Another guest article from Mike, reviewing some of his favorite snivel kit.
(TAD Gear) Spectre Hoodie LRP Not too long ago I posted a review of my new DPMS A-15 rifle. The day I took the rifle to the range the weather was already bad and turning worse, with temperatures hovering around the 45 degree mark. To combat the cold and wet I was wearing my Triple Aught Design’s (TAD Gear) Spectre Hoodie LRP that I picked up in 2009.
I readily admit that I am a jacket junkie so I was immediately drawn to the jacket section of TAD Gear’s San Francisco store. When I saw the Spectre I was reminded of my beloved issued Gore-Tex jacket. The Spectre’s hood and cut are similar to the Gore-Tex but that’s where the similarities end. The Spectre is a soft-shell jacket, the sharkskin outer material is windproof and water resistant--in my experience--but breathable, and is backed by warm inner fleece lining.
The cut of the jacket is nonbinding anywhere, from the waist to the shoulder, which is pretty important when bringing a weapon up. The only issue I found with the cut was in sizing. I’m six foot even and usually wear a large in jackets. The large Spectre had the right length sleeves but was tighter around the middle than I care for, especially if you are going to do any kind of layering. The extra large was roomy enough but long in the sleeves on me, causing them to bunch up at my wrists.
Ultimately I went with the extra large. The sleeves are pre-shaped/cut to conform to the natural hang of the arms. The elbows are reinforced with the same material the jacket is made of. Sleeve cuffs are secured with rubberized Velcro-backed tabs. Standing straight the hem of the jacket comes to my hips and can be closed with a shock cord draw string. The jacket has a large heavy duty duel ended main zipper and zippered arm pits for venting. All the zippers, hard ware and pull tabs match the color of the jacket. Mine is ME Green.
The Spectre’s hood can be worn rolled up and secured with the Hood Roll Up Flap (H.R.U.F.) or down. When not in use the H.R.U.F. flap is secured inside the hood by Velcro squares. When worn up the hood has a low profile but is still large enough to be worn over a MICH/ACH helmet. There are four Velcro squares on the outside rear of the hood for cat eyes or glint tape. A shock cord draw string located on both sides of the neck provides the ability to close the hood opening one handed.
The Spectre has seven pockets, which is adequate. A small one on the left sleeve/ forearm could be used to store an ID card or small notebook. Two 10”x8” bellows-style pockets on the upper arms are large enough to cram four 30 round M4 series magazines in them. When not hoarding ammo, you can also place the MP3 player/commo gear of choice in the pockets and run the headphone jack through the rubber media port provided. Neat! Additionally, there are two 5”x4” Velcro swatches on the sleeve pockets. The chest has one ‘Napoleon’ pocket on the left side of the chest, two hand warmer pockets at waist level with a patch pocket inside large enough for a small flashlight,
knife, or pistol mag. On the lower back is the dual entry “duck pocket.” At 12”x10” there is room enough for gloves, a watch cap, space blanket or a small poncho. Hell, an unopened MRE will fit back there with enough room for other small items. All the external pockets are zipper closed. Located in both the hand warmer and shoulder pockets are plastic D- rings sewn to elastic webbing for dummy cording items.
Unfortunately this jacket lacks any interior pockets. I suppose the good people at TAD Gear figured- correctly-- that it would be nearly impossible to get to any interior pockets while wearing the jacket under body armor. Still, it would be nice to have them.
More on the Spectre tomorrow.