Best Tactical Jacket (Review & Buying Guide)

Originally designed for military purposes, tactical jackets are now gaining popularity among hunters, hikers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. This type of apparel is both functional and practical and some of them are even stylish enough to be worn during everyday activities. They are designed to provide warmth and comfort while allowing sufficient mobility.

This increased popularity has resulted in the market being flooded with such products making it difficult for the users to settle for one. Fortunately, we are here to guide you through this daunting process. Let’s start with some important factors you need to consider in order to end up with the best tactical jacket out there.

Things to Consider When Buying a Tactical Jacket

Material

The factor that makes the biggest difference is the material of your survival gear. While buying a jacket that keeps you warm is essential for colder nights out in the field, it is also important that the material isn’t extremely prone to stains. For outdoor physical activities, you need a garment that is meant to be used in extreme places. Look for durable, warm, and stain-proof materials.

Waterproof and Water-Resistant

This factor completely depends on your needs and the location you’ll be wearing your tactical jacket at. With a waterproof jacket you won’t have to worry about your body getting soaked by water at all as it is will be sure to roll down to the ground. On the other hand, a water-resistant jacket will allow very small amounts of water to soak through. If you are planning to visit a place with torrential rainfall, you will surely need a waterproof or a water-resistant jacket.

Size

Tactical jackets are available in a wide variety of sizes therefore you can definitely find one that fits you to perfect. While shopping online, it is important to check the size charts in order to make sure that the metrics are standardized. Else, you might end up with a piece of garment that is of no use to you as it wouldn’t fit you.

Windproof

Along with having a durable and water-resistant material, your tactical jacket should also ideally be windproof. In simple words, when a direct and continuous stream of air hits you, your tactical jacket shouldn’t let your body heat get carried away by cold wind and escape. This type of jacket will come in handy if you’re planning to visit places with extreme wind and breeze.

Storage Capacity

As we mentioned earlier, majority of the tactical garments are designed to be practical as well as functional. Therefore many tactical jackets come with several pockets and small compartments for your feasibility. However, the number of these compartments your jacket should have solely depends on your preference. For instance, if you are using your jacket for everyday activities, one with few pockets would work fine but if you are a hiker, hunter or a camper, a tactical jacket with lots of smaller areas to store your valuable items will definitely come in handy.

Drag Strap

A drag strap is attached by the drag handle to the jacket. These straps have a high tensile strength as they are made of highly reinforced materials and are used to accommodate very large amounts of weight. The main purpose of these straps is to provide hand-free recovery of an incapacitated or injured individual.

Color Varieties

This is mostly an aesthetic factor and the decision again depends on your liking. Some of the most common colors options are coyote green, camouflage, and jungle green. If you are going on a mission in the field or a hunting trip, one thing you might want to consider while selecting the color of your jacket is that it blends well with your surrounding areas so that you aren’t completely exposed to the threats of the wild outdoors.

Drawstring Enclosure

Located at garment openings such as the sleeves, cuffs, or waist, drawstring enclosures are a great feature usually found on waterproof jackets. They are often elastic and are designed in a manner that they effectively improve the fit of the clothing and prevent water from getting into it.

Moisture Wicking

A tactical jacket constructed with moisture-wicking fabric absorbs skin perspiration and releases it on the outer layer of the jacket to keep you dry. As most natural fabrics are more breathable than synthetics, they are better at wicking away sweat.

Hood

If you need protection for your head from extreme weather conditions, it’s best to opt for a tactical jacket that comes with a hood. If you think that you might need to use your jacket for multiple activities and that hood might add discomfort to your experience, instead of tucking it in or concealing it, buy a jacket that comes with a detachable hood. This will allow you to customize your jacket according to your needs.

Breathable

While breathability is an overlooked factor, it certainly is extremely important when it comes to buying a tactical jacket. A breathable material allows air to freely flow between your skin and the cloth. Natural fibers, being extremely breathable are the perfect choice for your tactical garments.

MOLLE System

MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. It is recommended to purchase a tactical jacket that comes with a MOLLE system, which actually has now become the standard for tactical gear. It provides extra storage space with rows of nylon stitched into the garment that allows various compatible accessories to be attached in the clothing.

Now we understand how settling upon a single product might be an intimidating task for you. Therefore, to assist you with the process, we’ve conducted the relevant researches and after making the necessary comparisons, we’ve come up with a final list to help you make an informed decision. Here is a list of our picks for the best tactical jackets available in the market:

1. Rothco Concealed Carry Soft Shell Jacket

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Whether you are a recreational user or in a combat intensive environment, Rothco Concealed Carry Soft Shell Jacket makes quality sports and outdoor gear for all types of situations. The polyester outer shell makes is waterproof and helps you stay dry even during heavy rainfall. The detachable hood is a bonus factor. Lastly the tactical multi-pocket design allows you to store all your valuable supplies comfortably.

Key Features of Rothco Concealed Carry Soft Shell Jacket

  • Waterproof polyester outer shell
  • Interior fleece lining
  • Concealed carry pocket and 2 magazine pouches with hook-and-loop closures on each interior side
  • Zippered pockets on each shoulder with a square loop field for patches
  • Additional pockets on the left sleeve, 2 front-slash pockets and 2 back pockets
  • Elastic hook-and-loop adjustable wrist cuffs
  • Drawstring waist
  • Concealed detachable hood

Specifications of Rothco Concealed Carry Soft Shell Jacket

  • Brand Name: Rothco
  • Item Weight: 4 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds
  • Colors Available: Black, Coyote Brown, Midnight Navy Blue, Olive Drab
  • Material: Polyester

Pros of Rothco Concealed Carry Soft Shell Jacket

  • Waterproof polyester exterior keeps you dry
  • Interior fleece lining retains body head and provides breathability
  • Several concealed compartments and additional pockets
  • Drawstring waist and adjustable wrist cuffs
  • Hood can be detached as per your preference

2. Condor Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket

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This Condor Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket is a great addition to your collection of survival gear. Along with being incredibly warm it also has a great appearance. With the drawstring waistband you can customize the jacket according to your needs. With vertical chest, slash hand, and shoulder pockets, you’ll have plenty of space to hold your small emergency supplies. The jackets also come with two-inch extendable thumb sleeves with thumb-hole for better hand movement.

Key Features of Condor Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket

  • Nylon abrasion-reinforced collar, forearms, and shoulders
  • Two-inch extendable sleeve with thumb-hole
  • Full front zipper and adjustable drawstring waistband
  • Two 4 X 4 inches hook-and-loop shoulder patch panels
  • Vertical chest pocket and two slash hand pockets
  • Polyester with super fine fleece outer shell

Specifications of Condor Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket

  • Brand Name: Condor
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Colors Available: Black, Coyote Tan, Green, Olive Drab
  • Material: Polyester

Pros of Condor Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket

  • Incredibly warm
  • Features 100% polyester with super fine fleece outer shell with oxford reinforcement
  • Laminated polyester interior lining
  • Additional compartments and pockets
  • Shoulder patch panels
  • Drawstring waistband allows customization
  • Extendable thumb sleeve allows easy usage of hands

3. Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket

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The Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket features a three layer integrated shell, keeping you warm by repelling moisture. It helps you stay dry, warm, and comfortable when you’re on the move. The jacket also showcases multiple pockets and small compartments for housing essential gear. The drawstring waistband and hood allows you to adjust both according to your personal preference and the waterproof polyester exterior completes the package.

Key Features of Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket

  • Lined stand-up collar
  • Full front 2-way YKK zipper
  • 2 high-rise slash chest pockets
  • Stow-away hood
  • Double layered-reinforced forearm
  • Adjustable wrist cuff
  • 2 internal pockets, 2 shoulder pockets, forearm pocket, and double zipper back pocket
  • Polyester exterior
  • Fleece interior
  • Shoulder patch panels, underarm vent zippers, and drawstring waistband

Specifications of Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket

  • Brand Name: Condor
  • Shipping Weight: 8 pounds
  • Colors Available: Black, Graphite, Navy, Navy Blue, Coyote Tan, Olive Drab
  • Material: Polyester

Pros of Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket

  • Three-layer integrated shell
  • Incredibly warm and repels moisture
  • Showcases multiple pockets
  • Drawstring allows it to be a better fit

4. FREE SOLDIER Tactical Jacket

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The FREE SOLDIER Tactical Jacket comes with an adjustable hood and 3D hat brim that helps block unwanted rain and snow. It can be folded into a collar when needed. The outer layer is made with DINTEX soft shell fabric which is water-resistant, while the fleece lining adds to the warmth and breathability of the jacket. The functional zipper ventilation system and several small pockets provide increased functionality and convenience.

Key Features of FREE SOLDIER Tactical Jacket

  • Functional zipper ventilation system
  • Outer layer: DINTEX soft shell fabric
  • Inner layer: fleece lining
  • 3D hood
  • Up to 7 secure pockets
  • Collar with contraction rope
  • Adjustable magic pasted cuffs

Specifications of FREE SOLDIER Tactical Jacket

  • Brand Name: FREE SOLDIER
  • Colors Available: Army Green, Gray, CP Camouflage, Black, Coyote Brown, Dark Camouflage
  • Material: DINTEX soft shell fabric

Pros of FREE SOLDIER Tactical Jacket

  • Water-repellent
  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Thermal
  • Concealable and expandable hood
  • Several pockets
  • Contraction rope on the collar helps prevent wind from drilling into the neck
  • Thick elbow pads

5.11 5-in-1 Tactical Jacket

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The 5-in-1 Tactical Jacket can be worn in 5 different ways as per your requirements. With lots of small pockets you can store all your emergency supplies in one place without going through the hassle of carrying a fanny pack for the purpose. The extremely durable, waterproof, and breathable construction makes the jacket perfect to be worn on missions out in the field or even on your hiking, hunting, or camping trips.

Key Features of 5.11 5-in-1 Tactical Jacket

  • High performance, waterproof, breathable, insulated outer liner
  • Mic clips
  • Elastic waist
  • Detachable hood
  • Removable ID panels on chest and back
  • Removable sleeves on inner fleece jacket
  • Hidden chest document pockets
  • Side zippers for ventilation and access to sidearm
  • Elastic / Velcro wrist bands

Specifications of 5.11 5-in-1 Tactical Jacket

  • Brand Name: 11
  • Colors Available: Black, Dark Navy
  • Material: Polyester

Pros of 5.11 5-in-1 Tactical Jacket

  • Back-up-Belt system ensures safety
  • Waterproof and breathable material
  • Removable fleece liner
  • Removable sleeves
  • Several pockets
  • Tear and abrasion-resistant
  • Wind-resistant fleece liner
  • Detachable hood
  • Hook-and-loop closures in sleeves
  • 5 configurations:
    • Jacket with inner fleece sweater
    • Jacket shell (without the fleece sweater)
    • Fleece sweater
    • Fleece sweater without sleeves (vest)
    • Fleece sweater with jacket on top (worn separately)

6. TACVASEN Special Ops Military Tactical Jacket

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TACVASEN Special Ops Military Tactical Jacket, constructed with a moisture-wicking, breathable, waterproof, durable, and lightweight material helps you keep warm in winters and especially when you’re on the go. The jacket comes in various camouflage and solid colors to match your exact situation. Whether you’re looking for a tactical jacket for your military training or a recreational trip, this jacket is the perfect piece of garment to complete your gear.

Key Features of TACVASEN Special Ops Military Tactical Jacket

  • 100% polyester outer shell
  • Soft fleece inner layer
  • Two shoulder pockets
  • Forearm pocket on left arm
  • Two front slash
  • Zippered chest pockets
  • Two zippered back pockets
  • Vent zipper under each arm
  • Drawstring waist and hood
  • Elastic, hook-and-loop adjustable wrist cuffs

Specifications of TACVASEN Special Ops Military Tactical Jacket

  • Brand Name: TACVASEN
  • Colors Available: Black, ACU Camouflage, CP Camouflage, Gray, Green, Khaki, Navy
  • Material: Polyester

Pros of TACVASEN Special Ops Military Tactical Jacket

  • Lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking
  • Several pockets to store and conceal your compact valuable items
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Adjustable wrist cuffs
  • Drawstring waist and hood allow it to be a perfect fit

7. ReFire Gear Men’s Army Special Ops Military Tactical Jacket

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This ReFire Gear Tactical Jacket is made of 100% polyester soft shell fabric which is not only windproof but is also waterproof. It will help keep the cold air out, will help you remain dry in the snow and rain, and also block all wind. The inner fleece liner helps you keep warm during winters. With total 7 zipper pockets, adjustable wrist cuffs, hood that can be rolled up, and drawstring waist and hood, this is a perfect addition to your survival gear.

Key Features of ReFire Gear Men’s Army Tactical Jacket

  • Zipper closure
  • 100% polyester soft shell fabric
  • Thermal fleece inner
  • Concealable hood
  • Underarm vent zippers
  • Hook-and-loop adjustable wrist cuffs
  • Drawstring waist and hood
  • Large loop on both arms for individual patches
  • 2 large zippered chest pockets
  • 2 back pockets
  • 2 small pockets on left arm
  • 1 small pocket on left sleeve

Specifications of ReFire Gear Men’s Army Tactical Jacket

  • Brand Name: ReFire Gear
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Colors Available: Black, Gray, Army Green, Khaki, Navy Blue
  • Material: Polyester

Pros of ReFire Gear Men’s Army Military Tactical Jacket

  • Thermal
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Tactical multi-pocket design
  • Drawstring waist and hood allows it to be a perfect fit
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