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Hands On: Viktos Actual Jacket


It’s a leather coat designed for people who carry a pistol.


Three things: the material, the gun-centric features, and the waterproof laminate construction. First off, it’s a leather jacket. If you’ve never worn a leather jacket, you’re missing out. Technical hard and soft shells might have an edge in some areas, such as weight and stretch, but nothing quite fits like a piece of leather that’s worn in. It takes a while, as long as several months of everyday wear, but over time the new, stiff leather softens and begins to settle into a shape that mimics your posture. A broken-in leather jacket slips on like a suit of armor, and nothing made of plastic approaches that feeling. Oh, and leather is about the strongest, most durable thing you can wear without putting on chainmail.

The Actual was made for carrying. The clearest evidence is the hip openings that allow access to holstered guns. More gun-friendly than that, the leather panels are patterned to accommodate an arms-up shooting stance that won’t raise the hem or restrict movement when pressing out. In addition to the articulation, the jacket has strategically located stretch panels running from the obliques, up to the back of the shoulder blades, and then down the underside of the arms. The stretchy material is tacked together on the elbows to form an elastic hinge that’s burly enough to protect your funny bones when taking up an elbow-supported prone position on a pile of broken glass.

Lastly, Viktos says it’s waterproof, which is pretty cool for a leather jacket.


Leather isn’t waterproof on its own, but it’ll repel water for a while. When the Actual wets out, instead of passing the water through and depositing it into the layer of clothing beneath, a waterproof and breathable laminate barrier between the leather and the inner lining keeps things dry on the inside. A waterproof laminate would be pointless without sealing the seams, so Viktos did that, too.


We wore the Actual for months in all kinds of weather. It wore-in and grew more comfortable as the seasons changed. Worn on the sidelines of a football game in the pissing rain, it shed water as if it were coated in silicone. In the last quarter, the shoulders barely wet out, but the jacket never allowed moisture to pass. The leather was dry the next day and still as supple as it was before.


Leather is incredibly comfortable, but more importantly for us it’s equally as durable. And that’s something people forget when they’re used to seeing leather used in expensive ladies handbags, forgetting that it protects MotoGP motorcycle racers from asphalt while skidding across it at 120 mph.

After six months of daily use, the Actual shows hardly any signs of wear. We’ve run the jacket in dynamic range drills on concrete and gravel and will attest to the jacket’s durability. We haven’t popped a stitch or even stressed a seam. We’re impressed how well Viktos aligned the Actual’s design with durability, fit, and features needed to survive in a tactical environment and doing it in such a stylish package.


The Actual was made to attract attention to a new brand in the crowded tactical apparel space. As a statement piece for Viktos, it was never meant to be affordable, only to demonstrate Viktos’s design and manufacturing prowess. And, while it does this well, it does it at a price many will balk at.

Viktos Actual
MATERIAL: Drum-dyed leather, 3-layer waterproof construction
POCKETS: 10 total, located on the interior, exterior and wrists
USA MADE: U.S. veteran designed and developed
MSRP: $500

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