So I was sitting on Mt Laguna Saturday night around the fire with my friends from Triple B Adventures, and I was thinking… wow it’s pretty cold. Spring however short in SoCal is that magic time of the year when the grass is green the days are getting longer and people are taking advantage of it. But don’t let the days fool you it can get pretty chilly pretty quick as it did for me Saturday. And while I stood there in shorts and flip flops (I forgot my boots) I was really glad I had remembered my Chama hoodie from First Lite.
If you don’t know it by now I love First Lite, I just wrote a blog about their Gaiters, I wear their shorts and have caught myself in a First Lite Tuxedo (wearing all First Lite) a couple times. What originally drew me to them was that I am not a small man and trying to find Moreno wool that fit me was a daunting task. The Chama was a great investment and extremely well designed. It is essentially a hooded long sleeve t-shirt made to be used as a mid-layer. Some if the highlights included a quarter zip zipper, shoulder pocket and thumb holes on the sleeves. I’m a huge fan of the thumbholes since I have stretched the cuff when pushing my sleeves up, something I also like to do when hiking or getting my hands dirty. My only gripe is that the pocket is on the shoulder and doesn’t really server to much of a purpose for me there and it can be difficult when opening one handed.
Sadly the Chama was discontinued, but hey introduced the Kiln which has many of the same characteristics with the pocket moved to the chest so win. Other than that the two are very similar which I was stoked about when I need to pick one up in coyote brown. It felt a little tighter but I have reason to believe that might be on me and not their sizing ha-ha. The only thing I would think that might be a cool additional is make it stuff able into the pocket and have the pocket be made of something water proof. I know we wear wool because of its epic properties and it is effective when wet but I also would like it dry if only for a minute ha-ha. Now I usually carry everything in a dry bag but I’m thinking just more for day hikes and having a good mid layer on duty in my bag.
Truth be told though this thing is usually on me 24/7 when I’m outside and it’s chilly. When winter backpacking I will wear it even when hiking since it breaths really well and I can take the hood off and pull up my sleeves then drop them and run the hood at a stop or if I’m getting cold. SO it first earned my approval hiking in the snow but I came around to using it as my go to for any time I might think it’s getting chilly and love it for spring and fall. I can even justify it in the summer especially when I just run my Mountain Serape as my sleeping bag, the Chama and Kiln with the hoods are comfortable and add a few more degrees plus condensation is not an issue.
So I say do yourself a favor and pick one up especially if you hunt of like darker colors. The Kiln that replaced the Chama is just as good as its predecessor if not better. I haven’t regretted buying any First lite gear and in fact have continued to purchase more and more… You can see for yourself just scroll through out social media, I have been wearing this stuff for years while Getting the Fox Out There!