A jacket is a critical piece of gear for any suburban homesteader. Rain, wind and cold are all elements that we battle both on the homestead and in our day-to-day suburban adventures. In today’s post, we see if the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket meets the demands of today’s suburban homesteader.
The three layer integrated shell fabric technology on the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket is multi-purpose. It can prevent water penetration, deflect the wind and wick away moisture all while retaining body heat. Comfort and warmth are provided by the soft fleece lining which resides underneath the shell. Zippered pockets are plentiful throughout the jacket and drawstrings are utilized in both the waist and hood areas. This jacket is designed for specific end-users: tactical personnel, airsoft players, and outdoor enthusiasts will all benefit from its comfort, fit and functionality.
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Maelstrom provides the following technical specs on this jacket:
- Mandarin collar for professional look
- Heavy duty YKK zippers throughout
- Underarm zippers for breathability
- 3 layer DWR polyester softshell
- Reinforced elbow and adjustable wrist cuff
- Adjustable waistband
- Detachable, stowaway drawstring hood
- Back pocket for storage
- Product weight: 32.8oz (size large)
- Available colors: Black, Coyote Brown and Olive Drab
The first thing I noticed about this jacket was the weight. Not that it’s a heavy jacket, but there is some definite mass to Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket. It felt more “beefy” than your typical jacket. I think part of it was the outer shell. While it’s billed as a soft shell, there’s some definite durability to the shell. In fact, I found that the jacket is a bit rigid at first and loosened up a bit once it was worn in.
The second thing I liked about the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket was the rear pocket. This feature may sound a bit ridiculous to most, but I have always hated having my hand pockets laden down with items. The rear pocket is huge and has zipper access on both sides. I find it the perfect place to stow a winter hat when I’m not wearing it.
Finally, I like the fit. I picked an XL jacket and was a bit dubious at first. For reference, I’m 6’2”, 250lbs with an athletic build. Not exactly the smallest guy in the world, but not the biggest. The XL version of the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket is definitely as small as I could go. If I had bought this in a store, I probably would have gone back and forth between the XL and XXL. In the end, I really like the snug fit as it makes the jacket a perfect fit for both work and leisure while not looking too bulky.
Ironically, some of my biggest complaints about this jacket are related to the reasons I like this jacket. I will admit that, while I like the weight of the jacket, I had a fear during my first few weeks of wearing it that it was going to remain stiff. It didn’t and that’s a big plus in my opinion. Be prepared, however, to break in your Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket. It’s probably the first jacket I’ve ever had to break in.
I’m not a big fan of the location of the hand pockets. The hand pockets on the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket are a bit high. They don’t sit on your hips/”love handles” like most jackets do. Instead, they sit higher – more around the bottom of the rib cage. I’m not sure if there is a tactical reason for this placement (as I’ve mentioned in past posts, I have no military or LEO experience), but it does take some getting used to.
Likewise, the cut is a bit short for tall guys. My biggest request going forward for this jacket would be to offer a Tall version to the sizes. Like I said, the XL version fits me almost perfectly, but the waist could extend just a few more inches.
The bottom line on the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket is that it is a durable, weatherproof jacket that is at home in the field (whatever that means for you) or on the way to the office. It is quite warm (I’ve worn it in below freezing temps without issue) and definitely holds up to the rain (I wore it to work during a three-day spell where I think Noah was getting ready to set sail and I was dry as a bone each day). As mentioned, it looks good with a pair of jeans or dress pants.
I would suggest three changes to the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket:
- Line the rear pocket with loop material (soft side of Velcro). I could conceive of putting a concealed carry holster back there in certain situations and a loop patch would be the perfect attachment method.
- Give us a tall version!
- Scale back on the collar. The dang thing comes up to my ears when stood up straight! It’s nice on rainy, windy days but it’s a bit awkward to fold down on nicer days.
I think the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical jacket would be a perfect jacket law enforcement, first responders, military personnel and the average joe. It will keep you dry and warm while also blending in and not screaming “tactical” to everyone around you.
Buying A Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket
The Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket can be purchased in multiple locations. A few are:
Full Disclaimer: Maelstrom provided me with the Maelstrom Soft Shell Tactical Jacket free of charge. I was not paid for my review nor was I obligated to post only a good review of this jacket. The Amazon links above are affiliate links and the ALTAI link is not an affiliate link.