Propper’s Reversible ANSI III Jacket is designed to provide the wearer with protection from multiple threats. The clean, discrete base offers a flexible platform for protection from the elements through its different uniform applications. When reversed, you can utilize this same jacket as a high visibility outer garment, which helps in low light or high traffic situations, and can protect from wind and rain. If you add the included quilted liner and hood (which is also reversible) , you also get protection from dropping temperatures. This means you have three jackets in one, with all the features of a standard uniform jacket, plus the quality of Propper.
Who is Propper?
Propper International is a Missouri-based maker of tactical and uniform clothing for both the military and law enforcement. Founded in 1967, Propper landed its first government contract producing the iconic “Dixie Cup” cap for the U.S. Navy. Since then they have branched out into a wide range of uniform and special use items for all five branches of the U.S. military (including BDUs, the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (Generation 2) and Flame-Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG)). In recent years, Propper has also developed a growing line of safety and duty gear aimed at the law enforcement and public safety markets.
Propper Reversible Jacket Overview
The Reversible ANSI III Jacket is constructed of a durable 7 oz., nylon plastic weave (outer shell), and includes a detachable, reversible hood and quilted nylon liner. The liner is removable for warmer weather wear, and when the outer shell is reversed, the jacket doubles as an ANSI III high-visibility jacket. When worn in the high-visibility mode, reflective tape has been added to the front, back, and sleeves for increased visibility in low light situations.
One of the first things you will notice when removing the Reversible ANSI III Jacket from the package is the weight. This is not your typical paper-thin rain coat or flimsy safety vest. This is a legitimate cold weather jacket. It looks warm and feels as if it is capable of protecting you.
Next, you will see that when the high visibility side is hidden, there is actually very little to see. The design is low profile (almost covert in nature) with a clean appearance. Up close you can see there are multiple mic tabs and hidden identification panels. But from a distance, this jacket does not scream “police” nor does it appear “too tactical.” Whether in black or LAPD blue, it is a low-key uniform jacket suitable for wear with tactical or civilian clothing.
Now once you reverse it to the high-visibility side, things really start to pop. The entire outer surface is high-visibility yellow with additional strips of white and silver reflective tape on the front, back, and sleeves. Not only does this meet ANSI III requirements, it also provides an otherwise clean surface, which means there is nothing to interfere with the visibility you are looking for.
The nylon outer shell is 100% waterproof, and all seams are sealed for additional protection from both wind and rain. The zip-in quilted liner provides additional protection from dropping temperatures, while still maintaining your ability to move and access duty gear.
The main closure is secured by both a zipper and secondary snaps, with the snaps being mounted on a flap that covers the zipper and pockets for additional protection. Pull-out identification tabs are also provided on both the front and back.
The overall construction is very good, with clean lines, and no signs of loose or frayed threads. The zippers and snaps are all heavy duty in nature, designed to be used while wearing gloves. These are all secured easily and held as expected. The quilted liner, which is removable, is heavy enough to provide additional protection from dropping temperatures yet not so bulky as to make the assembled product too big. There are also plenty of pockets to provide ample storage. Each pocket is easily accessible and secures with zippers, snaps and/or flaps.
Reversible ANSI III Jacket Features
The Reversible ANSI III Jacket is a combination standard patrol and high visibility ANSI safety jacket, plus it includes a removable quilted liner, as mentioned before. In other words, you are getting three jackets in one. As such, it includes many standards features the you would commonly find only when combining two or more traditional items – jacket/safety vest, jacket/liner or jacket/safety vest/liner.
Here are some of the features you will find standard. Of course it can be customized with department patches, identification panels, etc.:
- 7 oz. 100% nylon plain weave outer shell
- All seams are sealed for additional protection from rain and wind
- Durable Waterproof Repellent (DWR) for additional protection from dirt, spills, and moisture
- Clean, discrete look with no visible marking on primary (non-ANSI) side
- 6 pockets for multiple storage options, including chest document pockets on both sides
- Mic clips on both left and right chest areas
- Removable quilted liner
- Reversible, detachable hood
- Pull out ID panels on chest and back
- High visibility color with reflective tapes when reversed, meets current ANSI /ISEA TYPE R&P CLASS 3 Requirements
- Side zippers for easy access to duty gear
How does it perform?
The outer shell, when worn in the traditional uniform, has a soft, silent texture. This means you do not get the annoying noise associated with many rain-repellent materials, nor do you experience the stiff, almost plastic feel common in such jackets. This jacket feels like a regular jacket but repels rain as well. The durable waterproof repellent not only shields you from rain and moisture, but also protects the garment from spills and dirt as well. Although the inner shell is a little stiffer and has a glossy surface, it is not to the point that it impacts comfort or performance. The pockets, ID panels and equipment access points are all easy to use, placed for maximum convenience, and are able to be manipulated while wearing gloves. Plus, the zippers, snaps, and Velcro used to secure the various areas provide a good combination of secure and quick access.
The only disadvantage is, although there are similar chest pockets available in either uniform or hi-vis mode, they use different methods of access (zippers and Velcro). While not a major flaw, it would be nice to have one consistent type used throughout the jacket.
When worn as a colder weather jacket, with the quilted liner installed, the fit is almost perfect. Although the sleeve length is a bit long for the size, it is not to the point of feeling or looking wrong. It just seems longer than needed, which caused a little bunching. Otherwise, the overall jacket was tight enough to provide a professional appearance, while not being so tight as to make it uncomfortable or restrictive. However, when the liner is removed, the jacket is a little too loose, verging on the point of appearing too large for the wearer.
Speaking of the liner, it is a shame that the design requires the liner to be removed to facilitate reversing the jacket. Although the liner can be reinstalled, this is an unnecessary step that could have been avoided by making it a true cold weather jacket, rather than a hybrid seasonal jacket. While the current design may allow more flexibility in terms of when the jacket can be worn, it makes it more time-consuming to take advantage of the greatest feature.
Overall the jacket performs very well as a general cold weather jacket, or a hi-vis cold weather jacket. However, it does need improvements if it is to be a true reversible jacket.
Should You Buy It?
Propper markets the Reversible ANSI III Jacket as suitable for anyone needing both a lower profile patrol jacket and high visibility option for low light or traffic use. While it could be used by any officer, it is best suited for those that are looking for either a low profile jacket with occasional hi-vis capability, or routine hi-vis with occasional general use. In other words, I do not believe it is well-suited for those that regularly switch between the two. As stated before, it is a bit too difficult to reverse for this to be something you do regularly. Add the quilted liner and the process becomes even more cumbersome. Therefore, I would recommend this to officers in a warmer climate looking for a seasonal jacket with the ability to be used when the thermometer dips.
Value for the Money
Yes, I believe it is a good value for those officers who need a jacket that can function as either a standard patrol jacket or Hi-Vis jacket, and need the additional warmth provided by the liner. MSRP is $199.99, which is in line with similar patrol jackets with zip out liners, and far below the combined cost of a patrol jacket and a second Hi-Vis jacket that meets ANSI III requirements.
As a standard patrol jacket or Hi-vis jacket, I would be tempted to rate this jacket as 4.5 or even 5 stars. It offers excellent construction, and a good fit that provides the warmth needed without the old school “snowsuit constriction” we have come to hate when winter arrives. Plus, it includes many of the options officers are looking for: plenty of pockets, mic clips on both sides, and drop-down identification panels.
However, as a combination jacket, I am hard pressed to give it no more than 3.5 stars. Due to the difficulty in reversing the jacket from standard to hi-vis wear, especially when the quilted liner is installed, this is not a functional all-in-one jacket. I would classify it as an “either or” jacket. In an emergency, I would probably opt to simply add a safety vest to the jacket in its standard configuration, rather than take the time to turn it inside out. But, if you can select a wear option at the beginning of the shift, and stick with it for several hours, this jacket might better suit your 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.