Snugpak Tac3 Jacket review
Snugpak have created the next level jacket to join the collection. Called the Tac3, you can think of this bomber style jacket as the next generation of the Snugpak SJ range, currently however, the Tac3 is only available in the Softie 3 insulation, whereas the Snugpak SJ range has multiple insulation options from 3-12 to suit the users location and requirements.
UK made lightweight insulated jacket with roll away thermal hood
An intermediate weight insulated hooded jacket, manufactured in the UK with Swiss-made Softie Insulation, lined with a luxurious brushed ‘Thermal Suede’ lining for extra comfort. Easily compressible for stowing with quick re-loft. Wind resistant robust outer fabric treated with Durable Water Repellent.
Specifications:
Weight: Medium - 660g / 23oz
Comfort Rating: 0°C / 32°F
Low Rating: -5°C / 23°F
Packsize: 32cm x 17cm / 13" x 7"
Outer Fabric: Paratex Micro 100% Nylon
Inner Fabric: TS1 100% Polyester
Insulation: Softie® Premier 100% Polyester
Made in the UK
Featuring a fully insulated hood
TS1 Lining
Internal security pocket
Roll away hood
Sleeve pocket
Patches on sleeve
External chest pocket
Thumb loops
Available in: Black, Olive and Multicam
So, with the Tac3 very similar in look and style to the SJ range what are the key differences?
The Tac3 has more pockets firstly, with the obvious two hand pockets which are fabric lined to help keep your hands warm. On the inside of the jacket is a large, deep pocket. Large enough to fit an OS map. On the exterior we have a chest pocket and another smaller one on the left arm, both of which can comfortable fit a standard phone or a pair of glasses.
Similar to the Snugpak SJ jackets, the Tac3 shares the same exterior fabric being windproof and weatherproof (Durable Water Repellent). With that in mind, if you do plan to venture out in the rain or poor weather. Be sure to pack a waterproof jacket. However, past experience with my SJ3 and Snugpak ML smocks, the fabric has held up in the rain or short showers where I was feeling particularly lazy or bumbling around our pitch for the night.
Another area both the jackets share similarities is the compact stuff sac supplied, meaning you can pack either jacket in to a compact sac and store away when not in use and further to this, both jackets are similar in weight with the Tac3 only slightly heavier.
Snugpak SJ3 = 610g large
Snugpak Tac3 = 700g large
You might be thinking, but that is a difference of 90g, yes which some might find is to much extra weight but should you want a jacket with extra comfort using a thermal suede lining then the difference is small and the cost difference of the Tac3 isn’t that much more either with only £15 difference.
Snugpak SJ3 = £119.95
Snugpak Tac3 = £134.95
Another similarity of these two jackets is the hood. Except on the Snugpak Tac3 I personally prefer the hood over the SJ jackets, I never found the Snugpak SJ hoods that great, in fact I would go so far to say they are some what useless. Especially in poor weather as they wouldn’t really work and would be blown off in strong winds. This is why for many years. The Tac3 hood wraps around the neck to form a thicker neck area when packed away and when in use has more reach and fabric to prevent it from being blown away, this means more cinch points to strap the hood down. Further to the improvements on the Tac3 over the SJ hoods, the Tac3 hood is also insulated.
So, with the extra features on the Tac3 how does it fair in the real world?
With the release of the new Tac3 jacket released late Winter 2019/20 and with Spring fast approaching, the Tac3 I personally felt was on the edge of its limits on lower level regions. With temperatures warming up quickly I found the Tac3 was on the warm side when in use in my local area on walks, but stopping and standing still in the wind and the benefits of the Tac3 shell helped shrug off the wind chill.
Remove the sunshine and warmth of the day, entering twilight, again the Tac3 jacket Softie fill and TS1 lining bring it’s benefits to keep the cold and wind chill off you and for the rest of the year until Autumn this is how I will foresee the Tac3 primary use being. Cold early starts, stood around in woodland or on mountain summits or keeping that twilight chill away. 
What does that mean for me with my camping? With temperatures shooting up as summer is fast approaching, much of what I said above and much of the time during the day would likely remain in my rucksack until the tent is pitched and then the benefits would be sought. The pack size and weight of the Tac3 is slightly on the larger and heavier side compared to some competitors or even Snugpak’s own SJ3 but the additional pockets prove valuable for me as an outdoors photographer. Sun glasses, maps, compass, camera filters and lens caps all accessible very quickly without the need of exploring the lid of a rucksack.
With this in mind, many will find the same as I have and will foresee the use of these jackets for the remainder of the year. That was until I visited Snowdonia, North Wales in the middle of March, just pre the UK lockdown for COVID-19.
The Tac3 with its DWR coating and soft fabric lining, heavy rain and gale force winds, combined with a hardshell waterproof over the top. It proved plenty to keep the cold and wet at bay, where as some of the other guys who joined for the weekend struggled to keep dry with issues with hardshell jackets and mid-layers.
Transparency Notice: Please note that I am a Snugpak brand ambassador and receive the products for free to review from Snugpak or to use for marketing purposes. The review is no guarantee of endorsement. I receive no monetary gain from Snugpak from the reviews or content created.
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