First Lite Obsidian Pants for Whitetail

SCLawyer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
104
I'm mostly a southeastern U.S. whitetail hunter. Our season lasts from August to January, so I'm rounding out a system to cover both ends of the spectrum - hot as hell to cold. I have my early season system dialed in, but am looking at what pants to get that will last me mid season to end of season. I have plenty of base layer bottoms, from Wick Boot Top to Kiln Long John. I'd like to find one pair of pants that I can roll with from October to January. I understand, of course, that there may be the odd day of truly freezing temperatures and I have that covered with puffy gear.

I initially bought the Sitka Mountain Pant because I'm hoping to expand into western hunting at some point. While I think those pants would be fantastic for western hunting, they just didn't do it for me for mid to late season whitetail.

I'm strongly leaning towards the First Lite Obsidian Merino pants. According to FL, they can be used throughout the year when used with the right base layer, but I've never laid hands on a pair, so I don't know how well they will work. Am I going to freeze in Kiln Long Johns + Obsidian Merinos if I'm stationary in a South Carolina deer stand in the mid-30s in December?

I'm also considering the Sitka EVII line. Honestly, I haven't really looked much at their Whitetail line b/c I wanted to get gear that mostly could also serve me on a western hunt, which is one of the reasons I really like First Lite's merino/puffy/grid fleece. Is there a better pant in the Sitka Whitetail line that would cover what I'm looking for? I just don't want to be too hot in October (50s/60s) and too cold in December (20s-40s).

I know it's always hard to pick one item to cover so many purposes - but if you had to buy one pant for my situation, what would you buy?

Thanks!
 

WELLSTON_HUNTER

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Nov 14, 2018
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49
Location
MI
maybe look at the talus from kuiu you get a good temp range and they have hip vents for hotter weather
 

Drenalin

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Nov 15, 2018
Messages
624
I had the Kanab 2.0 before First Lite released the Obsidians, and I think they're similar enough with respect to what you're asking. They are very flexible across a range of temperatures...I wore the Kanabs from mid-70's down to 20's with an appropriate base layer. I wouldn't say I was actually warm at the low end of that range, but I wasn't miserable either. The only drawback to the Kanabs for me was that they're prone to getting holes in the brush, and I wouldn't think the Obsidians are much better in that regard. But, when I did get holes, they didn't spread.
 

Hondo

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
254
I've worn Obsidians in the 30's to the 90's with acceptable comfort in an ambush situation. They have perhaps the greatest range of temperature comfort of all my pants although I favor some of those others once it is in the 30's and below. The Obsidians are very comfortable but as Drenalin pointed out they aren't the best suited pants for bushwhacking although the ripstop construction does help mitigate the damage.

If all your hunting is ambush and you have minimal brush & thorns to contend with to and from then maybe the Obsidians would work for an early to mid-season pant but I don't know about mid to late with just a Kiln and I run hot. Full disclosure: I'm not an advocate of a single pant kit. I think 2 is an absolute minimum and I struggle limiting myself to just 2 pants on a weekend hunt trip where the weather conditions are fairly certain.
 
OP
S

SCLawyer

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Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
104
I've worn Obsidians in the 30's to the 90's with acceptable comfort in an ambush situation. They have perhaps the greatest range of temperature comfort of all my pants although I favor some of those others once it is in the 30's and below. The Obsidians are very comfortable but as Drenalin pointed out they aren't the best suited pants for bushwhacking although the ripstop construction does help mitigate the damage.

If all your hunting is ambush and you have minimal brush & thorns to contend with to and from then maybe the Obsidians would work for an early to mid-season pant but I don't know about mid to late with just a Kiln and I run hot. Full disclosure: I'm not an advocate of a single pant kit. I think 2 is an absolute minimum and I struggle limiting myself to just 2 pants on a weekend hunt trip where the weather conditions are fairly certain.

Thanks for the input, and - to be clear - I totally agree with you on not just using one pant. I use a KUIU Tiburon early season and will have FL Bibs for the rare frigid day we get. Mostly just need something that will serve me well 30s-70s sitting stationary in an elevated box blind over food plots. I don’t go anywhere near knee high brush without true brush pants. I’ve burned many a pants that way and learned my lesson. I’ll probably get a pair of FL Sawbucks for that.

I actually really like the Sitka Mountain Pants and kind of wish I hadn’t sold them. They were just heavy for the mostly warm temps I hunt in. I bet they’re perfect for western hunting


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Tartan

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Jun 27, 2016
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262
Location
Argyle, Tx
I have the obsidians, they are very quiet which is nice for whitetail hunting. But I wouldn't wear them in any temps under 50 even with base layers for stationary hunts. There's just no wind protection. I'm sure firstlite's recommended temp range is based on western hunting with a lot of hiking involved. I wore them on my last elk hunt with morning temps in the 30s and was totally fine, but we weren't stationary for extended periods of time. They make a great early/mid season whitetail pants.

I've stopped using them b/c there are a lot of thorns where I hunt, and just got tired of having my shins above my boots totally shredded. The obsidians handled the wear and tear relatively well, but after a couple years are fairly torn up. I've moved to sawbuck pants and they are perfect for my uses. Much lighter and more breathable than a normal brush pant and surprisingly quiet. I'll still switch to a heavier pant for anything under 50* for stationary hunts.
 

John pettimore

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Jul 25, 2017
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262
Location
Buffalo WY
I agree with Tartan, no way I would depend on my obsidians in those temps. 50 is about my limit when stationary also but comfort is so subjective it is hard to ever give these recommendations.

I wear my North Branch bibs for the scenario you our outlining. If too warm I just carry them and put them on when appropriate. I would give the solitude a look and know I was going to have to carry them part of the year.
 

mdf21

Junior Member
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Jul 14, 2020
Messages
35
Location
Missouri
I had the obsidians and currently have the Sitka esw pants, mountain pants and stratus pants. Loved the versatility of the obsidians. Lost some weight so got rid of them. Wore them from 90s to the 40s with a food base layer. Not near as warm and heavy and wind resistant as the mountain pant or the stratus but different purposes. I have the furnace base layer and if tou paired them with the obsidians, you could get into the 40s and maybe 30s depending on how cold natured you are. But like others have said, not much wind protection. Loved those pants tho. Had a brown pair that I wore every weekend checking cameras and hanging stands and working around the yard
 

fwafwow

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Apr 8, 2018
Messages
1,246
Location
GA
I hunt in the South too - GA and the SC Lowcountry. I also have done two western hunts, and hunt in NE each year. My advice isn't exactly responsive (in that you asked about one pair of pants), and I'd push for the FL for west and Sitka for whitetail, so fwiw:
  • I have the Obsidians and love them. Super comfortable, soft and quiet, but they do get worn. (You will read complaints about that - but they are made of wool!) I've worn them the last two years *every day* in CO and Idaho for elk. Merino is awesome and no need to wash until you get home. They were awesome in everything from 30 degrees to 90 - and I was doing a good bit of exercise both times. I also did a good bit of glassing in Idaho and never needed long-johns underneath, even at 30 degrees at dawn with wind and no movement.
  • I have and love the Sitka ESW system for those days in the SE when no normal human should be outside, much less effectively vaping on a Thermacel to keep the mosquitos away. They are not, however, good with briars.
  • For whitetail stands when it is cold, but not bitterly so, I wear the FL Corrugate Guide pants, sometimes with layers.
  • I'm a pretty cold person, so when it is freezing AF (Nebraska), I go crazy on my clothing system. But for pants, I wear the Sitka Fanatic bibs and a bunch of other stuff.
Out of all fo the above, I probably get the most wear out of the Obsidians, as they can easily substitute for the ESW pants (alone) or Corrugate Guide pants (with layers).
 
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