I hear you. I decided to get a new outer layer jacket recently myself and wanted something of great quality, but with military features. I also wanted
something non-camo and preferably not the classic OD green military colour. In addition I looked for something stealthy as I wanted to use it on
stalking hunts. It had to be water-proof as it rains a lot where I live.
There really is no perfect jacket, but you can come damn close. You have to make some compromises. Ventilation vs water-resistance (no point in
wearing a jacket that protects you 100% from the rain if you get wet from the inside) vs stealthiness vs features.
I have two suggestions.
1. Ceck out TAD Gear's softshell jackets at: tadgear.com...
[All the information on the TAD Gear jackets is gathered through other people's opinion on various forums on the Internet while I was researching
ahead of my recent purchase of a new outer layer jacket]
These jackets offer great stealth, especially the sharkskin models. The also have a good number of pockets and nifty features, like organization
webbing on the inside of pockets for pens, flashlights, knives..etc, and velcro patches for name-tags, flags or maybe a pen holder. The material is
very durable and is almost slightly elastic in nature. And the colours are sweet. TAD gear don't use the classic military colour schemes, but have
their own. A grey/black, a green/grey and a brown/tan. The jackets also have a great fit. You will look very good in them.. as in, fashionably sane,
if that is at all important to you :p What you will have to compromise on is water profness, but not much. They are build to be water-reppeling and
not water-proof, but according to several writeups on forums and reviewsites they will keep you dry for a long time in some pretty heavy rain.
have some great reviews on the TAD Gear stuff, including some of the earlier versions of the stealth
jackets. (there are 4 versions at the moment). Check out page 5 for the writup on the predator hardshells from TAD Gear as well if you can compromise
some on the stealthiness you would get with a softshell.
2. Arc'Teryx LEAF Alpha leaf.arcteryx.com...
I own this jacket myself. I compromised on stealth and got a hardshell, as I really needed something waterproof. I love this jacket. The build quality
is insane. I have used Bergans jackets before, and Bergans also have superior quality on their best jackets, but lack the tactical finesse you get
through the Arc'teryx LEAF (Law Enforcement and Armed Forces) stuff. Everything is watertight on it, the fit is very good, it is very lightweight and
packs down extremely small in your pack, which I see as a very good feature as I usually wear multiple layers and often have a very full backpack. It
has armpit vents, which rocks, and the colour is sexy... it's sort of a mix of OD Green and Khaki, but it leans a bit more towards the OD than what
some pictures may suggest. It is made in MI270 Gore-Tex XCR material with a DWR coating, so you need to replace that coating from time to time. It
offers very good water-repellancy though. I was out in some heavy, heavy rain here the other day that soaked me through all the layers on my lower
body (woolen base layer, denim pants and some old semi-water-reppelling outer layer pants). I was 100% dry under my jacket.
You can find a short but nice writeup on it here: www.militarymorons.com...
(towards the middle of the page)
Cons: It is expensive. For me it was not such a shocking price, as it is roughly the same price as a normal high quality outer layer jacket in Norway,
and cheaper than some of the top models of for example Bergans (I love shopping from the US). It can also be hard to find a place that sells it to
civilians, as Arc'Teryx is very strick about their LEAF program. Check leaf.arcteryx.com...