Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) Stealth Hoodie, 2012 Version

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Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) Stealth Hoodie, 2012 Version Empty Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) Stealth Hoodie, 2012 Version

Post  Gear Whores Anonymous on Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:39 am

The TAD stealth hoodie was first introduced in 2002 and today is regarded as one of the best soft shells in the market. I've never really been "gear-struck" before but unpacking and trying on this jacket for the first time put a big smile on my face.

I own a lot of jackets, one can say I own too many but I'm a gear whore so it's never enough. Somehow though I never got around to getting a TAD (Triple Aught Design) Stealth Hoodie. I've owned the Ranger but not the Stealth. When you look at the $350+ price tag one definitely has very high expectations and very little room for disappointment. Seeing how TAD sells out of their gear within days, it must be good right? We shall see..

Product page:
http://www.tripleaughtdesign.com/Apparel/Jackets/Stealth-Hoodie

CLICK ON IMAGES FOR HIGH-RES

A first glimpse of the Stealth. Here pictured in their "OD Green." Notice the 2 large chest pockets.
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The main zipper is a dual way zipper. Basically means I can unzip the jacket by going up. This is nice to access under layers, etc. Essential for ANY layering shell.
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Dual way zipper shown in action here.
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Closeup of the YKK zipper. Quality hardware is usually a tell tale sign of a good product.
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On the bottom right of the jacket there is a small TAD pvc patch. Beautiful way to show pride in what you make.
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Patch is removable and TAD offers other variants.
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The 2 chest pockets are quite large with PLENTY of real estate. They also contain a few features. The first of which is this pocket, pictured here with a ZT 0350 folder.
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This shot shows the material on the inside. It's very soft to the touch. Great to keep your hands comfie as well as screens and glasses scratch free. Note the black rubber patch.
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The black rubber patch is an entry / exit hole for cable management. Ideally for headphones. I mean who in this day and age doesn't have some kind of mp3 player.
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Next feature is this d-ring. Use it to clip your keys, GPS, etc.
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The drawstring is for the hood. Smart design on their part. Instead of having exposed drawstrings like traditional hoodies, their system keeps the drawstrings hidden.
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At first glimpse it just looks like another run of the mill hood but in fact it is not. Also feature loaded.
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The pull tabs shown earlier pull on these cord locks. Keeping everything low profile.
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When the zipper is zipped all the way notice how it's hidden from view. That patch of fabric also reduces irritation and rubbing of the zipper on your neck. Remember, the small details..
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Hood comes complete with visor too!
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Which can also be folded in.
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Inside shot of the hood. Lined and very soft. Notice the big patch of green.
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This piece of velcrod on there and folds down, pictured here. What is it for? Keep reading.
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Shot of the back of the hood. Notice the 2 sets of velcro patches. Top set presumably for IR tabs or other special attachments. The lower set is there so you can stowaway the hood.
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The big green piece of material is there so you can roll up your hood and stash it. The piece of material goes over it and closes with the 2nd set of velcro. Hood is there when you need it and stashed away when you don't.
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Shot of the pit zip. Nice to have for both cooling and under layer access. "Just in case", I like having these on my jackets.
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Pit zip open.
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Moving on to the sleeves starting with the cuffs. Cuffs are size adjustable via velcro tab. I like how they used OD instead of black. Keeping all the colors matching.
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Broad shot of the left forearm / wrist pocket.
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This pocket is ideal to stash some cash, ID, phone, or similar sized item. This pocket is only on the left forearm and not the right. Reasoning I'm guessing is that TAD favors righties. No love for the south paws heh.
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Demonstrating the pocket open and with a phone being slid inside.
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Before moving up to the bicep pockets here's another small detail. Reinforced elbows / forearms.
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Closeup. Love how the reinforced patch is so well hidden. Something you have to look for to notice. Fantastic detail easily overlooked.
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Moving up to the arm pockets. Pockets complete with velcro, where else am I supposed to put awesome patches?
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Pictured here with the GWA mini operators. These pockets you get on both arms. Same with velcro. Note however TAD makes both "patch" and "non-patch" versions. What this means is, non-patch version does not have velcro for patches.
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Closeup of the inside material of the pockets. Very soft for both your hands and delicate materials.
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Arm pockets too come with slots for headphone cables as well as d-rings. Pockets also have more space than you'll need.
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Closeup of the zipper. Notice how the zipper when shut is hidden and protected. Notice the YKK zippers. Again the small details..
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Before I move onto the back I wanted to demonstrate the cut of the jacket. Notice how the back is longer than the front. Ideal to keep your rear concealed.
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Shot of the Stealth's rear. Notice the zippers.
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Closeup of the large pocket.
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This pocket is ideal for gloves or other items you might want to stash. I wouldn't recommend anything fragile as when you sit you'll end up crushing it.
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Shot of the material. Again very soft and comfortable to the touch. You'll notice the small holes. Great for heat and moisture dissipation.
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Moving on to the inside of the jacket. You can see the inside material. Jacket gives you just enough warming properties. A nice balance. Not super thin and not super thick.
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Inside of the jacket also features a clip that helps guide your headphones and keep them in place. Ingenuity at it's best.
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If you're wondering how the hoodie cable works, here's a glimpse.
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The bottom of the jacket is also adjustable. Tight or loose, it's up to you. Depending on how you layer you may want to keep this tight and snug.
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The back "glove" pockets offer plenty of real estate, pictured here.
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In true GWA fashion here are shots of the craftsmanship. Always look at the seams, consistency, and reinforced stitching where needed. This jacket has it all.
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More examples of the fantastic craftsmanship, I expect nothing short of excellence from TAD and they always deliver.
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On to the tags. Moment of truth, is it China? Vietnam? Not this time around. I was very happy to see this jacket was made by our neighbors upstairs. I do believe previous versions of the Stealth was made in China. I'm very happy they chose to manufacture elsewhere. Props to TAD.
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More tags.
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Care instructions. Line dry, low iron, do not cry clean, give it to your wife before you f**k it up.
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And finally we get to the fun part. The water test. This jacket is technology packed with more technical terms as if I'm sitting through a Stephen Hawking lecture. That's cool and all but how does it perform.
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The Stealth jacket repels the water amazingly. I could literally use this is a bowl and sip out of.
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Water literally just sits there until I let it run off or quite possibly evaporate. Nothing short of fantastic.
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Now for some final thoughts. I'm very happy TAD decided to move away from China on this one. Now I'm sure previous versions are still well made but it's a sense that I like to see my money go towards anywhere but China. 2 very big thumbs up for TAD for making this in Canada instead.

Another big factor for this jacket is the price. Now at $350+ it is definitely not a "cheap" jacket, however, you get what you pay for. It's one of those things, if you can afford it then it's definitely worth it. Unlike other items this is not an overrated piece where you are simply paying for the brand name and logo. It's a very well engineered and performing piece of outdoor gear. Not just another pretty face. Also keep in mind, if you walk into REI today and look at their soft shells they will set you back $300-$500+. Not only do you get a superior "tactical" looking product but you also get a high performance jacket that can easily outperform it's competition.

I have to admit this is one of my favorite piece of outerwear. The fit is absolutely perfect, not too short and not too long. Not to mention what good is a jacket if it's not comfortable? I could fall asleep in this (which I have).

TAD or not it's a damn good jacket.

Pros:
-Water repellent, damn near impossible to get water through
-Fit, length is excellent. Just right.
-Comfortable is an understatement
-Headphone cable management
-Stowaway hoodie and hoodie cable management
-Made in Canada

Cons:
-Cost, however, you get what you pay for. If you can afford it, it is worth it.
-No pocket on the right forearm, where's the south paw love heh

Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) Stealth Hoodie, 2012 Version Gwaapprovedsmall2
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