Photo: SITKA Apex Pack

On a recent hunt to the Rushmore State, one of my good buddies and a stone-cold public-land whitetail assassin told me, “Jace, you gotta have a system.”

He was referencing his pack, which was more organized than an accountant’s filing cabinet. Mine, for as long as I can remember, has been a jumbled mess. But his words stuck with me, and after that hunt I developed a pack system that has served me well.

Those same words jumped to the forefront of my mind last week when Backbone Media’s Sloane Brown and Eric Whiting gave me the lowdown on SITKA’s new big game super story: the Apex Series.SITKA Apex Hoody

This innovative system for the big game bowhunter is composed of a hoodie, pant and pack.. Featuring SITKA’s 2017 Subalpine pattern, the Hoody offers the warming benefits of merino wool and the comfort of nylon in a specialized outer layer. The piece boasts an integrated mesh face mask, removable elbow pads (spot-and-stalk hunters will love this) and reinforced shoulders. The 230-gram 17.5 micron merino wool backer blended with a durable nylon face promises moisture and odor management, and the Hoody allows for plenty of mobility. A durable water-repellent finish and a zippered center pocket with mesh dividers round out the features of this hoodie.

At first glance: This hoodie is a win. Period. I love the removable elbow pads and the general feel the garment provided over my ATA-dress apparel.

SITKA Apex Pant

The Apex Pant gives the wearer a soft micro-grid fleece interior designed to balance warmth and breathability. This will no doubt come in handy when traversing steep, unforgiving terrain. Sweat pooling on the legs can lead to chilled lower extremities and general discomfort. Other key features include the removable knee pads, cargo pockets with mesh dividers to reduce noise, and tapered legs for easier and quieter mobility.

At first glance: The pants scream mobility. They promise an athletic fit, and the pockets are spacious.

Rounding out the trio is the Apex Pack. I tried on a weighted-down version at the Show, and the first thing I noticed was the comfort and undeniable functionality. The low-profile frameless design reduces noise and overall weight — the pack only weighs 36 ounces — and still offers 1,800 cubic inches of space. The body-hugging waist belt is fitted with multiple pockets (I gotta have pockets on my pack) and easy-to-deploy retractable cam cables to rest your bow on.

At first glance: The pack, even weighted down, feels incredible on the shoulders, and the waist belt truly does hug the hips. I love the pockets and the pack’s lightweight nature.

I can’t wait to put this gear to the test come fall. It’s an ideal system, and you know, you gotta have a system.