The Outdoor Gear Review: The Best Tactical Fleece Jacket?


In this Review, Luke is discussing the Helikon-Tex Alpha Tactical Fleece Jacket…Yes, the jacket that everyone has been asking about!

The value of this jacket is incredible but be careful, there are companies out there who are trying to RIP PEOPLE OFF

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Helikon-Tex ALPHA TACTICAL JACKET – GRID FLEECE – Review

What it is : The Alpha Tactical is what Helikon refers to as a lightweight grid fleece jacket – It’s part of the Helikon-Tex Urban line and I’ve been wearing this for the last couple of months and have received more than a few emails about it.  This is my Agenda Free Review.

Colors : Black, Olive Green, Grey 

Materials : 100% polyester, YKK zippers

Versions : There is a hooded version of this jacket if that is your style. 

Style : Slim Fit Cut – I don’t agree with this, it’s more of a relaxed fit instead of a slim fit in my opinion.  The company says that this can be used as a base layer when used in conjunction with outer jackets and shells.

It can be used on its own. 

Sizes : X-Small to 2X Large

Price : $58

Features

Stand-up collar

Chin guard

Velcro panels for personalization – 3.9” x 3.3”

5 pockets

Elastic Cuffs

Adjustable waist 

Chin guard 

Mesh lining 

Pros :

Love the looks of this jacket – it’s sharp looking

I like the grid – different! 

Very comfortable to wear

Plenty Warm for fleece jacket

Excellent quality – good construction

Has held up well to my use

Excellent zipper

Plenty of pockets

Breathable 

Retail price is very fair

Good fit, True to size at least for me – enough space to layer with.  Speaking of sizing, this is always a bit subjective – I have a buddy who is quite big and the sizing was right for him too bit every body type is different so take this pro with a grain of salt.  

Cons :

Heavy – Seriously, this is a pretty heavy fleece jacket – it surprised me when I first received it.

There are warmer fleece jackets out there for the weight

Non-compressible 

Zipper is on the left side instead of the right which most Americans are accustomed to.  This might drive some people crazy

Poor wind resistance – it cuts right through the material

Wrists are SLIGHTLY stretchy and if you are difficult to pull over gloves that you may be wearing 

Interesting Point – The Helikon website isn’t a good source of accurate information for this jacket.  I noticed when getting the details together last night for the review that the Helikon web site misstates the info.  In one section it says this jacket has 3 pockets and then in ano

Summary : Over the last couple of months, I have enjoyed wearing this jacket and don’t regret my purchase.  It’s a high quality, warm enough jacket that really has a cool look to it.

My biggest complaint is weight and compressibility – it’s surprisingly heavy and will take up a substantial amount of space if you have to store it inside of your backpack.  

For the weight, there are without a doubt warmer fleece jackets out on the market….if the warmth to weight ratio is important, look elsewhere.  

Talking about warmth, I can wear this jacket with just a t-shirt down into the mid 40’s.  Going below the mid 40’s and not moving much, I find that an additional layer either under or over it is needed to be comfortable. 

Availability : Unfortunately availability of this jacket has been poor for the last couple of months; on the Helikon-Tex web site, the available sizes have been very limited with mainly small and x-small being in stock.  I needed a medium and was able to locate that on Amazon but it did cost me a bit more than the retail price…I think I paid about $12 more than retail….

If you don’t find your size and color preference on the Helikon-Tex web site and don’t mind paying a bit more, you can likely find it on Amazon.

Watch out for a web site, they are also an Amazon seller; military 1st – they price gouge on this jacket and with most products as well.  They are selling this jacket for almost double the retail price which is disgusting. 

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