The Tussock Jacket Reviewed by NZ Hunter

This article was previously published in Issue 82, April/May, of NZ Hunter Magazine , 

Huntech sent through one of their Tussock Jackets in the High Country camo pattern at the beginning of the year. 

It is one of their new range of premium outer layers, a heavy-duty rain jacket using a full-length zip with a focus on waterproofing and breathability properties.

It uses quite a bulky material and comes across as very robust, but I was pleasantly surprised when I weighed my XL in at 1130gms, a medium or large should be closer to the 1kg mark. The XL is a very roomy fit, good for the blokes out there with a big motor! There is a waistband drawstring that brings it back in, though. At about 6’1” I and 105kg, I might have got away with the large, but the XL is nice and spacious in the shoulders and has heaps of room for winter layers.

The main function of a raincoat is to keep you dry, so let’s cover that first.

The jacket has very impressive specs, 20,000gm/m2/24-hour breathability rating and 40,000mm hydrostatic head rating, both verified by Intertek, an international QA company.

"My testing bore this out, the waterproofing was solid, even in thunderstorms and pushing through the saturated bush. The breathability was also excellent."

Early season rain is always tricky for a raincoat, high temps and humidity are a huge challenge, but with the pit zips open and the zip down at the front a bit to dump as much heat as possible I was astounded at how little moisture was lining the inside when I got back to the ute.

I love the length. It comes right down to mid-thigh, so most of your shorts and your underwear remain dry, and there’s plenty to cover your backside when you sit down.The sleeves were ample, and the shoulders had heaps of room for movement.

They use a lightweight elasticised fleece cuff inner, with no tabs for tightening the outer. The chest pockets are nice and big and are bellowed, so you can really fill them out. The hip pockets are good and large, but despite their claims, they are in the way of the hip belt – but given they’re a nice slim design, I couldn’t feel the zips.

All zips are quality YKK aquaguard, and the main front zip has a good solid storm cover flap secured by buttons, while the pocket zips are recessed too. The front zip is reversible, so you can zip it back up from the bottom and give your legs their full range of motion.

"A light fleece liner on the collar was a nice touch, not only is it nice on your neck, it reduces the rustle as you turn your head when you’re straining your ears to hear a roar or distant bark. They didn’t skimp anywhere to make sacrifices for weight, it’s got all the luxury touches."

The hood is great, super deep with a stiffened peak and has plenty of adjustment for tightening it against the wind. It’s also nice and tall so it doesn’t get pulled down on to the top of your head by pack straps.


I was getting frustrated. I had carried this jacket for 50 odd K’s on an early-season tahr trip with Sam and hadn’t seen a drop of moisture. It stayed in my pack right up to the main divide and back again as nothing more than an overqualified windbreaker! That right there is the only time you’ll ever hear me complain about mint weather forecasts, though.

Finally, a good (rubbish) forecast came through, a nice morning with some leftovers of cyclone Niran passing through around lunch, and what better chance, than to test the jacket. I’d decided to scout some local country for the roar, but it had the bonus of a bit of fitness too, as it had a good down into a gorge then up and over a peak to find the nice open gully heads with the tucker in them.

I made it through to the target clearing, which was pretty well overgrown but still held good feed, and the sign suggested there were hinds that camped there, so I’ll be back in a couple weeks to see what turns up.

Right on time, the sky darkened, and I turned around for the three-hour trip out. On the way back, I roared at every opportunity, just hoping to elicit a response and see if the stags had started to vocalise. On the 50th roar, I heard a moan down to my right. Game on! I snuck over and felt that deadly breeze on the back of my neck; seconds later, the galloping started and continued off into the distance. Ah well, it was good while it lasted!

I hadn’t made it far before the pitter patter rang out on the Tawa and Rewarewa canopy so it was time the Huntech Tussock jacket got a proper workout.

There’s nothing that tests a raincoat like pushing through wet bush, and the breathability got a real workout as the humidity was still very high, but it passed both tests with flying colours.

I’m quite impressed by this jacket, it’s got a great fit that keeps you sheltered from the elements with the deep hood and long cut and is backed up by impressive specs, their testing team did their homework well.

The zip and fabric quality feel great, so I’m sure it will handle a lot of use. The weight is under control for such a robust jacket too. The weight is pretty good given it hasn’t been designed as an ultralight jacket, with all the sacrifices that can accompany that ethos. It will be my go-to four-season jacket for places you know you’re going to get a seriously wet arse. I’ll be using it a lot more over the coming roar.