REVIEW – Wildthings Softshell Jacket, Lightweight (Coyote Tan)

PRODUCT:      Softshell jacket – Lightweight SO 1.0

MANUFACTURER:            Wildthings

DESCRIPTION:

A very lightweight softshell jacket. Rolled up for stowage, an XL sized jacket is approximately 30cm x 10cm.

REVIEW NOTES:

This item was graciously provided for review by Military Gear.

I will be returning this item when completed, since I have no need for this kit.

Due to illness and lack of bad weather in my AO, I have not been able to fully assess this garment under field conditions.

 

LAYOUT:

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Made in the USA, the jacket material is 91% Nylon, and 9% spandex, which allows the garment to stretch a little for undergarments and dynamic movement.

Full length zip up the front, with two very generous sized zip pockets (mesh material inside) that are also low profile if outer layers (like jackets, parka’s and armour) should be worn over the top.

Bicep pocket on the left sleeve, and a pen pocket on the right lower sleeve.

Full length zip up the front, with two very generous sized zip pockets (mesh material inside) that are also low profile if outer layers (like jackets, parka’s and armour) should be worn over the top.

 

Bicep pocket on the left sleeve, and a pen pocket on the right lower sleeve.

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All zips have cord pulls for cold hands or when gloves are worn.

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The collar can be worn up or down to allow for heat retention or abrasion resistance from outer wear.

 

PERSONAL ASSESSMENT:

Wild Things is an American outdoor equipment company that isn’t widely known down under. It would seem they have their roots and background in climbing and skiing. They specialise in lightweight, tough outdoor equipment. Over the years, they have expanded their line to include us knuckle-draggers. It’s always nice to know that someone at least appreciates the unique needs and requirements of outdoor professionals, who rely on their equipment to survive and accomplish the mission.

Probably the one thing Australian readers would have exposure or knowledge of Wild Things is their work for the American military making our allies Extreme Cold Weather System. Investigation reveals the Yanks seem quite happy with their cold weather clothing.

This seems to be a nice, simple jacket for layering with other garments to provide a wind-proof and very light spray resistance.

 

PROS –

The sleeve cuffs aren’t elasticized. For me, this is nice. I hate having the circulation in my wrists cut off by overly strong elasticated cuffs. Wearing this jacket with a cool-guy watch doesn’t bunch the sleeve like some others do.

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Mind you, the lack of elasticated cuffs is often slightly more inefficient in retaining body heat when it gets really cold. But I find this small sacrifice worth bearing.

It’s a very thin material that allows the jacket to be very small when rolled up. For those of us who are always conscious of the weight being carried, this is a bonus. Thickness of the material is similar to my TAD Stealth jacket.

The cut of the jacket allows full freedom of movement.

 

CONS –

The thin-ness of the material, whilst great for weight savings, means it really should be part of a layered system of clothing when the mercury drops below comfortable levels. Thermal underwear (preferably of fine spun merino) and a hardshell jacket like a goretex raincoat or puff jacket should be worn in conjunction. Hence, heat loss from conduction is very possible.

I don’t consider this jacket a stand alone garment for cold moments.

The biggest gripe for this garment is the cost. Whilst exchange rate between Australian and American dollars is currently quite favourable, this is still quite an expensive garment. Having said that, when it comes to my survival in rough field conditions, I consider good clothing a damn nice investment.

 

SUMMARY:

I didn’t mind this jacket at all. If you’re like me, and always looking at reducing the weight of the load carried, have a look at this and keep it in mind.


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