Photos of these jackets have been circulating in the interwebs and rather than be awed by the such fashion-forward designs, have been subject to ridicule by many. I won't be surprised though that in this age of the Great Global Paranoia, if you wear this jacket with the hood up then be prepared to have cops stop you for a frisk and search at least 5 times and at just 5 blocks away from your home. Or as Andrew Liszewski of Gizmodo wrote, "Wear This Goggle Hood Jacket and You Deserve Every Snowball Sent Your Way."
Designed by a Milan-based company called AI Riders of the Storm, these are called Down Field Jackets which have different types of models and they even have a Spring and Summer collections. The company says that these jackets feature an "ergonomic patented hood, designed to follow body movements perfectly. The jacket features interchangeable lenses that ensure excellent peripheral vision, down quilted patchs that can be placed in the lenses holes, inner pockets to store the lenses and detachable pon pon."
Thank god for the last phrase, the pon pon/pom pom seen on top of the hood is detachable.
We do like the idea of good protection from the cold weather especially for the face, many won't think of wearing the hood fully in the streets as either you get to scare kids, amuse people, make conspiracy theorists panic, or banks and shops might just slam their doors on you. These days even wearing just hoodie would alarm some, how much more a very much enclosed hood?
As a fashionable jacket on the street for US$424.00? No thanks, we're begging off. But the company might try their luck with Lady Gaga and her little monsters, they might earn from her.
But as tactical jacket, especially for use in airsoft? We might be interested in using it for winter airsoft since the hood design looks tactical enough. The hooded needs to be designed on a military-style parka, a soft shell jacket, or even a hard shell jackets.
The lenses on the hood will need to be replaced with ANSI Z87 rated ones so they can take the impact of BBs to protect the eyes. The lenses seem to have some vents like the Smith Elite Boogie Regulators to avoid fogging up. Also the hood looks to have some holes at the ear area that might allow you to wear a headset for comms. But we'd rather recommend an throat mic with an earpiece when using the hood.
Further redesigning the jackets would mean more pockets inside and outside and of course velcro areas for patches and identification.
The question now will be tactical gear makers willing to license the hood design as it is patented or would rather design one on their own.
So what do you think? Do you think a version of these AI Storm Down Field Jackets need a tactical look and the lenses be eye protection for airsoft players? I would get one as long as it doesn't come with the pom pom.