Gear Review: Condor Haze Soft Sell Jacket, a Great Duty Coat

Condor makes solid gear.  Their Haze Soft Shell Jacket is a great example.  The coat allows for a high level of protection from the elements and easy access to your sidearm.  This combination makes the Haze an ideal duty jacket for LEO, or the perfect jacket for someone doing a security detail.  But the subtle design of the Haze makes it even more useful for concealed carry.

From the outside, the Haze looks like a simple black jacket.  That’s the point.  It is neat in design, with very little eye-catching accoutrements.  Though intentionally designed for tactical use, the coat doesn’t scream mall-ninja.  It is understated.  What you don’t immediately notice is what counts.

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The jacket is great in the elements, as the three layers that make up the shell keep water out and warmth in.  Like any serious jacket designed for active users, the Haze has underarm zippers to help vent out heat when things get too warm. The hood stows away neatly.

In all, the material is solid, the YKK zippers are excellent, and the stitching is great.  The Haze is just what you’d expect from a hard use active-wear jacket.

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But there’s more…

My favorite part of the coat are the extras.  The most useful are the zippered side panels that open to allow for easy access to a holster.  This allows for a great staging opportunities.  If you want a bit less scrutiny, the coat is long enough to cover a traditional duty holster.  But unzip the side, and the coat opens up to allow a hand to reach inside.

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Or the flap can be unzipped, wrapped around a holster, and buckeld in place.  This keeps a gun completely free.  Because the Haze buckles below the holster, there is nothing to snag or catch on.  The jacket stays in place on the holster, and the gun is completely unimpeded.

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There are other pockets on the Haze that are great for hiding backup guns, like the Ruger LCP in the picture below.  Inside each breast is a nice tuckable space.  There is also a small pocket on the forearm, though I don’t know what I’d keep there yet.

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On the front of the coat and the back are hidden pockets for Velcro attachable I.D. holders and other forms of identification.  They are completely unobtrusive and very easy to access, if you know they are there.  The front two are ideal places to carry a wallet or a passport, as the pockets are very well hidden.

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And the three layers of the shell are thick enough that basic gun shapes don’t print through the material.  While is is obvious enough that the jacket is covering up a full sized duty holster, slimmer holsters, even for full sized guns, tend to disappear beneath the coat.  This makes it ideal for those of us who like rugged coats and concealed carry.

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The elbow pads are reinforced, too, in case you need to go prone.

Conclusion

The Haze sells for under $100.  And it is worth it.  We were out yesterday, sighting in a rifle scope for an upcoming review, and the clouds kept building.  Soon enough, we were shooting in a steady rain.  The Haze Condor sent out for us to review is a medium, and it fit Jacob well.  I couldn’t get into it if I tried.

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But I noticed that he wasn’t as bothered by the rain as I was.  I was out in my old Carhart field coat.  I was warm enough, but the wool lined coat kept getting heavier and heavier.  But not the Haze.  Jacob was bummed when I declared that I had had enough.  He didn’t mind shooting in the rain.

I blame it on the Haze.

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