Review: Tactical Distributors Elite Hoodie 2.0
I’ll start by admitting I wasn’t exactly in love with the Tactical Distributors (TD) Elite Hoodie 2.0 when I first saw it. Perhaps it was because it wasn’t named after a Chuck Norris character like their pants, or maybe it just seemed a little “too tactical” with the Ranger Green color and Velcro. Grey Man wear, it certainly ain’t.
Eyeballing the “M” tag suspiciously, I tried it on. Would this be more glamour sizing for men? Or would it be an actual medium? Pulling it on and giving it a zip, I found it fit perfectly. A decently athletic cut with a little bit of stretch. Okay, score one for TD.
When I received the TD Elite Hoodie the weather was still rolling strong in the 80F range, so it didn’t see a whole lot of initial use. I wasn’t sure if it would see much use in colder times either, as I have an abundance of mid-layers. Plus, you know, Ranger Green and Velcro.
But more and more I found myself throwing it on before making a short jaunt to the store in the fall, or donning it while performing
slave labor domestic chores around a chilly house.
[Shown here in Grey, from the TD webpage]
Features and Construction
The Elite Hoodie is a full-zip made from what TD calls “Stretch French Terry Fleece.” In layman’s terms that means it’s knit 95% cotton and 5% Spandex, which is where that stretch comes from. It makes for a lightweight layer somewhere in between a t-shirt and sweatshirt.
The Elite has an adjustable hood featuring shock cord and toggles. There are two decently-sized front hand pockets, an upright chest pocket on the left chest, and a small zippered pocket on the left forearm. And, of course, you have to have Velcro panels on the shoulders.
[They. Almost. All. Fit.]
There are also thumbholes for ease of layering, and they don’t get in the way too much when used in conjunction with gloves.
The Elite Hoodie 2.0 has a snorkel neck, which means the hood stays the hell out of your way when you don’t want it but keeps the back of your neck covered. I really appreciate this feature, as I invariably wear it with the hood down.
Notes from Use
The included zipper pulls are thin shock cord with a plastic dongle. All of the pockets zip open top to bottom, so opening and zipping down is normally a one-handed affair. Closing up sometimes takes a second hand to hold the Elite Hoodie in place.
Care instructions seem true to form: Cold water wash and tumble dry. However, even after only wearing the Elite Hoodie 2.0 for a couple of months I see some evidence of fabric pilling. So far it’s not terrible, and the wearer can always use a cheap razor if it gets too bad (and if they actually care).
Lefties are left out with this one, as both auxiliary pockets are designed for right handers. No big deal here, as I’m right handed and lefties are statistically insignificant. Speaking of pockets, angling the chest pocket would probably be a good idea so contents don’t spill out when opened. But really, I don’t use the pockets very much. The combination of the athletic cut and stretch fit means that if you put anything of significance in them you start looking like you’re smuggling oranges.
For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what to put in the front forearm pocket. Whatever it is has to be relatively flat and lightweight.
[Remember the Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared]
There’s Tactical Distributors branding all over this thing, but nothing too garish. Logo on the left chest, logo on the bag, little ‘TD’ tag off the right Velcro panel, and two tags on the inside. For me, the length of the Elite Hoodie 2.0 runs to just below the belt line. I’d like to see a version that’s slightly longer in the back to avoid having to pull it down after any activity that involves raising my arms above shoulder level. Because it’s stretchy and true to size, if you have any extra weight around your midsection, the Elite Hoodie 2.0 isn’t going to help you hide anything.
Conclusions and Loose Rounds
It may seem like I’m ragging on this one a bit. And it’s true that the TD Elite Hoodie 2.0 isn’t perfect. But for all of the warts and imperfections, I keep finding myself wearing it in photos performing all kinds of everyday activities, plus wearing it around the house and town more and more.
And if I’m being totally honest here, the color makes my eyes pop a bit more. Combined the color pop with the fit, and another point is chalked up to vanity.
[Doing my very best Rudy Reyes impression]
I don’t anticipate that this will be a multi-year item like an Australian merino wool base or mid-layer, but at the same time it doesn’t cost anywhere near the same. Full boat MSRP for the Elite Hoodie 2.0 is $50, and you can currently pick one directly from Tactical Distributors for just $35. At that price, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.
[You can find the Tactical Distributors Elite Hoodie 2.0 online here]
Breach-Bang & CLEAR!
This Post is part of our Trails Found Series. What is Trails Found? Members of BreachBangClear and some other badass media outlets assembled together this last September to train with one of the last of what has been called the “old Border Breed”, in the desert of Arizona. That man they were training with was no other than the legendary Jim Grasky. In 1965 Jim Grasky was a young Special Forces soldier in Vietnam, then in 1970 he was a the squadleader for a team of smoke-jumpers parachuting in to fight remote wildfires. For about a quarter century after that he was a Border Patrolman, and literally named BORTAC. Though Grasky is a man of many talents, one of his specialties is man tracking–which is why he developed programs specifically for USSOCOM and has taught the world over. Through your various social media outlets you can track other articles and photos related to Trails Found by searching for #TrailsFound16 and #GoodGearMatters.
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: A combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Dave “Mad Duo Merrill” is a former urban warfare and foreign weapons instructor for Coalition fighting men. An occasional competitive shooter, he has a strange Kalashnikov fetish the rest of the minions try to ignore. Merrill, who has superb taste in hats, has been published in a number of places, the most awesome of which is, of course, here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He loves tacos, is kind of a dick and married way, way above his pay grade. You can contact him at Merrill(at)BreachBangClear.com and follow him on Instagram here (@dave_fm).