Condor Outdoors has been making products for over 20 years now.  Starting with camping supplies, the Irwindale, CA based business soon expanded their product lines to include tactical gear.  While their foreign-produced products gained some notoriety years ago for lackluster quality-control, I’ve heard from a number of people that Condor has tightened up their program lately.  So when looking for a hardshell jacket that wouldn’t break the bank, I was willing to take a chance on the Condor Aegis waterproof jacket.

I had just come back from an 8-hour hike while deer hunting in some thick Oregon brush.  The rain was pouring all day (I was soaked) and the wind had been whipping on and off the entire time.  I had planned for the cold front and layered appropriately, but that driving rain derailed my notions of warmth.  After researching a number of hardshell jackets, I chose the Aegis to test out, figuring it had the features I wanted at a price most can afford.  Here’s the rundown as provided by Condor:

  • Full front waterproof zipper with Storm-Guard flap
  • Fully seam taped waterproof hardshell jacket
  • Waterproof chest pockets
  • Underarm vent zippers
  • Waterproof pockets

A few things immediately caught my eye on opening the Aegis up.

  1. Sizing runs small, so order one size larger than your normal choice.
  2. The interior lining really helps to prevent heat transfer when the exterior is wet.  Usually you can feel the rain immediately drawing your warmth out, but this felt-like lining is excellent.

    Condor Aegis hardshell jacket | Waterproof and under budget
    One of the better jacket linings I’ve seen
  3. The hood is shaped differently than I’m used to.  If you like a built-in brim, it has one.  The hood rides a bit high unless you keep the zipped up to your neck, “sucking” the hood down.  It is comfortable and functional, just different than the Sith-robe style hoods most jackets use.
Condor Aegis hardshell jacket | Waterproof and under budget
Even with camera flash, the waterproof fabric is very flat and dull. Not reflective at all.

The exterior feels pretty durable, but what usually fails on a jacket like this are the taped seams.  The Aegis’ seam tape is covered by the lining, which both inhibits inspection and offers protection.  We’ll see if there are any leak issues after a few more hunting seasons.  Having had this out in numerous range sessions and gear workups in the driving rain, I can attest to its waterproof nature.  Rain beads up immediately and runs off in a hurry.  I’ve not had any of the seams or zippers leak, despite prolonged exposure.  As with all waterproof zippers I’ve seen, these are a little stiff but that’s the price to pay for a zipper that won’t let mother nature piss on your shirt.

Condor Aegis hardshell jacket | Waterproof and under budget

A couple months isn’t as much as I’d like to run a jacket like this before writing it up, even in the stormy fall here.  However, I thought it best to get this out and follow up in a few more months with an update on the Aegis’ durability and continued performance.  In the meantime, if you’re looking for a waterproof hardshell jacket, take a look at Condor’s website at the Aegis and check it out.  The Aegis runs $129.95 and is available in black, green and tan.

-Rex Nanorum