Kryptek Altitude Line Introduction
Serious western hunters are familiar with the Kryptek Clothing Company and their military-rooted history. Click here to learn more. Any stroll through the local sporting goods store is going to reveal Kryptek’s signature dragon-scale-esque camo patterns from the tan/sage Highlander to the hunter’s orange-compliant Inferno. Kryptek’s camo patterns are insanely popular. They even backed up how well the patterns work with some research by the United States Department of Defense. The DOD used “laser-retinal-tracking” to prove that Kryptek patterns were most effective in avoiding detection (at least with human observers).
With the Altitude camo pattern, Kryptek aimed high above the tree line. The name Altitude is a reference to the alpine environments it was designed to best blend in with. In my year with it, however, it looked pretty good in the timber and plains as well. Heck, it looked pretty good running around town. It is a very pleasing pattern to the eye and blends in a number of environments.
Altitude’s Three Separate Series
The label Altitude applies to both the pattern and Kryptek’s flagship line of technical clothing. Kryptek pulled no punches with the Altitude line, starting with the super-premium fabrics from Schoeller Switzerland. Altitude is essentially split into three separate series of technical outerwear pieces, and each outerwear series is built on a separate main fabric from Schoeller. The outerwear lines are complemented by accessories and insulating options, all sporting the Altitude pattern. I followed the washing instructions for every Altitude piece and only used Atsko Sport-Wash. Through several washings I saw no hints of pattern fading in any piece.
Check out the podcast Matt did with Jordan discussing the Altitude line here.
The Tora series – A Versatile Mid-Weight
The early season midweight Altitude sub-line is the Tora series. It’s based on the Schoeller Dryskin softshell fabric. This is a lightweight 2-way stretch woven fabric with Schoeller’s impressive nanosphere DWR technology. The fabric is stretchy almost cotton-like and, like all Altitude products I tried, the feel improved with use and washings. Kryptek calls the Tora a mid-weight, but it is both light and highly breathable, so works where other “lightweight” options are targeted.
The Tora pants have great cargo pockets, zippered side vent pockets and removable lightweight knee pads. I put over twenty days in the field in the Tora pants, and loved their utility and comfort. The knee pads were helpful when crawling through wheat fields for antelope and the Dryskin fabric’s abrasion resistance came through chasing rutting elk through alder thickets. The hems can close down with snap buttons, and the shin-high side zips allow you to pull them over some shoes or boots if needed. Breathability was second to none for hunting pants I have tried. The fabric was pretty quiet, especially after a couple washings.
While I had no rips or tears with the Tora pants, I could see some white stitching fragments at the seams in the crotch area after hard use. The seams are double-stitched, and only the outside secondary stitching loosened up. I didn’t have any actually fail and come apart. This was the only durability concern I had with the entire Tora line.
The Tora Jacket was made from the same excellent Schoeller Dryskin fabric. The jacket is super versatile and it holds a little warmth, blocks the wind, shrugs off light rain, and breathes so well you don’t need to shed it when mobile. This jacket has an athletic fit, but has room to fit an insulator like the Arma Fleece 1/2 Zip pullover underneath. The Arma Fleece is a great piece that uses an 88/9/3 mix of poly/wool/spandex in the grid fleece fabric. It was close-fitting, warm, and super breathable. The Tora jacket/Arma Fleece pullover combination was my standard choice for cool mornings of archery elk hunting. The Tora also became my preferred early fall jacket to grab when running errands in town.
Arma Tech 1/2 Zip
The one baselayer option in the Altitude line is the Arma Tech 1/2 Zip top. This 91/9 poly/wool midweight baselayer keeps the torso warm, but isn’t a grid fleece like the other Arma pieces. I used this one a lot, and while it was great as a cold conditions baselayer, it was a little thicker than I would like for warmer conditions. Still, the fabric has a soft feel and is durably constructed for a midweight baselayer. Unlike some poly competitors, the Arma tech didn’t take on a funky odor with extended use, likely due to the wool component and Kryptek’s “Silvadur” antimicrobial treatment.
Tora Gloves And Ball Cap
The Tora Gloves were a good complement to the Tora system. Looking like they came out of a mountain-biking catalog, the gloves have Dryskin fabric, padded knuckle and palm areas, hook-and-loop wrist closure, and breathable mesh between the fingers. They aren’t for cold weather, but are great for protecting your hands while scrambling through scree and brush. They fit close and don’t get in the way whether you’re shooting a bow or rifle.
The Tora ball cap is an interesting and unique option. The cap is a classic billed ball cap, but constructed of the technical Dryskin fabric. The cap provides better weather protection than a traditional trucker.
Specs And Pricing
The Tora series of Altitude pieces have only one real downside, and that is the price. They are premium pieces at premium prices. However, since their release, Kryptek has tightened up their distribution chain and the price, even retail, has come down considerably–up to 40%! In 2020, Altitude will only be available direct-to-consumer, holding these new price points down. Here are the current specs for the pieces in this review (weights as measured):
Piece / Size / Weight
- Tora Pant / 34 Reg. / 20.5 ounces
- Tora Jacket / M / 18.4 ounces
- Gloves / L / 2.8 ounces
- Ballcap / NA / 2.6 ounces
- Arma Tech 1/2 Zip / M / 10.1 ounces
- Arma Fleece 1/2 Zip / M / 14.3 ounces
The Tora is a great early season series that can push into harsher conditions if need be. It is squarely aimed at serious, dedicated hunters that spend a lot of time in the field and need maximum performance. The Kryptek Altitude Tora series should be on the short list for backcountry hunters. Breathability and weather protection is top notch for this class of light soft shells, and the entire line works seamlessly with the Altitude accessories, including the Arma Fleece pieces. The camo pattern looks great and works in a variety of conditions. You can order your Kryptek gear here.
You can comment or ash Matt questions here.
Don’t forget to check out these other Kryptek Reviews:
Robby Denning also did a video review on some of these pieces.