Helikon Covert Pants and Straus Fleece jacket
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- Last updated: 17/07/2019
If you are a confirmed ‘jeans for everything’ type and have never seen the point of bothering with trousers specifically for shooting, it seems you might have been missing out!
The Helikon covert tactical pants on test are ideal for shooting and are made in a way that allows you to comfortably get into any conceivable shooting stance and move around unhindered. They are made from a lightweight nylon blend, which is highly stretchable and ‘self-adjusting’ but always returns to shape. The way the trousers are cut and assembled make them very comfortable to wear all day and they are obviously designed for very active use. The waistline is fastened using a large Velcro panel and also incorporates a good degree of elasticity, allowing a truly adjustable and comfortable fit.
When it comes to the allimportant pockets, these trousers do not disappoint. There are two front hand pockets, which have a reinforced edge to reduce wear and also to take pen clips or folding knives (UK law compliant knives only!). On the sides, there are two more good sized pockets, probably designed for spare magazines etc. but ideal for midsized items, and to the rear are two good deep pockets that will hold a wallet without it being on show or falling out. The bonus is two internal pockets, positioned diagonally to the waistline, which allow the discrete carrying of important items in a very secure way. As long as you do not have your belt done up too tightly, it is possible to access the internal pockets easily. With so many pockets, these trousers would be ideal to carry your accessories if you take part in airsoft or paintballing activities etc.
There are 10 wide belt loops, which are very well positioned for comfort and for accommodating belt attachments in the right places for easy access. They are also perfect for the Helikon polyester belt, which can be purchased separately and provides a strong attachment point for holsters, multi-tools etc. This belt uses a friction-grip closure rather than a prong-and-hole arrangement; so, it is fully adjustable to any size and is wide enough to be comfortable and strong.
The trousers are very hardwearing and proved totally resistant to snags and rough surfaces. When they get wet, they dry really quickly, so that if you get rained on, you do not have cold legs for very long, like you do with jeans, which seem to hold water and really bring down your body temperature. They also wash very well and do not need ironing!! The trousers are available in a range of colours, including black and khaki and they are cut so that they fit around combat boots very well. Overall, these are very good trousers, ideal for any outdoor activity, and good value for money.
Despite its name this is, in fact, not a heavy item at all. It is an extremely light and comfortable jacket, yet it provides a high level of insulation and protection from the elements. The jacket is also loaded with features and, as you would expect from Helikon, it is very high-quality.
The material used in the jacket is a superfine polyester fleece, which provides a high level of insulation and it is also fully breathable, so it controls both the body’s temperature and moisture. The elbows, collar and shoulders are protected with nylon panelling and there are mesh ventilation panels in the armpits. If additional ventilation is required, the inside of the chest panels is also mesh, so you can unzip the pockets and let more heat and moisture out.
There are two large chest pockets and two utility pockets on the sleeves, so plenty of storage space. The provision of pockets high on the chest, rather than ‘hand pockets’ down near the waist, takes a bit of getting used to but is actually far more practical and keeps things out of the way.
Zips are all good quality YKK products and the front zip is two way, with a good storm flap and a great chin guard for added comfort. The cuffs are elasticated to a comfortable degree and the bottom hem is fully adjustable. Both arms have a large Velcro panel, so you can easily personalise your jacket or add ‘First Aider’ badges and the like. The collar is just the right height, protecting your neck, without getting in the way and restricting movement of your head.
This is a very comfortable fleece and it allows freedom of movement even when fully zipped up. It proved ideal for wearing while shooting and the level of insulation and ventilation it provides made it very comfortable in a range of temperatures and conditions. It is available in a variety of colours and in sizes from XS to 3XL.
This is unquestionably a highquality fleece, very well made and very functional. The level of wind protection is surprisingly good and it certainly performs like a ‘heavy fleece’, despite its light weight. All the features, the zips, chin guard etc., are all well thought out and practical, adding to the comfort and functionality of the fleece. The pockets up at chest level are a bit unusual, but once you get used to them they prove very functional and are actually better than pockets down at waist level. A lot of fleeces offer some of these features, to some extent but this is the first one that seems to offer them all and get them all just right. This is a brand that seems to maintain a very high level of quality across the full range of their products.
Thanks to Military 1st for supplying