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It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the many choices that are out there in tactical jackets, especially in regard to functionality, quality, performance characteristics, and value. In this blog post, we offer some guidelines to help you choose the perfect tactical jacket for your particular needs.

Skip ahead if you’ve already decided on a specific tactical jacket; otherwise, here are the topics we discuss in this blog post to help you choose:

Introduction

Modern tactical jackets are designed to shield you from inclement weather while still offering mission-critical functions that aid you in the field.

In order to appreciate why it’s difficult (and unwise) to buy just any tactical jacket you come across, take a step back and look at how many choices are actually available on the market. You’ll quickly realize you need to consider those choices more broadly and in greater depth before making a purchase decision.

One reason you do is because there are many different functional elements you’re likely to want your tactical jacket to provide. These elements range from the materials used in making the garment to the type and amount of weather protection it’s capable of delivering.

This is why our straightforward lineup of UF PRO Tactical Jackets makes it incredibly easy to select the one best-suited to your particular needs.

What kind of tactical jacket are you looking for?

We group our tactical jackets into three weather-protection-level classifications. Which of these statements best describes your need:

  • I’m looking for a jacket I can use during transitional-weather months.
  • I’m looking for a jacket I can use in extremely cold environments.
  • I’m looking for a jacket that can keep me dry in heavy rain.

If statement number one is you, then you should start by looking at our discussion of Best Tactical Soft-Shell and Light-Shell Jackets.

If statement number two is you, your starting point is our roundup of Best Tactical Winter Jackets.

And if you align with statement number three, you’ll want to consider what we have to say about Best Tactical Rain Jackets.

Best tactical softshell jackets.

Best Tactical Soft-Shell and Light-Shell Jackets

The lineup:

Key features in common

  • Versatile weather protection. These jackets shield you from light rain and are 100% windproof.
  • Light thermal insulation. These jackets serve as a sufficient layer to keep you warm in cooler temperatures.

The Hunter FZ Gen.2 Jacket and the Delta Eagle Gen.2 Jacket are both right at home in cool, windy, and light-rain environments. They shield you in temperatures down to -5°C.

Their 100-percent windproof face fabric is also water-repellant. And, they have in common a side ventilation system that prevents you from overheating by helping regulate your body’s core temperature.

To help you stay warm and ensure that the fabric remains comfortable to the touch, the jackets are lined with a special 37.5™ microfleece material. This allows moisture to easily dissipate to the outside. As well, it provides yet another layer of thermal insulation.

Additionally, these jackets are designed to offer many excellent tactical features. Among those you’ll find on the Hunter FZ Gen.2 Jacket and Delta Eagle Gen.2 Jacket are large and numerous pockets for storing an abundance of gear.

Hunter FZ Gen.2 Jacket

The Hunter FZ Gen.2 Jacket

Features specific to this jacket

  • Windproof & water-repellant
  • Ventilation side-panels
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Light thermal insulation

This jacket is our most versatile, which is why it’s the go-to choice for everyday carry, visits to the shooting range, or any urban-environment op.

The Hunter FZ is designed for wear in temperatures between 5°C and 25°C, depending on your activity level.

When should you choose the Hunter FZ Gen.2 Jacket?

We recommend the Hunter FZ Gen.2 Jacket if you need a highly versatile jacket you can keep in your car or backpack and whip out in a jiffy if the weather suddenly turns cold or if the sky goes grey and drizzly.

Get more intel on the Hunter FZ Gen.2 Jacket here.

The Delta Eagle Gen.2 Jacket

The Delta Eagle Gen.2 Jacket

Features specific to this jacket

  • Highly windproof & water-repellant
  • Ventilation side-zippers for airflow regulation
  • Medium thermal insulation
  • Hood/Harness®
  • air/pac® inserts in the shoulders and upper back
  • 8 pockets

On paper, the Delta Eagle Gen.2 is similar to the Hunter FZ Gen.2, but the former is a whole other beast under the hood. Think of the Delta Eagle Gen.2 as a beefed-up Hunter FZ.

Thanks to a touch heavier design and a thicker face-fabric, the Delta Eagle Gen.2 is suitable for use at temperatures 10 degrees cooler than that which the Hunter FZ Gen.2 can handle. 

The Delta Eagle Gen.2 is designed with a highly breathable ePTFE soft-shell material, which makes it both windproof and water-repellent.

Wear this jacket and keeping your gear with you won’t be a problem. Reason: the Delta Eagle Gen.2 gives you an astonishing number of extra pockets. There are 8 pockets in total, that you can carry all mission-critical items.

Even so, some items because of their bulk or weight are best carried in a backpack. Should you need to carry one, you’ll find that the Delta Eagle Gen.2 Jacket comes with a unique air/pac® system that helps evenly distribute the weight of the backpack across your back and shoulders.

When should you choose the Delta Eagle Gen.2 Jacket?

This jacket is your best choice if you’ll be operating in a cool, damp environment and don’t want to give the nasty weather a second thought.

Get more intel on the Delta Eagle Gen.2 Jacket here.

Tactical winter jackets.

Best Tactical Winter Jackets

The lineup:

Key features in common

  • Top-tier thermal insulation. Keeps you comfortable in extremely low temperatures.

  • Cold-weather protection. Ideal for blizzard-like conditions.

These tactical winter jackets are well-suited for use in extreme freezing temperatures. In part, that’s because they’re constructed exclusively with top-tier thermal-insulation materials such as G-Loft and 37.5™ microfleece.

We believe using a synthetic material like G-Loft delivers the optimal combination of performance and features needed in a tactical winter jacket. Read more here about thermal insulation and why we use these particular materials.

Also featured in the Delta AcE Plus Gen.2 Jacket, Delta ML Gen.2 Jacket, and Delta OL 3.0 Jacket is a 100-percent windproof and water-repellent fabric that protects against windchill and snow.

The Delta AcE Plus Gen.2 Jacket

Delta AcE Plus Gen.2 Jacket

Features specific to this jacket

  • Windproof & water-repellant

  • Ventilation side-panels

  • air/pac® inserts in the shoulders and upper back

  • CORDURA-reinforced elbows

This jacket is the best choice when you are in extreme cold and very physically active.

The reason is that fast-paced walking or running in the cold can make you sweat—so much that you end up drenched and vulnerable to hypothermia.

Notably, the jacket at the torso is not filled with G-LOFT thermal insulation. This allows the jacket to work with your body’s high core-temperature so that heat can be quickly dissipated. Another reason for no thermal insulation at the torso is that, if you’re going to carry a plate carrier, you’ll receive from it a degree of thermal insulating effect and the last thing we want is to contribute to you becoming overheated.

As for the jacket’s arms, they’re sleeved with G-LOFT thermal insulation to protect against the effects of exposure to cold temperatures.

The air/pac® inserts help evenly distribute the weight of a plate carrier or backpack, relieving some of the pressure on your back and shoulders. Furthermore, the inserts establish a thermal bridge between the cold face-fabric and your skin to maximise your comfort.

When should you choose the Delta AcE Plus Gen.2 Jacket?

The Delta AcE Plus Gen.2 Jacket is ideal for use in extreme cold temperatures while you’re engaging in moderate to heavy physical activity.

However, because the jacket contains no G-LOFT thermal insulation around the torso, we recommend using a plate carrier or backpack to increase the thermal insulation effect in that area.

Get more intel on the Delta AcE Plus Gen.2 Jacket here.

The Delta ML Gen.2 Jacket

Delta ML Gen.2 Jacket

Features specific to this jacket

  • Windproof & water-repellant

  • Ventilation side-panels

  • Extremely lightweight

The Delta ML Gen.2 Jacket is the most versatile tactical winter jacket available. It’s suitable for use while you’re engaging in virtually any wintertime activity and it takes up very little space in your backpack.

Additionally, when you need extra thermal insulation, its low-bulk feather-lightness makes this jacket perfect for wear as an undergarment beneath one or more outer layers.

High-performance G-LOFT thermal insulation surrounds the torso and sleeves to provide protection against low temperatures ranging from 10°C to -10°C.

When should you choose the Delta ML Gen.2 Jacket?

We recommend gearing up with the Delta ML Gen.2 if you need an all-’round, general-purpose jacket that’s suited for just about any activity undertaken in low temperatures.

And owing to its low-profile design, the Delta ML Gen.2 works great as a mid-layer worn under an outer-layer winter jacket (such as the Delta OL 3.0 Jacket). 

Get more intel on the Delta ML Gen.2 Jacket here.

The Delta OL 3.0 Jacket

Delta OL 3.0 Jacket

Features specific to this jacket

  • Windproof & water-repellant

  • Best thermal insulation against freezing temperatures

  • Ventilation side-zippers

  • Detachable hood

  • CORDURA-reinforced elbows, lower back

The Delta OL 3.0 is the ultimate thermal-insulation jacket because it’s packed with features designed for extreme cold weather—features that help you stay warm while you’re stationary but that prevent you from overheating when you kick things into high gear.

The torso and sleeves of the Delta OL 3.0 are packed with best-in-class thermal insulation G-LOFT filling that offers cold-weather threat-protection even when you’re sitting or standing still and generating less body heat.

The Delta OL 3.0 also lets you easily regulate the effects of increased core temperature as you start moving and getting more active. All you need to do is unzip the side-ventilation zippers to let in as much or as little outside cold air as needed to keep you comfortable.

When snow is falling, the jacket’s detachable hood helps you maintain an unobstructed field of view. The hood is removable for those times when you don't need it.

When should you choose the Delta OL 3.0 Jacket?

We suggest you opt for this jacket if you are looking for the best tactical winter-jacket to help you cover all your bases while up against extreme cold temperatures.

Thanks to its thermal and ventilation features, the Delta OL 3.0 is ideal for wear when you have longer periods of being stationary and or when you find yourself often engaging in high-intensity activities. 

Get more intel on the Delta OL 3.0 Jacket here.

The Monsoon Tactical Rain Jackets.

Best Tactical Rain Jackets

The lineup:

Key features in common

  • Waterproof construction. Keeps you dry in wind-driven heavy rain.

  • Excellent field of view. Great visibility even with the hood on.

  • Easy access to concealed gear. No fumbling to access the items underneath.

Monsoon Tactical Rain Jackets are built for one purpose—to keep you dry in a heavy downpour and protected in strong wind.

We use high-quality, triple-layer waterproof laminates offering the best breathability and waterproof properties for professional, non-consumer applications. One such laminate is  GORE-TEX; you can read here more about GORE-TEX and other laminates we utilise.

Both the Monsoon XT Gen.2 and Monsoon Gen.2 jackets feature the adjustable Hood/Harness® system which resizes the hood to exactly fit your head and is designed to follow your neck’s movements so you can at all times maintain an unobstructed view of your surroundings. What’s more, the system keeps the laminate from coming into direct contact with your head, thereby increasing the volume of refreshing air that can circulate and preventing the muffling of sounds of the laminate contacting your head.

The jackets also come with air/pac® inserts. These create an air barrier that prevents the laminate from conducting external cold to your skin. They also help better distribute the weight of heavy backpacks or plate carriers so they’re easier to carry and less likely to leave you with back or shoulder pain.

Easy access side-ventilation zippers help you stay comfortable. You use them to regulate the amount of cooling air that circulates between your body and the jacket. 

When should you choose the Monsoon XT Gen.2 Jacket?

The XT version is aimed toward Special Forces and Military users conducting operations in harshly wet-weather conditions.

This jacket has longer side-ventilation zippers to permit fast, sure access to holstered firearms. The jacket’s back is elongated—a feature you’ll appreciate should you find yourself in a situation where you must lay flat for a long time on sopping-wet ground.

Affixed to each arm just below the shoulder is a Velcro strip. You can use these strips to attach and display your unit insignia or other types of identifying patches.

Get more intel on the Monsoon XT Gen.2 Jacket here.

When should you choose the Monsoon Gen.2 Jacket?

This jacket is best-suited for urban operations or as part of your EDC waterproof gear. It’s ideal for those occasions and situations when you need to stay 100-percent dry and at the same time reap the benefits of outerwear offering a rich mix of tactical features.

Get more intel on the Monsoon Gen.2 Jacket here.

Published: 25-09-2020 // Tags: Blog // #tactical-gear #Tactical cold weather gear
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