Arktis A212 SWAT Shirt


logoLiving in Michigan provides a unique set of challenges to the active outdoorsman when it comes to staying warm during the winter. Dress too light and you get cold ruining your time out doors. Dress too warm and you sweat, fogging up your goggles/glasses, soaking your shirt and then you end up with soggy underpants!

So what’s the solution? Layering!! Start out heavy and take off as needed or activity dictates to maintain a comfortable core temp! For a typical sledding outing with the kids this was my layering mantra: T-shirt…button down shirt…sweatshirt…jacket… Now I say was my mantra because it has changed thanks to Arktis! Since the A212 SWAT Fleece has come into my  life I can pass on the button down and sweatshirts!

The folks over at Arktis have some great products to help you layer more effectively and1 with less bulk over traditional methods. A perfect example of this is their A212 SWAT Fleece. Born from a request by the British SAS for a light weight, yet warm garment Arktis developed the A212. You see, during the first Iraq conflict several SAS members died due to exposure during the infamous Bravo Two Zero incident. How many lives have been saved by this garment will never be know. What is known though is that it took too many to bring this need to light.

With that need in mind Arktis set to work and and created this awesome jacket! The Mil-Spec, Rip-stop outer blocks the wind and provides a good bit of water resistance. The shoulders and elbows are protected by generous cuts of Cordura that ward off abrasion. The sides zip for easy donning as well as venting to prevent over heating. In addition, the zipper sides allow for holster accommodation and ease of access to your sidearm! I had no trouble what so ever carrying my Ruger in its SERPA. The draw was smooth with no interference and re-holstering was the same.  The neck is tall, providing good coverage and 2the Merino Wool lining extends past the sleeves and the cuffs cover the hand to just beyond the first knuckle. This extended cuff has a thumb hole to create functional hand warmers and to ease the addition of an outer garment.

Now, Arktis calls this a  midlayer…let me tell you, I have used it everyday for almost a month now and it has taken the place of my lined m65! I have worn it with long sleeve shirts comfortably in temps down to 29F and regular T’s in the 41F to 50F range! I’m blown away by its performance! The other morning it was 26F when I stopped to pump gas. The wind was blowing and the wind chill made it so cold that the Cordura got a little stiff…did I feel it? Nope! The A212 kept me warm and isolated from the wind and bitter cold. It’s does a good job of keeping the wet at bay as well…but it will3 soak through. That’s ok though because the non-irritant wool lining keeps it warmth even when wet!! I can attest to the non-irritating wool. Even though I love the warmth of woolen garments, unfortunately wool does not like me! Not so with the Merino. Its soft, warm all natural fibers have yet to cause a so much as a single itch!!

Not only is it a great jacket, but it compresses well and fits in just about anything. If you don’t have one in your Go-Bag, follow the links below to get one…you need it!!

The A212 is nothing short of amazing. As light as this jacket is I didn’t expect this kind of performance. I cant wait to hit the sledding hill! To that end, when I start to complain about the cold around here my father always answers with “What’cha gonna do when it really gets cold?” Well, now I can tell him…”Grab my Arktis A212 SWAT Fleece! That’s what!”

Follow this link to the Arktis USA website…

and this one to their ebay store…

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7 Responses to Arktis A212 SWAT Shirt

  1. JT says:

    How much does this jacket weigh? I’m a backpacker and carry all my own gear so these things are important. Looks like a very good jacket. And made in Britain too.

    • Hey JT thanks for the question!
      I looked at to see if I could find a weight with no luck. What I can tell you though, is that its between a flannel shirt and sweatshirt in weight and it compresses really well. The warmth to weight comparison is off the charts. I’ve been wearing it all winter here in Michigan with a long sleeve shirt underneath in temps as low as 26-29F!!Its a great jacket!

      • JT says:

        Thanks. Any chance you could roll it up and put it on the kitchen scales?
        Normally I wear a lighweight microfibre down jacket (something like the Snugpak Sleeka) and they tend to weigh in at around 700-800 grammes. I am wondering if the A212 is in the same range, or a fair bit heavier. I am guessing that woven merino wool is going to be heavier than microfibre down on a warmth per gram ratio. But maybe I’m wrong.

  2. Erik says:

    Hi, I saw your review on the Arktis 212 from awhile back. Now that you’ve had it for awhile, any changes on your thoughts? Is their sizing pretty standard? I’m thinking about going with one and am on the fence. It looks perfect to wear as part of my layering system. Thanks!

    • I still love it! It has stood up to a lot of abuse with no problems at all. FYI, the sizing runs on the small side. If I were to order again I would go one to two sizes larger just for the extra room….Thanks for reading!!

      • Erik says:

        Well I have a 44″ chest and typically wear a LG or XL in most tops. Being that I’d be using this as either a top or mid layer, and would want a non active/tight fit, would you suggest an XL? According to the Arktis USA ebay site a large is a 44-46 chest, I wouldn’t want to swim in an XL.

      • You may want to contact them….it was a few years back and their sizing may have changed. Either way, you will love it!

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