Triple Aught Design (TAD) is a brand I became acquainted with several years ago when my husband was teaching nights up in San Francisco. One of his favorite places to drop by when he had extra time was their Dogpatch store. He would bring home military-style gadget organizers – holsters for his knives, pouches to organize his fishing kit, and other items that he took special delight in collecting.
So, when I was contacted about checking out a new line of women’s clothing from Triple Aught Designs I initially didn’t even realize it was the same company. It was only after visiting their website that I realized it was the same San Francisco based equipment manufacturer. Biased by the military-style gear that my husband had brought home years ago, I was rather surprised to browse their site and see some beautiful, functional women’s apparel.
The folks at TAD were kind enough to send me an Artemis Hoodie, a 100% merino wool hooded zip-up top with thumb loops. From the moment I opened the package I was impressed with the feel of this piece. The thick, heavy merino wool top was soft to the touch and fit like a dream – form fitting but not tight (what I would call an ‘athletic fit’). The length is perfect, long enough to pull over the hips and not ride up when moving.
I’ve been wearing this hoodie everywhere since getting it. I’ve worn it climbing, running, and hiking as well as around the Outdoor Retailer show and even with a skirt at my day office job. There is no gaudy external branding (just an internal tag), which means that this is far more versatile than other ‘casual’ clothing by outdoor manufacturers who often paste their labeling all over everything. Its comfort and versatility mean that the Artemis hoodie can be worn pretty much anywhere and everywhere.
It’s super warm, and a perfect layer for my early mornings at the climbing gym where it can easily be in the 30s at this time of year. The fit is perfect for movement – there is no extraneous material to bunch up under pack straps or catch on climbing holds, but it’s not so tight as to restrict movement on tricky climbs. The double thickness on the arms provides extra durability and protection for my elbows, which I am constantly whacking against the abrasive climbing wall. I am pretty sure my elbow scars have decreased thanks to the Artemis Hoodie.
The Artemis is machine washable (air dry to prevent shrinkage). But with merino wool’s anti-stink capabilities I don’t need to wash it after every wear. Unlike my synthetic tops, I can wear the Artemis for several activities in a week without it smelling like a locker room. One day, after a morning of climbing, I threw it in the back of my car on top of my stinky climbing shoes. That evening I was sitting outside at a restaurant with friends and needed something warm to throw on, so I grabbed the hoodie from the trunk, staring in horror at the fact that it had been on top of stinky climbing shoes in my hot car all day. I obsessively sniffed the hoodie (ew) and couldn’t detect that nasty, dead carcass smell that you can only get for synthetic climbing shoes.
There are very few things I found to dislike on the Artemis hoodie. The biggest issue is its weight. While the thickness and weight work for it in terms of warmth, it also means I won’t carry this backpacking since I can get a similar amount of warmth from a fleece jacket that weighs much less. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss it! I also wish the pockets had a zipper closure or a smaller opening. It’s easy for things to drop out of these pockets, and there have been a few times where I’ve forgotten about my phone or a tube of chapstick which has then fallen to the ground.
As a final thought, I would also like to commend TAD gear for making beautiful and useful women’s clothing without falling into the ‘pink’ trap. This is 100% a women’s top (not a rebranded mens top) in that it is fitted to a women’s shape and curves, moving with me when I’m active instead of working against me. The subtle and natural colors fit the personality of the TAD brand and contribute to the versatility of this top. I’m not saying I don’t like pink gear – I have plenty of it – but before color I always value practicality and functionality. Thank you, Triple Aught Design, for proving that women’s gear can be beautiful even if only in those dumb ‘boy’ colors like grey and army green (I kid).
This is a beautiful, well-crafted piece that tells me that Triple Aught Design knows what they are doing with women’s clothing. I am looking forward to checking the whole line out in person the next time I am in San Francisco and I recommend you do as well.