TIER 1 Tacpro Jacket
Is the new Tacpro Jacket the ultimate mid-layer adv jacket? Its upper price point certainly suggests it could be.
After 4-months of living in the Tier 1 Tacpro jacket, we’ve learnt a few things about this new offering from the start-up clothing company TACRIDER.
There is no doubt that the style and overall design of the TACPRO jacket has a strong military pedigree, and so it should. The company TACRIDER, was founded by three professional aviators, whom spend their time piloting helicopters or buzzing the earth as US Air force jet pilots. Each of the founders clearly knows a thing or two about functional apparel. At MACH2, what you wear has to perform at the highest of levels. At supersonic speeds, a snazzy designer branded logo on your sleeve doesn’t mean squat!
Words To Live By
TACRIDER’s website proudly displays the companies powerful motto, “Invenium Viam aut Faciam - Find a Way or Make One”. So, I asked one of TACRIDER’S founders, Jesse, what inspired the three brothers to create a product that would launch into an already crowded market?
“We wanted to provide the riding community access to the quality and style of gear we use as professional aviators. There’s nothing in the market right now that comes close to the performance and functionality of our Tacpro jacket.” Jesse, TACRIDER FOUNDER
Simple, Functional, Utilitarian Design
The Tacpro jacket caught our attention at the Overland Expo West, after we’d seen a few of the ADV movers and shakers strutting their stuff in the understated olive coloured jacket. At a friends address, ours arrived a few days later.
Pulling it on for the first time, both Lisa and I were impressed and surprised by the luxurious and smooth feel of the jackets lining.
The Tacpro’s style is intentionally minimalist and sleekly utilitarian. Contrary to creating a dull look, the Tacpro is instantly, visually unique. After my (Simons) first outing around a US mall, I had three total strangers, approach me, each asking after the jacket and its details.
Materials - Construction
The Tacpro is specifically designed to be used as a mid layer garment. Its tailored cut allows it to be easily worn under your riding jacket or waterproof outer shell. The 10% spandex construction adds to the jackets flexible feel and contoured fit.
The Tacpro jacket is advertised as both versatile, and extremely weather resistant. On the inside left of the jacket, the The Polartec® and WindPro® logo tags clearly identify the fabric technologies that are utilized to create the jackets climate control features.
Windproof? “Ok, lets test that” was my first thought! 5-minutes after slipping the jacket on, and on a cold, wet and grey day in North Carolina, I headed out on my R1200GSA without my riding jacket and only wearing the Tacpro jacket for insulation. I only felt a hint of cold air penetrate the jacket and reach my chest, when doing above 70mph. Twenty minutes later, I returned to our friends address more than impressed by the jackets performance. In an age of over promise and under delivery, it’s refreshing to use a product that actually does what it claims.
It’s worth mentioning that the jacket is not sold as waterproof, but it did a great job of keeping me dry in the light drizzle of rain I hit during my 20-minute road test. Bear in mind that you would normally use the Tacpro as a mid-layer, underneath your riding jacket.
The high and lined collar is an especially nice feature, and does a great job of fighting neck chills during long cold days in the saddle.
The jacket is comprised of sections of material, each double flat stitched together to form a highly functional garment. The tailored style of the sleeves ensure they do not bunch or create pressure points when worn under a riding jacket. I also enjoyed that the sleeves taper nicely toward the forearm to minimize cold air ingress at the wrist.
With many designer jackets today, sporting more pockets than any of us really need, the Tacpro bucks the trend. The well-placed left chest pocket of the jacket is large enough to be useful, but not so big as to get in the way.
Both sleeves sport useable upper arm zipped pockets, which are easily large enough to hold documents, key or other essentials.
Two more deep (hand warmer) pockets have been added on the lower left and right sides of the jacket, ideal for walking around town on cold weather days.
It’s great to see that the TACRIDER team have paid attention to the details. Quality YKK zippers are used all-round.
Earlier in this review, I used the word “understated” in my description and for a reason. After using the Tacpro as our only mid-layer jackets (and walk-around jackets), we are both left feeling that the jacket is clearly designed to quietly perform, rather than visually “yell” for your attention.
I must say how much we really like that the colour of both the metal components of the YKK zippers and their fabric, perfectly matches the colour of the jacket. This simple design choice goes along way to create the utilitarian and functional look of the jacket. It would have been an easy decision for the designers to have followed the crowd, and create a false sense of function with coloured accents around the pockets or jacket liner. I’m glad the TAC team didn’t go this route and stuck with what, I presume, was their original end-goal brief.
I’m the kind of guy that appreciates the details. I like the simple inclusion of a pen pocket in the inside left chest area of the Tacpro jacket. It might sound crazy but I can’t tell you how many borders we’ve crossed, where we’ve frustratingly searched for a pen in order to fill out the border/visa paperwork and info.
The small Identity tag sewn into the inner lower left portion of the jacket adds to that military special ops, feel of the jacket, and holds the individual serial number of each jacket. TACRIDER proudly state that each jacket is carefully hand sewn in the USA. This feature will speak to anyone not wanting to support the continuation of Asia’s sweatshops and the abuse of child labour.
In true military fashion, both sleeves sport Velcro backing to accommodate personalized patches, rider names, moral patches or group affiliation patches. I can’t help, but want to share with you how much I really like this inclusion. Hey, it’s just a piece of fun that speaks to the designers goal of giving the wearer that mil-spec feel.
If patches aren’t you’re thing, then TACRIDER do offer the jackets “sans” Velcro.
If you’re looking for a mid-layer garment that simply performs, offers a tailored fit, is super comfortable and yet flexible and stylish enough to be used a walk-about town jacket, then the TIER 1 Tacpro Jacket, definitely needs to be on your radar.
Lisa and I have chosen to use the Tacpro Jacket as our essential (and only) mid-layer. We can only carry one and it has to perform.
Recommended? Yes absolutely.
Retail Price: $235.00
Available from: https://www.tacrider.com
|▲ Hand made in the USA||▼ upper price bracket|
|▲ Designed by professional aviators||▼may not fit larger (rounder) riders
|▲ Tailored fit|
|▲ Shower resistant
|▲ Tappered sleeves
|▲ Quality construction
|▲ YKK zippers