The Range Trainer Waterproof Shell (RTWS) is a four-way stretch chassis made by Viktos from a 100% Polyester outer shell that is waterproof, and provides for breathability of the body’s upper torso and mitigation of the wind or elements.
At its front, the RTWS has a medium collar roll with attached hoodie (without drawstrings) that provides moderate comfort against wind, and can protect the neck from chafe caused be rifle slings or other shoulder straps. On the rear of the hoodie is a hook-and-loop nylon band that can be threaded through the inner collar to roll/pack away the RTWS hoodie.
The jacket’s lower front includes wide and deep hand pockets that are 7.5” across at the opening and are YKK zipper secured.
Both sides to the RTWS include Viktos’ Gunvent™ design, a unique, dual-zippered side that allows for immediate access to range belt or holstered sidearm, all while wearing the jacket.
The front of the jacket is secured via rubberized YKK zipper with a nylon pull-tab that provides closure of the jacket from neck to below the waistline.
Both sleeves include a low-profile, non-elastic cuff at the wrist with a hook-and-loop adjustment strap to prevent access by inclement weather. Additionally, integrated accessory pockets at the shoulder are low-profile and secured via hook-and-loop.
On the back and across the shoulders is a concealed ventilation line with laser perforations/vents for proper airflow and heat dissipation while the jacket is closed.
The interior lining of the RTWS has a Polyester bonded mesh liner to assist in moisture wicking and breathability. Inside both sides are additional cargo pockets for added storage.
The Range Trainer Waterproof Shell comes in Tiger Grey (featured), Bushstroke, Greyman and Black, and is available in sizes Small to 3XL.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): With an MSRP of $150, the Range Trainer Waterproof Shell (RTWS) is another in the line of Viktos outdoor apparel for daily use, or out on the range. Its materials echo the Polyester design of military-style rain gear that is known to keep soldiers dry in the field or while deployed. With its multiple layers, and four-way stretch panels, the RTWS can be flexible in any temperate or environment. Add in the Viktos elements of the Gunvent and multiple pocket storage, and the RTWS can be adaptable on the range or in the urban setting. Some comparable market alternatives would be the Ranger Jacket ($230) or Tracer Jacket ($200) by Triple Aught Design, the Hooded Twill Concealed Carry Jacket ($149) by Nine Line Apparel, or the Atom LT Hoodie ($269) by Arc’Teryx Leaf. And while many more inexpensive jackets do exist, ultimately they lack the design, materials, and features as the RTWS. So, among its peers, the RTWS was at a good price point to the consumer for what is included in the jacket’s lightweight design and function.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): Very flexible, and warm—the RTWS had the same textured, rubberized feel of a military rain poncho and maintained a comfortable core temperature for the light/moderate weather of Missouri’s early spring mornings (around the 40-degree range with moderate humidity). It is unlikely RTWS would maintain a warmer temperature for longer durations in colder winter weather (snow/wind) given its thin chassis. But for the more temperate spring (and most likely early fall) weather, it performed nicely. The arm length and chest ran true-to-length (for the average torso) sizing, so those with longer arms or larger chest (such as the reviewer) may note a little tightness in the shoulders – but the arm cuff still stopped appropriately at the wrist bone. The adjustable hook-and-loop strap on the sleeves did a good job at ensuring unwanted airflow or moisture didn’t work its way up the sleeves. Otherwise the YKK zippers all moved smoothly and did not cross-feed or bind.
- Durability – Average (3/5): From a durability aspect, the single-layer RTWS material was completely stand-alone, with no option to remove the nylon mesh liner if desired. It was noted that the front pocket zippers had a longer pull tab (with the added nylon cordage), and this gave the pocket zippers a solid lock in closure. In contrast, the Gunvent zippers were of average size and more robust with double-line reinforcement stitching that reflected its intended purpose for the range and lots of use. Otherwise all stitch lines were clean, straight, and properly tapered. The nylon mesh liner itself did not snag nor tear on equipment or gear. There was some minor fraying of the mesh liner as the fabric occasionally caught on range gear (such as plate carrier or range belt) with opposing hook-and-loop (male) material, but this was to be expected for the material.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): From a functional aspect, as a temperate cold weather jacket, the RTWS performed as intended, keeping the upper torso warm despite dynamic spring temperatures and/or moisture. Light rain and moisture did bead and roll off the exterior, although it is likely that under heavy rain the material of the RTWS (like most fabrics) would eventually become saturated along the zipper as it is not rubberized. It was noted that the interior seams of the chassis were also taped to resist moisture penetration along those lines. This was of benefit on cold and wet range mornings in the spring. It should be noted the RTWS did not include Viktos’ Attackposture design, but its four-way stretch panels still had adequate range of motion in the shoulders and elbows. The hood was not removable, but the ability to roll and pack the hood away did provide a functional “high” collar that protected the neck from chafing against a rifle sling. One last notable function of the RTWS was the Gunvent zippers on either side that allowed the user to continue wearing the jacket while providing access to a sidearm and mag pouches. This made the RTWS on the range adaptable and comfortable, while retaining easy side access to an OWB sidearm (some bunching of material at the back was due to the overall bulk/configuration of the range belt itself). Perhaps the only aspect of the RTWS that was unclear was as a shell, if it jacket itself was supposed to integrate with other Viktos outerwear, such as a fleece or other jacket, or it was simply a stand-alone light jacket whereby the end-user would have to layer appropriately for colder weather.
- Weight – Average (3/5): The weight of outerwear varies wildly, often attributed to a combination of materials, layers, design and hardware. The Range Trainer Waterproof Shell weighed in at just 1.5 pounds which, given its single layer and lining, resulted in a very comfortable and light weight on the torso. In contrast to the alternative jackets noted above; the Ranger Jacket (1 pound) or Tracer Jacket (1 pound) by Triple Aught Design, the Hooded Twill Concealed Carry Jacket (1.5 pounds) by Nine Line Apparel, or the Atom LT Hoodie (13.2 ounces) by Arc’Teryx Leaf all demonstrate that the Range Trainer Waterproof Shell is at the upper end of weight in comparison, but still an appropriate (or average) weight for the volume of material used.
Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.