Clothing

IWA 2015 – Article 1

Hello readers,

 

I got home from IWA in Germany a few days ago. IWA is a yearly event and this was my second visit. I remembered it smaller, but the show floor is actually quite big and there were many companies present that made it’s way from overseas, which was a nice surprise.

The show is focused toward military, law enforcement, sports shooting, outdoors, hunting and so on. Of course I found a lot of very nice things to look at.

Here are a few:

 

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FrogLube CLP is adding a De-greaser to its repertoire. Looking forward to trying it. I also found out that their Solvents works in windshields. I’ve been using FrogLube in my AR15s for a while with good results, but I will also start using it in my AK after talking to Mr. Lube (?). Good stuff!

 

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Team Wendy had a booth at the show as well, reasonably priced and very comfy helmet liners made by one of the best in the business.

 

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I am a snow camo guy. There just isn’t that many good ones out there. Thankfully the last couple of years has provided us with a few; Kryptek Yeti, Multicam Alpine, PXL Snow and Pencott Snowdrift. The latter is shown here by Helikon-Tex who are developing an over-white set in the pattern. This is just a prototype and the production version will among other things have color matched zippers.

 

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Mechanix is releasing a new series of gloves called Tactical Specialty. Model names are TEMPEST, ELEMENT, PURSUIT, RECON, BREACHER and AZIMUTH.
Most models are flame retardent and no-drip made for military use. The AZIMUTH in the above picture is a Nomex flight-type glove with padding for knuckles and leather reinforcements. The BREACHER looks brutal, but felt very comfortable. The whole series seem to succeed in balancing both dexterity and protection and I am certainly looking forward to slipping my fingers into these beauties…

 

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Yes please! Who doesn’t want one of these babies?


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Since I am about to write a review of my Eberlestock Battleship I took the opportunity to talk to the very friendly Mr. Eberle himself and ask some questions about the Eberlestock product line.

 

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5.11 was of course present, as always. Very friendly crew, mainly from my home country it seemed. 5.11 seem to be moving away from the overly tacticool and into the realm of discreet preparedness, something I am very happy to see.

Oh, and thanks for the ballcaps guys! ;)

 

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Had to take a look at the stuff Heckler & Koch showed, a lot of RAL8000 as expected. A lot of stuff added to my Christmas wish list. ;)

 

 

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I’m no big fan of flaunting the joy-sticks and SERT offers some nice carry solutions for discreet shooters – be it Law Enforcement, Military or Civilians.

 

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Armourlite makes some interesting discreet yet functional watches. But can you rely on them in a crisis? A review is in the making.

 

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This might just be one of the biggest news coming from ATK! this year.
Former 160th SOAR Nightstalkers pilot and Air Crew Systems designer at Eagle Industries, Todd McDunn, the artist formerly known as “Chief McStache” is turning 50 this year and decided to remove his signature facial hair. Doesn’t he look younger though?


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Some of the Spartan Blades blades, note the very nice looking take-down chop sticks to the right. We all love Ti right? Very nice and polite guys as always.

 

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The italians are making some new very nice looking knife models. This one is made by Viper.

 

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I guess a lot of us have been looking forward to the Leatherman TREAD. For those of us that value readiness and preparedness, this is a very interesting tool / accessory. The well-known brand is also releasing a survival and bushcraft oriented tool with a lot of useful features in a SERE situation. The SERE multitool will be called SIGNAL. Didn’t get any pictures of that though, since some douchebag had stolen the one at the booth.

 

More to come!

Vertx Solid Smock Review

I made a short review of the Vertx Solid Smock in Swedish on Youtube. The video shows some of the features, if you can’t stand swedish – read the review and watch the video without sound.

Vertx is the tactical brand of Fechheimer, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc and makers of Flying Cross military and law enforcement uniforms.
Since 1842, Fechheimer has been crafting great uniforms for America’s military and public safety professionals. Over 170 years, thats a helluva long time.
Vertx strive to combine a low visual signature with the features and functionality of a battle garment, and I feel that they may have succeeded so far.

The Smock was developed for British paras during the 2nd world war to wear over their gear during jumps. Later the jacket evolved to the Windproof Smock with the help of British SAS. After a few years decline this typical Eurpoean garment has seen groving popularity in the US as well as Europe. There are now a number of manufacturers both European and American that makes some version of the jacket. Examples include Aktis Ltd. Oberland, First Spear, Dropzone Tactical and of course Vertx.

This smock has a lot of storage, it is a good choice for all of us that prefer to carry our stuff in our outerwear and also appreciate having everything in one place. When I grab my jacket and head out the door, I like to know that everyting I need is with me. It also has six different locations to carry AR15 magazines, a great feature for first responders. But for the rest of us the pockets can also be used for other things such as medical equipment or every day carry items.

 

  • Fleece lined, button-down hood includes 4 draw cord adjustments for fit; hood rolls up or detaches when not in use. It is large enough to fit my XL-head with ComTacs, but you won’t fit a helmet.
  • Large capacity mag compatible chest pockets with concealed vertical zipper closure include bonus inside pockets. These pockets are easy and quick to open and close
  • Loop Velcro on sleeve for unit patch. Huge, I estimate it to to be 4″x7″
  • Mesh-lined dual-pull pit zips ventilate while preventing entry of debris
  • Constructed of lightweight Cordura® treated Nanosphere®
  • Gusseted, articulated elbows deliver maximum range of motion for shooting on-the-move
  • Fleece-lined hand warmer pockets are bellowed to allow for more storage
  • 6 AR15 magazine pockets
  • A total of 10 pockets in which 4 has internal pockets for AR-magazines
  • The jacket lacks other type of internal organizing of your gear, no pistol magzine pouches and such
  • Roomy, like a Smock should be
  • Warm three season jacket. It’s to warm in the summer but will keep you cozy with just a fleece underneath during the Scandinavian winter.
  • The jackets sound signature is substantially lower than most gore-tex shells.

In conclusion I would recommend this jacket for security or plain clothes operatives, first responders and preppers that need to carry a variety of equipment in a discreet package. This is not a garment for hikers or regular outdoors people, for that kind of people my recommendation would be a regular hard shell.

Crye Precision’s new pallettes

This is probably news to no one, but Crye Precision has released a number of variations of their patented Multicam®.  Most of the new pallettes compliments and overlaps portions of the main MultiCam® pattern; so pairing MultiCam® gear with MultiCam Arid™ apparel results in a well-coordinated concealment system. All according to Crye Precision. What I undoubtedly like best though is the Alpine. Let’s do a quick run down.

Multicam Arid™ was developed to effectively reduce the visual and near-IR signature of a person operating in desert environments that predominantly consist of open sand and rock.

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MultiCam Tropic™ was developed to effectively reduce the visual and near-IR signature of a person operating in dense jungle environments, areas that predominantly consist of lush vegetation that remains relatively unaffected by seasonal changes.

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MultiCam Black™ pattern was developed to meet the unique requirements of law enforcement officers operating in high-risk environments. It projects a distinctly authoritative presence appropriate for domestic operations. MultiCam Black™ is designed to complement an officer’s existing equipment and present a sharp, professional image for top-tier law enforcement units. Compared to the A-TACS LE this seems both useful and sincere in its approach.

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MultiCam Alpine™ pattern was developed to effectively reduce the visual and near-IR signature of a person operating in snow-covered environments. It is intended to be used in every area of operation that receives significant snowfall. The MultiCam Alpine™ pattern can be paired with MultiCam® gear as needed to appropriately match the overall level of snow cover present.

Let us linger at the Alpine camouflage for a bit. In all fairness, there hasn’t been a lot of descent snow camouflages. At least not until recently. As the worlds conflicts are about to move from the Middle East to Eastern Europe and the Arctic it is a sensible decision, and Caleb Crye has always proved to be in the forefront of military equipment. In my mind MultiCam Alpine™ will do the job very well.

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Other winter-oriented camouflages that are getting in the fight are the Penncott Snowdrift, Kryptek Yeti (and maybe Raid, would be interesting to see) and the Stealth PXL Snow Camouflage used in Vertx’s Overwhite Suit.

Let’s hope this development continues.

Lowa Zyclone GTX

I have say that I love my Lowa boots. I’ve worn Lowa since I bought my first pair of Renegade GTX almost ten years ago. I am now using Lowa close to daily – My Zephyr GTX are my EDC boots I use for walking around town as well as recreational walks in the snow and sleet, I wear my Renegade GTX at work and I wore my Zephyr Desert treading the halls of SHOT Show 2013. For those long hikes with heavy loads I swear to my Lowa Combat GTX. All in all – I spend more time in Lowa boots than in my own bed.
I intend on doing a more extensive review of my different Lowas, but this news needs to be put out there.

Lowa are introducing the Lowa Zyclone GTX which is based on the Zephyr Hi. The end users, whom in this case would be military operators, would use the Zephyr boots in other ways then Lowa intended, and I do understand why – they are comfy as hell.
By request from these demanding customers Lowa developed the Zyclone GTX as a more stable boot with better support for carrying heavy loads and in rough terrain, all in all a sturdier product.
The boot is intended to offer the same level of comfort while offering better support compared to the Zephyr. The sole pattern is deeper and has a new profile adapted to rough terrain, the leather is also thicker than the Zephyr’s to protect the wearer. The sole is also higher on the inside of the boot, protecting from wear and tear from fast roping, rappelling and similar military activities. The boot comes in tan suede or black nubuck. Both colors have Gore-Tex lining and are all in all a tougher, sturdier boot intended for the most demanding of military operations.

MSRP are set at 325 – 345 USD

Zephyr on steroids, I can’t wait to try them out!

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A-TACS LE Camo

When I met and spoke with the creators of A-TACS at IWA in 2012 they told me that a winter version of the camouflage was going to be the next one made.
At SHOT they unveiled the new LE variant instead, intended for SWAT teams and similar type law enforcement units.
Now, the first A-TACS pattern seemed great in urban and some rural or wilderness type terrains. I could imagine its effectiveness in places like Grozny, old eastern European villages or certain arid regions.
Then there was a Woodland version, it seemed too bright especially for the pine forests of northern Europe where I reside. A dark green version of the regular A-TACS would have been my ideal choice, although I can see how the A-TACS FG would be useful in certain forest types.

This latest creation however, may I call it “dolphins in the deep-pattern”? I honestly fail to see a reason why A-TACS would create such a pattern. Sure, SWAT teams also need uniforms. But in all honesty; there are no natural environments where this camouflage would be effective. A solid colored green uniform which already is commonly used by LE entry teams provides adequate functionality camouflage wise and still distinguishes the law enforcement officers from military units.

I was honestly disappointed that A-TACS was unable to provide me with a look of the Snow version at SHOT this year, something I was and still are excited about. Let’s hope they will soon though, and that it looks like if someone rolled around in sleet and mud, peed on it and then lived in it for 2 years. Like my military over-whites looked like.

 

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