Sitka Ambient UL 60 Hoody

Sitka Ambient UL 60 Hoody

When I saw the release of the Ambient UL, I knew I needed to get my hands on one.  Sitka is obviously building on the success of their Ambient line.  Now offering a full zip Ambient 100 hooded jacket, the Ambient jacket (150), the UL, and even a vest (100).  The numbers are the weight of the insulation used, the jacket with the most at 150 g/m2, and the UL with the least at 60 g/m2.

It’s interesting as Sitka is using both Primaloft Evolve and Polartec Alpha.  Having owned and used both, I can find no real difference between the insulations- they even look identical to the untrained eye.

The UL hoody is different in using less insulation than the other jackets and combines body-mapped sections of a mid-weight grid fleece. See it here.

They describe the jacket as:

“The lightest-weight in our Ambient family of active insulation piece, this body-mapped hoody pairs Polartec Alpha and a soft grid-fleece to optimize mobility, breathability, and warmth when the sun dips behind the ridge.”

Specs and Price

The Ambient UL 60 jacket currently comes in gray and black, retailing for $259.

My UL came in at 9.0 oz (Large) on my scale, a little heavier than what the Sitka site states of 8.7 oz.  9 oz is pretty light in the arena of active insulation jackets.

Active Insulation

Grid Fleece

You can see from these pics (the jacket is inside out) how they “mapped” the fabrics- where the Polartec Alpha is located and where the grid fleece is.

The jacket is a pullover with zip top, zipper length is a very generous ~ 18”.  If you’ve read some of my reviews, you know I’m not the biggest fan of ziptops, but if you’re going to make one- use a long zipper like this piece!  It goes on/off much easier and you’re able to vent effectively with the long zipper.

The jacket has a very generous 30” length in the back. The outer fabric is a 30d nylon.  It has a very soft touch, soft enough for archery hunters. The grid fleece is a midweight; not sure if it’s exactly the same as their midweight Core tops, but very similar.

Ambient UL 60


I got to use the jacket on an almost daily basis (I hike our local trails daily) for a little over four months in Montana, covering a wide variety of climatic conditions.  It was used from early rifle season (September) through late rifle season (late November).  It was also used on several snowshoe trips in December and November.

Fit and Finish

Jacket Front

Jacket Back

I ordered a size Large, my normal size (5’11”, 180 lbs).  The fit is a little on the athletic side, but for this jacket, it is perfectly appropriate.

Sitka Ambient UL 60 Hood

The hood is exclusively grid fleece, while no adjustment, it fits very well and stays firmly on your head, and offers good vision all around.  The grid fleece breathes very well but also adds decent warmth.

The grid fleece is also used under the arms and on the lower back.  This mapping helps with breathability.

The overall finish (sewing and construction) of the garment is is excellent.

Wind Resistance

This jacket offers a little wind resistance but not much.


This jacket is very breathable.  Both the 30d nylon fabric and the grid fleece breathe very well.  This is very welcomed when climbing and/or moving at a faster pace.

Precipitation Resistance

The Ambient UL doesn’t offer much in the way of precipitation resistance.  I had it in some very light precip and it did fine, anything more than very light you’ll want to garb a layer to go over it.


While the Ambient UL isn’t overly warm, it proved warm enough over a light base layer in temps down to the 20s while on the move.


Even though the fabric is pretty light (30d), I found it to do well when venturing off-trail. I have no holes/rips/tears in mine after hard use.

Like any lightweight garment, you need to exercise some caution when going through the thick stuff.

Ambient 60


I know folks will want to know how the UL compares to the Ambient 100.  I wore both during our rifle season.  Not surprisingly the Ambient 100 is warmer, which if the weather is colder, that is what you want.  BUT the UL is a better choice in my opinion with temps at or above ~20 degrees.  I hesitate to use temps as every person is a little different in their metabolism–some run warm, some cool. I run somewhere in the middle.  After a lot of back and forth, I found myself grabbing the 100 if the temps were below 20 and the UL if temps were above 20.  I did use the UL in temps under 20, especially if it required higher aerobic output–like snowshoeing.  I also think it’s a better choice in higher aerobic activities over the 100, as it breathes better and dries faster.

Neither jacket is overly windproof, the UL less so.  If the wind was blowing much with either jacket, I added a wind layer.  I used the wind layer several times when the UL (and the 100) was no longer keeping me warm enough; it adds/preserves heat–stretching the capability of both jackets.

The 100 is a full zip and includes side/handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket. The UL is 3/4 zip and only has a chest pocket.  The UL is also lighter and packs smaller if that is a concern when backpacking.

If you happen to hunt a wide array of temps (or other outdoor activities) then perhaps it would be worth considering having both. Compare and order here.

I’m Keeping Both

I think the UL would make a great active mid-layer for folks who do a lot of early-season hunting (archers included) and/or if your hunting takes place in warmer climes.  It’s also a solid choice if your pursuits are on the higher end of aerobic output.

All in all, the Sitka Ambient UL 60 is a very good performing & lightweight active mid-layer!

Comment or ask Mike questions here.