Triple Aught Design – Third St. Sale 2011


Triple Aught Design (TAD) is a San Francisco, CA company purposed to design and manufacture durable and reliable equipment for use “down the street or into the wild.” They’re particularly well known for their outdoor clothing; notably hard/soft shell jackets, pants and other assorted outdoor equipment.

Military Morons introduced me to TAD when I started looking for a lightweight jacket that didn’t break the bank. My first purchase was a Stealth Jacket Lite with Rhino-Hide. I was used to using nylon, PVC and trash-bags for rain gear throughout my scouting experience, so this was a wonderful upgrade. Many years since, I made several purchases from TAD Gear based on their design, materials, and price.

I wouldn’t qualify myself as a TAD Gear junkie, I’ve met several folks who are, and I would be the first to say that I’m far from it. I have a few select TAD products I bought several years ago and still use today, whereas I know others buy the next release as if the last jacket they had is out of season/style. Sort of silly, if you ask me.

With that said, the design and quality of their products stands out from other brands – notably because I haven’t had to purchase anything else. I suppose most folks wouldn’t know because I haven’t written about them, or Patagonia, Arc’terex, Columbia, 35° Below, etc. Let’s just say that TAD’s first set of Merino wool base layers continue to keep me warm after years of heavy use camping, office thermostat wars, and hiking. They’re probably the most worn pair of underwear I currently have. I suppose it helps that I hand wash them gingerly.

I like TAD products, and I’ve been meaning to visit their store in person, so it was a good opportunity check to them out on Saturday during the Third St. Sale in the Dogpatch neighborhood, San Francisco, CA.

Per my usual approach to a visit to San Francisco, I parked at the Dublin BART station. I hate driving, and would rather walk around the city than decide if I want to drive until I find parking or spend the $20 to rent a 320 sq. ft. of space for the day.

I could have taken the time to figure out the Muni, but I didn’t. Instead, I took a leisurely walk from 16th and Mission to 660 22nd Street.

I arrived and was quite overwhelmed with the crowd. It was reportedly much more dense earlier that morning. TAD has video here.

sexy mannequin.triple_aught_design_fan

I tried to keep myself from peeking at the prices, but I did see a lot of good product on the floor. By the looks of the sale signs, and the “good deal” grins as customers walked away, I get the impression most folks got what they wanted for a good price.


I kept busy by chatting it up with TAD folk (Brett, Raquel, Patrick, Dan, Mike, Mike, Ike, Gianni) and sitting in on some of the workshops TAD had available throughout the day. Though I missed out on topics concerning trauma and a little bit of knife maintenance, I learned quite a bit on some considerations on packing for a day hike and tacti-cool friendship bracelets.


TAD did a nifty presentation on knife maintenance. From what little I was able to view, cardboard coated with Flitz makes a great stropping base. He even suggested applying compound on the inside belts.

knife stropping

The workshop on packing for a day hike was a good refresher and provided me some insight on location/beacon technology I haven’t considered. Chris of Bay Area Expeditions related to us that it’s best practice to be prepared. As cool as it is to be able to start a fire with friction, life is simpler if you have a lighter with you. As such, cover the basic necessities. I really liked the message and approach he was relaying to his audience – simple and to the point. Hopefully I’ll make the time to attend one of his classes, or expeditions.


Satellite phone and locators for consideration.

Chris: Be prepared! Don't get lost!

Para-cord is quite something. I have several hundred feet of the stuff, but not quite sure what to do with it. I keep it on hand for hiking and camping trips, but that’s it. TAD’s presentation on making a bracelet out of paracord makes sense. If you wear it, you’ll have several feet of paracord with you at all times. For example, you can use it as a battery tie-down brace. I’m not the type to wear a bracelet, but I could use a new key chain or on my backpack. In any case, Gianni was paracord master for the evening.


It looks like pasta.

triple_aught_design_paracordtactical paracord bracelets

Our friendship bracelets!

I also had an opportunity to touch base with Brett. We initially met at Todd Green’s class and again at Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2011. He gave me an exclusive tour of their HQ and some other notable insight regarding TAD. Product development, QA and other projects take place here. This is where your gear is born folks.


I was present most of the afternoon.  The workshops were interesting, which is too bad many folks didn’t stick around to watch.  However, with all the people shuffling, I was impressed how TAD handled everything.  They took care of their customers and put together a pretty fun event.  All I bought was a scarf — and it wasn’t even on sale.  I’ll be back, however!

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Categories: gear, I Live in My Car, Just Me


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