Viper Fleeces and Hoodies
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- Last updated: 23/06/2017
Each year, as spring starts turning into summer, I get a little excited and anticipate the phone call from the team at VIPER to let me know that their new clothing and kit for the coming year is ready to take a look at, and it’s always a great privilege to get to see it all when I visit their showroom.
I recently made the journey to VIPER HQ in Bedfordshire and caught up on all that’s new and improved and I have to tell you that there are some pretty exciting developments to look forward to in terms of new clothing, accessories, and tactical gear. Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen a distinct improvement in the quality and finish of VIPER gear but unlike many, they’ve made the decision to keep their pricing extremely keen and sensible, which means that putting together either a solid set of skirmish kit, or gear for the range, isn’t going to empty your wallet!
I’ve been in discussion with my local site to offer some training for their new players; this training will be about safe handling of their RIFs, and how to get the very best from them, so it’s going to be a Summer with even more Range Days for me to enjoy, as I’ll keep up my own regular training regime in addition to any courses I run.
Within their updated clothing range for 2017, Viper have extended their line of lighterweight fleeces by adding three new models; last year saw the introduction of the ELITE MID LAYER FLEECE, which has proved to be very popular indeed. It’s a simple quarterzip pullover top that’s absolutely ideal as a mid-layer when things are still a little chilly. Priced at just £22.50 it’s a great price and comes with a zip neck, elasticated cuffs with thumb holes, a high fleece collar and Velcro sleeve patches.
Notching things up a little (but because there is no zip, the price stays at a keen £23.95) is the TACTICAL HOODIE; constructed of a lightweight and durable fleece, it’s the absolutely perfect mid-layer, and although it does sport Velcro on both arms it’s very low-key. It’s quite close fitting, which is technically correct to maximise breathability, but the hood and ‘kangaroo’ pocket means that you can really warm yourself up easily.
The TACTICAL ZIPPED HOODIE is essentially the full-zip version of the simple Hoody, and at £31.95 it comes with two front handwarmer pockets and Velcro on both sleeves; if you’re intending to really use one of the new models as a dedicated layering garment, then this is probably the one you’ll want to look at, as the full front zip does make things easier in relation to mechanical venting. Should you feel that you’re overheating a bit, then you can easily open the zip by increments, to increase airflow around your body core.
If you do want to stick with something more traditional, with a full range of features, then at £29.95 the SPECIAL OPS FLEECE JACKET is going to tick all the boxes. Made from a 250g polyester fleece the, ‘OPS’ benefits from two zipped sleeve pockets with Velcro panels, one zipped chest pocket, two zipped lower front pockets, elasticated cuffs and an elasticated waist draw string. This is a really classic ‘tactical’ fleece that will work equally well under a shell jacket or plate carrier.
When I was at IWA, I had the opportunity to check out the entire new product range once again, and as I said earlier, there’s going to be a lot to talk about when it comes to VIPER product releases this year, so do watch this space. In terms of the new fleeces, I picked up a couple of the new Hoodies when I visited VIPER, and they’ve been worn pretty much every day since. They’ve both now had a number of washes and show little sign of ‘bobbling’, which is always a good indication of a good fleece fabric.
They are incredibly warm for their weight, and extremely comfortable to wear; from a technical perspective, the generous hood is the perfect accompaniment when you pop your shell jacket hood up in bad weather, allowing no cold spots to form, whilst maintaining maximum breathability! Once again, in my opinion, VIPER have delivered the goods and I’m looking forward to working with them again this year!
To keep up to date with the new VIPER Tactical products as they become available, please visit www. viperkit.co.uk. You can also follow VIPER Tactical via their Facebook and Instagram pages which are regularly updated.