HUNTING

Best Tactical Jacket: The Ultimate Way to Keep Yourself Warm

Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Struggling to find the best tactical cloth to carry along for an outdoor adventure? Do you need something that can keep you warm but still provide many pockets for your accessories? We can all agree that survivalists, hunters, military individuals and hikers frequently bump into unfriendly weather conditions on their day-to-day activities. Having the best tactical jacket ensures that they can stay warm throughout and still get plenty of space for carrying smaller essentials.

Tactical jackets aren’t fashioned for military personals only. These jackets are ideal for hunting, paramilitary combat, camping, survivalist expedition, and hiking. A Tactical jacket can also serve as a proper winter wear and keep you warm no matter your quest.

Person is Wearing Tactical Jacket

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In this review, we’ll take you through a buyer guide section that touches on a few important things everyone should know before buying a tactical jacket. We will also review a few tactical jackets that are worth investing in. But before we get started, here is a table comparing some of the key features of our main products.

Our Top Picks

ProductMaterial HoodieWeight Price
TACVASEN Military SoftshellPolyester and cottonNon-detachable hoodie2.4 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Condor Men's Alpha TacticalPolyesterNo hoodie1.9 poundsCheck price on Amazon
5.11 Tactical 5-in-1FleeceDetachable hoodie1 poundCheck price on Amazon
TRU-SPEC Men's 24-7 TacticalNylon and spandexNo hoodie1 poundCheck price on Amazon
Camo Coll Soft Shell HoodedPolyester and spandexNon-detachable hoodie2.3 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Rothco Special Ops Soft Shell PolyesterStashable hoodie2.2 poundsCheck price on Amazon
FREE SOLDIER Hooded WaterproofDINTEX and fleeceNon-detachable hoodie2.15 poundsCheck price on Amazon
Condor Summit Zero Soft ShellPolyesterStore-away hoodie3 poundsCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

The word “tactical jacket” sounds to many people like an army jacket with strips to camouflage one from being spotted while in the wild. Well, that’s not entirely the case. Sure some take a military look, and there are those that look completely like regular clothing. However, exterior appearance is not enough to help you make a good buying decision.

Here is exactly what you should consider while buying tactical jackets.

Size

Size is at the top of the list for things that piss of people about tactical jackets. On the tag, you’ll see an “XL” symbol only to find the jacket too small to fit you. You can as well go for small sized and end up with something baggy.

Man is Wearing Tactical Jacket in the Woods

Image credit: improb.com

Is there a remedy for this? Honestly, there isn’t. What you need to do is make sure you order a jacket according to your body size and hope that it will fit you. The good thing is that most come with drawstring and Velcro fabrics to fasten them up. If you got a wrong size product and the shipping fee is negligible, just send it back for a good fit.

Durability

Unlike ordinary cold weather clothing that come at a few shekels, tactical jackets are meant for far bigger things, or rather extremely cold environments and therefore have a bigger price tag. This is because they are built to withstand the toughest working and sporting environment.

Tactical Jacket

Generally, these apparels are made from polyester, Dintex, spandex, nylon, fleece, and other top grade materials. If you grow pretty quickly, then go for the spandex infused jacket since it will expand further to accommodate your new size.

Number of Pockets

Yeah, this really does matter. When heading out for an outdoor activity, you’ll most certainly carry along a phone, flashlight, hunting knife, a notebook, a pen and other smaller items. Some of these valuables are too delicate to be packed alongside other essentials in the bag.

 

Tactical Jacket Pockets

Having a tactical jacket with numerous pockets will provide you with space to keep the items you need often. This will minimize time wasted while stopping to look for something in the bag. Just make sure the pockets are deep enough and have a zipper or Velcro fastener, so you don’t displace anything.

Resistant to Weather Elements

An ideal tactical jacket should be able to deflect wind and prevent water from sipping in. This is something that should not be overlooked if the environment you are going to for sport or military operation is chilly, rainy or snowy.

Tactical Jacket Pockets

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There are tac jackets that are completely waterproof. Such are usually made of more nylon than any other material. Some, on the other hand, can only resist water to a certain extent before giving up. All in all, the weather condition of the place you work from should determine what you need to buy.

Weight

Tactical jackets are meant to keep you warm, but they are not supposed to get in your way of being tactical. If a jacket is too heavy and keeps swinging as you make a golf swing or any move, then it’s not helping.

Tactical Jacket

A lightweight jacket promotes your mobility. It will also allow you to run or walk many miles without being weighed down. Note that other heavyweight jackets tend to be baggy; this is something you should look out for as well if you want to have a successful outdoor activity.

Minute Extras

Small things such as a hoodie, drawstring, waistband, mic clips, sidearm zippers, and the general design matter a lot. A hood is not only convenient for hiding your identity from a passing fleet but will keep rain showers, wind and snowfleck off your head.

Hooded Tactical Jacket

The drawstring and waistband are used to tighten up the jacket, so it doesn’t encumber your moves. Mic clips can hold your flashlight or any other smaller items. The design of a tactical jacket has a lot of weight as well. However, since it’s a matter of preference, it’s up to you to choose something you like.

Best Products on Today’s Market

While a tac jacket will not improve your shooting aim, it will keep you warm and shiver-free so that you can shoot with a steady arm. But due to a lot of noise and hype surrounding many tactical products, it becomes a bit hard to select the best one. To save you the trouble, here are some fantastic options you may want to consider:

TACVASEN Military Softshell Tactical Jacket

Price: Approx. $44TACVASEN Military Softshell Tactical Jacket

Weight: 2.4 pounds

Specific features: Hooded fleece coat, high-quality fabric, breathable, windproof, waterproof, lightweight, functional zipper pockets, urbane design

Best use: Hiking, camping, fishing, tactical combat, etc.

The TACVASEN Military Softshell Tactical Jacket is a military grade garment with an urbane style design making it suitable for any cold day. It’s made from high-quality fabric that guarantees long-term service. The jacket is windproof and waterproof. The interior layer is lined with a warmer fleece to keep your body well-heated in freezing zones.

On the outside, the jacket comes with two side pockets with functional zippers to keep your cell phone, wallet, knife, flashlight, pen or any other gear properly secured. The hoodie fleece at the top will come in handy on a rainy or snowy day.

This tactical jacket is lightweight and fits tightly.  If you are into fast-paced outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, and other tactical combat stuff, you will appreciate this tac jackets ability to stay out of your way. Although the waist and cuff lack Velcro fastener, waistband or a drawstring, anyone should not have a problem achieving a snug fit.

PROS:

  • High-quality fabric
  • Zippered pockets
  • Suitable for any outdoor occasion
  • Windproof and waterproof
  • Lightweight jacket with a hood
 CONS:

  • The hood cannot be detached
  • The size you get is usually smaller than what you ordered

Related: For complete protection, TACVASEN Military Softshell Tactical Jacket is usually bought together with Magcomsen Tactical Military Shirt with Zipper. This lightweight and breathable shirt has several zippered pockets for additional storage space. For more convenience, the shirt sports abrasion resistant forearms and a patch for sticking IDs.

Check the price on Amazon

Condor Men’s Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket

Price: $45 – $76Condor Men's Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket

Weight: 1.9 pounds

Specific features: 100% polyester, nylon abrasion-reinforced shoulder, collar and forearm, vertical chest pocket and two slash hand pockets, outer shell reinforced with super fine fleece

Best use: Hiking, fishing, hunting, and everyday wear

The Condor Men’s Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket is a superfine tactical jacket made from 100% polyester. It’s the perfect pick for anyone who needs many pockets for keeping outdoor items like knives and flashlights. The pockets have a zipper so you can keep everything locked up. Even though this jacket is sufficient to serve as a cold garment, it’s usually worn under other hardshell jackets.

This tactical jacket has almost the perfect urbane design while at the same time, being suitable for outdoor activities as well. Its outer shell is fortified with a super fine fleece and oxford reinforcement for comfort and longevity. The only drawback to this cold weather wear is the absence of a hood.

The sleeves of this jacket can extend up to two inches in case you need additional defense. For those with smaller waists, the waistband comes with a drawstring for tightening up the jacket. The main zipper extends all the way to the chin for additional protection in the cold winters.

PROS:

  • Multiple pockets for keeping a few items
  • A stunning design
  • One of the few jackets that fit snugly
  • Perfect for any outdoor activities
  • Zippered pockets to avoid losing valuables
 CONS:

  • No hood
  • Not that cheap

Related: This jacket might work better with the Condor Thermo Neck Gaiter which offers concealment as well as covers the neck from cold. The soft microfleece material making up this neck fabric is stretchable to fit any person and on top of that, it comes at a great price.

Check the price on Amazon

5.11 Tactical 5-in-1 Jacket

Price: $215 – $2905.11 Tactical 5-in-1 Jacket

Weight: 1 pound

Specific features: High-quality fleece, high-performance waterproof jacket, wind resistant, elastic waist, breathable, mic clips, detachable hood, Velcro waistband, side zippers, chest document pocket, removable sleeves

Best use: Military ops, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities

The 5.11 Tactical 5-in-1 Jacket may be the only product in this review with extremely sophisticated features for those who need such a jacket. It’s an all-weather jacket meant for military ops, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, mountaineering and other cold weather activities. In terms of performance, comfort, accessibility, and durability, this tactical jacket is simply unrivaled.

So what exactly makes it this grand? To begin with, the jacket is made from high-quality fleece with zip-off sleeves that provide an avenue for configuring this garment into five incredible alternatives to fit in any weather condition.

This jacket offers countless pockets with zippers for storing some of your minute outdoor essentials. The Tac Tec inner lining can also be customized to provide some more space for additional lightweight accessories.

This jacket comes with an elasticized waist, storm cuffs, and a detachable hood. All these specs serve one purpose – keeping out rain and cold and thus ensuring you stay warm throughout. Getting too hot? Use the side seam zippers to create some ventilation. These zippers also offer a quick access route to the sidearms.

The mic clips on the shoulders are a good spot for keeping flashlights, mics or other smaller units. If you are working in groups and need identification tags, the removable ID panels at the front and back will make your work easier.

PROS:

  • Elasticized waistband for a tight fit
  • Multiple zippered pockets
  • High-performance tactical jacket
  • Extremely durable
  • Comes with a detachable hood
 CONS:

  • Doesn’t come cheaply
  • Has a bulky appearance

Related: For improved tactical performance, you can also get the 5.11 Tactical Men’s TacLite Pro Pant. This polyester made pro pant features a classic design that incorporates two cargo pocket, slash pocket design, an external knife pocket, and YKK zippers. The trousers’ stress points are strengthened with extensive bartacking and triple-stitch reinforcement for exceptional durability.

Check the price on Amazon

TRU-SPEC Men’s 24-7 Tactical Softshell Jacket

Price: $76 – $188TRU-SPEC Men's 24-7 Tactical Softshell Jacket

Weight: 1 pound

Specific features: 90% nylon, 10% spandex, side seam zippers, wind resistant and waterproof, lightweight, zippered waist pockets

Best use: Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other serious cold weather works

TRU-SPEC, which is one of the most reliable military and law enforcement uniform and personal item suppliers have loaded TRU-SPEC Men’s 24-7 Tactical Jacket with a lot of cool features any outdoor person will love. This jacket is composed of 90% nylon and 10% spandex. The latter allows it to expand and contract a little for a snug fit. The combination of spandex and nylon makes this jacket waterproof and wind resistant.

Regarding storage compartments, this tactically inspired apparel has enough pockets with zips to store things like smaller flashlights, pens, and knives. The side seam zippers open up to give you access to the belts and torso. This tactical jacket is spacious enough to be worn over a ballistic vest.

As for the design, this sleek jacket looks modern rather than a rugged apparel meant for unforgiving environments. It has a soft feel outside while the inside is lined with the coziest fleece material. The only setback to this lovely outdoor garment is the absence of a hood, a drawstring and some Velcro fabric to tighten it up.

PROS:

  • Wind resistant and waterproof
  • Multiple pockets to stash your items
  • Expands and contracts to provide a snug fit
  • Suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities
  • Still comfortable even when worn over a ballistic vest
 CONS:

  • No hoodie
  • The waistband is not elastic

Related: If your jacket is lacking a hoodie, then pairing it with the CVLIFE Tactical Watch Cap might be a good thing. This multipurpose tactical watch cap is made from elastic material and hence can fit on any one’s head, whether a lady or a gentleman. Since it’s made from 100% polyester and a few hints of fleece, you can clean it in a machine washer.

Check the price on Amazon

Camo Coll Soft Shell Hooded Tactical Jacket

Price: Approx. $50Camo Coll Soft Shell Hooded Tactical Jacket

Weight: 2.3 pounds

Specific features: Casual outdoor wear made from 94% polyester and 6% spandex, hooded, functional design, drawstring waist, hoop and loop wrist cuffs

Best use: Hiking, hunting, fishing, traveling, camping and other any other outdoor adventure

If you are out to make a fashion statement but still keep warm in the freezing winters, Camo Coll Soft Shell Hooded Tactical Jacket is the one to get. It’s made of polyester and spandex, which are some of the ideal materials found in most sought after tactical jackets. There is a drawstring hood at the top to shelter your head from cold and rain showers.

Camo Coll is very generous when it comes to storage space. It has pockets on the sides and also on the side arm for storing smaller hunting, fishing or hiking essentials. The waist and hood sport a drawstring for achieving a tight fit. Also, the fact that this tactical jacket is made of spandex means it can expand and contract to fit any one’s body size. The sidearm zippers allow easy access to the torso and ventilate the jacket as well.

One of the good things to appreciate about this jacket is that despite featuring some of the specs from high-end models, it still costs less. All in all, it might be a good addition to your outdoor equipment.

PROS:

  • Made from high-quality fabric
  • Hooded for extra protection
  • Great for any outdoor activity
  • Waterproof and wind resistant
  • The drawstring makes it fit perfectly
 CONS:

  • Poor quality zippers
  • The hood is not detachable

Related: For seasonal outdoor individuals and military personnel with a need for more storage compartments, Camo Coll Soft Shell Hooded Tactical Jacket can be bought together with Walls Men’s 6-Pocket Cargo Pant. Besides having many pockets, this real tree patterned provides comfort while still keeping you on top of your game.

Check the price on Amazon

Rothco Special Ops Soft Shell Jacket

Price: $77 – $223Rothco Special Ops Soft Shell Jacket

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Specific features: 100% polyester, three-layer construction, waterproof shell, deflects wind, cuffs are fitted with Velcro, stashable hood, zippered storage compartments, and underarm vented zippers

Best use: Hunting, hiking, snowboarding, fishing, mountaineering, and other cold-weather outdoor adventures

The Rothco Special Ops Soft Shell Jacket is a cold weather tactical jacket meant not only to keep one warm but to offer enough space for storing EDC gear. It’s made from 100 polyester material. The jacket has a three-layer construction that keeps water out and deflects wind. The hood at the top can serve to conceal your identity and still keep rain showers, sleet and snow flecks off your head. This hood can be done away with if you want to have a wide view or if it’s getting too hot.

The jacket has a lot of fleece and thus feels comfy and wicks out moisture. This jacket doesn’t leave the neck exposed to the cold weather thanks to the overstretched material at the neck region. The cuffs sport a Velcro fastener to ensure a tight grip. This pocket-friendly option is not baggy but offers adequate space without encumbering one’s tactical motion.

If you heat up pretty quickly, then this heavily breathable polyester made tactical jacket may suit you. Also, the nature of this material makes it simple to wash by merely stashing it in the washer.

PROS:

  • Waterproof and wind deflecting
  • Versatile jacket that is good for cold weather
  • Durably built
  • Comes with a hood
  • Many pockets that can serve as extra storage spaces
 CONS:

  • No waistband or drawstring for a snug fit
  • Slightly heavy
  • Doesn’t come cheaply

Related: Rothco Special Ops is frequently bought together with Rothco Combat Shirt. Even though the shirt is made for comfort, it’s more of a protective clothing as well. It’s made of polyester and cotton and other minuscule elements making it heat and water resistant. The shirt is suitable for military and tactical operations.

Check the price on Amazon

FREE SOLDIER Hooded Waterproof Jacket

Price: Approx. $47FREE SOLDIER Hooded Waterproof Jacket

Weight: 2.15 pounds

Specific features: Hooded jacket, Dintex and fleece material, waterproof, multi-pocket, Velcro patches on cuffs, solid zippers, and thickened elbow section

Best use: Camping, climbing, hiking, cycling, snowboarding, hunting, mountaineering, fishing and other outdoor sports

If you are looking for a classic tactical jacket with a military look, you should try the FREE SOLDIER Hooded Waterproof Jacket. Its durable material makes up guarantees that you won’t shiver while going about your fun, outdoor activities.

Still on design, from the outlook, it’s easy to judge this jacket as baggy and heavy. None of those apply. In fact, this apparel is lightweight and fits snugly on most individuals. The inner fleece lining is breathable so the jacket vent out some heat. This jacket is sold as waterproof but only to a certain extent. It won’t stand a chance in case of a heavy downpour. This, however, shouldn’t be a deal breaker considering most tactical jackets can get drenched.

Like most useful tactical clothing, this jacket comes with a bunch of pockets to keep smaller outdoor valuables. It’s hooded to keep weather elements off your head as well as cover up your identity. The cuffs sport some Velcro fabric for tightening up the jacket.

As an ideal military apparel, this jacket will make a great companion for hiking, fishing, mountaineering, and other outdoor sports. Out of the many tactical jackets out there, this one might be the perfect gift to give to any serious outdoor person.

PROS:

  • High-grade tactical jacket
  • Multiple pockets with solid zippers
  • Suitable for all cold weather sports
  • Comes with a hood for additional protection
  • Waterproof, lightweight and breathable
 CONS:

  • The hood is non-detachable
  • Not fully water resistant

Related: The FREE SOLDIER Tactical Pants for Winter Skiing Hiking might be great no matter what jacket you go for. This lightweight pair of pants is made of high-quality polyester and reinforced with spandex so it can fit most average size adults. Like any other exceptional outdoor pant, this one too is windproof, breathable and water-resistant.

Check the price on Amazon

Condor Summit Zero Soft Shell Jacket

Price: $72 – $220Condor Summit Zero Soft Shell Jacket

Weight: 3 pounds

Specific features: 100% polyester, stand-up collar, YKK zipper, store-away hood, slash chest pockets, two shoulder pockets, two internal pockets, 10 x 10 cm shoulder patch panels, drawstring waistband and hood

Best use: Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, traveling, snowboarding, and other outdoor activities

The Condor Summit Zero Soft Shell Jacket is an upgrade of a previous Soft shell jacket that packs a lot of good features for seasoned outdoor individuals. This practical body wear features a 3- layer integrated fabric for maximum durability and heat maintenance. This lightweight jacket can keep out water droplets, mountain heat and release some through the breathable pores when it gets too hot.

The elbow region usually gets a lot of pressure and to prevent early damage; this jacket has this part reinforced with more material. There are more than enough pockets to store outdoor valuables. All the pockets have a solid, YKK zipper to secure your items in place. For hoodie fans, you’ll be glad to know that the jacket is equipped with one-safely tucked away in the collar lining.

This tactical jacket’s stunning design has rubberized passage holes where you can slip your headphones through for a musical session. The cuffs can be tightened up by a Velcro fabric to avoid movements.

PROS:

  • An upgraded version that is suitable for seasoned outdoor individuals
  • Abrasion-reinforced elbows for added protection and longevity
  • A protective, store-away hoodie
  • Features Velcro fabric and YKK zippers for a snug fit
  • Made of breathable material
 CONS:

  • Can feel a little bit heavy
  • It’s expensive

Related: Condor Summit Zero Jacket is frequently bought with Condor Tactical Fleece Cap, a black watch cap with stretchable material to fit virtually anyone. The cap provides additional protection to the head especially for those with jackets without a hoodie. It’s great for military, EMS, police, and general wear.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

Whether you are patrolling a jungle, snowboarding in the mountains, fishing or just going about any kind of outdoor activity, having a tactical jacket is imperative. Besides keeping you warm, these jackets come with a hood to conceal your identity or keep your head covered from weather elements.

Woman is Wearing Tactical Jacket

Some even do have patterns that resemble the trees and shrubs for the perfect camouflage. If you are looking for the best tactical jacket to add to your outdoor arsenal, then this list should certainly be helpful to you.

Do you have experience with tactical jackets? Ever tried any product on this list? Feel free to share your experiences with our readers via the comment box below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.