Reviewers Paid: $200.00-$219.00
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:
- t 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.
- 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.
- Plenty of well-built pockets with the zippers going in the right directions.
- The hood size is just right. Fits over a climbing helmet with just enough room not to be floppy on an unprotected melon.
- 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.
- Looks good on Mt. Rainier, the range, or around town — without looking status quo.
- Made in the USA—an easy way to support humane working conditions and local economy.
What I would change if I were king:
- 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.
Price Paid: $210
I purchased this fleece hoodie several months ago as my main jacket for my work as a bouncer. I have to say that compared to the pants that I have purchased from TAD this jacket has more than paid for itself.
It has been in multiple fights without showing any wear and has proven to be very resilient. In the winter it was a great mid-layer and has even kept me reasonably dry on nights I work the street and an unexpected rainfall occurs. I've used this jacket as well on hikes and as a commuter bike jacket and it moves seamlessly into the the different roles that I require of it.
The only downfall I can report on the jacket is that I find the stitching around the upper arm pockets to gather somewhat so that it looks somewhat off. Also the sizing is such that to accommodate my shoulders the midsection is somewhat oversized, although this is a common occurrence for me.
Price Paid: $219
I've owned this jacket for a couple of years now and have worn it in the city, around town and in the mountains of Utah from fall to spring. Hiking, biking and trips to the store, this jacket has worked fantastically. Not so heavy that you can't wear it in the spring but a great layering piece for the winter. Very comfortable and so versatile this hoodie has pockets galore!
Very durable and stands up to repeated washing and drying. Soft and cuddly (I know, not the toughest description for a piece of aggressive outdoor gear) I want to wear it all the time.
Love the style and functionality. One of my favorite jackets.
Price Paid: About $200