First Lite Sanctuary 2.0 Insulated Bib Pant Review

Lucas Hunter

First Lite Sanctuary 2.0 Insulated Bib Pant Review

Growing up on a farm in Northeast Iowa, my family didn’t have a lot of money to spend on hunting gear. Typically, we would go out in jeans and our warmest work jacket with some old-school long johns for base layers. Before I started hunting with my bow, I hunted once a year. The first week of December, no matter the weather, we endured the elements. In 2020, I purchased my bow and committed to hunting whitetails with my compound bow. After a few seasons of suffering with my old-school gear, I decided finally to purchase high-quality hunting gear to match my dedication to the craft; I soon found out that finding high quality gear isn’t a simple task. I had heard great things about First Lite products and decided to take a shot at this highly recommended gear.

first lite Sanctuary 2.0 Insulated Bib Pant review

First lite Sanctuary 2.0 Insulated Bib Pant

Purpose-built for bitter-cold days in the treestand and is the coldest weather component of the First Lite Layering Kit. With a proprietary combination of six layers of fabric and insulation carefully positioned to maximize warmth, this thing is an oven.

Price: $380

  • True to Size Fit
  • Moisture-wicking, yet warm
  • Fabric traps human odors
  • Built for Cold Conditions
  • Windproof

Purchasing Experience – Buying Expensive Hunting Gear Online

While it can be daunting to find and spend your hard-earned cash on hunting gear, HuntingGearDeals.com can help you find the best deals on hunting gear, including First Lite.  Be sure to sign up for the HuntingGearDeals.com Daily Deal Email so that you never miss a deal, including on First Lite! 

HuntingGearDeals.com notified me of a First Lite sale and helped me save money on my purchase. Once on FirstLite.com, finding what best suits your needs is simple compared to other online shopping experiences I’ve had in the past. The simplicity of finding and selecting which outdoor pursuit you’re gearing up for is key to the experience First Lite provides. I looked for high quality, durable, cold-weather gear with whitetail features for late-season hunts. Easily finding the correct outerwear for my own preference was extremely satisfying. Thorough descriptions of the gear were provided in an effortless fashion without overwhelming clutter. Once purchased, the time from being ordered to receiving the item progressed in an efficient and timely fashion.

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Sanctuary 2.0 Insulated Bib Pant Specs

The Sanctuary 2.0 Insulated Bib Pant builds off the foundation of the original Sanctuary Bib with updates to the fabric package, fit, and features. The bib is purpose-built for bitter-cold days in the treestand and is the coldest weather component of the First Lite Layering Kit. With a proprietary combination of six layers of fabric and insulation carefully positioned to maximize warmth, this thing is an oven. Designed to be ultra-quiet, durable, windproof using our improved technology, and water-resistant (except for the seat, which is waterproof), it will keep you dry while sitting all day in the stand. In addition, the Sanctuary 2.0 Bib is packed with whitetail features, including treestand-specific pocketing, full leg zips, adjustable waistband, and KitLink system compatibility. This bomber cold weather Bib insulates exceptionally well, blocks the wind, keeps you dry, allows ease of movement, and wears like iron.


Features

  • True to Size: Purchase your normal size
  • Exclusive 37.5 Active Particle Technology
    • Exhausts moisture and maintains core body temperature
    • Traps odors (human signature) and releases them when laundered
  • 200g of 37.5 synthetic insulation in the legs, seat and backing
  • 100g of 37.5 synthetic insulation in the chest
  • Windproof membrane
  • Kitlink™ 37.5 fleece-lined chest muff and pocket seamlessly integrates with zippered pass-thrus on the jacket
  • Zippered stash pocket on the front of muff
  • Quick-release suspenders clips at chest
  • Full side-zips for easy on/off
  • Reinforced, 2.5-layer water-resistant seat panel
  • Face fabric: silent, brushed 2-layer Catalyst softshell
  • Silent construction provides quiet insulation and wind-proofing
  • Moisture resistant DWR exterior that repels snow and rain
  • Anterior (front of pant) pockets with easy access and magnetic closures

Comfortability & Features

Being comfortable for a sustained period contributes to the overall success of a hunt. Discomfort in the tree stand can cause a hunter to leave early and miss out on amazing opportunities. Before the First Lite Sanctuary Bib 2.0, I had normalized my legs becoming half frozen and needing a good walk after leaving the tree stand to warm myself. When I hunt in the bitterly cold days of December and January in Iowa, having a bib with well-designed layers of fabric is essential. Putting the coldest weather component of First Lite to the test in Iowa’s freezing cold late season was bound to happen. I’ve hunted in weather from 70 degrees, with little-to-no wind, all the way down to single digits with a 15-20 mph wind. I have yet to leave the treestand with cold legs since gearing up with these bibs. Using the sanctuary set in the bitter cold temperatures with a brisk wind has never felt more comfortable. The windproofing built into this great gear has given me more opportunities to stay in the tree stand longer, even when the weather is sub-optimal. 

Water Resistance 

The first year I owned these bibs I tested the water resistance. The temperature wasn’t supposed to drop too low, but I decided to wear these bibs anyway. That morning ended up dropping a thunderstorm on my head for roughly three hours. To my satisfaction, the bibs held up their end of the bargain and kept my legs and rear end dry throughout the miserable, windy hunt. I can honestly say if I had not owned and worn the First Lite Sanctuary 2.0 Bib (and Jacket) that day, I would likely have left the treestand hours early. 

Pocketing 

On top of the comfortability of staying warm and dry, these bibs have intentional treestand-specific pocketing. The layout of the outside pockets, which have magnetized pocket flaps, makes it easy to access any accessories you bring along and are a nice feature for silence on your hunt. 

Convenience & Adjustability 

Another great design feature is the ability to fully unzip both legs at the sides. After a long hike into the woods, these side zippers allow for ventilation if you feel you’ve become too hot. This also allows a person to put on and remove this bib with ease. The adjustable waistband has been a nice feature to help keep the bib pant form fitting and never too loose. 

Kitlink System 

My absolutely favorite design feature on this insulated bib pant is the Kitlink system compatibility on the front of the bibs. What this feature entails is a built-in hand muff accessible through the matching First Lite Sanctuary 2.0 Jacket. This feature is what caught my eye when first deciding to buy First Lite. The ability to remove a bulky hand muff from my pack has been profoundly convenient. Typically, I wear a thin layered glove, allowing me to keep full dexterity while fighting off the bite of the cold weather. I use the integrated hand muff every single hunt. Aside from the excellent warmth these bibs provide, the Kitlink system is my favorite convenience built into this product.

Quietness 

The ultra silent fabric has been a breath of fresh air. I’ve owned plenty of cheap, thin, and noisy gear where every movement sounded like a car driving down a gravel road. Now when I move in these bibs, the quietness has been more than I could ask for in an extreme cold weather gear set. When you think of ultra cold weather gear, you think bulk, right? While these bibs are still slightly bulky, the ease of movement coinciding with the product is extremely pleasing. Just because it’s built for extreme weather doesn’t mean First Lite would sacrifice silence and dexterity. First Lite delivered.

Durability 

Durability 

First Lite claims their gear “wears like iron.” Buying high end hunting gear took some working up to for me due to a limited budget for hunting gear. During shotgun season, I typically wear some of my beaten down gear to trudge through the thick, sharp, and grabby brush which tears into most fabrics. Although I haven’t pushed these bibs through the thick hell we have on our home farm, they still have been through some rough brush, and they handled it well with no snags or tears visible to the naked eye. The only instance where the First Lite Sanctuary Bibs showed some damage was at the rusty hands of some nasty barbed wire. Crossing a fence line early in the morning, a stray strand of barbed wire caught the inside of my leg. Not knowing I was caught up on a length of wire, I took a step. You can imagine my dismay when I heard the tearing of the best cold weather bib I have ever owned. Luckily, First Lite sells a repair kit for tears. As far as durability with the First Lite Sanctuary Bib 2.0, these pass the test.

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PROS:

  • Extremely Warm, just like an oven

  • Windproof? YES
  • Quiet and Comfortable
  • Water-resistant

  • Magnetic Pocket Flaps – Quick and Quiet Access

  • Form fitting

CONS:

  • Bulk – I could always wish for a small/lighter package right?

  • Price

  • No match for Barbed Wire

Summary

When I purchased these bibs to replace my old, thin, minimally-insulated gear, I did not expect such big changes in my feelings towards high end hunting gear. It is nice finally owning outer layers with a true wind layer, warmer pockets, excellent water resistance, and true comfortability. This gear focuses on catering to the whitetail hunter in all aspects. It’s hard to beat a beautiful late season bow hunt in snow covered Iowa. Comfortability is key to elevating a hunting experience well before a shot can be fired. That is exactly what the First Lite Sanctuary Bib 2.0 has done for my own hunting experiences. I have never been more comfortable sitting in my treestand in the cold. This gear is good from opening day all the way through the final day in January. First Lite has really hit it out of the woods with the design of these cold weather bibs. They figured out how to match high quality with comfortability and functionality. This gear will outlast any other gear I own, and First Lite now has me as a permanent customer. In my opinion, these are the best cold weather bibs on the market.

Ready to buy? First Lite Sanctuary 2.0 Bib Pants are only sold on FirstLite.com and Amazon.

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AUTHOR BIO

I’m a Hunter from Iowa that loves the outdoors. When I’m not working on cars for my profession, I’m in the woods. Whether it’s cutting firewood, improving my Whitetail habitat, or hunting for Morels. I try to live up to my last name

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