Cost £££ £49.99 Get it Here (Although not on the website, Odin Tactical usually has these in the shop)
Ease Of Use 5/5
Foreword – I also own this jacket and I can confirm all the points below. I describe it as my ‘summer smock’ and think that description fits it particularly well. I can also confirm it does attract some attention on camps, so probably keep it for range days and ex. Stay Frosty – Alex
– HELIKON Level 5
Soft shell jackets seem to be all the rage, they range from cheap ones made by Chinese producers, to the pinnacle of jackets made by Triple Aught Design (which you need a mortgage to afford). They serve a good purpose as a light weight jacket to keep the wind from getting to you and most seem to have some degree of waterproofing.
Today’s review will focus on one of the most popular brands in Europe, Helikon Tex. A Polish based company, Helikon is popular with the military, law enforcement and BB warriors alike. They offer a wide range of products from daysacks to jackets and all the rest in-between.
My first impression of this jacket was how lightweight it was at 700 grams. Despite it being so light, it’s made from a robust 98% nylon 2% spandex blend. This allows the material to stretch well and still maintain its robustness.
– Plenty of velcro for high speed patches
I’ve used this jacket on a few exercises and a range package, it is by no means a replacement for a smock. However, due to it’s lightweight nature it’s good for anyone wanting to wear a lighter outer top layer. It’s only really effective in cold weather if you’re layering well. Yesterday on the ranges I was wearing the soft shell with a tee shirt and a thermal top and even in March weather for Salisbury plain I was very toasty. Despite it being a soft shell, it’s waterproofing is really only useful in a light shower. So don’t chin of your Gore-Tex jacket for this as you’ll get soaked. The stitching of this jacket is well done however after some use you may have to burn a few loose threads on the cuffs. Pocket wise the jacket has two on the arms, two on the hips and two on the back like poachers pockets. The zips have pretty large fabric tabs to make grabbing them in gloves a hell of a lot easier.
– Terminal Lance
Helikon make this jacket in a plethora of camouflage. I chose the MTP variant and it blends pretty well with issued kit, to the point I have been asked for its NSN. A word for the wise, this isn’t a jacket you can mince about camp in, as it is visibly different to the eye. Unless you’re unit doesn’t mind. My final thoughts on this jacket are that the guys at Helikon have made a terrific product. Amazing quality and a solid design. However, if your looking for a replacement smock or Gore-Tex I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re light role and exposed to arduous conditions this may be suitable in spring or autumnal conditions. Even hanging out of a cupola on armor this is a great jacket as there is a minimum of things to get caught on the wagon. These jackets are all the rage in the tactical world and are popping up in camp PRI’s and garrison town kit shops. If you’re going to get a soft shell, avoid the Chinese knock offs and give Helikon a gander.
– The author, pretending not to notice the camera.