Gear Review: Chinese “Tactical Fleece” (TAD Clone)

*Trigger Warning - This review is of a Chinese made clone of a TAD Ranger Hoodie. Turn back now if that bothers you.

I was looking for a kick-around warm and cozy fleece to use on the range and keep in my truck for unexpected foul weather. I was cruising AliExpress (China’s Amazon, basically) late one night and came across what appeared to be a reasonably accurate clone of a TAD Ranger Hoodie. I had been coveting that particular jacket for a few years, so I was pretty excited to see a VERY affordable clone.

$24 and free shipping to the U.S.A.

A note about AliExpress:

This website is basically a huge collection of independent vendors who sell their wares. You’ll see many vendors with the same items, sometimes at vastly different prices. Shop around. Also, look at the seller’s ratings. I have had no issues ordering from reputable vendors. They have been very responsive and I have had good luck ordering with Ali.

Fit:

As you can see in the photos, the jacket fits me quite well. The sleeves are long enough that I can use the thumb holes if needed. The waist of the jacket sits right below belt level, just like a legit TAD jacket. Note that raising my hands above my head reveals what I have on my waist. This was originally designed as a hiking/backpacking jacket, so it’s great for using with a pack. The higher waist is to prevent bunching where the pack sits.

The pockets sit higher on the chest, above where a waist strap would sit from a pack. It has some goofy arm pockets that I’m not quite sure what to do with. It also has a lumbar kangaroo pouch for a hat or gloves, I’d wager.

The hoodie is spacious. It doesn’t flop over my eyes when it’s up, and the visor of the hood acts as the bill of a hat.

Sizing:

I’m 6′ and 215Lbs. I ordered a Large and it fits very well.

Price:

About $24 shipped from China. The only downside is the long transport time. It took about 3 weeks. But I can hardly complain. I’ve very pleased.

Quality:

It’s obviously not real TAD quality. There are a few loose threads, but nothing is unraveling yet. I washed it upon receiving and got a nice wad of fleece in my dryer. I don’t expect this to have a decade long life, but I suspect it’ll live for a few seasons. It had a strong chemical odor when I first received it. I washed it and let it air out for a few days, and the smell has now completely gone away.

Available Colors:

Black, Grey (what I bought), OD green, and Brown are your color options.

In Summary, I’d definitely recommend this to my friends who want a kick around ‘Tactical Jacket’ and don’t want to break the bank. If you were going on real expeditions and your safety counted on quality gear, I’d say spring for the real deal. For us weekend warriors, I think this is plenty.

MY NEXT ALI PURCHASE:

A softshell that has a bit more rain repellency.

 

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