Review: Helikon-Tex – Tactical Hoodies

Introduction

Last year in Autumn, Helikon-Tex was kind enough to send me a huge care package of their Urban Line. Part of it were two of their hoodies. The “Urban Tactical Hoodie (Fullzip)” and the “Covert Tactical Hoodie (Fullzip)”. It took some time for me to make a decent review, because first the weather was quickly dropping to winter temperatures and then the whole Corona pandemic kept me from taking decent pictures in my usual spots.

After a while I decided to take some pics in the backyard and be done with it, since it really doesn’t matter, if you see the city behind me, or some fence.

So let’s get right to the overview and specs, before taking a closer look at both hoodies.


Overview

The tactical hoodies of Helikon-tex aim to provide the wearer with several hidden features for EDC. These include upper arm pockets as well as hidden pockets in the handwarmer pockets. While the “Covert Tactical Hoodie” is designed for an urban low profile look, the “Urban Tactical Hoodie” is a bit more straightforward in its intent, featuring velcro areas.


Specs

  • Weight: 695g (Covert Tactical); 780g (Urban Tactical)
  • Grammage per m2: 240g/m2 (Covert Tactical); 255g/m2 (Urban Tactical)
  • Materials: 100% Polyester, YKK Zippers

Features of the Tactical Hoodies

Both hoodies offer nearly the same setup of features with minor differences. For example all the upper arm pockets are nicely hidden with small and inconspicuous YKK zippers, which can be easily overlooked. This low profile and excellent feature comes with a BUT however. Given the size and hidden feature, they are hard to open and close and definitely need a second hand to do it.

Hidden upper arm pocket (Covert Tactical Hoodie)

One difference between both hoodies: The “urban tactical” variant of the Hoodie (the black one in the pictures) also features velcro panels on both arms to give the user the option to wear insignia, morale patches etc.

Velcro Area on the Urban Tactical Hoodie

Hidden upper arm pocket (Urban Tactical Hoodie)

You will find the obligatory handwarmer pockets on both models, What is more interesting however, is the fact that you will find little hidden pockets in them, just like with the upper arms. These are done with the same small and inconspicuous zippers.

Hidden pocket in handwarmer pockets (Covert Tactical Hoodie)

Hidden pocket in handwarmer pockets (Urban Tactical Hoodie)

Adding to that you will find mesh slip pockets on the inside of the hoodies. These are generously cut and easily overlooked, since they can be mistaken for simple mesh lining.

Inner mesh pocket (Urban Tactical Hoodie)

Inner mesh pocket (Covert Tactical Hoodie)


Manufacture

Manufacture is decent, as you would expect from Helikon-Tex. The stitching is done nicely and you might find the occasional thread sticking out somewhere. Zippers and velcro (with the Urban Tactical Hoodie) are high quality and feature a clean look.

The choice of material being 100% Polyester leaves room for criticism however. More on that in the next section.


In Use

Size and cut on both is a bit awkward. Generally speaking both are cut more in a slim and long manner, resulting in a more tight fitting. It is fair to say both hoodies are more for the athletic body type and if you are in between sizes, you need to size up.

Size and fit of the Covert Tactical Hoodie

Especially the sleeves of the Covert Hoody are very slim. To give you some context: My wrists and lower arms are quite slim. With the Covert Tactical Hoodie the sleeves are surprisingly tight as you can see on the pictures. The wrist band is no exception: a long and slim cut, with a tight fit. As a result wearing a watch is uncomfortable.

Slim sleeves on the Covert Tactical Hoodie

The Tactical Hoodie features a more roomy cut and the sleeves are wider, as you would expect it from a normal hoodie. As mentioned before: both hoodies are fitted to be a bit longer and reach over your behind. What makes this awkward is the fact that the waistband is overdimensioned and a bit tighter, making the hoodies move upwards.

Size and fit of the Urban Tactical Hoodie

For reference: I am 1,80m and 78kg. 104cm chest. Both Hoodies are Size Medium.

Breathability leaves room for improvement. This is a result of both hoodies being 100% Polyester. Worn over a T-Shirt is not a huge issue, but as soon as you combine several layers, these hoodies have a tendency to stow heat.

Roomier cut on the Urban Tactical Hoodie

Speaking of comfort: While the polyester of the Covert Hoodie is more soft and fuzzy, the Tactical Hoodie has a stronger Polyester, which is stiffer and has more the feel of a jacket. The look of the material brings track suits to mind. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on personal fashion taste.


Conclusion

The tactical hoodies by Helikon-Tex are practical designs with a low profile and urban look. Especially the hidden pockets come in handy when having to hide away documents or smaller items.

Given the 100% Polyester material, these are more for colder and drier climates than warm and humid ones, given the limited breathability. Needless to say you should stay away from fire with them.

With that being said, I hope I was able to give you an insight into these hoodies of the urban line. Many thanks to Helikon-Tex for making this review possible.

Take care!

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