Military Clothing (Non Uniform) Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9
This section features Military clothing that are not uniforms/BDUs.

As a sizing reference: I'm 5'7", 155 lbs (yeah, I'm a little guy), medium build (BDU top medium/regular, BDU pant medium/short), waist 32", chest 43". Keep this in mind when you read my comments with respect to sizing, so you have an idea of how the garments featured below will fit on you. ALL garments in these pages are size Medium, unless stated otherwise.


TAD Gear Stealth Hoodie SS v3.0 and Stealth Jacket

2/9/08 - Triple Aught Design's (TAD Gear) Stealth Hoodie SS v3.0 and Stealth Jacket v3.0 are the next generation of their successful Gen 1 and 2 Stealth Hoodie Soft Shells covered here. The only difference between the Hoodie and the Jacket is that the Jacket lacks a hood, having a stand-up collar instead. With water resistance approaching that of a hard shell, but having the stretchiness and breathability of a soft shell, the new v3.0 Stealth Hoodie and Jacket end up somewhere in-between - a hybrid of sorts, further blurring the line between hard and soft shell.

Shark Skin Material - In comparison to the Gen/Version 1and 2 Stealth Hoodies, the first thing I noticed about the v3.0 was that the material was lighter and thinner. The v3.0 uses TAD's new "Shark Skin Soft shell" material, which is a 4-season, 3-layer laminate. Instead of the textured outer shell like the v2, the Shark Skin outer shell has a very fine weave. It's not as thick or stiff, but very soft and supple, and also stretches. The smoother weave also makes it slightly quieter. The DWR-treated outer shell is bonded to a waterproof-breathable membrane middle later, with a wicking Coolmax inner facing. TAD claims that this is one of the "toughest, most water-resistant and breathable soft shell fabrics available." I can't vouch for the toughness yet, but it really is VERY water-resistant and also seems to be quite breathable. It's also completely wind resistant. When I first handled the jacket, I was a bit surprised that the material was as lightweight as it is, and it wasn't 'heavier'. Typically, I've come to expect soft shells to be somewhat stretchy material with a low-loft fleece or brushed inner face to provide some insulation. So, when this lightweight jacket came, I was expecting something more 'substantial'. However, after wearing the v3.0 Hoodie and Jacket around for a while, I've come to appreciate the route that TAD took with this material. It all lies with what you want from a soft shell jacket - a jacket that provides some warmth and protection against rain and wind, or more of a layering shell over an insulated base layer. It's more convenient to have a jacket that does double duty, but layering allows more versatility over a wider range of temperatures. The v3.0 also compresses into approximately half the size the previous versions did.

TAD intended the v3.0 to be a 4-season soft shell that could also be worn in the summer during thundershowers, sprinkles or tropical areas of operation. Soft shells are not waterproof; they sacrifice absolute waterproofness for comfort and breathability. In heavy rain, it's not unusual for a soft shell to let some water through to the inner layer and get it damp. The more heavily insulated the jacket material is, the longer it takes to dry when wet through. A lighter shell will dry quicker, and also give the user a chance to change to a dry base layer.

Sharkskin fabric

Stealth Hoodie SS v3.0 - The only difference between the v3.0 Stealth Hoodie and Jacket is that the Hoodie has an attached hood, with TAD's familiar Aero design (more on the hood later). All other features are common to both the Hoodie and Jacket.


Pit zips

Stealth Jacket SS v3.0 - The Stealth Jacket is the hood less twin to the Hoodie, for those who don't feel the need for or like an attached hood. The stand-up collar is 3" tall at the front and 2.6" tall in the back. There's a chin guard behind the zipper in the front.


Rear pocket access

Here's a summary of the features on the Stealth Hoodie and Jacket SS v3.0. Unless otherwise mentioned, all of them are common to both jackets:

  • Material - 3 layer smooth face, quieter ALL-Season Shark Skin Soft Shell Fabric with a DWR treated, pique textured woven highly abrasion resistant outer shell, a waterproof-breathable membrane middle layer, and lighter weight wicking Coolmax inner facing. The Shark Skin material is available in TAD's M.E. Green, M.E. Brown (shown here, which is basically khaki), and Dark Field Grey. I did my normal water test on the fabric by lining a sink with the jacket and filling it up with water, and leaving it for a few hours. I saw absolutely no soak-through at all. A better test is rain, to see if the DWR or fabric can repel the positive pressure exerted by falling raindrops. We were lucky to have some very rainy weather lately with heavy rain, and I wore the Hoodie out for about 45 minutes in pelting rain. I was VERY impressed at the water resistance the Shark Skin fabric demonstrated. The DWR worked well to bead up the water, and no moisture made it through the middle membrane. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought this was a hard shell. Only a bit of moisture made it at the seams, which aren't sealed. By far, the best water resistance I've encountered in a 'soft shell' fabric. The inner Coolmax face also dried quickly. I'm not sure whether it's because the material is thinner (and the addition of pit zips), but I didn't notice any reduction in breathability from the added waterproof membrane. I have not yet felt stuffy in the Hoodie or Jacket. Granted, it's winter right now and the air is generally cold and dry.
    The Shark Skin material also has quite a bit of stretch in it, unlike a hard shell. In the photos above, there doesn't seem to be much extra room in the jacket. This can be quite deceiving. I was outdoors, wearing/carrying my 2-month old son in a Lascal baby carrier, which is a front-carry type. I was wearing my Stealth Hoodie v3.0 over it, keeping it open in front. It started to rain quite heavily, and worrying about my son, I zipped it up at the bottom. I was completely surprised to find that I could keep zipping it, until the zipper had reached the top. I was able to zip the Hoodie up completely closed over my baby carrier, completely enclosing and protecting my son from the rain! I would not have expected it to be able to stretch as much as it did. You can't do this with the Gen 1 and 2 Stealth Hoodies. I've snapped a couple of pics of me wearing my son with the Hoodie over it, just for illustration:

  • Cut - Articulate 4-panel body "Alpine Cut" construction for mobility and superior fit. "Extreme-reach" sleeve cut prevents creep when raising arms or in the prone position. I also think that the v3.0 Hoodie and Jacket are cut slightly looser than the previous versions to allow for layering. They're not as snug around the upper arms.
  • New corded, low profile AERO Hood (Hoodie only) - If I had to think of something to improve on the original AERO hood design, this would have been it. Elastic shock cords allow the hood face opening to be adjusted (loosened or tightened) with one hand. The brim protrudes outwards, providing good protection without coming too low to restrict vision. This is by far the best TAD AERO hood yet, and I'm glad they finally added the cords. Worn down with the collar zipped closed, the brim sits against the back of the head to seal in warmth.
  • Full venting pit zips - Yes! Another feature I wanted to see on the previous versions has been added to v3.0. While you can vent jackets by opening up the main front zipper, I'd rather have pit zips to allow additional airflow. I'm a big fan of them, even on soft shells and fleece jackets. In my opinion, they just increase the usable range of temperatures a garment is usable in. The new v3.0 has 12" pit zips.
  • Colour matched YKK zippers - All zippers match the material now - on previous versions black zippers were used no matter what colour the hoodie was. Some liked the contrast, some didn't.
  • Hi-rise large main chest pockets - Designed for LBE and pack waist belt clearance. There are two additional 'stash pockets' inside. A larger mesh one that fits PDA, cell phones etc, and a smaller one for slim flashlights or pens. I like putting my sunglass case or phone in the larger one to keep them separate from the other contents of the pockets.
  • Rear dual-entry 'Duck pocket' - This is a large 10" x 10" pocket, sort of like a 'poachers pouch' on the lower back of the jacket for storing soft items like beanies, gloves etc. It's easily accessible from both sides. A secondary use for the pocket zippers is that they can be opened for small-of-the-back ventilation when the pocket is empty.

Jacket collar

Hoodie hood


Chest pocket

Rear 'duck pocket'
  • Upper sleeve velcro swatches - These were above the upper sleeve pockets on the previous versions and they've been moved down to the sleeve pocket. They measure 4" x 4".
  • Upper sleeve pockets - The upper sleeve pockets measure about 7" tall x 6.5" wide.
  • D-ring keepers in pockets - The upper sleeve pockets and chest pockets all have plastic D-ring keepers sewn to elastic at the back of the pocket, for dummy cording critical items from loss.
  • Media Pass-through slots in pockets - The v3.0 has the same media pass through slots as the previous versions for headphone/cell phone cords. There's also a small loop on the inside of the left collar for wire retention.
  • Die cut Tuff Grip Velcro adjustable cuff tabs - The same die cut rubberized tab as on the Gen 2 hoodie is used, this time with colour-matched velcro instead of black
  • Reinforced elbows - New for v3.0 is the addition of an elbow reinforcing patch.
  • Bias cut bottom hem with cord locked draw cord - The back of the jacket is cut longer in the back and there are elastic draw cord locks on both sides to seal out the wind.

Upper sleeve patches

Upper sleeve pocket

Velcro tab on cuff, lower sleeve pocket

Reinforced elbow

Pit zip details

Waist adjustment

Soft shells on the market range from the single-layer PCU L5 shell, to the insulated SORD Hardface jacket. The v3.0 Stealth Hoodie SS and Jacket fall somewhere in between the two; more towards the lightweight side. The addition of a waterproof breathable membrane puts the v3.0 close to hard shell territory, except that the seams aren't sealed. The v3.0, however, is much quieter and less 'crinkly' than a hardshell - also more comfortable because of its breathability and stretch. As I mentioned before, I was fooled by the lightness of the Shark Skin fabric into thinking it was 'cheaper' and somehow less 'substantial'. How wrong I was. The more I wear the v3.0, the more I prefer it to the previous versions, which were also great jackets. The v3.0 just kicks the previous versions' asses in water-resistance while still remaining very comfortable with its stretchy fabric. It also retained heat better than I expected, for its thickness, when the pit zips and main zipper were closed. The Coolmax inner layer contributes a lot to its comfort - providing both light insulation and moisture transport/wicking away from the skin.

TAD designed the v3.0 as a 4-season shell, which can be used in warmer weather and climates as a stand-alone soft shell, or a highly water and wind resistant outer shell over an insulating layer in colder weather. They've done their job, from the looks of it. In my opinion, this is the best Stealth Hoodie version to date.


TAD Gear Combat and Bug Out Anorak Hardshells

4/23/08 - Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) has introduced two new hardshell jackets, the Combat Anorak and Bug Out Anorak Hardshells. The Combat Anorak was designed to be the most abrasion-resistant hardshell available, that would stand up to just about anything you could throw at it. The Bug Out Anorak was designed to provide protection from the elements in a more compactable package for stowing. They're essentially Anorak versions of the Predator Hardshell, and share many of the same features.

An Anorak is typically described as a hooded pullover garment instead of having a full front zipper. I used to wear them when I was a kid in England. The word 'Anorak' has its origins in Eskimo-Aleut language. Now, why offer an Anorak design? I asked Patrick at TAD to shed some light on this latest direction in TAD's hardshell offerings and he replied:

"The traditional reasoning behind an anorak versus full zips were that anoraks are typically to be worn for long periods of time and would provide the user with better overall protection by virtue of “less zipper”. This translated to “fewer possible points of entry for snow, wind and rain”. Also, less zipper = less weight/bulk. Without a full zipper, there are no hot spots and friction points on the body when wearing a pack waist belt. In fact some old classic designs had the Kangaroo pocket big enough to allow the belt to pass entirely thru on the inside. The Kangaroo pocket also allowed for both hands to be put together to keep warm. In high altitude alpine conditions, a shell would be worn all day; mountaineering, skiing, etc. Professional dogsledders, European mountain/ski troops, arctic explorers still use the anorak design. The TAD Combat anorak design is tasked for those kinds of environments where a shell would be worn all day, into the night and possible even to sleep. The Kevlar blend poly 3 layer found in the combat anorak IS the most abrasion resistant shell available from anyone, it is a tough mofo of a shell. The fabric was developed specifically to resist frequent exposure to rock faces, crampons, ski edges, and “climbing racks” (pitons, anchors such as cams, etc found on a sling).

The Bug Out Anorak was a shell I wanted to offer that had less bulk and was more compactable for stowing. All of TAD's hardshells are great overall shells for protection against rain, snow, wind. However each has it’s own specialty and excels in that specialty. Anorak designs are a bit of a throwback, as there is the very compelling convenience of easy on/off with full zip jackets which dominate the market today. But, the virtues of an anorak stand out under certain circumstances, and are enough for me to explore the design this year."

So, there you have it from Mr. TAD himself. Other than some small details, the main difference between the Combat and Bug Out Anoraks is the material.

Material - The TAD Gear Combat Anorak is constructed of TAD's "Storm Shield EDGE" 3 layer, waterproof/windproof/breathable Kevlar reinforced shell fabric. Going beyond TAD's regular Storm Shield 3 layer fabric, the EDGE version of their high performance, technical material has all the familiar well known benefits of a waterproof-breathable textile, but now has the highest abrasion resistance of any hardshell available on the market, anywhere. Storm Shield EDGE is designed to provide extra protection against the environment, tools and equipment commonly found in alpine and mountaineering arenas that can wreak havoc on typical hardshells. The Combat Anorak is currrently only available in TAD's M.E. (Multi Environment) Green. The shade of green is slightly more olive/darker than either the Predator V1.0 or the Bug Out Anorak. It doesn't have the typical nylon look or feel to it; in fact it reminds me of the oiled canvas Drover coats, only without the oily sheen or feel. It's slightly stiffer than the Predator.

Combat and Bug Out fabrics

The TAD Gear Bug Out Anorak is constructed out of TADs durable, all-season, light weight "Storm Shield LITE", which is a 3 layer, waterproof/windproof/breathable ripstop nylon shell fabric. Like the EDGE fabric of the Combat Anorak, the Storm Shield LITE version has all the benefits of a waterproof-breathable textile, but is made in a lighter weight modified ripstop pattern. It's probably one of the lightest 3-layer hardshell fabrics I've come across. It is designed to be "durable enough for fast summit assaults to summer thunderheads" and protect the wearer from the elements, but with reduced weight, bulk, and packs down to a compact and portable size. The Bug Out Anorak is also available only in M.E. Green for now. The fabric isn't a solid green colour; there's a pleasing subdued crosshatch pattern to it, with the horizontal lines fainter than the vertical ones.

Overall Features

The Combat and Bug Out Anoraks share the same features except for the material; the other main difference is that the Combat Anorak has a traditional length bias Alpine cut and is about 2.5" longer than the Bug Out Anorak (which has a modern length bias Alpine cut) in the front and back, and about 3" longer than the Predator so it's more of a traditional length anorak. This is so it covers the loins better when sitting down and much of the seat.

The Combat Anorak and Bug Out Anorak have the same overall fit and cut. In the photos below, the Combat Anorak looks a bit bigger, but it's due to the stiffness of the fabric. The Bug Out Anorak is thinner and tends to drape more over the body.

Combat Anorak, hood rolled up

Hood rolled up

Hood down


  • Material - Combat Anorak - Technical 3-layer wind/water-proof breathable, matte finish kevlar reinforced outer fabric.
    Bug Out Anorak - same 3-layer wind/water-proof breathable fabric, but with a lightweight matte modified pattern ripstop nylon outer fabric. Both are bonded with an inner facing that acts with capillary action to provide additional 'stay dry' performance with no bulky or hanging liner needed. Both fabrics are DWR treated to shed rain and snow. When I did my rain test, I did notice that the Bug Out Anorak material repels water completely. None of it soaks into the outer fabric (that I could notice). Blood doesn't stick to it either. I accidentally cut myself with a knife and the Bug Out Anorak was in the area where my blood was spurting out, and some blood got onto it. When the blood dried, it simply flaked off completely, leaving no trace.
    The fabric on the Combat Anorak doesn't repel water as readily. When I soaked the Combat Anorak and left water on it, the outer fabric got damp eventually. It never made it past the middle waterproof membrane, though, and therefore dried quickly afterwards. I asked Patrick about it and he explained that while the DWR is the same, the poly/Kevlar blend is a different composition than the Bug Out nylon hardshell and the poly content is actually a bit less hydrophobic. The middle membrane, however is the same rating so will have the same resistance to water penetration. After taking both out in the rain and also trying out overnight 'line the sink and fill with water' tests, I never had any water make it through either fabric or taped seams.
  • Multi-panel construction - The Anoraks are cut to allow full range of motion and mobility. Extra length in the arms, room in the elbows and under the arms accomodate movement without restriction.
  • Fully factory seam taped


Combat Anorak deployed hood views

Pit zips

Over a Ranger Hoodie
  • Full length pit zips for maximum venting - at 21" long, these really allow ventilation under the arm. They extend all the way from the waist to past the elbow.
  • Water and wind-proof YKK 'covert' zippers - These are matte black and protected from the elements. They are slightly stiffer than a regular zipper, but the cool non-slip textured zipper pulls help. These are actually the same kind as the ones used on the Predator jacket and the best I've come across so far. I did have an issue with the Kangaroo pocket zippers on the Bug Out Anorak. On one side of the zipper on the inside, the inside pocket fabric is sewn very close to the teeth of the zipper and had a tendency to snag, as it's very lightweight fabric. This does not happen with the Combat Anorak as the fabric is stiff and thick enough not to get caught in a zipper. I've informed TAD about my Kangaroo pocket zipper issues on the Bug Out jacket. It has not happened on any of the other zippers. I did my own fix to prevent the zippers from snagging. Inside the jacket, I put a bead of 3M weatherstrip rubber cement at the back of the pocket lining material near the zipper and folded it on itself for about 1/4", which 'pulls' the pocket lining material away from the zipper. The cement glues the folded portion to itself, maintaining the fold.
  • Mid-waist cinch cords - Elastic shock cord around the waist with ends accessed from the inside of the Kangaroo pocket.

Bug Out Anorak, hood rolled up

Rear view

Bug Out Anorak hood views

Kangaroo Pocket

Rear Duck pocket
  • Hi-rise large main Kangaroo pocket - This is a classic double-entry Kangaroo pocket with two internal D-ring keepers on elastic webbing. It's designed for LBE and pack waist belt clearance. In the photo below, you can see that the FAST pack waist belt is below the pocket, allowing access to it. The elastic shock cord for waist adjustment enters into the Kangaroo pocket through grommets and the waist cord is adjusted by pulling on the ends.
  • Rear dual-entry 'Duck pocket' - Now becoming a standard feature on many of TAD's jackets, this is a large 14" x 8" pocket, sort of like a 'poachers pouch' on the lower back of the jacket for storing soft items like beanies, gloves etc. It's easily accessible from both sides. It's fully seam taped so wet stuff inside the Duck pocket won't soak through to the inside of the jacket.

Pit zips

Kangaroo pocket access

  • 3-panel mountaineering design hood - The Anorak hoods are essentially the same as the Predator hood. It's a 3-panel mountaineering design with low profile rain bill. It'll fit over most ballistic and climbing helmets. There are three shock cord adjustments. The front adjustments control the size of the front opening. The one in the middle of the back of the head adjusts the front-back distance of the hood, while the cord at the nape of the neck adjusts the height. I found all the adjustments easy to use and I could adjust the size and shape of the face opening to suit my needs. All adjustments are one-handed. I was able to adjust the hood so that it was snug enough around my head to move with it when I looked from side to side, or up and down. If the hood is too loose, my head will move inside it and I'd be looking at the inside of the hood. Even though the material is non-elastic, there's enough material at the base of the hood to provide some slack. There's a flap sewn to the inside of the collar which velcros inside the hood when not in use. When the hood is rolled up, the flap goes over the rolled-up hood and attaches to the two velcro patches on the outside of the collar. To unroll the hood, the flap is simply pulled off the velcro and the hood deployed. No zippers on the collar to contend with. There are 1" x 1" velcro squares sewn to the back of the hood for glint tape or Ranger eyes.
    When rolled up, the collar stands up. The chin is protected by a soft chin guard. The Combat Anorak hood is obviously quite stiff when rolled up and the front zipper zipped all the way to the top. If I need to zip it up completely, I'd sooner leave the hood unrolled. The Bug Out Anorak hood is much softer when rolled up and isn't stiff at all.

Hood rolled up

Zipper open

Hood retention flap

Details of flap

1" x 1" velcro squares on hood
  • Upper sleeve velcro swatches - These are sewn onto the upper sleeve pockets and measure 5" x 4".
  • Upper sleeve pockets - These are accessed via vertical zippers and also have the elastic-attached D-rings and media pass-through slots. The pass-through slots have little rubber grommets to keep moisture out. The upper sleeve pockets measure about 8" tall x 8" wide.
  • D-ring keepers in pockets - The upper sleeve pockets and Kangaroo pockets all have plastic D-ring keepers sewn to elastic at the back of the pocket, for dummy cording critical items from loss.
  • Media Pass-through slots in pockets - The sleeve pockets have media slots, and there are two in the Kangaroo pocket for headphone/iPod/cell phone cords. There's also a small loop on the inside of the left collar for wire retention (earphones etc).

Kangaroo pocket

Inside Kangaroo pocket

Velcro patch on upper sleeve

Inside sleeve pocket

ID pocket on fore arms

Rear Duck pocket
  • Die cut Tuff Grip Velcro adjustable cuff tabs - The same die cut rubberized tab as on the Predator is used, with colour-matched velcro instead of black. The cuff is also elasticized so you don't have to undo the tab when donning the Anorak.
  • Reinforced elbows - The elbow patches offer a lot of coverage, measuring about 13" long and extending almost all the way to the wrist.
  • Bias cut bottom hem with cord locked draw cord - The back of the jacket is cut longer in the back and there are one-handed elastic draw cord locks on both sides to seal out the wind.

Pit zips

Elastic on wrists with velcro tabs

Reinforced elbows

Bottom hem drawcords

Notes about fit - When you're considering one of these Anoraks vs. a regular full zip jacket like the Predator Hard Shell, the key questions I'd ask are 'what are you going to use it for?' and 'are you planning on wearing it over bulky layers?'. The trade-off for some weight savings and less of an opening to moisture or dirt is on/off convenience. If you're planning on taking it on and off frequently, then a full zip front jacket has the advantage. Wearing anything on your head won't help with the donning or doffing process. I'f you've got a helmet, that probably has to come off. Also, if you're planning on using it as a shell over bulky layers, bear in mind that an Anorak will be more difficult to don and doff. How easy it is to put on and take off depends on how you fit into the Anorak. I'm a medium build and wear a medium Anorak. If I were any bulkier or my shoulders much broader, I'd have some difficulty putting it on, and would probably have to go up a size. Just to try it out, I tried to put on the Combat Anorak over the Ranger Hoodie, which is quick fleece. Much to my wife's amusement, it took me a bit of struggling to get it over my head and shoulders, as the Anorak doesn't stretch. Once I got it on, there was ample room inside the Anorak to accomodate the Ranger Hoodie, but it wasn't easy to put on over it. I had no problems putting both Anoraks over a thinner layer like a sweatshirt. If you have a Predator or similar jacket, leave the front zipped up and see if you can easily put it on my slipping it over your head and shoulders, to get an idea of how the Anoraks might fit over insulative clothing. The Bug Out Anorak is a bit easier to don and doff as the material isn't as stiff as the Combat Anorak and it has a bit of 'give' to it.

General Notes - I've worn both in the rain, and they kept me dry, as expected. I was actually surprised how non-stuffy the Combat Anorak feels. Before putting it on, and based on how the material felt, I thought it'd get too hot and stuffy unless it was really chilly, but that wasn't the case. I felt comfortable wearing the Combat Anorak in temperatures where I'd be uncomfortable in my original Goretex Gen I ECWCS parka (upper 60's). The Bug Out Anorak can be used in warmer weather than the Combat Anorak; comfortable up through the mid-70's.

TAD designed the Combat Anorak to be "one of the toughest, most abrasion resistant jackets anywhere; a dedicated service hardshell specifically tasked for alpine and mountain environments". The Kevlar reinforced material sure feels tough and is substantial enough to provide some protection against scrapes and knocks, and makes it more comfortable on your elbows and front when in the prone position on uneven ground with stones or little rocks. If you're going to be scrambling around rocks or spending time on your belly in the prone position and you know you're going to be in inclement weather, the Combat Anorak would be the one to get.

If you don't need the extra abrasion resistance, and want a lighter weight specialized hardshell that's easier to compress and pack, then the Bug Out would be a good choice. It functions great as a wind or rain shirt over other clothing and it's light enough to carry in a pack, car or bag 'just in case', even if you're not sure it's going to rain.

TAD Gear Battle Hoodie

9/26/08 - Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) comes out with new stuff faster than I can keep up. The Battle Hoodie was designed as a cool/cold temperature, arid-desert warfare hooded jacket. It's a specialized jacket, and was produced in response to very specific requests for a quiet, non-melting, insulated garment for dry environments.

TAD Gear was asked to design a garment that would be tasked for the colder months at higher altitudes in Afghanistan and Iraq. It had to be no-melt and was to be used in dry/arid environments, so a cotton blend for the outer fabric was chosen. Warmth was desired, so it is fully lined with a cotton liner. The Battle Hoodie is the garment that resulted from this criteria. It's reminiscent of a combat smock, but lined instead of just a shell. It also reminds me somewhat of the old M-65 field jacket, but of a much more modern design and lighter in weight. A non water-resistant, cotton/cotton blend, insulated jacket seems like a narrowly focused garment, given the variety of today's soft and hardshell jackets, and the tendancy towards layering. But when you look at the popularity of similar jackets in the civilian arena (Carhartt cotton duck insulated work jackets come to mind), you realize that it's actually a practical choice for an everyday, cool/cold weather jacket if it's dry and windy.

Overall Features

Combat Jacket, hood rolled up

Hood down


  • Material - The choices for the Battle Hoodie materials were driven by the request for a predominantly non-synthetic jacket that would not melt like most other synthetics. The Battle Hoodie comes in solid colours (OD Green and Desert Tan), and Crye MultiCam shown here. The solid colour fabrics are 100% cotton ripstop and the Crye MultiCam is 50/50 NYCO ripstop fabric. While these fabric are not FR (Fire Resistant), they do not melt and aggravate burn injuries like most non-FR synthetics. They provide breathable comfort in cold, dry environs for which this jacket was designed for.
    The lining is an ME-brown, high cotton-content, warm and soft flannel-like knit. It feels very much like mid-weight flannel that has been broken in - very soft and comfy. The lining is not quilted to the jacket and is sewn down at the seams.
  • Multi-panel construction - The body utilizes 4-panel construction with a 'military cut' for integration with combat equipment.
  • TAD Signature AERO hood - The same, improved AERO hood design used on the Stealth Hoodie is used on the Battle Hoodie. Elastic shock cords allow the hood face opening to be adjusted (loosened or tightened) with one hand. The brim protrudes outwards, providing good protection without coming too low to restrict vision. Worn down with the collar zipped closed, the brim sits against the back of the head to seal in warmth. When not in use, the AERO hood lays relatively flat against the upper back. The elastic draw cords are internally routed to keep the collar area free of clutter. The cord ends are accessed through the high-rise chest pockets.
    There's a flap sewn to the inside of the collar which velcros inside the hood when not in use (the H.R.U.F.). When the hood is rolled up, the flap goes over the rolled-up hood and attaches to the two velcro patches on the outside of the collar. To unroll the hood, the flap is simply pulled off the velcro and the hood deployed. There are 1" x 1" velcro squares sewn to the back of the hood for glint tape or Ranger eyes. The hood is fully lined with the soft, cozy flannel-like cotton fabric.

Collar cinched up

Rear view

Hood up views
  • Upper sleeve velcro swatches - These are sewn onto the upper sleeve pockets and measure 4" x 4".
  • Full volume upper sleeve pockets - The upper sleeve pockets measure about 7" x 7" and have expansion gussets at the rear and bottom for more volume and are accessed via vertical zippers at the front.
  • Longer sleeves to prevent creep - the sleeves are cut longer so that they don't ride up the wrists when in the prone position or when reaching forward. I did find that a bi-swing back would have added to the mobility as the jacket can get tight around the back in that position.
  • D-ring keepers in pockets - The upper sleeve pockets and side-entry chest pockets all have plastic D-ring keepers sewn to elastic at the back of the pocket, for dummy cording critical items from loss.
  • "Hi-rise" main chest pockets - These are side-entry pockets located on the torso and are designed for LBE and pack waist belt clearance (hence the higher location of the zipper). There is an additional slim 'stash pocket' inside for flashlights, pocket knives or pens. The stash pocket is about 1.5" wide and 5" deep. The hood drawcord end enters the pocket via a reinforced grommet and is pulled to cinch up the hood opening.
  • Two inside chest pockets - Sewn to the cotton liner is a 6" x 4" pocket on each side of the chest, with elasticized openings. Perfect size for iPods etc. There's a web loop on the inside left of the main zipper for routing headphone cables etc through.
  • Lower left sleeve ID pocket - Another TAD signature item; used for ID, change, keys etc.

Collar details, hood rolled up

Hood opened

Hood adjustment

Side entry pockets

Side entry pocket

Cuff and ID pocket
  • Pit zips for venting - at 11" long, these are shorter than on most other TAD jackets, but aren't common on most other cotton jackets. Even though this is a breathable jacket, the ventilation is welcome when you start getting active.
  • Rear dual-entry 'Duck pocket' - Now becoming a standard feature on many of TAD's jackets, this is a large 16" x 10" pocket, like a 'poachers pouch' on the lower back of the jacket for storing soft items like beanies, gloves etc. It's easily accessible from both sides.
  • Adjustable cuff tabs - The wrist cuffs are half elasticized and have velcro adjustment tabs. The elastic allows you to stick your hand through without undoing the velcro tabs.
  • Reinforced shoulders and elbows - The tops of the shoulders are double reinforced with 500D cordura for abrasion resistance to pack and equipment straps. The elbows are also reinforced with 500D cordura patches which form a pad pocket with velcro closure. TAD's TPro elbow/knee pads will need to be trimmed to fit, or Crye elbow pads will fit without alteration (shown here). The MultiCam cordura panels match the ripstop so well you don't even notice they're there.
  • Bias cut bottom hem with cord locked draw cord - The back of the jacket is cut longer in the back and there are one-handed elastic mini draw cord locks on both sides to seal out the wind.
  • Details - YKK reverse Covert zippers, DTM milspec elastic shock cord and mini-cord locks. The Covert zippers have the teeth on the inside so the outside is protected against dust and sand. All the zipper pulls have flat webbing zipper pulls sewn to them. Finally, we see a large, heavy duty main zipper on a TAD jacket, which I like better than the smaller ones (for the main front zip). It's backed by a storm flap.

Elbow reinforcement

Bottom hem

Rear duck pocket

Rear duck pocket detail

Pit zip

Pit zip detail

Sizing and fit - From the way it fits, the Battle Hoodie is sized more as a stand-alone jacket than one intended to be worn over additional layers. As a Medium kinda guy at 5' 7" and 155-160 lbs, the Medium size fits me just about perfect with a little bit of room all around, but the added volume of the cotton lining inside doesn't leave room for anything but a thin base layer or short-sleeved t-shirt. I wouldn't wear it with anything bulky underneath. The sleeves are cut longer to prevent the cuffs from creeping up the fore arms when the arms are reached out or up, so they reach down to my fingertips. The bottom of the Battle Hoodie is longer than the Stealth Hoodie, and covers my butt.

There are a couple of things which I felt could be improved when it comes to fit:
1. The cotton liner is sewn to the outer shell at the waist and wrist cuffs, pit zips, and of course, the perimeter of the jacket. So, for the most part, it's relatively loose. When donning the jacket, the loose liner in the sleeves can collect at the cuffs and protrude - it just needs to be pulled back inside the sleeves through the pit zips. I'd like to see the lining in the sleeves sewn down for the entire length of the sleeve along the main seam. This is another reason why I'd recommend something very thin and smooth that doesn't grab the cotton liner if you really want to wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath.
2. The outer shell material, being cotton rip stop, is essentially non-elastic. When extending my arms to the front, it gets a bit snug around the upper back and under the arms, even though the sleeves are long enough to prevent the cuffs from riding up. A bit more room around the shoulder area or a bi-swing/pleated back would be nice.

General Notes - TAD envisioned the Battle Hoodie to be their version of a smock, but more modern and updated. But since it's lined, it feels more like a field jacket, or a smock worn over a comfy sweatshirt (or actually, a flannel pajama top). In other words, warm and comfortable. It's best suited for temperatures 70° and below, in my own estimation. It's definitely not a wet weather jacket, being designed for cool, dry climates. Abrasion resistance and durability will be similar to or better than a set of ripstop BDUs; the lining provides some padding and the elbow and shoulder cordura panels will be very wear resistant in those areas. It's also very wind resistant - I tested this out by going on a chilly, early morning ride on my motorcycle. When the sun goes down and a cool breeze starts blowing, the lined hood is especially welcome. Not normally found on cotton jackets like this are the pit zips, which really do make a difference in ventilation. Some might argue that pit zips are necessary only for less breathable garments like hardshells and some soft shells, but I like having the ability to vent a large amount of warm air without having to open the main zipper or rely 'breathability'.

The Battle Hoodie functions well as a casual jacket (in the solid colours, if the MultiCam is a bit much for around the town wear) for everyday use in cool and dry weather, and can take the place of a heavy sweatshirt while providing wind resistance and of course, more utility with all its pockets. It can also be considered a field jacket or insulated smock. For a seemingly niche product designed for a narrow task (in the military or contractor role), I think that it's a pretty versatile jacket well suited for general purpose, everyday casual outerwear. The fact that it's a damn good-looking jacket doesn't hurt either.



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