New for the fall of 2014 First Lite Wool hunting clothing has come out with their own camouflage pattern; called Fusion. This pattern was built and designed exclusively for First Lite. I was able to see this pattern almost a full year in advance of it coming out and I was extremely excited to see it come to market. I am and have been a huge fan of ASAT camouflage for the last 5 years. ASAT (unlike most commercial camo) does a remarkable job at breaking up the human outline. It isn’t trying to look like a bush or a tree but instead focuses on what matters and that is breaking up your outline so you blend into the surroundings. Too many camouflage patterns are designed to look good on the shelf at your local sporting goods store but stick the hunter away 50 yards and they turn into a dark blob.
So when I first saw the Fusion pattern I was extremely excited about it. You can instantly tell the pattern isn’t focusing on looking “like” something but rather on breaking up your outline. This quote is pulled directly from First Lite’s website:
Fusion is a proprietary mix of shapes and colors designed to obliterate the human shape. Fusion dissolves into it’s surroundings unlike anything else. From 2 to 2000 yards, Fusion excels by removing the characteristic outlines of the hunter through a powerful set of features. Fusion employs both macro and micro disruption as well as finely tuned distortions. These features are placed using nature-based algorithms derived from the golden ratio found throughout the natural world. Simply put, the relationship between color and shape is specifically designed to fool the brain and resemble recurring patterns found in nature. Unique to Fusion, the signature feature of this camouflage is its “crackalature”. Using light and dark shapes that weave throughout the pattern, the crackalature aspect further distorts the hunter’s signature shape, avoiding isoluminance (color blobbing). The powerful features of Fusion combine to ensure concealment at any distance.
I recently got the chance to use some Fusion out in the field chasing late season Mule deer. Even though it was pretty much whiteout conditions as a fresh 12″ blanket of snow was covering the ground we got to get a really good look at how Fusion works in the field. The pattern is a little bit darker than ASAT but I was still incredibly impressed by its ability to break up your outline at varying distances and not turn into the dreaded dark blob. I sat a trail for a few hours in the morning with a perfect wind and had over a dozen deer walk by me at less than 30 yards. (unfortunately no shooter bucks) Only once was I spotted by a doe that was less than 12 yards away. She did what I have become very accustomed too wearing ASAT, looked at me for about 30 seconds and then after much thought and deliberation decided I was nothing and kept on walking by. The rest of the deer never gave me a second look and I was fairly exposed sitting next to a small pine tree.
Obviously my experience is somewhat limited here with only one hunt under my belt but I feel extremely confident that the new First Lite Fusion pattern is going to be a very effective pattern for a lot of varying uses. Whether you are hunting the open terrain of the West or the thick brush of the East Fusion is going to be a great choice. If you are in the market for some new hunting clothing I would suggest you seriously consider Fusion as the camo choice.
From a personal perspective / opinion about the only thing I would change is I wish the pattern was a touch lighter in overall color but again it does a great job of breaking up your outline so that is more for my own aesthetic.
Note; On this day I was wearing the First Lite North Branch pants and the Uncompahgre Puffy jacket. In 12 degree temps they kept me increcibly warm. We had just over a 1000 ft climb up to the trail we sat and I was able to open up the side zippers on the North Branch pants to get plenty of ventilation and then closed them up when I got the trail we sat.