Stone Glacier Cirque Lite Review

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Stone Glacier Cirque Lite Review

Regarding mid-layers or active insulation, fleece has been king for the last 20-plus years. Before fleece, it was wool. Now, manufacturers and hunters are being introduced to different forms of mid-layers in the way of “hybrid” jackets. These jackets usually have a DWR-coated nylon outer shell, 60-90 grams of synthetic insulation, and a nylon backer. They tend to shed light precipitation much better than traditional fleece because of their DWR-coated outer shell. They also tend to be more durable than traditional fleece and don’t pill after a few runs through heavy brush. The biggest difference to me is their ability to be used in high and low-exertion situations and remain dry and comfortable.

The new Cirque Lite from Stone Glacier is an excellent example of a hybrid-style jacket. It has 60 grams of insulation through the arms, chest, and back, and uses their grid fleece material for the side panels up through the armpits. It has an articulated hood and the classic high zip that every Stone Glacier jacket has.

I’ve used this jacket for the past several months, from high alpine basins in Utah to windswept ridges in Colorado, to Arizona's saguaro-riddled flats. The best example of where this jacket shined for me was during my 2nd season mule deer hunt in Colorado. The mornings would start out in the single digits and rise into the mid-30s by noon. I was able to hike to my glassing knob in the dark with the Cirque Lite, then cook the moisture off of it with my puffy jacket while I glassed, then hike comfortably to my next spot or on a stalk. The jacket performed exactly how I wanted it to – it kept me warm in slow or static situations and it didn’t make me overheat during high exertion situations.

The jacket is treated with Polygiene but after a few days of sweat and dry, sweat and dry. It can become fairly rank. I’ve yet to put a rip in it, but there is a substantial amount of pilling where my binocular harness sits. Neither of these makes me shy away from the jacket, but they are things to consider.

The Cirque Lite has become a staple in my layering system, and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon. If you are looking for a mid-layer that does what it is designed to do, check out the Cirque Lite from Stone Glacier.

$239 on


Brody Layher

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