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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
The buzzword for serious camouflage users is Multi-Cam from US based Crye Industries. Many armed forces have already adopted it, including the British, as it does seem to have the edge in most terrains and theatres of war it has already been used in.
The Editor, the biggest camo devotee I know besides myself detailed a Smock from level peaks Associates - a superb piece of kit. My brief - find good quality Multicam gear that doesn’t cost the earth and put it through its paces, so from top to toe - here we go…
The baseball cap is a TAS Genuine Multicam® from Templar Assault Systems made of 200 rip-stop material. One-size fits all, with a Velcro adjuster and further patches at the front top and side, for items likes names, rank etc. Face-cover options where the Recon Wrap or light scrim for summer, which can also be used for concealment equipment. The Wrap from Spec Ops is nothing more than a tube of spandex cloth that pulls up to conceal the face. It’s similar to a Buff in that it offers a number of wearing options - bandana, balaclava, etc. The Viper Special OPS Face Mask - not Multicam yet, but available in tan and green so is certainly suitable and for wet weather goes well with the other Viper Kit worn.
I chose the Disciple Hard Knuckle Nomex gloves, now a standard classic for military personnel. Manufactured from fire and flash retardant Dupont Nomex, the palms are covered in goatskin leather for strength flexability and protection. On the rear are Carbon Fibre hard knuckle shells offering added protection to the rear of your hand. The palm and back of finger area is also padded, the finger tips can be removed to offer greater dexterity. The Adjustable Velcro wrist strap ensures a secure snug fit.
Helikon ECWS GEN II Jacket
The Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWS) is a protective clothing system developed in the 1980s by the US Army. The jacket is the perfect choice for all weather conditions. It features a special, 3-layer fabric system using a cotton/polyester mix plus membrane that is waterproof, insulates and gives ideal protection against wind and also providing moisture infiltration, evaporation and promotes ventilation at the same time.
Using 100% Nylon with a PTFE Laminate, it’s water/windproof and breathable with a concealed fold away cobra hood with drawstring and adjustable nylon pulls. There is a sturdy two-way, full-front slide fastener that also provides full-face protection, leaving only the eyes uncovered. The zipper is covered with double storm flap with snap fasteners. The jacket has Raglan sleeves with a flapcovered pocket on each plus a hook and loop closure, armpit zip ventilation and snaps, double reinforced elbows and adjustable Velcro wrist cuffs. There are two cargo pockets on the lower front with hand warmer slots behind. Also two hidden map pockets at the upper front with Velcro closures can be opened without unfastening the front YKK double zipper storm flap.
The internal snow skirt, which prevents the weather entering underneath, was much handier than I first imagined making this a highly suitable choice for the all-weather hunter. All seams are taped; it has a Chest epaulet and a Bottom drawstring.
Helikon CG SFU Trousers
Featuring 9-pockets these quality trousers are comfortable, durable and thermoactive and composed of a 60/40% cotton/ polyester blend. They feature reinforced seat and knees and are made from 50% nylon/cotton ripstop material. All pockets fasten down with Velcro.
Helikon Combat Shirt
The body is 95% polyester, 5% Spandex, while the arms have removable hard ABS elbow pads. The sleeves are made from NyCo Rip-stop material which is 50% nylon/ cotton. There are zip-closed, side- entry pockets on each upper sleeve section, Velcro patches on the front of the sleeve pockets, small pocket on the inner lower section of the sleeves for a knife or similar and Velcro-adjust cuffs. The neck has a ¾ zip front. Sweat wicks away due to the front and rear body panelling and this is one of the best summer shirts I’ve used.
Elbow and Knee Pads
Some combat trousers and jackets have these already installed or pouches to accept them. I’ve chosen the neoprene knee and elbow pads from Viper. They are really good on the final stage of a stalk if you have to go belly down, equally they make kneeling for long periods more comfortable too.
The Khyber Multi-Cam Mountain Hybrid Boot I tested last year and Becketts have exclusive rights to it. They’re 8” high and manufactured from ‘rough-out’ cow hide and a Nylon Multicam fabric outer. There’s a breathable ‘Breathe Right’ Combat Lunar lining that helps wick away sweat and keep feet dry and comfortable. There’s a speed lacing system and the padded collar and upper offer even more comfort and protection while the strengthened outer framework gives almost perfect balance of flexibility, rigidity and protection.
The exclusive VIBRAM® ‘IBEX’ Out-sole are low profile, reducing weight with improved mobility. The cleats and lug pattern suit a wide variety of surfaces from mud to slippery grass. Integral deeply serrated ‘heel kicker’ helps prevent a slide. Toe and heel buffers extend up the front and rear. The removable TR-1 load bearing orthotic insole provides support and comfort. The boots are incredible light, very well made and extremely comfortable to wear.
I’m amazed at the choice of good quality kit now available in Multicam and impressed at how reasonably priced it is. However, much of it is aimed at the military and there’s a lot of Velcro involved and other features, which might not suit hunters so well. What is really needed for the sports market is some UK manufacturer to produce huntingorientated clothing etc, built for purpose.
TAS Contact Cap - £9.99
Viper Special OPS Face Mask- -£7.95 Scrim £5.99
SPEC-OPS Recon Wrap -£23.95
Disciple Hard Knuckle Gloves - Available in small medium Large Xlarge £25.99
Helikon Jacket: Sizes - small (33-37 Chest) med (37-41) large (41-45) x large (45-49) £79.99
Helikon Combat Shirt with elbow pads - £42.50
Helikon CG SFU Trousers - Available in small to XXL £28.99
Viper Neoprene - Elbow Pads £13.95 & Knee Pads £18.95 Olive Green or Black
Belleville Khyber Mountain Boots - £129.99 (Sizes 7 - 12UK)
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