The softshell jacket TAD Stealth Hoodie together with a fleece TAD Ranger Hoodie, both manufactured by US company Triple Aught Design, may be easily referred to the goods that carved out the company’s reputation. The jackets’ production history makes already over 12 years, within this timeframe the style pattern has been updated, the base fabric type’s been changed several times, and various minor upgrading have been made. In 2011 the Company introduced TAD Stealth Hoodie LT – a light version of the jacket. Despite the long history as for clothes of such type the jacket still remain rather a modern, efficient and functional item.
This overview introduces the jacket latest version of ME Green color patter. First I’d like to compare the TAD Stealth Hoodie with the softshell jacket 5.11 Tactical Saber 2.0 – the latter one is considerably advantageous for its functional capabilities but lacks behind with the material, although both of the jackets are surely intended for their own special purposes . Among other things my personal preference refers to the laminated zippers and the hood construction of jacket 5.11 Tactical Saber 2.0. One more point about 5.11 Tactical Saber 2.0 I’d like to draw attention to is the chest pockets: on one hand their availability is a bonus, but on the other hand the provided zippers make it inconvenient to wear any armor vests on the outer side .
Initially the jacket TAD Stealth Hoodie was designed as a water-proof outer layer intended for wearing together with the fleece heat-insulated layer of TAD Ranger Hoodie. This solution influenced both the item’s construction and the manufacturing materials. The TAD Stealth Hoodie is produced of a triple-layer softshell fabric of a quite classical structure, manufactured by Schoeller Company. The material general density makes about 240 grams per square meter. One of its features is water resistance up to 20000 mm H2O and breathability of not less than 18888 g/m2/24 hrs.
The outer layer is manufactured of a mixed-type material, including nylon, polyester, polyurethane and elastane fiber. The fabric is treated with Schoeller Nanosphere water-repellent agent, which perfectly sheds rain and wet snow; the material does not absorb water drops — they gradually flow off. Under the durable external fabric there is a Schoeller c_change polyethylene membrane, which is known for being adaptable to temperature shifts by increasing either breathing ability or heat reflection correspondingly. At the same time this element blocks water and cold wind penetration from outside.
From inside the membrane is lined with a layer of smooth and nice-to-the touch microfleece; the fleece is 100% polyester fibre. Additionally to the fleece lining the jacket’s trimmed with webby material of soft texture, which forms pockets, thus creating extra ventilation openings.
It’s quite difficult to estimate the Scholer c_change adaptability; I just may claim that the jacket is subjectively warmer in comparison with its competitors and it’s not clear if this is due to the membrane or availability of a denser fleece lining. On the other side in the course of active movement overheating effect arises the same way as in the other softshell jackets that I used to wear. Indeed, with the TAD Stealth Hoodie it’s much easier to adjust excess heat outlet thanks to underarm ventilation openings and large front pockets with ventilated lining.
As mentioned before the TAD Stealth Hoodie was designed for operation together with the fleece TAD Ranger Hoodie. The jacket construction reproduces the overall functionality of the hoodie, including the number of pockets, their practical position and functions. The jacket’s peculiarity is represented with zipped wider openings under arms, rather spacious sleeves with the cuff volume adjusters, as well as the hood adjusters; moreover the hood may be completely folded and stowed, if necessary.
Although both of the items were ordered of the same size, I experiences lack of easy movement, as well as minor tension in the blade bone and shoulder area. Surely the opinion is subjective, but I suppose that the same size TAD Ranger Hoodie LT would be more comfortable due since there is less dense fleece in it. As it’s seen on the pictures, the hoods of TAD Stealth and Ranger Hoodies may be almost perfectly folded.
I’d like to mention the hood construction separately. In general the hood is really comfortable, easy adjustable; it efficiently covers and protects from rain and wind, does not obstruct visibility, neither pulls the jacket backwards, besides, it’s compact and doesn’t interfere with the backpack. The possibility to fold the hood completely is more likely an option than a really useful function. The folded hood looks unattractive and converts into quite an uncomfortable thick collar.
The softshell jacket’s overall tailoring quality is at a very high level, there are no defects. All the seams are precise; there are no overlaps and protrusions, threads or other flaws. YKK zippers, lock straps, media ports, attachment of adjusters’ plastic fixtures, cuff Velcro stickers, Velcro panel – everything is considered.