter. wish you had supply of stuff to take to SCI in Vegas. wish you would come out with a water proof ‘sock’ to go over hiking boots when crossing creeks and rivers, maybe thigh high? keep up the good work, love your enthusiasum for the hunting industry.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Perry,

      I understand the frustrations in stock. The demand continues to expand and I recommend a phone call to Customer Service and place a pre-order for anything you want. We are grinding to get caught up but cannot predict this type of growth. Glad to have you on board.

      Jason

  • Steady at the helm Captain!!!! KUIU is the best thing going! Forget the negtive ‘calling outs’ and do what you do best…innovate the best hunting products out there! I’m ready for a new sleeping bag, solo tent, etc… Keep it coming brother!

  • Jon hill

    Your Equiment is about 3 steps above anything else on the market

  • Kevin Dill

    I quit trying to keep up with Shane…the guy’s a KUIU animal!

    Best of the holidays, and keep moving forward,

    KD

  • Grant

    No doubt, KUIU’s prices have always been very reasonable for the quality of it’s gear. I spent days selling all my Sitka gear online when I found KUIU. Jason, as founder of KUIU, I can appreciate your need to respond to the forum comments, but there are a lot of us who just laughed off the comparisons. For people who enjoy these debates, I think this is becoming like the Ford vs. Chevy nonsense. Not to mention, Sitka doesn’t even enter the conversation when it comes to packs, and the new Zamberlan boot is amazing.

  • Dennis Dalan

    I’ve been looking into both brands, you have won this guy over. Time to start buying my KUIU gear!

  • Very well said Jason ! As an ex-sheep guide and current product developer at Vortex Optics I can vouch for everything you say. You ARE offering the very best hunting clothing on the market today. I have used KUIU gear from day one, and I continue to be extremely impressed with every new piece of KUIU gear that I buy.

  • Sean

    I have to say that the clothing and gear offered at KUIU is the best I have ever used, period!! I appreciate the transparency and your dedication to make and provide the best products you can. And the customer service is a cut above. Keep up the good work!!

  • Montanafreak

    Incredibly well spoken and informative. I basically knew this is how you operated and why I switched to KUIU. Not looking for the latest and greatest but looking for superior functionality, reliability, and durability. Stick to your principles and the business will take care of itself.

  • Steve Ameral

    Well said Jason.
    I have been a supporter of your gear from day one.
    I am not a sheep hunter or a guide, just a regular guy who loves to hunt and be in the outdoors. Your products make that experience more enjoyable and comfortable.
    As someone over 50 I appreciate the weight savings. I was wearing lots of fleece and other heavy products to keep warm and dry. The Kuiu products are something I plan to use for a long time.
    Thanks for your dedication.

  • Bob Terwilliger

    Hey Jason, great article…after meeting you and Brendan in SLC last year and checking your product line, I made the switch and unloaded all of my Sitka gear in favor of Kuiu. Between filming my boss’s daughter’s bear hunt in Alaska last year, guiding fly fishing over the summer and guiding all of the Colorado elk seasons, I easily put over 60 days on my Kuiu gear. The results and performance didn’t disappoint! Simply second to none and frankly the best system for hunting Colorado’s tough back country I have ever used. You will be hearing more from me when I submit a detailed review of my experiences this past fall (particularly in Sept we had extremely wet weather and I was never wet nor cold) and the system I used to you and Brendan. Keep up the great work and I am proud to be wearing your gear and promoting it with my clients (4 of them bought the Kuiu line already this past fall an d were extremely pleased with the performance)!

  • Alvaro from Spain

    I am back now after 10 days of hard hunting the Alps, in miserable weather, and would like to say, thank you!
    Thank you because your gear helps me stay foccused and in good condition, and not lose the awareness mountain hunting requires.
    Alvaro

  • Montanafreak

    ps– Thank you for having the courage to follow this path, not worrying about price points but the craft and the consumer. It is dedication and determination like yours that some of us have longed for and appreciate. Happy Thanksgiving, after God and Family KUIU will be on my list of what I’m thankful for this year.

  • Rod Billett

    Jason

    Thank you and all the KUIU staff/suppliers for building a great product line and maintaining the best customer service out there.

    I was in line Day 1 to place my order, and have enjoyed the products since then. I do have gear by other companies, but it isnt used any more. KUIU Items not only are made of superior materials and processes, they are finished and designed with heavy/hard use in mind by hunters for hunters – period.

    To top it all off, KUIU Customer service is second to none.

  • Jerry Herrod

    Jason,

    It’s refreshing to see a owner of a company always take such great interest in what is going on behind the scenes and with the customers. I’ll keep coming back to Kuiu. Thanks.

  • Ethan Starck

    Even with that explanation I think some people are still going to have a hard time believing how the pricing works. The only way you are going to solve this is to publish exactly what the materials cost that Kuiu uses against what the material cost of other companies. I think it is hard for people to believe that Toray material costs so much more than other “similar” material made by others.

    Also, is there a whole lot of difference between a pro staff and having a guide and outfitter program? How many of those professional guides would be using Kuiu if they didn’t get it at a discount?

    • Jason Hairston

      We are not bribing Guides to wear KUIU. I give them a discount to help them afford my product line as an appreciation of their hard work. Most could not afford KUIU otherwise.

      J

      • Ethan Starck

        So you are saying these guides would not have bought Kuiu before, but since you gave them a discount, an incentive, they were persuaded to purchase Kuiu. By definition, that’s a bribe.

        My real question is why are these “professionals” the ones that deserve the discounts? For example, I am a guide and would probably be eligible for the discount if I wanted (I don’t take bribes) and then on the other hand there is my brother, not a guide or outfitter, that has done more to promote Kuiu than I ever will. Why should I get a discount when he doesn’t?

    • Colby

      Ethan,

      Just FYI, I have received discounts as well and I’m not a guide. All customers get promo codes in the mail every now and then, not to mention you missed a HUGE sale last weekend. I promote it because of personal preference after a lot of research and gear testing, cost isn’t an issue when hunting in extreme conditions.

      Regarding Toray, as I mentioned below, my brother works for Descente Clothing. Descente either owns or is partners with Toray, and there are no “similar” products although they may make it appear that way. Toray truly is the highest end of products and for KUIU to sell at the price point that they do is incredible becuase it should be a lot more expensive than what they are charging. Check out the pricing for Descente Clothing’s gear who uses a lot of Toray’s fabrics…$800-$1000 for a coat is pretty expensive if you ask me!

      • Jason Hairston

        Colby thank you! It is really appreciated to have your perspective on Toray. It is spot on.

        Jason

        • Ethan Starck

          You don’t think I’ve done my research? You don’t think I have seen the sales that go on? Maybe if Kuiu actually had something in stock that I need then I would have taken advantage of those sales.

          About the fabric, I totally agree, but most people do not understand the difference in the materials. They say they are similar and try to compare them, but that is impossible and why I put similar in quotations in the first place. I know there are no exact similar materials out there, but some people don’t. If you really want to be transparent then lay out the exact cost of what it takes to make a product and share that. Until then, it will be hard for people to understand the price points.

  • Mark Satek

    Well said Mr Hairston! Well said! Thanks for the background. Thats the type of information that sells and deserves respect.
    Congratulations on your success.

    Mark

  • Terry Marcum

    Well said. As an independent business man I totally agree with what you said and the no nonsense, no apologies approach to the way you do business. Having been a sheep and elk hunter for 25 years pretty much all over North America I have used just about every product out there as far as packs, clothing, boots, etc. goes. Your product line is the best I’ve ever used. Just wish it had been around when I started. Good luck and have a great Thanksgiving.

  • Colby

    Jason,

    I was first referred to KUIU by my uncle Todd Sholly with Red Rock Precision long-range hunting rifles. He hunts in very extreme conditions mostly in Wyoming high country. I went with him this year and had a mixture of KUIU and Sitka gear because some KUIU gear was on back order. It gave me a chance to compare first hand the difference…there was NO comparison. I have since received most my KUIU gear and have used it in the late season Utah archery hunt. I will never use anything but KUIU.

    The fact that you’re so open and honest with your customers is only a plus. My brother is with Descente Clothing, in Osaka, who either owns or partners with Toray. He has seen all the fabric and products toray has to offer and every time he sees my KUIU gear, he is simply amazed!!

    Never been so pleased with a line up of gear and a company in general. Thank you!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Colby! I will have to meet your brother next time I go to Osaka to meet with Toray.

      J

      • Colby

        He actually lives here in Utah. Descente’s offices in the US are in Layton, UT. However, he is in Osaka a few times a year. If you are ever in the area, I’ll introduce you – 8016781909.

  • Jason, thanks again for being so transparent and having the courage to believe and follow through with your vision. You have developed a loyal customer base. The clothing is simply the finest I have ever used. Like many of your other customers, I look forward to what’s coming next. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Jeff B

    Hello Jason, appreciate you taking the time out to explain your company. when reading through the details I saw you only list your two camo colours. is there any plan to bring back the solids? I asked this on another post along with quite a few others but got only radio silence.

    Please let us all know.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    • Jason Hairston

      We have many solids now and will continue to expand the solid offerings as the company grows. It is just hard to tie up too much inventory dollars in solids when we cannot keep camo in stock.

      J

  • Peter Rose

    Excellent post – well thought out and well written. Appreciate the full accountabilty approach and for taking honest and complete ownership of all aspects of your business and all the products you produce and sell. All the Kuiu gear I own has been excellent and I will continue to support you and your company in the future. Thanks for all your hard work and passion for what you do!!!

  • Lance

    It sucks a guy has to constantly defend himself these days. It seems like everybody either wants a piece of the pie or the or knife to stab you in the back for not getting their share. Keep up the good work on your top of the line products.

  • Corey

    The KUIU Brand has a great following. No matter what you do you will see people complain. After using KUIU for about 2 years now I convenience that it is way better then the competitors. Of course we wish it was a little less expensive, but that’s only because we want to buy more !!! Keep up the good work. The true KUIU people are behind you.

  • John

    I remember stumbling upon the Building KUIU blog a few years ago, when Jason was actually just building the company. I was searching the web with terms like “technical gear + hunting” and “best camo + technical clothing” and things like that. I was searching for KUIU and didn’t even know it, because it didn’t exist yet!

    I’ve followed the creation of the company and brand from close to inception and was one that anxiously awaited new posts to the blog as we got closer to production, then waited anxiously for that first run of stuff. I don’t have a big budget for gear, but I do look for the best I can afford. I have one pair of Attack Pants, one Guide Jacket, a Spindrift, Guide Gloves and Beanie, all form that 1st generation of products and it’s all still wearing well. I know I will replace every piece with the same new version of KUIU as they wear out…whenever that might be.

    Your business model is one of kind and amazing.

  • Craig Germond

    That’s why I prefer KUIU over other brands of clothing. Your clothing line has the craftmanship and quality and is well thought out and sets the bar for others to achieve.

    I really appreciate you don’t have pro-staffers since they’ll jump from product to product and have no loyality. It’s who will give them the biggest paycheck or the most free stuff.

    Keep up the great work your company and team does everyday!

  • Ken Allen

    Hi Jason, I am glad that you made this post. I am very grateful for the innovation at KUIU, you have gotten the attention enough from these suppliers that you can push them to help continue to innovate with new and exciting products. When I am in the backcountry I don’t think about how much my gear cost me; I am simply grateful for how well it performs and how much better it makes my experience. For me there really isn’t much to compare to what you are doing and the excellent product you are offering. I pretty much stay away from the forum anymore – it seems to be the same small group of people and they have no idea what it takes to do what you have done.

    A sincere thank you,
    Ken

  • Will (TXCO)

    Great write up Jason. Really good info. I love most of the products and just hope the supply chain gets better to keep more in stock. Your comments on the ability to ditch elastic really struck me. In comparing a lot of Sitka gear, most if it so much heavier and I remember your comment on elastic weight. Your price and quality on rain gear is unmatched. First I heard of how bad things went down with Sitka. That sucks. Happy Holidays.
    -Will

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank Will. There is a reason why KUIU is hard to get. We will catch up to demand at some point but a growth curve like the one we are on is hard to predict. Thank you for the support and comment.

      J

  • Mike Medeiros

    Well said! I appreciate your motivation and attention to detail in providing unmatched gear. Keep up the great work and chart topping standards.
    Best,
    PS- Hope you enjoyed the Krooked Horn Pinot Noir… Enjoy the holiday!

  • Brian

    Great post, Jason! It seems the more technical a product is, the more the consumer wants to know the back ground of design, manufacture, etc. Really, just the nature of the business model you have created. That being a market that we, as the consumers, spend more time researching the products we purchase than ever before. We want to know as much as possible about a product that we trust will indeed live up to our expectations. Products that most of us will not even touch until they arrive at our doors.

    You can’t go wrong updating posts like this! Keep it up. Look forward to seeing the Kuiu sleeping bag! Happy thanksgiving to everyone,…

  • Ted Kruzan

    Greeting and Happy Holidays Jason and Team.

    I have used your gear in the most formidable conditions in Alaska and the Yukon. The Quality of your products speaks for themselves. NEVER apologize for quality or price. I hunted last year in Alaska with two other guys were equipped with the big-box stuff and would have given their right arm for KUIU!! Keep up the good work and quality!! Cheers!
    Ted

  • Thanks for that history. I bought one set of Kuiu tropical pants/shirt and was underwhelmed. After reading this, I may give you another try.

  • Jerry Herrod

    Compare the quality of Kuiu and the price to other brands like Arcteryx, Patagonia, Mamuut, and others and not only is Kuiu cheaper but just as good or better than anything out there. And Jason stands behind Kuiu 100%.

    Today is a time where most business owners are just letting other people be the movers and shakers for the company. With Kuiu the man himself is watching the forums and listening to what the consumer wants.

    Some people complain that new product takes too long to to get to market and into hand from Kuiu. We live in a day of instant gratification for everything we do and a lot of companies are just pushing products out as fast as they can for instant gratification without really putting the required time and effort into design and putting a lot of thought and research into their products.

    Just look at many of the products Kuiu is producing. Those pieces didnt get thrown together over a few weekends and pushed into a assembly line and poured into a box store like some of the brands out there thought up by some corporate think tank and flooded into market or touted by some talking head on one of the many shows on the Outoor Channel.

    Just take one look at any big box sporting goods and the racks are filled with gear and clothing that is along the same price point or greater than Kuiu. That gear in those stores is often always in stock simply because its just thrown together and pushed out as fast as they can make it with no real thought on materials and how its all put together or input from the end user.

    If you really dig into Kuiu, you’ll see a lot of the product line has some consideration of what the end user really wanted and needed.

    That’s part of what keep me coming back to Kuiu. I don’t need to have the latest and greatest right now and have to buy it again next year or in two years. I want to have the greatest and know that it’s going to last me for many seasons to come even with moderate to hard use. Quality is what sells me on Kuiu. And they certainly have that.

  • hap

    Your product is far superior to anything I’ve ever used. I live in the south west part of Oregon where there is no other terrain more demanding. The clothes are comfortable and tough. The only downfall to your product is where its made. I am a firm believer in keeping my money local, American made. Have you ever considered an American made line of clothing?
    Keep up the good work!

    • Jason Hairston

      We started in Canada but the factory could not keep up with demand. We had a 1 year wait on some of our gear and it would be even worse now.

      J

  • Philip Fogle

    Nicely stated, nicely done product, it doesn’t get any better than what and how you make it! Proud to wear your product as a 73 year old bow and rifle hunter. I have practically lived in my down over shirt this season.

  • Jason Hairston

    Jerry, thank you for such a well written comment. I appreciate the time and thought you put into it and the support for my work. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    J

  • Ed Gordon

    Jason,
    I have been buying your gear since year 1(I think). Everything (except 1st gen Icon Cap, really great in cool weather, not so in hot) has performed beyond my expectations. Nonetheless, high quality and one of the best customer service groups with whom I have spoken is to be commended when most everyone is all about “marketing”.

    Thanks for sharing a great success story. Here’s to a family-filled Happy Thanksgiving, well-earned and many more years of Kuiu.

  • Jerry V

    Great write up, it’s a good reminder of the excitement we felt in 2010 as Kuiu was being developed.
    Just got back from a 4 day late archery blacktail hunt (cold) were I used some of the original gear – guide jacket, attack pant & 185/250 merino and got to try out the newer gear – superdown jacket, 230 top & guide pants – Kuiu is just the best !!!

    You’ve done very well Jason, keep it going.

    JV

  • Josh Morrison

    Jason-

    I’m glad to see you addressing this topic! I’m primarily a treestand hunter (I know, I know…..Ultralight MOUNTAIN Hunting…), but I’ve been able to adapt your system to meet my hunting needs here in southern Indiana and love every piece that I own. I’m a taller guy, and the fit of my Guide and Tiburon pants are quite honestly the best I’ve ever had. It was almost as if I’d had a KUIU tailor come to my house and take my measurements before ordering!! I’m proud to support your company and truly appreciate the great service I’ve always received each time I’ve called in. Keep up the great work!

  • Ross Musgrove

    Thanks Jason for building an awesome company. The products are awesome, the costumer service is the best I have seen. Thank you

  • Justin Leung

    Thanks for your openness of the company and your strive for the best materials. It’s definately worth paying for. Only problem is my huntings buddies and I all look the same.

    Keep up the great work and I’ll be a customer for life.

  • Philip

    Jason, You have done a great job with all of your gear and accomplishments! Kuiu is second to none in my opinion I have a ton of Kuiu gear and got rid of all the other brands I had. Ever since I started wearing and using Kuiu iI made my mind up then I’m a kuiu man from here on out. Keep up the great work and looking forward to seeing all of your new products for 2014. And dont let the people with negative thoughts and comparisons get you down, no matter what you or anyone else does there is always gonna be people that try to down you just the nature of the beast. Like iI said before me and my family are kuiu all the way just wish you could make some gear for younger hunters I have a son that ask me all the time daddy when are you gonna get me some Kuiu. Thanks again for great products and happy holidays to you and your family as well!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed comment. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support and loyalty. Happy Holidays to you and your family as well.

      J

  • Michael Bachand

    Jason,

    I switched from Sitka to KUIU based on what I believe is product superiority and cost. KUIU is an amazing product you make superior gear and make it more affordable then any other line out there and it shows with all the dedicated followers you have. I more than pleased with your company and product, you just need a distributor up here in Canada. Keep up the excellent work!!

    Mike

  • Broncolt

    Well, there it is folks in black and white. Best dang company I have had the pleasure of doing business with. Thank God for Kuiu

  • Chad Fountain

    I’m pretty new to hunting. Did my first Alaskan caribou hunt this year in your gear. It will be the only gear I ever buy! So comfortable and movabity was incredible! Awesome product!

  • Ryan Thorne

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have a limited hunting budget. So, I cannot afford to buy gear that won’t last and perform. Kuiu gear fulfills that need for me.

  • Val marquez

    Jason,
    I have used KUIU gear from the start and am extremely happy with it. Your post, above, is great! I enjoyed your comments on so called “pro-staffers and professional hunters”. What a joke they are. Thank you for listing KIUI’s plan and the materials used. I live near L.L. Bean and understand customer service, you and Bean have the best in the world. As soon as I can dip into my wife’s 401-K I plan to totally gear up with KUIU gear.

    Val

  • Gregory Jackson

    Jason,

    Well said – AMEN !! As a financial planner, I am always willing to listen to new investment ideas. When I heard about your company and was one of the first to “buy-in” I thought I had a come upon a great company but I had no idea – because I did not know who you were or your history – of just how good.
    Your company is the equivalent of a “10 bagger” – an investment idea that appreciates 10xs in value. I am proud to be a part of the “inner circle” and am a great advocate of all of your products.

    From another prospective, my wife is a professional seamstress and interior designer and she is very impressed with the quality of fabric and workmanship – and she is not easy to impress.
    She even “encourages” me to buy your products because she knows they will last – great wife !!!

    I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

    All my best –

    Greg Jackson
    Castle Rock, CO

  • Mr Jason, I’m no guide, but I do spend more time in the bush than the average hunter. Been using your gear since your Sitka days, followed the blog and was excited to switch over once Kuiu became available. Kuiu is the only gear that I have been UNABLE to wear out. Still using every piece I have ever bought. I can’t say that about any other brand. When I’m on a 21 day sheep hunt with only the gear on my back and no spares I can’t afford to have a piece fail. Love the Super Down line, kept me toasty is some very nasty weather that unprotected could result in a life threatening situation. Thanks for providing the highest quality gear and best wishes to you Kuiu. One day I will wear out my Chugach gear so I can try the new NX. Thanks also for the awesome Black Friday sale. Happy Holidays. Steve

  • lynn

    Before I seen your products I all ready had some sitka gear, and I bought one of your jackets all I can say is I wish I never would have got any sitka products, because your jacket is the best and warmest for its weight.have a great holiday.keep on making the best gear ever, and promoting the outdoors and hunting.
    ,

  • Wade

    I cant think of a bad experience working with the KUIU staff. Always there to help and answer questions about the gear I have purchased. Product is amazing, I havent washed it yet cause the luck will wash off from 2 Mule Deer and an Elk. One thing is for sure, the luck will wear out before my gear does! Thanks KUIU! See you in SLC at the Expo??

  • Masoud

    Jason,

    The Momentum you have picked up is amazing. The success is visible and most importantly, you have the best SALES TEAM any company can ask for. This TEAM is all of us. We love (and need) your products and we advertise silently for you. We forward the Emails, clip or print the write ups and educate those around us about your products. Amazingly, many times, its eye opening for those who use Hunting clothing made by others. We who believe in your words and products have become your silent Sales Force and we love it. We are very happy for your success and I personally think that your clients’ demand will grow faster than your stock room. Masoud

  • Jason, thanks for the post! It always amazes me how people ‘criticize’ or question me for spending ‘so much’ on hunting clothes, yet they have an expensive truck, camp trailer, and/or UTV. The money I have invested in the clothing and gear that I carry on my back once I leave the trailhead for a multi day backcountry hunt is only a percentage of the amount spent on the 5th wheels and trucks I pass to get to the trailhead. Seems kind of ironic… ;)

    I must say, friends of mine who used to give me a hard time about spending ‘so much’ are now converts and are saving and buying KUIU as they are able after trying it out.

    Comparing KUIU to many other brands isn’t much of a comparison since KUIU’s materials are several steps above the others. Before KUIU, I never really heard much about other company’s raw materials and testing specs. Even now, after knowing what to look for to do a valid comparison, it is difficult, if not impossible, to find the same information you’ve put out from some companies.

    I’ll repeat what has been said above, when comparing KUIU to mountaineering based companies products, KUIU is right at the top, both in performance materials,innovation, and price points.

    With everything in life, it is about prioritization. If comfortable, high performance clothing is a priority, then the price doesn’t matter (as much). It appears to me that many hunters still prefer fashion over function when choosing their clothing, although it is hard to open a hunting mag nowadays without it being filled with KUIU, so it must be pretty fashionable… ;)

    I for one do hope that KUIU never compromises on innovation and materials in order to hit a price point. Yes, I have a budget and can’t always get what I want, but if I prioritize and save, then I will eventually get what I need.

    Keep up the great work Jason and hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Jason Hairston

      Wow Ron! What a well written comment. As always thank you so much for the support and kind words about KUIU. It means so much to me. Happy Holidays.

      Jason

  • Dan

    Great read and product. Thanks
    All I can say is “try it you’ll like it” LOL
    Seriously, all one has to do is try KUIU for a season and you will be SOLD. Price be damned.
    I just ordered another full set the other day. This time of the Vias. First set was Verde.
    My buddies are loving it because I have been giving all my other cammo away (to them) as I replace with KUIU. My goal is to have only KUIU in my hunting chest. Because of the layering concept, rain resistance and great patterns fits all differnet terrain etc.not to mention extreme durability, one no longer needs a dozen sets of other cammo.So actually in spite of the initial cost up front, KUIU is quite cost effective. I am totally impressed. So are my buds and the funny thing is they will be replacing the stuff I am giving away as they can afford it and so goes the cycle. LOL
    Remeber that famous slogan” I’d rather explain the cost of QUALITY than appologize for anything less”. Fits here I would say!
    Keep up the great work.
    Thanks

  • Masoud

    Sorry My Spell check chnaged Speling of Jason before I had a chnce to catch it. Please corect,

  • Wesley Pete

    Jason,

    Very well said, you have this Nevada guide’s support.

    I’ve had your previous product and have since switched to KUIU when you introduced it and have had outstanding performance. Our clients this year have asked me about the KUIU product I was wearing and were very interested in it. I had several of them tell me when they got home from their hunt they were going to purchase some new KUIU gear. I’ve been nicknamed “Johnny KUIU” by my other sub-guide peers, Haha!! I’m still looking to purchase the Super Down Hooded Jacket in Charcoal, but it’s always unavailable when I check.

    I will be at the SLC Expo in Feb. and will be sure to stop by and introduce myself.

  • I was just explaining bits and pieces of the KUIU story to some buddies, so not only is this post timely, it’s more complete that anyone but you (Jason) could provide.

    I’ve been professionally active in product design and development since 1991. Never have I seen a company (let alone the person behind the company) be such an open book of transparency with regard to the products, business partners, technologies and IP, etc. And I’ve never seen such an aggressive ramp in the number of product line offerings, especially considering the very focused market segment! It’s somewhat mind-boggling.

    One of the key success drivers in product development is understanding your brand values, and aligning every single decision to them. In other words, do one thing and do it better than anyone else! Focus and deliver. KUIU has done that with utmost clarity.

    It’s be inspiring to watch the KUIU brand take hold over the past few years. I remember taking camo patterns, pack design, etc. with you back then, and I had no idea how big this thing would get so quickly! I’m stoked for you and the mark you’ve left on the industry. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving and all the best in 2014!

    -Tom

  • Andrea

    Great post and even better product. I love this business model. I tell every serious hunter I know about KUIU and everything you stand for. It’s a HUGE selling point.Everything we’ve purchased so far has been exceptional in quality and performance. Keep up the good work and I will continue to be the best girlfriend ever every birthday and Christmas for buying your gear for the hunters in my life!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND HAPPY HARVEST!

  • Stefen

    Will you be attending the Hunt Expo in Salt Lake City in Feb 2014? I’m anxious to see the material, gear you offer first hand. I’m sick of mainstream camo cotton/poly clothes and although my mountain, technical gear is great for backcountry, rugged hunts and for the hunting I do, it has gaps because it wasn’t tailored for hunting.

  • David

    Made my first Kuiu purchase today…missed the sale. :(

    The business model makes total sense, and I look forward to purchasing more gear as I gather the funds. I really appreciate your candid and open explanation of your products. I can tell from reading your blog and posts you are passionate about providing the best product.

    I would love to see all the puffys and jackets in solid colors so I could wear them around town more often. :)

  • George Hicks

    I appreciate you sharing your professional history. What happened at Sitka is unfortunate and I admire you for the integrity you exhibited through what was a real mess. The separation however freed you from some real constraints to innovation and we have all benefitted. Your gear is the by far the best value available for the hunter and I could not imagine hunting in extreme conditions without it. Thank you for your passion and drive for making the BEST and not compromising quality for profits.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you George for all of your support from the beginning. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

      Jason

  • Kevin M

    I was impressed enough from the very outset to buy a jacket and pants when they were very first offered. I couldn’t have been happier then and after having added nearly everything in the Kuiu lineup since then, I couldn’t be any happier now. It’s great to have a company driven to continuously looking to improve their products and being so transparent about their operations. I will continue to have the utmost faith in Kuiu!

  • Riley

    Jason, I love your products, for the most part. I think your gear is innovative and designed well. I will also continue to buy it. But I have experienced durability issues. I sold my kuiu icon mostly cause the fabric abraded too easily. It had holes in after one hunt and more after the second. So if you’re using the best products, why don’t they stand up to the rugged terrain they’re meant for? I have a Barney’s pack that has seen major abuse and the fabric is like new. My Guide jacket and attack pants however have performed great and have held up well. My merino tops however are falling apart.

    Also, please answer this for me, can we ever expect the return of your original hats? They were the best, I tried your new ones and returned them.

    One more thing, small sizes has been an issue for a long time. Why Ion the world is there 3XL size and no small?

    You’ve got a great thing going and I hope things come together further.

    God luck and thank you.

    • Jason Hairston

      Riley,

      In regards to the pack, it is a fine line to overbuilt and ultralight. You may never wear a small hole in the Barneys but you pay a huge weight penalty for this. For most guys this is not an issue. For some it may not be the right choice. Merino wool is not durable. No matter who makes it. Synthetics would be a better choice for you as well. It sure sounds like you are tough on gear and this is why we are starting to develop gear such as the Yukon Jacket and Pants. One product can not cover all aspects. You will see more in 2014. Thank you for your support for KUIU.

      Jason

  • Darryn

    Very proud to be a supportive consumer of the policies and mission statements of what you’ve created KUIU to be. The overwhelming growth is a sure sign of this overall consumer confidence.
    Sadly there will always be unconstructive critics in the midst that seem to moan just to hear themselves.
    I have used nearly every product you’ve produced and see a concerted effort to improve at every opportunity. Keep up the pace to the top, don’t falter in the customer service in spite of the growth and you will hit your target goal!

  • C. Benjamin Newbill

    Jason – Real hunters know if gear works or not. Your gear speaks for itself. If anyone has ever tried your products, they know nothings comes close to the quality or price; (for what you get with KUIU). I’ve tried them all, and have turned many new customers your way because I truly think KUIU is the “Best of the Best”! Keep up the great work Jason, you have a following of the best hunters, guides, and outdoorsmen in the world. It’s because your gear works. In the backcountry we trust our lives on it, need I say more! We trust you Jason, and the knowledge that you have put into KUIU!!!

  • Matt Cannon

    Bottom line: Quality cost money. If you want the top of the line in equipment, you should expect to pay for it.

    In this age of overseas sweatshop manufacturing and every company seemingly only concerned with margins and stock price, I am happy to support a company like Kuiu.

    True, I can’t afford to buy a full set of everything at once, but piece-by-piece, I am getting up to speed.

    Thank you for producing a FANTASTIC product and for standing behind your morals and goals.

  • Romo

    Jason, as an avid Alaskan hunter from South Louisiana, I research, and I research, and I research gear. I may research and compare gear for up to a year before I decide. I’ve tried every bit of mountaineering gear for my hunts, i.e. Patagonia, Mammut, Mountain Hardwear, etc. In preparing for a Kodiak bear hunt, I took recommendations from a few “local” Alaskan friends and Alaskan guides I know, and I went all out on Kuiu. I’ve since sold most of that mountaineering gear, or it stays boxed up. Simply, I’m fortunate enough to have a choice on the gear I use and I believe Kuiu is the best gear out there for hunters (and that includes the few Sitka pieces I own).

  • Thomas Kennedy

    Three questions-
    1) I haven’t been able to purchase Kuiu clothing lines because I have a larger 54 inch chest. When will you manufacture larger sizes. I can and do have the pants and they are superb.
    2) Are you planning to make bivy sacks? It would be interesting because Integral Designs doesn’t exist any more for a manufacturer to build a rain poncho out of toray that could double as a shelter or 3/4 length shelter if you got stuck in the pinnacles.
    3) Is Kurt Racicot still working with you in product development? I know that he was involved in some of the work on the Icon series and then went out on his own. I know that you have different products(Icon vs Stone Glacier) but I don’t think it would be very hard for you folks to provide subsidiary products and you could help him in the marketing and distribution of Stone Glacier style packs.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

    • Jason Hairston

      I do not have an immediate plans to make a bivy sack. I quit using them in favor of a well made 1 man tent which I need for most of my hunting due to bad weather and bugs. We have our new tent line coming this spring. It would be a great addition to the line for sure.

      No Kurt is on his own now. Great guy and very creative designer.

      J

  • Brian McElrea

    That was a great and timely update.

    It has been fun watching this “tribe” grow over the years since the beginning. The initial concept, transparency and vision was exciting.

    The growth rate has been phenomenal and the subsequent challenges that follow this type of growth have been understandable. Any new start up faces issues with a minimal projected rate of growth. Drinking from the fire hose can present obstacles for even the most dynamic companies in any industry.

    The level of transparency you’ve shared from day was is unique. Those asking for your material costs and financial statements to become public knowledge are nuts.

    How many companies, outfitters, etc. are willing to share their P&L statements with everyone?

    What you have provided should be plenty for anyone to be able to compare apples to oranges.

    I had always wondered what caused the departure from Sitka and once again you just put it right out there with this message.

    Looking forward to the new products lined up for 2014.

  • Bryan

    I have started from scratch to replace all my gear which brought me to this company. So with all the research I have done I decided to buy about every but rain gear. The gear is great and I am not going to say anymore on that because it’s fact. What separates kuiu is the OUTSTANDING customer service. As long as this is there I am willing to wait for most things. This is a lost art these days and will always support a company that does this well. Thank you

    PS chugach nx in solids please

  • Cresston

    Sorry Jason I know your busy but any date on more branded stuff and especially the gray logo hoody. I missed out and love that piece. Thanks

  • Adam Janke

    Jason you need to change that blog title to “The Kuiu Manifesto”. Great info and love what you’re doing for the industry, keep up the good work and every penny spent at Kuiu is worth it. There is no better value in technical outdoor gear ANYWHERE in my opinion.

  • James

    Best gear I’ve ever used. Please get more SD in the Gunmetal colour.

    Thanks

  • Fred Leone

    I hunted in Wyoming in September this season. For those of you not “fortunate” enough to be there it was a very cold, wet and snowy September into Oct. I was told it was the wettest in years and noone could remember that amount of early snow in 20 years or more. I was the only one, guides included, not cold or wet. It was almost a joke how miserable everyone else was compared to me…I tried not to laugh when they asked if I was wet…non of them had ever heard of Kuiu. But after getting to basecamp warm and dry after a 15 mile horse ride and seeing how well Kuiu performed on the hunt they were all going to be placing orders ASAP. This gear just works one of my favorite pieces is the 1850 pack and suspension I wore it on horseback for atleast 100 miles it was dream to wear. The Chugach is a nobrainer I don’t care how much it cost I am never going on a hunt without it…EVER! Haters gonna Hate its their loss I am a customer for life…Period!

  • Joey P

    People, quality equipment results in the expectation of performance and durability. That comes at a price that we each must decide is worth it. There would be no one willing to invest in and develop performance goods if there wasn’t a return on their investment. No one forced me to spend well into the four digits on this last Black Friday sale. But I new that the quality I demand was on sale so I purchased – a lot. I could have saved more and bought from a “big catalog” store – but I was looking for something that will perform to my expectations and to those of the Mr. Hairston. Its called capitalism and its good! Competition will bring out the best products at an acceptable price, if not, the lock eventually goes on the door.

    Furthermore, these specialized garments aren’t worn that often for the vast majority. A few days to a couple of weeks is usually the case. I have a set of extreme weather woolens from a company now recently closed in WY.. I’ve had them for 23 years. I wear them no more than 14 days a year, clean it and store it properly. It looks darn near new! Considering what I paid 23 years ago – my high end wool jacket, vest and pants are a bargain!!

    As Kuiu moves forward, I hope to see more solids in their lineup.
    That will expand their appeal and grow the company more.

    I for one will continue to monitor the Kuiu line of products and realize that it will be the best technology at the time or it will not be marketed. You can’t put a price on that!

  • Matt

    Am no guide, but have a ton of your gear and have dumped my Sitka, mtn hardware, marmot and Patagonia for KUIU on my hunts. Just got back from 3rd rifle season in Co and we backpacked in 6-7 miles to 10,500 and my gear was phenomenal and kept me warm and dry in some cold, cold weather. I had one less layer than my two friends and stayed much warmer even while glassing.

    I have software startup business experience so I know firsthand how difficult it is to build a new business especially one where you are making a “new market” and a new distribution model. Keep it up and let me know when you are ready to buildout some new gear for us Midwest bow hunters freezing in our treestands! ;) . I have a lot of volunteer testers ready to go.

    Appreciate your transparency and innovative products Jason. Take care and happy thanksgiving.

  • terence

    love your gear and keep it coming.
    unfortunately for my wallet, i have the majority of your product line already!

  • Ross

    Jason, as always your explanations and clarity behind your products speak volumes about the company you founded. Keep up the good work, Happy Turkey day and continued good hunting and success!

  • Robert Hartley

    I was to at least a bit frustrated with the supply chain as Kuiu has grown. Having said that there is a reason I keep coming back! I want the best and this is where you find it. Took advantage of the sale to compliment my collection and I believe I am set up pretty well for all weather conditions. Bob.

  • Colby Clements

    Sure we have all had to wait for our orders in the past(some over a year). But there is only one name in hunting clothing. Kuiu. That’s it. That’s all that needs to be said. From the first time you wear your gear. You know that you have made the right choice. Thank you Kuiu. Thank you.

  • Kevin

    What else can be said!! Great products!!! Waiting for the sleeping bag also!! Keep up the great job!! Happy Holidays!!!?!

  • Ron P

    Jason, thanks for the informative article and for your openness letting us discuss the pros and cons of the gear (in infinite detail) on the KUIU forum. I really like 99% of my KUIU gear and would not trade it off. You’ve never stated Kuiu’s purpose as “Ultralight Above Timberline Mountain Hunting”. But that is what virtually all of your articles and pictorials display. Elk and deer hunters in the timber are mountain hunters too! When the stringent requirements of sheep/goat hunters gear turns out to be also ideal for hunting in timber … great! But when not, hunters in the timber wish for the same innovation to meet our needs, for example timber-quiet ultralight mountain gear that sheep hunters may not even need. Maybe the enabling technology is not there yet. But when it is we want someone leading that innovation and making it available to us “other” mountain hunters.

    Congratulations on KUIU’s great progress! Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, and all Kuiu Staff.

  • Mike

    Jason,

    I don’t think you have any need to justify the price of your gear. It is what it is and if someone does not like it, they can move on to something else…

    One thing I think you need to answer to, is the lack of supply. I’m not sure if it is in your business plan to run the company like this, but your inventory levels suck, to be frank. I love all the Kuiu gear I own and have a list of stuff I want, but as usual, they are out of stock. I don’t think I should have to pre-order every single thing I want to buy.

    • Jason Hairston

      We have not had a lack of supply, but overwhelming demand. My product purchases have been aggressive and I continue to increase them as much as I can afford to without risking the sustainability of the business. This growth rates in unprecedented and I am doing everything I can to keep up with it. It will get better, Toray, The Merino Company and my other suppliers are all working hard to help. We are making huge strides forward. I have to forecast 9 months in advance and in a fast growth business it is a challenge. I appreciate the comment and support. Happy Holidays.

      Jason

      • Mike

        Thanks for the reply, high demand is a good problem to have. I think we are being a bit greedy with our demands of wanting it now :) Keep up the great work Jason and Kuiu staff!

        • Jason Hairston

          Believe me Mike, it hurts me more than anyone not having stock. We keep buying more and more but it never seems to last very long! Good problem to have as you mention.

          J

  • Justin Starck

    I personally don’t think the Toray items have any good comparables in the hunting industry and find them to be a great value. However, many still think that there are some equals out there. I recently read an article ranking lightweight rain gear. The Sitka Dewpoint beat out the KUIU Chugach NX but I found it strange that the author gave the Dewpoint equal or better scores for “waterproofness” and “breathability” and didn’t provide the Sitka specs for either. The specs were provided for all the other rain gear featured in the comparison. I don’t even know what Gore-Tex fabric was used in the Dewpoint and I couldn’t find that info on their website either. The transparency of KUIU has made me hesitant to purchase from anyone else.

    I think there are some merino items on the market that are of comparable quality and price to KUIU. That is the main area I have doubted KUIU’s price point.

    On another note, has anyone noticed that Mystery Ranch came out with a load lifter extension for their NICE frame? Is it possible KUIU had an influence on a pack maker that has been in the business for years and years?

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Justin for the comment, well noted. The Dew Point is a 2 layer Pac-lite Gore-tex. I do not believe in 2 layer fabrics. I have tested them a lot over the past decade and all of them have failed, especially Gore-Products because of how fragile ePTFE is without the inside layer protecting it. His test has good intentions, but in reality you cannot make an opinion on breathability without a lab to control the conditions.

  • David Pollock

    Kuiu and Jason are the real deal, i have been wearing Kuiu for 2 years and wouldnt dream of wearing anything else hunting, if its not Kuiu i don’t wear it, keep up the good work, next time you head to New Zealand drop in to Australia and we can take you hunting, Kuiu in Australia is growing.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks David. I was in Sydney the week before last on a layover on my way to Vietnam after meeting with the Merino Company in NZ. Next time I will extend my stay and take you up on a hunt. I have been watching the shipments heading to Australia with a lot of interest. We are certainly growing down under. Thank you for the support and comment.

      Jason

  • JD

    Well written and valid points, Thanks Jason!

  • Sean

    I love the kuiu product. I own the complete outfit and love how it performs. But when I first bought into kuiu the motto was sell the highest quality product at the cheapest price point possible because it was an online market and also no advertisements. As I’ve watched kuiu grow, I’ve seen the prices continue to go up and advertisements in every single hunting magazine I buy. If thr product is so great (which I think it is) why not remove the advertisements and let the products speak for themselves. Let the customers do your advertising so they and future customers can enjoy the lower prices they once had.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Sean,

      Thank you for your comment and business. I would like to know where our prices have continued to go up without a change in design or materials besides our merino wool which I had no choice because of the global increase in Merino Wool prices. I changed all of our Rain Gear to NX and pay more for this new technology and did not pass this on to our customers. For the level of quality we produce our prices are incredibly low. Please search the web for Toray materials used in the Ski Industry and you will find products similar to the Chugach and Yukon Jackets for $1000+ etc.

      I appreciate your comment regarding advertising and have built this brand off of word of mouth marketing. I do believe in advertisements in magazines as a reconfirmation to the brand. for our customers IMO.

      Have a great Thanksgiving.

      Jason

  • Jorge Amador

    Hi from europe,

    Jason, this blog entry is not good, is excellent. Love to read the part about the “Pros”.

    I was working in the hunting clothing industry, factories from China can sell “softshell or hardshells” or similars materials as low as 5-6 euros (maybe 8 dollars) per meter.Obviously, you can´t compare the quality with brands as Kuiu or others. The market is filled with technical clothing but only one brand is trying to innove and make something different and really good before the other ones. With Sitka using only Gore products i think they are very limited, not in design or quantities if not in innovation.

    Sorry for my english

    • Jason Hairston

      Jorge,

      Thank you for this comment. Well said and I cannot agree with you more. I appreciate all the support for KUIU in Spain you and Pedro give us. Happy Holidays.

      Jason

  • Nick Stone

    Jason, I stopped in the store last Friday on my way to go pig hunting. I wanted to check your gear out in person before I bought it. I work hard for my $ and was skeptical about dropping cash on something I’d never seen. I was amazed, it was beyond my expectations. Your staff was incredible too, I know they were slammed with phone orders, but they I had several employees ask me if I needed help multiple times. They seriously treated me like family or I had been in there 100 times before. I ended up purchasing attack pants, a guide jacket, and a merino shirt. I wore them all weekend sitting in wet grass in the dark at 35 degrees waiting for pigs to go back to their beds, or hiking around in 80 temps I was more more comfortable than I had ever been. I didn’t even unpack a single piece of my Patagonia gear. I realized I needed a belt and a hat and stopped by the shop on the way home and ended up buying some more base layer stuff, and one of the girls ended up giving me a goody bag with a hat in it and a some other cool stuff.
    Thank you….and your staff, for such an amazing product and excellent customer service.

    • Jason Hairston

      Nick, thank you for the business. I am glad you stopped by and I appreciate your kudos for the KUIU team. We have quite a group of people behind the scenes at KUIU. Please stop by anytime you are passing through town and welcome to KUIU.

      Jason

  • Snow

    Jason,

    The purchases that I have made, I love. If it wasn’t for economic circumstances, I’d have a suite of your products. The clothing and pack that I have used are comfortable all day and all night. Your gear is beautifully light. My woollens don’t itch, so you’ve hit your mark with everything that I own.

    I’ve followed your blog from the start, but many haven’t and it’s in our best interest if you keep repeating the message. This keeps your equipment and clothing are evolving nicely. Man!, I’m impressed Toray’s products and what you have been doing with them. Waterproof down? Who’d have thunk it? Awesome!!!

    Looking forward to your next big thing.

    Snow.

  • David

    Jason a special Thanksgiving to you and your family. Always having and open mind seems to keep things very sensible to me. Great products, with great customer service from my standpoint. Wish I could afford more. Looking forward to the tent and sleeping bag in the future. Thanks again Jason.

    David Sisamis

  • John

    Jason, that write up is a great reminder why I headed KUIU’s direction from the beginning and why I feel a loyalty or partnership to the brand. That, despite an underlying distaste for brand loyalty in general. I know KUIU gear won’t catastrophically fail me so it is what I have.

  • kyle peck

    This is exactly why I sold all my Sitka gear on craigslist and e bay and purchased all of KUIUs gear. I support people like Jason and will continue to do so!

  • Mike P

    Jason,

    Great post, there will always be haters but that must mean your doing something right!

    K- Kyrgyzstan approved Ibex hunting gear
    U- Ultimate high country hunting gear
    I- Incredibly versatile in all conditions gear
    U- Unwanted credit card transaction/domestic argument gear :)

    Cheers,

    Mike

  • Doug- Hunter Ext.

    Friend and guide from Montana Dan P. Turned me on to your gear. He was using it and running around the mountain like he had sweats on! So lightweight I can’t believe it! Warmer than anything out there without the BULK! I am in Wisconsin and I am selling all my bulky crap for KUIU! When stand hunting for hours, if the gear is made from cheap wool, you’ll know it when the temp is around -5!
    Good to know “the real story”. Keep up the great work!

    Doug

  • Great to see the story behind the making of a great hunting line Jason – thanks for sharing. I started using KUIU this year and have been more than impressed with each and every piece that I have purchased this year from packs to rain gear. Thanks for your uncompromising and relentless pursuit of excellence.

  • Josh Wright

    From a man who hunts whitetails in Arkansas, turkeys in 3 states, and big game in Colorado, your product line is excellent and I have never had an issue.

    Josh Wright

  • Kuiu is the best.. I guide big game hunts for 9 months of the year in New Zealand and North America, and in my time off I also hunt! With no doubt KUIU is the best gear I have used and seen. I see clients with all different sorts of gear that they have brought, spending more money for a lesser product. KUIU for not only its price, but its quality and performance is the only way to go. Nothing is more miserable in mountains than gear letting you down… KUIU is proven and the only high performance gear real hunters should wear. Keep up the good work Jason and I look forward to the future developments in your gear!
    Riding for your Brand,
    Shaun Allison

    • Jason Hairston

      AWESOME! Shaun! Great to have a comment from you Mate. I look forward to hanging out with you at the Shows in January and February. Hope all is well.

      J

  • DENNIS HOWELL

    Jason you should be proud! I think your gear is the best I have ever worn. I was on a hunt this year with a Sitka Pro staffer and he had seams coming loose on his pants. His sipper failed him and his crotch was wide open with a seam coming loose. I told him never had one problem with Kuiu. Keep up the great work. p.s. He is wear Kuiu now!

    I also want to say your customer service is top notch!

  • Mike

    So how does one qualify for the guides discount?

    I guide a couple weeks in the spring for bears and a couple in the fall for moose and goat? Is that good enough or am I not good enough for the club?

  • Mike Dixon

    Simply First Class in every respect! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Matt Pound

    Yes, Jason, you have built a great product, brand, company and community. That much is quite clear.

    I wore my new Chugach NX jacket during my week long elk hunting trip in MT this year, and was very, very pleased with the product’s performance. My hunt consisted of 5 days of continuous wear, hiking/stalking 5 to 12 miles a day, 20 to 45deg range, lots of ridge climbing and tree fall, 4 mile pack in/out w/60lb+/- pack.

    I’m a bit of a performance fabric nerd, owning the best/latest from Arcteryx, Mammut, Marmot, Norrona, Rab, etc….and your Chugach NX jacket is, frankly, a better product (materials, design and price). The stretch and breathability of the fabric are the best I have experienced. I might suggest you start selling into the Mountaineering community as well.

    Oh, and thanks for Kuiu’s help in getting my 5×5 bull elk :-)

    Happy Holidays.
    – Matt

  • David

    Hey Jason, Very well put in your “analogy” on Pro Staff and discounts. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I, in fact, am one of those people. I’ve shot for one of the leading professional archery factory staff teams for almost 16 years. My loyalty to this company goes FAR beyond getting free bows or paid to shoot them. In my eyes they are the finest pieces of equipment made, and I’ve made many life long friends there. Now if this company suddenly stopped making the best equipment out there I would not be able to promote it as such. People do have a CHOICE in the products they promote. Case in point….I’ve been offered a “pro staff” position by your “old Company” in the past. And before knowing about Kuiu took advantage of the discounts. After reading about you, your products and the materials used to make them I invested in a few of your pieces. After what I believe to be very intensive testing ( a couple AK peninsula Brownie hunts and a couple Mckenzie Mtn. sheep/goat hunts) it was an EASY decision to resign my position and pay “full price” for the BEST GEAR available. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. Kuiu has kept me comfortable and ALIVE in several very extreme situations. So Pro Staff or not we all have the ability to make our own gear choices. It’s like a VERY wise man once told me…..”Nothing good is cheap or easy” ( thanks dad )

    Keep making the best gear out there Jason ! If you build it…they will come. haha

    Happy Thanks giving

    David

    P.S. just got my new Kuiu Zamberlan boots…They are AMAZING.!!

  • Butch Gullickson

    Hello Jason, great outline of your companies design and plan. I’ve finally gotten to respond to the message, I received my Yukon gaiters just before the hunting season this year. This year was pretty wild in Colorado with rain/snow conditions. Without hesitation, I think these Yukon’s are the best on the market! I have been through numerous gaiters and stopped using them. This year I felt very comfortable and secure wearing these, in fact, I rarely took them off. Awesome job Jason! you got it going on!!
    Thank you
    Butch G

  • Ken

    Jason

    I was made aware of KUIU by my guide for my fisrt elk hunt this year. Have been dreaming of that hunt all my life. Spent 7 days climbing up and down mountains in Montana wearing only KUIU. All of your products including the 1850 pack are outstanding and your customer service is second to none. I did connect with my fisrt bull elk and plan to make sveral more trips only packing your gear.

    Thanks for putting a great company together.

    Ken

  • Frank Fieweger

    Jason,

    I’ve been following you from very early one, and I’ve been a huge fan from the start. I own many pieces of you clothing and they are fantastic. One thing that stuck out from the beginning was your willingness to be open and hionest about how you are running your business.

    Life is full of choices. For those that think KUIU is too expensive, go buy an inferior cheaper product. For those that think you are making too much money, go start your own business and see what’s involved in making a top-of-the-line product and the expenses involved with that.

    If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. I say KEEP DOING WHAT YOUR DOING!! I’m just your average guy with an average job who LOVE’s to hunt. Some people buy expensive cars and trucks, I choose to spend my money on some of the best hunting clothes made today. To me, its worth it.

    I look forward to following KUIU for years to come.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank you Frank for a such a great comment. I appreciate your support and loyalty for KUIU. It makes all the hard work so worth while. Happy Holidays.

      Jason

  • Chris

    Couldn’t agree more with Jason’s points! I ve used both Kuiu and Sitka and my personal preference is Kuiu, hands down. I live in British Columbia Canada where wet, cold mountainous hunting is the norm. I’ve put Kuiu products through the ringer and they always perform above expectations. I use what works, period! and Kuiu fits the bill. It has got me thru some nasty hunts in some of the most harsh, rugged territory on earth. If somebody comes out with clothing better then Kuiu I’ll buy it, but until then Kuiu is my choice for hunting clothing and gear that works! Keep up the innovation Jason.
    CM

  • Colby

    Jason,

    Out of curiosity, do you only use Toray plants in Japan and Vietnam for manufacturing? As demand continues to increase, do you have plans to expand to Toray plants in countries like Indonesia and/or Malaysia?

    Colby

    • Jason Hairston

      Indonesia and Malaysia are becoming bigger players in production, but lack the technical expertise in sewing and taping and gluing that our products require have kept us out of those countries. However it is just a matter of time before this changes.

      J

      • Colby

        Thanks for the response! That’s good to know. When you get a chance, shoot me an email (colbykendell@gmail.com or cdeeken9@gmail.com), I have some good information for you if you ever do end up using those countries for manufacturing.

        Have a nice day Jason!

        CK

  • Mark

    While I agree totally with your design philosophy I can’t wear any of your gear because you refuse to make a size small. Being an ex-NFL player you have no idea how frustrating it is that this facet of the industry, above all, falls into the same line of thinking that most hunters are big and/or overweight. It’s as if you’ve conceded that there are very few hunters who will actually use your gear as designed.

    I can only hope as you grow you will eventually make gear most everyone can use, including women and kids. Almost every mountaineer company clothing line has size small, so there is a glimmer of hope. Meanwhile I can only watch from the sidelines and spend my money elsewhere on what you consider inferior gear.

    • Jason Hairston

      Mark,

      I can understand your frustrations. We are always evaluating data that we receive including requests. If we get enough requests I will run a small program. We do not get enough to justify the financial investment and I cannot afford to tie up inventory dollars on product that will not sell. I am sure this will change in the future but right now it is where I am in growing KUIU. I hope you can understand.

      Jason

  • Pete

    Very well written response backed up with solid facts. I own a lot of high end technical gear and your gear simply has a different “feel” about it and durability that has really impressed me. While I don’t abuse my gear at all, I have no fears taking it into the remote bush without my typical backup items. Thanks for the excellent products and keep up the high standards.

  • Joe Hawkins

    Thanks Jason for bringing Kuiu to us. Had been waiting a long time for Kuiu. Like any investment you get what you pay for. Looking forward to seeing you, your team, and products shaping the industry for many years to come. Wish more companies had your approach to business. Its very much needed in our world. Very much enjoying the Yukon and Chugach products. Both products do exactly what they say they do. Great job to you and your team!

  • Keith Peter

    I have always said and told fellow hunters if you want a quality product you are going to have to pay for it. Buy cheap you get cheap. I appreciate the you being upfront with your customers. Now wheres my latest Black Friday order. lol

  • Brady Miller

    I’m a little late on responding to this, but I thought I’d still throw some of my thoughts out there. Like most, I have been following KUIU from day one with high expectations. With the business approach, research of materials, customer input, level of transparency, etc. KUIU fit every niche in technical hunting clothing I was looking for and surprised me with other products they brought to market that definitely made my gear choices easier. I suggest anyone on the fence on what gear company to purchase from to take the time and read through all of the blog posts from the start of the company. This will give you a feel of where the company came from and all the time it took to get KUIU where it is today. My KUIU gear performs when it needs to, which enables me to hunt hard and hunt safe. Keep it up the great work with product innovations! Looking forward to seeing where KUIU is at in the next few years. See you in January!

  • jeff hatch

    I first saw your ad in traditional Bowhunter and it caught my eye, I usually don’t pay much attention to many ads, but this was a little different, it had class and style, no text trying to convince me of anything, just a black and white photo that said it all, Adventure…no words needed. My backround is mountaineering/bushcraft, I have spent years in the forest practicing and honing my skills…but hunting is new to me, though it is a skill I must learn…I was planning on trying out some of your gear since it seems like high quality mountain gear (my second choice was FjallRaven)….but now after reading this post I will be buying all Kuiu gear and putting it to the test.

    Jeff

  • Hunter

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this posting!
    As Head of Technical Product for Ironman (triathlon) I know my way around technical fabrics. The product you are offering at the prices you have chosen is the deal of the century. Other companies (Arc’teryx,Patagonia,First Lite) would have to charge $599.00 for a Yukon Jacket with their business model.
    To compare Sitka/Gore-Tex and Kuiu/Toray as Ford vs Chevy clearly doesn’t understand the cutting edge of Toray. EPTFE (Gore-Tex) is very old technology. Nothing innovative!
    Thank you Kuiu, for over-delivering!

    • Jason Hairston

      Hunter,

      Thank you for the comment. I really appreciate your perspective. Spot on with ePTFE! I could not have said it better.

      Jason

      • Jorge Amador

        The most famous maker of breathable and waterproof membranes has one amazing marketing department. They still use the same concept to make all their products, sometimes they use old membranes to make new products. Take the first generation membranes,less waterproof, put it in a new designed and modern technical jacket…and you have a New Softshell membrane.

        If the licences politics of Gore will not be so rigids, will be less popular, for sure.

  • Great stuff Jason!

    I’ve worn Kuiu from the 100 degree eastern plains of Colorado Antelope season, archery elk and 10 degree Iowa whitetail hunts and through it all, I’ve been beyond impressed.

    The quality to me is just undeniable.

    Wore my new Zamberlan Kuiu boots in the snow today and just love em.

    Your business model is very refreshing. Keep bringing the best of the best.

    Rudy
    Founder & Director of Photography – Huntography

  • Jason Hairston

    Thank you Rudy!!

    j

  • Got my KUIU today and all I can say is WOW. I cannot wait to get out and try this stuff. Just an inspection of the gear verifies everything I heard and read before my purchase. I’ll send pictures of my harvest, thanks for an awesome product.

  • Jason Hairston

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. Good luck.

    Jasoon

  • Darrin Anderson

    Thank you for posting this Jason.
    I have been a supporter of all of your products from day one and test everyone of them all over the state of Alaska in the most extreme conditions. I am a licensed professional guide now for over 20 years and before I guide a client I send them to your website with a list of items that they will need. Every hunter is always extremely happy and most go home and make another purchase order. I own and operate my commercial fishing operation and wear your gear while I am fishing in Alaska in the most extreme conditions. Someday I hope you design a rubber boot.
    Keep up the great work and enjoy the holiday season!
    Cheers,

    Darrin

  • Jason, I live in Bozeman and called you back in 2006 to ask why Sitka didn’t make a waterproof jacket. You educated me on the myth of a waterproof AND breathable fabric. For six years I embraced Sitka, but became disillusioned when it was purchased by Gore. Last year I made the jump to KUIU and I am now a complete fan. Your product eclipses Sitka’s in durability and comfort. I finished 2013′s season in KUIU gear with the exception of my Sitka Jetstream Jacket. Needless to say, it, and a closet full of other Sitka goes on Craigslist soon and I will be fully clad in KUIU for 2014 !

  • Brian Lindstrom

    Jason, I purchased the GUIDE DCS jacket originally after a tremendous amount of research on products. After stumbling into Kuiu, I read all of your stories about the founding, the products and the journey. It was clear from all of this I had found the company that not only earned my business, but also impressed me with the honesty and passion shown in everything from the blog to the products. I have since bought other Kuiu item that I am beyond confident in. Your company, your customer service, and your drive is something I’m happy to be a part of – I look forward to what comes next, keep it up! Kuiu Loyal

  • Josh Brewer

    Man Jason I have to say, I was going to get some knew Sitka gear this year, just because there office is an hour away from me and I thought they were a decent company, but after reading this article and seeing what you went through, I will deffanetly be clad in nothing but Kuiu from now on. I absolutely love my Guide DCS Jacket and will start adding to my arsenal next pay check.

    I have a ton of respect for you and what you have done, especially after what I’m sure was a huge slap in the face being forced out of your own company.

    Thanks for your commitment to the hunting community.

  • Anthony H

    Thank you for keeping to core values of product quality and service. Your equipment is worth every cent!!! I had the pleasure of using the full spectrum of KUIU gear in 2013 with an April trip to South Island of New Zealand for a Red Deer, Fallow, and Tahr free range adventure. The gear performed and enhanced the experience. I again put your gear to the test with a Moose hunt in central Canada along the Manitoba, N. Territories, and Sask. area. The weather was quite the challenge with keeping the bush planes grounded. The Cree Indian I was with kept asking if I was dry and warm enough for he could not believe the KUIU was capable of performing. He changed his mind when I had to loan him some clothing on day 2 past the pickup time(we had been in bush already 8 days) and his clothes were soaked. Oh, and the topper, all the pilots looked at my gear when loading and commented “That’s it????”. KUIU made my incredible 2013 adventures even better!!
    I thank you and truly believe you have the best hunting clothing on the market. I have started to wear non-camo KUIU clothing regularly due to performance and comfort. MAKE MORE!!!

    A HILTON

  • JB

    Jason…I’ve followed you since day one and am so impressed with your approach, your success and increasing growth of offerings.

    My teenage daughter is interested in starting a fashion brand. I told her to go to your blog, entry number 1, and just read and take notes — the blueprint for her success is all here in your incredibly honest and transparent sharing of information.

    Screw the haters — they have nothing on you, Sir.

    Best…JB

  • shawn

    So impressed with Kuiu! not only the product but the people behind it. Quality through and through, keep up the good work. Appreciate the customer care team you have, they have been unreal to deal with and focused on the clients and customers to a degree that sets you guys above and beyond again!

  • Frank

    Jason, Your gear is first rate. Started using it in BC on a Goat and Moose hunt and have been hooked ever since. Just bought your boots for my Fall Goat and Moose hunt in the Yukon. They fit great and are far superior to any other mountain boot i have worn. One question… The moth wing Camo you originally used at Sitka, was in my opinion the best All around pattern. Have you considered using that pattern again?

  • Steve

    I check once a week on a whole bunch of gear on my wish list. Still lots of stuff back-ordered. Also I saw comments earlier about the lack of smaller sizes. I’m another 5’6″ hunter. I wear Mediums in most items. Seems like a lot of the items are not available in Mediums. Spring Bear is just around the corner here guys. Time to gear up for wet weather here in Idaho. I would like to place an order. will you be restocking soon?

  • Chris McCallum

    HI Jason,
    I would love to buy your product but it’s very expensive. A few years ago, I saved up enough to buy a down jacket and upper and lower gear in Sitka and I really like it. However, after reading your letter above, I am going to start saving for Kuiu gear. I have heard many say that it’s top rate, and I have seen it on various hunters. It looks great and as stated, holds up even better. Up here in Canada, the weather can be hot one day and then bitterly cold the next during hunting season.
    I need this stuff so that I can take down my moose this fall. Do you offer any promotional deals, or do you entertain trials of gear in harsh climates?
    Chris

  • Tyler

    Just by reading this it would make me want and need Kuiu gear! Even though I already new how great this gear is! Keep up the good work love your gear!

  • Ken Peelman

    You officially have found a new customer. I will have to make the drive from Fresno to Dixon after this season. Now the question is Vias or Verde for California’s Sierra’s!

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