Triple Aught Design Ranger Hoodie
Reviewer: 5’10” 165 lbs.
Size Tested: Medium
Front Zipper Length: 28”
- Material: 10 oz Polartec Wind Pro
- Treatments: DWR
- Aero Hood Design
- Single Underarm Panels with Pit Vents
- Chest Pockets with Media Ports and D-Rings
- 2 Upper Arm Pockets with Media Ports, D-Rings
- 1 Left Forearm Pocket
- 1 Double-entry Hunters Pocket
- All Zippers are YKK and Feature Zipper Garages and Reinforced Pull Tabs
- Adjustable Locking Drawcord
- Drop-Tail Hem
- Thumb Hole Cuffs
Test Locations: Sangre De Cristo & Sandia mtns, New Mexico; Ouray Ice Park & San Juan mtns, Colorado; Moab, Utah
Days Tested: 20
Based in San Francisco, California, Triple Aught Design (TAD) caught my attention when I heard about their commitment to “thorough design, high attention to detail, and strict tolerances.“ Their name comes from 000 (triple-aught), which is engineering shorthand for a thousandth of an inch, and is a long-held, high standard of precision tolerance. Additionally, TAD manufactures their whole “Ranger” line of gear in the United States.
TAD’s mid-weight Ranger Hoodie looked like it could be a solid, high-quality layering piece for colder days, or a stand-alone piece in the shoulder seasons. TAD describes the Ranger as “blending fit, function, and the superior wind resistant properties of heavyweight, Polartec® Wind Pro® fabric…to withstand demanding use across diverse climates and conditions.”
The outerwear in TAD’s Ranger series is built with Polartec WindPro, which is said to block 4x more wind than a traditional fleece jacket. Utilizing my patented “truck-surfing wind-tunnel” technique, I found that I didn’t notice wind cutting through the fabric until we got up to about 20mph. As a point of comparison, other fleece jackets that I’ve run through the Truck Wind Tunnel Test (like an older-model Patagonia R2), let you feel wind the instant it picks up.
Although it’s treated with a DWR, the Ranger Hoodie is not a stand-alone piece for foul weather. Other WindPro jackets I’ve used have a smoother, soft-shell finish, which in conjunction with a DWR coating, seem to do a better job of shedding water. The Ranger has more of a pile surface that doesn’t deflect water and trail debris quite as well.
Fit and Feel
This is where the Ranger Hoodie most impressed me; It’s obvious that TAD put a lot of time and energy into creating a garment that is cut well for athletic movement. Where I’ve had issues with other jackets while climbing, I never felt like the Ranger restricted my movement or pulled out of my harness—even while reaching far overhead for panicky clips.
The Ranger Hoodie has a design and features that are similar to the TAD Stealth Hoodie LT we reviewed, but the two jackets serve quite different purposes. While the Stealth Hoodie LT is a three-layer soft shell, the Ranger Hoodie is a fairly heavy mid-layer fleece.
Like the Stealth Hoodie LT, the Ranger Hoodie has a lot of these; some I like, others I could do without. The TAD aesthetic and design philosophy are definitely geared toward folks who might find themselves out without a pack (those in survival situations, or who just prefer to stuff their pockets). But since I almost never venture into the outdoors without a backpack, I personally don’t need a lot of small pockets. (For example, I don’t imagine I’ll ever make use of the pocket on the left wrist or the hunter pocket on the back of the hoodie.)
Having said that, I never experienced any discomfort with the hunter pocket under the waist belts of a number of different packs I used in conjunction with the Ranger Hoodie. The only time I even knew the zippers were there was when I was driving, and they created a semi-awkward fold in the material on my lower back.
Although the placement of pockets on the Ranger Hoodie is nearly the same as that of the Stealth Hoodie LT, the Ranger’s pockets are all backed by ventilating fleece mesh. This provides some additional ventilating options if you unzip the chest pockets, for example.
- Underarm Panels with Pit Vents
In order for the pit vents to allow noticeable, additional airflow, I found that my elbows needed to be raised to shoulder height and open, in conjunction with the bicep pockets. Otherwise, I didn’t notice much additional airflow.
- Aero Hood
While I’d prefer an adjustable hood (and would expect one on a more technical hoodie like this), TAD designed a comfortable hood that lies flat on the back when not in use, and also functions as a high collar when not pulled up. Despite its lack of adjustability, it moves well with me when it’s in use. (FYI, I found the hood to be too small to accommodate a climbing helmet.)
- Thumb Hole Cuffs
Your experience may well vary here, but the Ranger Hoodie’s fabric is thick enough that, when using the thumb holes, I found that my grip would be compromised a bit. And while I didn’t find the Ranger’s sleeves to be too short in most situations, when using the thumb holes, the fabric pulled uncomfortably on my thumbs and the sleeves felt a little too short to use them effectively.