Outdoor apparel brands are a dime a dozen nowadays, and it seems almost unfair to choose a “best” or “favorite”; they’re all pretty good, with quality products and the reputation to back them up. But when it comes to attention to detail and commitment to quality, one brand sticks out in our minds as going above and beyond: Triple Aught Design.
Triple Aught Design (henceforth, TAD) gets their name from “000”, an engineering term that means one-thousandth of an inch, and implies a standard of absolute precision and quality. And that’s exactly the impression you get when wearing one of their products. Our first experience with TAD was with the Ranger Hoodie, their flagship jacket that has been around for more than a decade now. Made from wind-blocking Polartec WindPro fleece, the Ranger Hoodie is a midweight hoodie that is perfect as a layering piece in very cold or inclement weather, but also as a versatile outer layer when it’s not too cold out. It’s supposed to block 4 times the amount of wind as a regular fleece. It definitely takes on a more tactical, military or survival-oriented approach than your typical outdoor gear, but that just goes to show an added layer of durability and care that other brands may not have.
But fabric isn’t why this jacket shines – putting it on is almost like putting on a custom fit jacket. They’ve put a lot of attention-to-detail into designing a perfectly-cut, slim-fit jacket made for athletic pursuits. It stretches in all the right places and fits snugly in the others. There’s an abundance of pockets, ranging from chest pockets to hand warmer pockets, to shoulder and back pockets. If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, there’s no danger of running out of room, and it’s perfect for the EDC enthusiasts among us. These are complemented by pit zips for ventilation, thumb holes in the wrist for warmth (which we actually use quite a bit – you don’t realize you’re missing them until they’re there), and the Aero hoodie, which is large enough for climbing helmets and other headgear, but also functions as a very high collar to keep the wind and snow off your neck. Overall, the Ranger hoodie is a very functional and athletic layer for the outdoors.
When we first tried out the Ranger Hoodie a few years back, TAD offered a solid line of apparel and gear, but not to the extent they do now; they now offer full lines of everything from base layers to leather style jackets, packs and knives. All of which is made with the same attention to detail and precision as their original jackets. Much of it has a tactical, mission-oriented bent, but they are versatile enough for just about anything – even commuting in an urban environment if you see fit. We recently had the chance to try out the Tracer Jacket – a merino-wool blend, stretchy tactical jacket built to withstand missions but that served very well at canyoneering. We were sold, to say the least.
Furthermore, all of their gear is manufactured is right at home in the USA, something few outdoor companies can boast of, and ensuring that it’s top of the line stuff. So if you’re looking for a brand made at home that you know will never let you down, check Triple Aught Design out. You’ll be hooked.