Camouflage Base Layers for Women
by Mia Anstine
Ladies, I’ve found a new camouflage Merino wool base layer to add to our “must have” hunting gear lists.
Back in January, at SHOT Show, First Lite presented me with a set of women’s Full Length Bottoms. I’ve been testing them in warm and cold weather conditions. I even wore them every day in the damp, cold conditions of the New Zealand mountains.
Something I didn’t know is the day after I flew to the other side of the world a package appeared on my doorstep containing two absolutely fabulous camouflage shirts.
When I returned, I field-tested the shirts with the leggings, during turkey hunts. The good news is base layers were the farthest things from my mind. That means they weren’t binding, constricting or riding up. I remained warm as I guided hunters through four seasons of weather, up and down the Rocky Mountains.
These items are made of 100% ultra-fine, Merino wool. It’s designed with yokes and fit to accommodate women’s curves while providing ultimate comfort under top layers. First Lite made these items just for women!
If you’ve ever worn Merino base layers, you already know how soft they are. There is no itching or constricting with the fabric. I will let you know that the products I tried do stretch out a bit if you wear them for multiple days, with out washing them.
Many Merino wool items require special care. I’ve had several expensive sets that looked so holy I could’ve worn them every Sunday. Not the First Lite. Although I only recently received the tops, I’ve put the bottoms to the test. I’ve followed the washing “gentle cycle” instructions and then “tumble dry low”. This is a bonus to me, because when you’re hunting from dark to dark, often times you don’t have time to hand-wash and line-dry your garments. The bottoms have held up nicely through multiple days of wear and wash.
Women’s Artemis Hoody – A FAVORITE on my list! I’ve never been much of a hoodie person, but I tell you what, I love this one. It’s been a staple for me all turkey season, even on hot days. This hoody is a mid-weight fabric. The thumbholes kept the sleeves in position for donning layers. I wore it under my raingear or solo as a camo shirt. It has a quarter zip neck to keep the wind out. The hood aided in concealment when combined with a hunting mask.
The Artemis Hoody is available in women’s sizes XS – XL in black, sage, golden, First Lite Fusion, ASAT Camo, Realtree Max 1 and Realtree Xtra. MSRP $115-135
Women’s Lupine Crew – Perfect all around base layer top. This top is often the first item to go on when layering is required. It’s designed as the cornerstone of First Light’s layering system. The color is just high enough and doesn’t choke or bind and the technical design prevents it from twisting and binding beneath other layers.
The Lupine Crew is available in women’s sizes XS – XL in black, sage, golden, First Lite Fusion, ASAT Camo, Realtree Max 1 and Realtree Xtra. MSRP $65-75
Both shirts are equipped with thumbholes. I found that there is plenty of length in the sleeve, even for women with long arms. The flat lock seams and embossed tagging protect skin from chaffing. Better yet, the overall waist length is long enough to tuck in or cover your belt.
Women’s Larkspur Full Length Bottom – As I mentioned, I’ve been using the bottoms for quite some time. They’ve remained durable throughout numerous experiences of washing and wearing.
The Larkspur Full Length Bottom is available in women’s sizes XS – XL. For you taller ladies, the size chart on their website does indicate inseam length. These bottoms come in black, sage, golden, First Lite Fusion, ASAT Camo, Realtree Max 1 and Realtree Xtra. MSRP $90-100
The First Lite Women’s Line will be available at select retailers in June. You can pre-order, for September delivery, directly through First Lite.
Mia Anstine is an outfitter, guide, hunter, mentor, firearms and archery instructor. Among other publications, she is a staff writer for Beretta USA, Women’s Outdoor News and guest at North American Hunter. As a public speaker she teaches and inspires others to get involved in outdoor activities. She takes pride in guiding ladies and children for their first hunts. She’s hunted elk, mule deer, black bear, turkey, game birds, waterfowl, predators, varmints, hogs, carp and has more on her bucket list. To learn more about Mia, visit her website at www.MiaAnstine.com.