I covered features and sizing in Part 1 of my review of the Triple Aught Design Raptor Hoodie. In Part 2, I’ll discuss the weight, packability, and breathability of the Raptor. This past summer, I was fortunate to visit Yellowstone National Park with my family and we did several hikes which gave me an opportunity to further put some of my gear to the test including the Raptor Hoodie.
I have several shells, but choosing the Raptor was a “no-brainer’ because Yellowstone in June can be very unpredictable weather-wise and that was definitely the case when we were there. Temperatures fluctuated from 37 to 70°F. We did the Beaver Ponds Loop in the Mammoth Hot Springs Area, which is a moderately strenuous 5-mile loop with a 350 foot climb that seemed like the ascent was all in the first half mile. It was one of the warmer days and my wife and kids all stripped off their shells within that stretch. The Raptor breathed well enough that I kept mine on through most of the hike; a testament to the permeability of the Neoshell membrane and somewhat surprising since the Raptor lacks pit zips.
When I did have to store the Raptor in my pack, it took up very little room and didn’t add much to my base weight. I’ve had many people ask me about the differences between the Triple Aught Design Stealth LT and the Raptor. I love the durability of the Stealth LT, which has evolved over the years into more of a hard shell type jacket. But as I mentioned in my Stealth LT review, it takes up a good amount of space in a pack and weighs nearly 2 lbs. The Raptor packs very small and only weighs 16.6 ounces. If you’re often hiking or hunting through heavy brush or taking your shell into harms way then it’s absolutely worth the trade-off. For me, it’s overkill and the Raptor represents a great compromise. Be honest about your needs and choose your gear accordingly.
On cooler mornings, I paired the Raptor with the Triple Aught Design Equilibrium Jacket and the two proved to be a great combo.
I wore the Equilibrium as a mid-layer with the Raptor and as a stand-alone jacket. It’s made from Polartec Alpha which also breathes pretty well. The two together gave me a flexible system that allowed me to regulate my core temperature by wearing either piece or both together when some warmth was needed along with protection from wind and rain. In the picture below, I’m wearing the Equilibrium under the Raptor. As you can see, it doesn’t add a lot of bulk under the shell.
We did experience some rain during our Yellowstone adventure. The day we visited the Old Faithful Area, it rained almost all afternoon. We didn’t let the inclement weather stop us from having a great time. I’ve said before that I love the hoods on my Triple Aught Design jackets and the Raptor is no exception.
The only issue I had with the Raptor at Yellowstone was I neglected to test the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish before leaving on the trip. As you can see in the above picture, the DWR started to fail in a high wear area where my pack rubbed my shoulders. Same to a lesser degree on other parts of the jacket.
Since Neoshell is more porous than other membranes, the downside is DWR can break down quicker requiring you to refresh or re-apply it more often. Not a huge deal if you’re diligent about it. In this case, the rain-soaked through the outer shell but the taped seams held up and nothing made it through. Had I been out in a heavy rain all day, my guess is I wouldn’t have stayed completely dry.
Overall, I’m really happy with the Triple Aught Design Raptor Hoodie. It’s become my go-to shell for strenuous pursuits during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. It fits great, breathes extremely well, and packs light. Everything I ask for in a premium shell. The Triple Aught Design Raptor Hoodie comes in black and gunship grey, retails for $425, and can be purchased here.