Review: Under Armour ColdGear Tactical Hood
The U.S. Army issued me a crap load of gear when I left Fort Polk, LA. In regards to cold weather protection, my head protection was a bit lacking. I was provided a flame resistant hood which was made for warm weather and then a thick neck gator. The neck gator was a bit too tight to say the least. I felt like I was getting choked when wearing it and wasn’t long enough to cover more than half my head. I guess that’s why it’s called a neck gator, eh? So I went looking on Amazon for something to fill the gap of a cold weather hood and that was long enough to cover my head and neck. I decided on Under Armour’s ColdGear Tactical Hood in a nice shade of the standard tan desert color.
Thankfully it showed up in the mail bird right as the weather turned frigid in our beautiful corner of Afghanistan. My first thought after looking at it was the length of the neck section. It didn’t seem long enough but I was still happy overall. So the next morning I wore it during our patrol. The material felt great. It was thick but not so thick that it felt like I was wearing Grandma’s hand knit hoodie. Its one size fit all but with the material allows a lot of stretching, without the feeling of being chocked, which should suit most head sizes. The hood design is actually two parts, a head part and a neck/face part. This allows the wearer to drop the head part and wear it as a neck gaiter or vise versa. In regards to warmth, Under Armour’s tactical hood provides sufficient levels of warmth retention without being overbearing in material or size. I wear it during patrols in -20 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit and my head is quite warm. The thin but dense material doesn’t create bulk problems when wearing a radio headset with a helmet. It actually helped fill the gaps between my ears and the headset which was nice. Wearing standard issue ballistic glasses such as the ESS and Revision brand with the hood didn’t create any real issues. The elasticity of the hood wrapped around the glasses’ arms and prevented gaps for cold air to rush in.
My only major complaint is the length of the neck section on the hood. I wish it had two or more inches more in length at the bottom so I didn’t have pull it down into my collar when it rides up every so often. Other concerns are that it will muffle your voice when talking into your headset microphone and some moisture will build up on the front by your mouth. I found myself having to repeat my transmissions several times because of the muffling. Obviously this will happen with pretty much any cold weather hoods but it’s something to keep in mind. Also know that this is NOT flame resistant like your issued warm weather hood.
Overall, I really like this thing and I’m glad I bought it. I paid $24.99 on Amazon.com and just ordered another hood in Marine OD Green shade (it looks like a dark brown not green to me but whatever!)
Side note: Not sure what’s the difference between the tactical and non-tactical version of Under Armour’s ColdGear hoods though it appears to be the subdued UA logo on the tactical version.