CLAW GEAR MELIERAX HARDSHELL
After CLAW GEAR with its fleece and soft shell jackets has already shown last year that good design, functionality, and a reasonable price quite fit together, this year they come up with further developed and new products.
First, we show you the new Melierax Hardshell jacket in detail. As usual we go through all the major issues such as material, processing, functionality and comfort and show detailed pictures.
MATERIAL & PROCESSING
The outer shell of the Melierax Hardshell is made out of 100% polyamide, the waterproof membrane (10 000 mm water column/steam permeability 10 000 g/m²/d) is made out of 100% polyurethane and the inner shell is made out of 100% polyester.
It features a limited weight of just 430 g in size medium, so it’s an ultralight jacket against wind and rain. The waterproof plastic zippers are produced by SBS, a brand from Hong Kong I haven’t heard of up to now. These seem solid and are easy to use.
The polyamide has a reduced infrared signature (NIR) and thus also suits the specialized military area. This also reflects in the price of just under €300. The all over processing of the jacket is very good and is free from visible defects.
To prevent water coming in at the critical points (seams, transitions), they is an additional sealing layer on the inside.
Concerning the pattern, CLAW GEAR stays true to the modern and more fitted/athletic patterns of the year before. A special highlight in the pattern of the jacket is the rounded extra length in the hands and buttocks, which ensures better protection and improved drainage of rain.
FEATURES & FUNCTIONALITY
The generously sized hood is usable with all standard helmets like OPS-CORE, MICH etc. It is quickly and easily adjustable with the help of the toggle drawstrings with integrated bungee slings in the front and the back of the head.
Much like the KSK Smock from Koehler, there is a kind of stabilizer sewn in the front area to permanently ensure the shape of the hood.
Different to the Smock, this one is not a thick and flexible wire but it seems to be solid but elastic plastic.
The shell has a good water vapor permeability of 10’000 g/m²/d. But this might not be enough to reliabbly remove sweat when moving in action. This is why the Melierax features zippers for ventilation under both arms. The useful huge two-way zipper to open the jacket is already standard at CLAW GEAR.
Additional pouches are limited to the essentials. There are two large breast pockets on the left and right with long waterproof zippers, which offer enough storage space for gloves, maps, etc.
The two built-in arm pockets with rounded and fitted patch areas can store mobile phones, knives, wallets or other items of this size. It is worth mentioning that the seams of the patch areas inside the pockets are seald as well, to protect the content from getting wet. The interior is very basic with only one pocket but it offers storage space similar to the arm pockets.
There are toggle drawstrings with integrated bungee slings as well, so that you can adjust the jacket to your body to provide the best protection possible. These drawstrings are adjusted at about the hip bones and not as often seen at the front. This allows adjusting them even when you’re wearing a filled Plate Carrier or a chest rig.
The adjustable sleeve opening is generally well done and well designed, but what I miss here is some more Velcro to firmly tighten the jacket at the wrists.
The first test in the shower (when the days were hot and dry) was positive. No water coming in. This also proved in a second practical tests with fully packed backpack in medium heavy rain in the mountains. Practical test passed!
The CLAW GEAR Melierax Hardshell features a lot for the price of just under €300. Functionality, solid processing, high-quality material, limited weight and sufficient storage space. I recommend to buy it!