When you hear VertX, you think of the Grey man, low viz operations and casual clothing with tactical features for law enforcement and close protection operators.
But with their “Recon” clothing line, VertX started to go into BDUs. The Recon line consists of combat and field shirts and pants, full rain gear and a puffy baselayer called the Recon base jacket.
As low loft puffy layers replace fleece jackets more and more, we wanted to jump on the train and ordered two base jackets in Multicam.
First off, the jacket really resembles an Arcteryx Atom LT jacket. That’s neither coincidence nor a illegal Chinese copy cat operation as Arcteryx really worked and works closely with VertX. You can, in fact, see so many influences from the dead bird in design and material choices.
We tested the jacket two weeks as the nights in the late summer or early autumn are a perfect fit for a primaloft jacket with a 68g insulation. But why do loft jackets repress fleece jackets? Easy: They are lightweight, more robust, have a better weight to insulation ratio, pack together smaller and can be treated with DWR.
First off let’s start with cut and material. The cut of the jacket is comparable with the classic MA1 bomber jacket. It’s short for better movement, has a low profile collar that is lined with a suede like material and is closed with a beefy zip.
The material is a highly water repellant lightweight polyester, licensed by multicam. Insulation is 68g of primaloft. So this jacket is not comparable with real cold weather clothing. It’s just something you quickly put over your gear when the sun’s out. There are no drawstrings on the hem, as both sides of the jacket have polar stretch panels that are not only stretchy but also help to ventilate your body, as insulation is about regulation and not about heating!
The fit is athletic, but still wide enough to carry a chestrig or PC under the base jacket. One thing we liked was the collar, it is low profile and won’t get in the way of other foul weather gear, the collar is enhanced with a soft lining (comparable to, again, Arcteryx) to prevent chaffing.
There is no velcro on the wrists. Instead you have a wide panel of polartec stretch on the cuffs that auto regulate the width. As the panel is very wide you won’t feel it’s there. Also there are some small webbing loops to attach gloves. A great feature.
The jacket has two fleece lined, zippered stash pockets and on the left side of the inner jacket, you will also find a small zippered pocket.
What I really disliked is the fact that the jacket didn’t include a stuffsack of any kind. I helped out with a 3l Ortlieb stuffsack which turns the jacket into a small package and is just the right size.
Again, this isn’t a subzero jacket for static operations in arctic environments. It’s a comfortable little puffy, perfect for a night in the desert. BUT it can also be layered with cold weather gear or midlayers so you can use it till late autumn.
So, if you need a small, packable puffy jacket, the VertX Recon Base Jacket is a buy. If you ever wanted an Atom LT Jacket in Multicam this jacket is also even a big deal. I hope VertX will include a stuffsack some day. Otherwise we found absolutely no cons on this jacket.
You can get the Recon Base Jacket at VertX’s online store.