The Triple Aught Design Raptor Hoodie is a new hardshell jacket made from Polartec’s Neoshell fabric. Products started appearing featuring Neoshell in 2011 so the technology has been around for several years. However, the Raptor Hoodie is the first jacket that TAD has made featuring Neoshell and that alone makes it significant.
What is Neoshell? This video from Polartec provides a good summary.
Believe the hype. Prior to receiving the Raptor, one of my “go to” jackets was the Rab Myriad (also a Neoshell-based product). It has been one of the lightest, most breathable shells I’ve ever owned.
This will be a two-part review. There has been a fair amount of confusion and speculation on the fit of the Raptor so part 1 will focus on that. Then I will spend some commuter and on-trail time with the Raptor including a trip to the Theodore Roosevelt and Yellowstone National Parks in late June. I will then report back on the jackets performance in Part 2.
The fit of the Raptor has been classified as “Active” by Triple Aught Design but I received feedback from some early adopters that the jacket ran a little larger than normal to accommodate mid-layers. My experience with the Myriad led me to believe that Neoshell is best suited for three season/warm weather duty. So, knowing I’d be wearing it over a t-shirt or light baselayer the majority of the time, I opted to size down from my normal Stealth LT and Ranger size of XXL to a XL. The fit of the smaller jacket ended up being exactly what I wanted.
Here is the Triple Aught Design Raptor with me wearing just a t-shirt underneath. I was wearing the same combination in the first picture above. For reference, I’m 6’4 and 260 lbs.
Now here is the Raptor with an Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody layered underneath.
Here is the same combination from a side view. Notice the morale patch panels on the upper arms. Triple Aught Design sells this jacket in both a patched and non-patched version. I normally opt for non-patched but it’s great that TAD color matched the panels. It makes the jacket more grey man and less tactical in appearance.
Finally, with the Raptor Hoodie unzipped.
As you can see, the Atom doesn’t add much bulk to the overall package. And, even though I downsized, the Raptor still had room to add the baselayer. If you don’t want or need a hooded baselayer, then I highly recommend Triple Aught Design’s Equilibrium Jacket. It’s made from highly breathable Polartec Alpha and would pair nicely with the Raptor in that regard. I plan on picking up one when TAD restocks. Much like the Raptor, I will downsize to a XL. I gave the Equilibrium a run earlier this year in XXL and found it was too loose and bulky – especially for Mid Layer use.
The back of the Raptor has a drop hem that’s just about the perfect length. One of the things that bothered me most about the Rab Myriad was that the back of the jacket would ride up on me when I hiked with a pack. I’m not sure if the Raptor will have the same issue since they’re both Neoshell. I will report back on that after I’ve spent more time with it on the trail.
For those of you who conceal carry, downsizing to an XL resulted in a decent amount of printing when I carry in the 4:30 to 5:00 position. In the above picture, I’m wearing my M&P Shield in a Comptac Infidel Ultra holster.
As always, clothing choice is key when you carry. Depending on the fit of any garment, you might need to size up to better conceal your firearm.
Triple Aught Design has always had excellent hood designs and the Raptor’s hood carries on that tradition. It’s three-point adjustable and provides good coverage. The collar has a chin guard.
My only complaint is the back of the hood doesn’t lay as flat as the Aero hood used in other TAD clothing I own. It also feels a bit on the smaller side for helmet use. Especially compared to my Arc’teryx jackets, which have hoods that are ginourmous.
The cuffs are Velcro and have plenty of adjustment length. They will even fit over my Marathon JSAR Diver without feeling tight, which is no small feat considering the JSAR’s crown is 17mm thick.
The jacket has two low profile Napoleon chest pockets that are each large enough to fit an iPhone 6. Both have media ports. The triple aught ‘000’ zipper pulls are relatively glove friendly and the water resistant zippers are YKK Aquaguard.
The hand pockets are deep – extending down to the hem of the jacket. Not an ideal design if you routinely wear the jacket while wearing a backpack with a hip belt since items that fall to the bottom of the pockets would be hard to retrieve. However, the pockets do functional better as hand warmers. Worth the trade-off in my opinion.
The quality is what you’d expect and demand in a $425 waterproof shell. All of the pockets have reinforced stitching. The attention to detail, even on the interior of the jacket, is impressive. Here are the taped seams on one of the Napoleon pockets.
And the same for one of the hand pockets. You can tell from the outline of the seam how large the pocket is.
It you’re considering a purchase of the Triple Aught Design Raptor Hoodie, hopefully this gives you a feel for sizing. In part 2 of this review, I’ll focus on the weight, packability, and breathability of the Raptor. I’ll also discuss how Polartec Neoshell performs in wet and windy conditions versus Goretex and other membrane technologies. Stay tuned!
The Triple Aught Design Raptor Hoodie retails for $425 and is available from their website and at their retail locations. Right now, the available colors are Black and Gunship. Some sizes may be sold out but TAD is doing a better job these days of restocking. Sign up for their newsletter for updates.