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TAD Gear replicas: Stealth and Ranger Hoodies from Dragon Red

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by jlomein, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. jlomein

    jlomein Loaded Pockets

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    Dragon Red Airsoft is one of several online retailers that sells replicas of TAD Gear hoodies. I chose to buy from Dragon Red Airsoft since they appeared to be high quality replicas that copy most or all of the TAD design features. There are cheaper replicas available from EbairSoft but customer reviews indicate they are of low quality, especially the zippers. Condor Outdoor Gear now also offers a similar jacket to the TAD Gear Stealth Hoodie with some subtle differences.

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    Pictured above is the Dragon Red Airsoft Stealth Hoodie, currently priced at $65 with $30 EMS shipping (4-7 days). When combined with the $49 Ranger Hoodie replica, combined shipping was only $40. The jacket is an exact copy of the TAD Gear Stealth Hoodie Classic. The jacket is somewhat heavy for a fleece lined softshell, but I assume the TAD version is equally heavy since its designed with the thicker Shark Skin classic material for "cooler-cold temperatures".

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    The Dragon Red copy is made with a DINTEX waterproof breathable membrane and coated with a DWR treatment. Testing in a sink, faucet water would bead and run off the sleeves quickly, and a puddle of water left on the jacket for 10 minutes did not penetrate. Like the TAD version, this jacket will not be 100% waterproof as it does not have taped seams.

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    All the features of the TAD Gear Stealth Classic are included on this replica. The AERO hood can be rolled up and secured with velcro, and it also has small velcro patches for ranger eyes. The sleeves have shoulder pockets with wire pass through ports and large velcro areas for patches. The left sleeve has a forearm pocket. Both sleeves also have elbow reinforcement, and a hole can be accessed from inside the sleeve to insert an elbow pad. The chest has two external pockets with wire pass through ports and small pen sleeves, along with plastic D-rings for dummy cords. These chest pockets are made of mesh material so you can use them to vent if you get hot. The back has a dual entry duck pocket for gloves/hats, and is also made of mesh for venting. Unlined pit zips are included for rapid venting and only unzip in the downwards direction. Both the hood and bottom hem of the jacket have draw cords to tighten up the jacket in cold weather.

    Unlike the EbairSoft version which is sized smaller for the Asian market, the Dragon Red replica is sized according to North American standards. I got a size Large, which I would normally get for a jacket, and it fits well. The Ranger hoodie and Stealth jacket are not meant to be layered, but I can layer my size Large Ranger replica under my Stealth replica with some discomforting tightness in the shoulder/armpit area.

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    My overall impression of this replica is that it is a high quality copy. Stitching is straight and clean, and I haven't found any defects. The only downside I have found is that the main front zip leaves half and inch unclosed at the top of the neck area even when fully zipped. Dragon Red claims to use real YKK zippers, and all pocket zippers work smoothly. The main front dual zip is problematic, as both zips must be fully at the bottom position in order to unhook and open the jacket. These zippers can sometimes drift upwards slightly making it difficult to remove. I am very impressed with the jacket as it is indistinguishable from photos of the real TAD version, down to the smallest details. This is important to keep in mind as both the EbairSoft and Condor versions are both slightly different from TAD's design.
     
  2. jlomein

    jlomein Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]

    Pictured above is the Dragon Red Airsoft Ranger Hoodie, currently priced at $49 with $25 EMS shipping (4-7 days). When combined with the $65 Stealth Jacket replica, combined shipping was only $40. The hoodie is a close copy of the TAD Gear Ranger Hoodie v5. It is made from an unknown fleece material, but it is very similar in appearance to photos of the TAD version made with Polartec WindPro fleece. I cannot compare its performance to the real version, and do not own any Polartec products to compare it to. I find it to be very warm, more so than a Columbia brand fleece jacket I own.

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    Most of the features of the TAD Gear Ranger v5 are included on this replica. It has a low profile AERO hood. The sleeves have shoulder pockets with wire pass through ports and large velcro areas for patches (4x4 inches, instead of 5x4 inches on the Ranger v5). The left sleeve has a forearm pocket. Both sleeves also have elbow reinforcement, covered in a material similar to 800D nylon. The current Ranger v5 doesn't have this, but the v4 might have, and only the Shag Master hoodie currently does. The chest has two external pockets with wire pass through ports and small pen sleeves, along with a plastic D-ring to attach dummy cords. These chest pockets are made of mesh material so you can use them to vent if you get hot. The back has a dual entry duck pocket for gloves/hats, and is also made of mesh for venting. Each armpit has four small sewn in slits (like button holes) for venting. The cuffs on the sleeves have thumb holes. The bottom hem of the hoodie has draw cords to tighten up the jacket in cold weather.

    Unlike the EbairSoft version which is sized smaller for the Asian market, the Dragon Red replica is sized according to North American standards. I got a size Large, which I would normally get for a jacket, and it fits well. The Ranger hoodie and Stealth jacket are not meant to be layered, but I can layer my size Large Ranger replica under my Stealth replica with some discomforting tightness in the shoulder/armpit area.

    [​IMG]

    My overall impression of this replica is that it is a high quality copy. Stitching is straight and clean, and I haven't found any defects. The only downside I have found is that the main front zip leaves half and inch unclosed at the top of the neck area even when fully zipped. Dragon Red claims to use real YKK zippers, and all pocket zippers work smoothly. The main front dual zip is problematic, as both zips must be fully at the bottom position in order to unhook and open the jacket. These zippers can sometimes drift upwards slightly making it difficult to remove. I am very impressed with the hoodie.
     
  3. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    The real Ranger Hoodie does have four slit holes in the armpits. At least my v3.0 does, don't know about the new ones. And I believe the v4.0 had elbow and forearm reinforcements, though the new one doesn't.

    One slight difference that I can see (which may be just an optical illusion) is that the chest pocket zippers look like they are angled a bit. I.e. in your pics, it looks like the top of the zipper is closer to the main zipper than the bottom.

    Anyhow, sounds like a very close and, well... good copy. Thanks for the review, keep us posted how it holds up.
     
  4. jlomein

    jlomein Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the corrections. I have updated my review. In regards to the slanted chest pockets, the TAD Stealth has it, perhaps Ranger hoodies in the past have had it. I think its also exaggerated slightly in my photos from the bunching at the armpits.
     
  5. illusion

    illusion Loaded Pockets

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    Valolammas is correct about the details.. The V4 had elbow reinforcement and they all have 4 slits under the arms..

    Very good review, thank you!
    Almost wanted me to get one...(<----this sounded like very bad english :knuppel2:)
     
  6. SALT

    SALT Loaded Pockets

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    $25 shipping, OUCH
     
  7. x2x2

    x2x2 Empty Pockets

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    O0 As I asked you about a review a few days ago, I can only say: thank you very much.
     
  8. stitch_paradox

    stitch_paradox Loaded Pockets

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    Great review! If you don't mind can you PM me your height and weight for size comparison. I don't know whether to get medium or small.
     
  9. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Nice review. Looks like it's missing one small detail.....

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  10. stitch_paradox

    stitch_paradox Loaded Pockets

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    so what's your point? you have the original and we have the fake ones because we are not rich enough to afford it?
     
  11. Omega Man
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Omega Man Loaded Pockets

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    BACK on topic, these look really cool and I really look for waterproofness nowadays. I have a Free Country Softshelll fleece lined from Kohls that I got last year for $55. It was a treat to myself. It's 100% polyester, passes the sink-test.
    At Mens Warehouse, At Amazon.
    It hasn't been until now that I'm seeing or hearing about jackets like this, when I got the FC jacket, it was the most unique thing I'd seen at the time.
    Any else try a Free Country? I like mine, though seeing these ones (with hoods!) does make me a bit jealous. Mmm, more pockets....
     
  12. jlomein

    jlomein Loaded Pockets

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    Haha yes it does not come with a TAD gear logo. On a side note some of the reviews of the EbairSoft replica seem to indicate that copy does come with a TAD logo. The Red Dragon versions do have the velcro area on the lower right near the waist, but I don't know where you can get TAD logo ranger eye patches.
     
  13. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    See, now you get it Dude....folks get their panties all wadded up and no, I am not rich. I just squirreled away a bit of my pittance till I could afford the real deal.

    Why keep calling it "TAD" when it is not? It's an EB fleece, Condor soft shell etc....unlesss I have paid way too much for a fake EB airsoft hoodie? Would there be any interest if it wasn't a TAD copy?

    Anyhow, I'm done. Wouldn't be surprised if someone Xeroxed that TAD GITD and stuck it on their velcro.

    "You can put a tuxedo on a goat but it's still a goat"

    HJ
     
  14. dewildeman

    dewildeman Loaded Pockets

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    I bought a Free Country soft shell from Kohl's last year. Not a TAD copy, no hook and loop patches, vents, etc. Kind of a "lite" version. I haven't seen any in the stores this year. The last couple of years you could score one after Christmas for $30. It's fine for cool weather but not for hard use.
     
  15. Omega Man
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Omega Man Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, I baby mine, sort of a dressed-up warm clothes. I won't take it camping, is what I should say about it.
     
  16. Bad Karma

    Bad Karma Empty Pockets

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    jlomein in you review it says you ordered a large, What is you chest size, height and weight.
    I'm a little confused according to the dragon red size chart their large is for a 48 chest size. Thanks for your time

    link to size chart image
     
  17. jlomein

    jlomein Loaded Pockets

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    Welcome to the forums Bad Karma. I am 5'10, 185lbs, 43" chest (109cm), 34" waist (86cm). Note to others the Dragon Red size chart is in metric (it looks like you already got that and converted it to imperial). I measured my own Red Dragon Stealth jacket and it matches the size chart. The size chart shows the measurements of the garment, not what size they suggest your body should be. Therefore you should try to measure some garments you own that fit you well and compare it to the Dragon Red size chart.

    Like the TAD versions, these are alpine fit garments. They fit a little loose around the chest because extra space is given to the armpit area so you can lift your arms above your head without tugging or lifting of the waist. The alpine fit makes the garment more fitted around the waist area. The Large fits me perfect, giving a good balance between range of motion and an aesthetic fitted appearance. A Medium would probably fit me better in terms of looking good, but would probably constrict my movements during physical activity.
     
  18. Bad Karma

    Bad Karma Empty Pockets

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    Awesome thanks jlomein, that helps very much. I was looking for a lose fit. I'm a 46" chest 210lbs 5'10".

    On the dragon red web site theres a guy about my size (LoTone) in the comment section saying he fits a MEDIUM? I almost bought the large, but instead it's going to be XL. Thanks again and cheers
     
  19. Bad Karma

    Bad Karma Empty Pockets

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    I think would of been easier if Dragon Red just said it fits like the real thing and is an Alpine fit.

    Or this should of been their size chart

    Size Chart

    Small Med Large X-Large
    34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48

    Please correct me if I'm wrong
     
  20. Ecko

    Ecko Loaded Pockets

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    I'm seriously considering ordering that softshell.