User Review: TAD Ranger Hoodie LT
Price Paid: $210
I'm a gear junkie, my garage looks like a collision between the REI parking lot sale and a military surplus depot. I mountaineer and backpack, but I also shoot and hunt in all conditions. Gear has to be practical or it gets passed to my less active friends and family, but I also appreciate equipment that integrates the cool factor of smart design -- MetroTactical if you will.
The Ranger LT Hoodie is a solid piece of kit that fits those parameters. What I like about it:
1) It works for all my activities. It's cut narrow enough that I can climb with it and can fit it under my Arc'Teryx shell, but not so much that I can't fit a holster, magazine pouches or binos underneath.
2) It provides enough water resistance to forgo the shell until the clouds let go in earnest (DWR) and also provides more wind blocking than standard fleece (Polartec Windpro). This is a good approach jacket and is warm enough for belay (versus a puffy) as long as you have a layer underneath and are not on a glacier.
3) Plenty of well-built pockets with the zippers going in the right directions.
4) The hood size is just right. Fits over a climbing helmet with just enough room not to be floppy on an unprotected melon.
5) Attention to detail. This is not a mass produced piece of gear. Based on stitching and fit I would guess these are produced in relatively small lots, with a fair bit of handwork.
6) Looks good on Mt. Rainier, the range, or around town — without looking status quo.
7) Made in the USA - an easy way to support humane working conditions and local economy.
What I would change if I were king:
1) After years of walking on my knuckles and using my hands to chop wood, my arms have developed into fearsome examples of male dominance. I had to go with an XL to fit these impressive guns, which leaves a little extra fabric across the shoulders. Big deal. This is more of a lifestyle issue as I'm pretty sure this jacket will fit the average extreme athlete just fine.
The Ranger Hoodie LT comes in a version with velcro panels for patches, or a slick version without. Since no patch can define me, and my après-ski missions often require sanitized equipment for deniability, I went with the slick version.