Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gear Review: TAD Gear Shag Master Hoodie. Part One

After three years of deliberation and missed opportunities I finally purchased a TAD Gear Shag Master Hoodie (www.tripleaughtdesign.com) $199. Quite honestly what attracted me to this jacket was the shaggy, animal fur-like appearance of the fleece. Heck, if the fleece was even longer I'd be even happier. And make matching pants!

Also, this jacket is made in USA* and TAD Gear has a reputation for well-designed and quality made products. My personal goal is to invest in a versatile jacket for long term ownership rather than need a variety of clothing for specific uses.

This jacket has a two way full length zipper. On my jacket it is a little stubborn to start, probably due to the fat bartack next to the zipper. This is the only "defect" I've found on my jacket. I just have to angle the left side of the zipper away from the fabric to get it going.

There are two chest pockets which can still be used as hand warmer pockets, albeit a little high. The pockets have a vented panel so can unzip the pocket for extra ventilation. Each chest pocket has a slot for small items like a flashlight or knife. All pockets on this jacket also feature 1) a D-ring to keep items attached to the jacket 2) a media port to thread earphone cords through the jacket.

There are two upper arm pockets with vents and the aforementioned features. Next to these pockets are loop patches to attach patches to personalize your jacket. These patches are a little stiff and I'd either prefer them deleted or would like a pen pouch to attach to this area.

There are three more little loop patches. One on the lower right front with a glow in the dark TAD logo and two on the back of the hood. You can purchase glow in the dark patches to place there so your "team" can follow you in the dark.

The thumb holes in the sleeve cuff help keep the sleeves in place when active and also warm your hands a little. All zippers pulls have 'garages", little folds of fabric to hold the zipper pull in place when zipped up. This is useful in high wind conditions so the pulls don't whip around, possibly in your face. Also the underside of the sleeves to the elbow are reinforced.

One last detail impressed me. On each side of the upper interior of the jacket, just inside of the zipper teeth is a small plastic slit tube to function as a guide for your earphone wires.


So this jacket has tons of features but really how is it? I put the jacket on, zipped it up and flipped the hood...


A rancher promptly walked up to me and shot a tag into my ear. Ouch!

This is a warm snuggly cozy jacket! Um, I mean this jacket is a highly functional piece of equipment that enables me to accomplish all my covert missions.

Seriously though, this jacket is very comfortable and fits me well. Not too snug but no excess fabric bulk to get in the way of activities.

That's it for my initial review. More to come as it gets colder and I'm able to use the jacket more frequently.

*If Made in USA is important to you, pay attention when buying TAD gear products. Some are not made in USA. I tweeted TAD gear to ask why but they did not respond. If I had to guess, I'd say the products in question were clothing with waterproof/ breathable membranes and perhaps the equipment and labor required to assemble this in USA were cost prohibitive. TAD if you read this please let us know!