When we review a product, we don’t just pull it out of the box, look at it and then simply re-iterate the manufacturer’s product description or write some “creative” first-impressions. We use it for a good while in order to get a real feel for it and to see how it holds up under typical use.
Similarly, when Swedish tactical clothing and kit maker Tac-Up Gear wanted to produce a hard-shell, weather-proof jacket suitable for military use, they didn’t simply copy the well-known American ECWCS jacket. Instead, they designed a jacket from the ground up that would incorporate modern design features and also be optimized for the cold, windy, rainy Nordic climate. They call the result the “Nordic Conditions Water Resistant Jacket M90″, or NCWR Jacket for short.
I’ve been using one of these jackets for several months now, and in a variety of weather conditions ranging from dry-cold, snow, wet-cold, cool misty weather and drizzling rain to heavy down-pours. Granted, this was in southern Massachusetts, not northern Sweden, but I found that the jacket performed brilliantly in all weathers. It kept me dry and comfortable even in the heaviest downpour, whilst the under-arm “pit zips” and full-length front zip helped provide cooling ventilation in warmer weather and/or in periods of physical exertion.
Note: due to a FUBAR camera, we’ve had to use photos provided by Tac-Up Gear to illustrate this review.
The secret of the jacket’s performance is its combination of a tightly woven ripstop IR-resistant nylon fabric treated on both sides with a moisture resistant coating, and a polyester fabric liner with a PTFE membrane.
The jacket features a total of 11 pockets (7 on the outside, 4 on the inside), including slanted arm pockets (with Velcro patches), “Napoleon” style chest pockets and vertically-accessed hip pockets.
The jacket also features a wired-hood with elastic draw-strings with barrel-cord-locks to seal the hood up snugly around your face when up, or around your neck when worn down. The hood also features attachment bands for foliage or strips of burlap to assist with personal camouflage. There is also a Velcro patch to attach a small square reflective patch on the back of the hood, if needed for safety or other reasons.
The jacket also features a few other cool features:
- flat bands on the inside of the chest where you can hang damp socks to dry using your body heat (yes, for real!)
- lightly padded reinforcement patches on the elbows and forearms
- Velcro tab-adjustable cuffs
- a hanger-loop on the outside of the neck that allows you to hang a wet jacket in such a way that water won’t run into the inside
- all cord-locks feature a glow-in-the-dark end
- a Swedish flag patch on the left arm pocket
- the unique Swedish M90 geometric-splinter camouflage pattern
In addition to the NCWR Jacket, Tac-Up Gear also provide an NCWR Boonie Hat for cool, wet conditions and an NCWR Thermal Hat for cold weather. As with the Jacket, I found that the hats also performed as needed and were comfortable to wear – as well as looking very distinctive with the M90 camouflage (which is quite rare over on this side of the Atlantic).
All three products are innovative, well-made, functional, practical and comfortable – and will certainly do the job for which they’re intended. In short, they are definitely 100% Strike-Hold Approved!
Full details of these and all Tac-Up Gear products can be found on their website: www.tacupgear.com