I am very familiar with Propper brand tactical gear. I have been wearing many of their products for several years, and my department recently started issuing Propper pants and polo shirts. So I was excited to hear I would have the opportunity to field test the Cover Hoodie since it is one of the items I had not yet had a chance to pick up.
At first glance I was impressed and, to be honest, a bit concerned. The sleek design and dark blue color (my test model was LAPD BLUE) provided a modern, fashionable look which would be right at home on either the range or a gym treadmill. It did not scream “POLICE,” making it equally useful to plain clothes or off-duty officers as well as civilian CCW. However, I was a bit concerned because it appeared to be thinner than my other hoodies and I was afraid it might not be warm enough for use as an outer layer. I was also skeptical concerning a wearer’s ability to access a holster via the hidden access flaps.
But before we go any further, let’s review the features standard on this product:
- 100% polyester smooth-faced midweight fleece
- Left/right draw CCW access with quiet magnet closure in kangaroo pocket
- Pull-out ID or badge panel on right arm
- Zip pocket on left arm for secure storage
- Thumbholes at cuffs prevent bunching and twisting
- Optimized for use with appendix holster
- Built with magnetic closures for quick and quiet access. These small magnets, although unlikely, may interfere with medical and electronic devices
Regarding my first concern, the hoodie was noticeably lighter than a standard hoodie and more closely resembled a heavy shirt or light sweater. The first time I wore it, in approximately 50 degree temperatures, I threw a jacket in my truck just in case I was correct. The only time my jacket left the back seat was when I brought it back into the house that evening. Despite its thinner-than-expected design, the smooth polyester fleece proved to be at least as warm as my other hoodies; one for the plus column.
Now it was time for the function test. Obviously, an item of clothing designed to allow for easy access to a concealed weapon is of little use if access to the holster proves too difficult, or even impossible. The CCW access point is two flaps located inside the traditional kangaroo pocket, which allows the wearer to reach their waist area with either the left or right hand and is secured via magnetic closures. The design works best if the wearer utilizes a waist area holster or even a cross draw option forward of the hip. Accessing a holster in either the 3 or 5 o’clock positions would be difficult at best, requiring a wearer to lift the hoodie to draw in a more traditional method. Although the design was intended for CCW access, I found it was also useful for reaching a broad range of other items you may carry either on your belt or even in a front pocket including your cell phone, keys or folding knife. Despite the limitations, I would consider this another plus.
As I was testing the CCW access, it occurred to me that, although this feature was impressive, it did come at a cost – the inability to use the kangaroo pocket in a traditional fashion. Like most people, when I wear a hoodie I soon find myself placing a wide assortment of items into that handy front pocket. My keys, a cell phone and just about anything else that needs to be quickly stowed ends up right there in front of me. But even with the magnetic closures, I was concerned the flaps would cause anything I put in the pocket to inadvertently slip out and be lost forever.
Apparently the designers at designers at Propper thought this could be a problem as well and provided three viable alternatives. First, there is a vertical pocket on the lower left arm large enough to hold credit cards, ID or a case and easily accessed with your right hand. A second vertical pocket is located on the upper left arm and could easily conceal a smartphone or similarly sized items. Finally, there is a third pocket on the right shoulder which is horizontal and includes a pull out identification flap. This flap, which is edged with reflective material and includes a strip of velcro, would be perfect for holding a badge or department patch which could be displayed when necessary.
When it comes to overall fit, I found this hoodie to be very comfortable and sized perfectly for concealed carry. With many clothing options, it is necessary to select a size larger than you normally wear; not so with the Cover Hoodie. This garment is designed to provide a slightly loose fit in the main body but maintains a traditional fit in the arms which reduces printing of your firearm without making it look like you are wearing someone else’s clothes. Again, one for the plus column.
This brings me to the last feature – cuff thumb holes. Honestly, I have little use for what appears to be a common feature in many of today’s hoodies. Not only do I find that using this feature during normal wear is uncomfortable and likely to lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the cuffs, I think it would interfere with your ability to draw and handle a firearm securely. However, it is popular with many wearers and not using it does not affect the hoodie’s overall performance, it’s a take it or leave it type of option.
In the end, I found far more checks in the plus column than the negative column. Other than the CCW access limitations and the useless thumb holes, I could not find a reason not to recommend the Propper Cover Hoodie. It was comfortable enough for everyday wear and designed to meet CCW needs.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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