Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rothco Soft Shell Tactical M65 Jacket

Well, here's the dealy-yo.  I posted a review of some Rothco pants a while back and Rothco caught wind of that review.  So they contacted me and we talked about another review.  We landed - as you can see - on this bad boy - the M65 Soft Shell Jacket.  Let's start off with some specs:
- The color for this one: sage
- Cost: MSRP $98.99
- What I see it being sold for: low $50s into the higher $70s
- Water-resistant
- 4 pockets
- Shell: polyester
- Lining: fleece
- Concealed hood
- Zip-up front with 'storm flap'
- Drawstring waist

Now let's talk about my experience with this one.

First thing I'll note is that this style is (as they note on their website HERE) a classic old-school style jacket with new-school technology.  These soft shells are easier to find these days so the price to get one is getting more reasonable.

Collar - With the hood kept inside (which is how I usually roll) it's 'filled' and thus is insulated from the cold. There is also a hook-and-loop tag on the left-hand side of the collar that can be pulled across to the right side to really seal up the collar for extra warmth and to keep the wind out.  

As is often the case, expect the hood is easier to get out than to put back in.  

Pockets - large and in charge. There should be plenty of storage space for you when you add all 4 of these pockets together.  They close with a very (and I mean VERY) secure snap in the middle.

There are no slit pockets in the front, and while I like the storage space, I like the slit pockets more, so if I had my way, I would add some, but that's just me.  Still, plenty of space for your stuff and your hands.

Zip-up front with a storm flap.  "Storm flap?  Are you serious?"  Totally.  I get the skepticism, but it really does make a difference, and if you disagree, talk to all the outdoor companies who include them in their winter jackets.  It does keep the breeze and chill out.  Well-played, Rothco.

On the shoulder, you've got these...things.  Officially they are called epaulets and they were for military officials and such as a sign of rank or power, but they've kept them on many jackets.  They look kind of cool in my opinion, and you also can cram something under them if you'd like to (a hat, glove, etc.).

The sleeves can be cuffed and controlled with the hook-and-loop included, and it says on Rothco's website the hook-and-loop is for attaching gloves.  Not totally sure how, so I'll check in and get some more details on that, but I can say that they will easily cover your gloves and thus keep the snow and rain from getting up your sleeve.

Inside you've got some fleece to keep you warm.  That combined with the soft shell outside does a nice job at keeping the elements out.  Additionally, there is a drawstring included so you can tighten it up even more.

Here's a look at the back.

So concluding thoughts...
1. Cool looking - old-and-new school all in one
2. Like most soft shells, this one is built for winter and colder weather use.  Don't rock this if you want to go out in late spring or summer.
3. The sage is a cool color.  Supposedly they have it in OD, Tan, and Black, but mine is sage for sure.  Look around for the color you like best.
4. For the price, this one is pretty unique.  There are other soft shells out there but in my research this is the only one with this look.

Now go and rock it like a champ.
- Carp

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