New Jack – Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids Review

New Jack – Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids Review

Introduction – These Boots Are Made for Walking

Whilst even though I’m on a temporary hiatus I thought I’d dust off the blog and run up a review on my new boots, the Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids in Maple.

I recall as far back as my formative years, when attending high school I’d clock up considerable mileage on foot walking the three miles there and back again.

As such, I actually consider walking not only enjoyable, but a past time too.

It was then, I started to take a keen interest in footwear and enabled by fathers time in the Marines, and ever intrigued by his latest and greatest boot he’d purchased for duty as a PoliceOfficer I heeded and absorbed no end of solid advice on what makes a good boot, and there subsequent maintenance and care.

Now, whilst in more recent years, due to my own career, I’ve not only been issued a slew of high end boots for duty – such Lowa, Alt-Berg and Meindl, I’ve traditionally worn, in all weathers a high boot not only for ‘PlasticDeth’ (Airsoft, MilSim – whatever your preferred nomenclature is) but, walking to and from work, and out and about in everyday life.

Why? well, despite living in leafy suburbia and my daily commute into the city, you’d be amazed the amount of mud, gravel, sand there is to traverse and not forgetting snow, ice and frost and of course the United Kingdom’s ever abundant precipitation.

In my teens I was very much taken by high end skate wear, however, I was alway crestfallen when they picked up dirt and grime or worse, not cope with the inclement weather or withstand the daily tread of urban environments.

I must confess, my like my daughters beloved Peppa and George, I too have a propensity to walking through muddy puddles. I take no end of pleasure, and affirmation putting the latest and greatest boots through a little bit of ‘water torture’ too …

Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids ‘Maple’ Boots

I discovered Obōz whilst seeking to replace my much loved and subsequently third pair of Salomon Quest 4D GTX’s in the ubiquitous ‘Absolute Brown’ – a truly superb boot, and as they where becoming harder to find in that color way, I turned elsewhere.

Initially looked long and hard at Crispi’s ‘Nevada’ boots, but being unable to settle upon an agreeable price, let alone find my size I was dissuaded by conflicting size conversion. However, it was here Obōz popped up on amongst my searches and with additional recommendation from GearWhores Anonymous I was compelled to take the plunge and jump all in …

Here, disaster struck, and the fledgling Obōz had no distribution outside of the States, nor could I find any in stock or at reasonable price without exorbitantly priced shipping costs.

Fortunately, my new boot dilemma was solved in the form of AKU’sPilgrimGTX’s and whilst they are just about serviceable, they’ve been retired after over a years very heavy use and abuse, I’m sure I’ll pick up another pair of those too, in the future.

So, again in need of new footwear, I found a UK based company stocking not only a wide selection of Obōz footwear, but my ‘grail’ the Bridger Bdry Mid – in the Maple color way too, with 40% off, I doubled down without a moments hesitation.

About Obōz

Outside + Bozeman = Obōz.

Based in Bozeman, Montana. Revolutionary footwear in groovy designs. Technical does not have to be dull! Obōz has just what you need when it comes to trail shoes, hiking shoes, hiking boots and mountaineering boots. Oh, and casual wear of course.

FACT: Being the good guys that they are, they plant a tree for every shoe sold.


Waterproof Nubuck Leather

• BDry Membrane: Keep dry when the trail isn’t. Our proprietary BDry membrane blocks water from wet trails while wicking sweat away.

Moulded Rubber Toe Cap

• Moulded Heel Counter: Snug heel hold that’s built to last. We mould this heel counter, making it extra durable against collapse.

Construction: Board Lasted

• BFit Deluxe Insole: A supremely supportive insole, engineered specifically for our shoes. The BFit Deluxe Insole stabilizes arches, protects high-impact zones, and costs nothing extra.

• Midsole: Dual Density EVA

• TPU Chassis – Lightweight, powerful armoring and stability. Our TPU Chassis provides featherweight, effective armour underfoot, reducing stone bruising and torsional twist.

• Nylon Shank

Outsole: Granite Peak

• Weight (approx.): 539 g

Review – A First Impression

Without a doubt it’s a great looking boot, well – in my opinion, and I’d wager as many of the aesthetics seen here are carried across the range of Obōz’ boots, it’s certainly proved popular with the ever growing legion of Obōz .

I’m a huge fan of the Maple Nubuck Leathers colorway, it offsets nicely against the orange and black furniture surrounding the boot, and it’s washed grey green Pantone suitably subtle and reserved for any setting.

More in importantly, the Nubuck is proofed offering the boots it’s initial first defense against precipitation and standing water.

I take no end of pleasure seeing water bead of any apparel and these boots are no exception.

Already trialed out in heavy rain and slick mud, the Bridger Bdry’s seem almost hungry for more abuse, the wetter the better.

It was here too, traversing through rain filled and slick muddy pathways the ‘Granite Peak’ outsole and TPU Chassis combined with the boots midsole’s dual density EVA really shined and performed solidly – offering real grip and traction, switching seamlessly from inch this mud to gravel within a beat and no impact on positive tread.

The outer soles patented ‘GranitePeak’ is aggressively cut and toothed elevating the foot and the rest of the boot, giving a generous elevation off and away from whatever terrain you are traversing.

Whilst it wore quickly, when worn on concrete, the outer sole does have a beveled texture and this gives the grip a nice tacky tread, especially when the deck is wet or slick from either rain or frost.

That said, other than the fine texture the soles have shown zero fatigue, damage or otherwise – they’re as tough as they are aggressive looking.

The boots rubberized toe cap pushes debris, dirt and dust and moisture away from the boot with ease, and here I’m happy to report its generously oversized so as you’d expect, offering not only protection from unwanted bumps and scrapes but admirably over performs.

Likewise the rear of the boot nylon shank offers protection and assists with a solid posture of the foot when laced securely against the ankle, despite being a lower cut mid boot, particular with the rear of the boots mouth being scalloped to allow great movement I nonetheless felt assured by the boots support.

So, essentially the two part sole forms a base, or rather platform within which the boots Nubuck outer and proprietary GoreTex lining sits, which is further protected by the rubberized cap and nylon shank.

However, Obōz haven’t stopped there, and put in the own in house designed Bfit Deluxe Insole, superior support, stabilizes arches, protects high-impact zones – it’s perhaps here thar truly the Bdry’s quality and innovative design is best represented.

All of the above is finished off with generously thick laces, which naturally secure the boot and lock off the tongue and mouth of the boot.

They fit true to size, and when properly opened and released utilizing the lace system they are very easy to don abs doff, and of course as easy to securely cinch too.

It’d be remiss of me to not mention the boots weight, at only 539g these are barely noticeable when worn, when you can tear your eyes away from how good they look that is …

I’m already an immediate fan, and as it stands today highly impressed, and as such looking at the slightly higher cut variant in black for work, particularly when duties call upon us to explore some unforgiving and muddy terrain.

I’d argue, despite the competitive price point, Obōz have very generously over engineered a very high end boot. The Bridger Bdry gives many of its high end competitors a serious run for their money. I’d best describe these as ‘foot armor’ – with its two part component outer sole offering abrasive traction and protection, the midsole giving substantial shock absorption too. Leaving the inner sole to cushion, support and assist the foots natural articulation and tread, rubber toe cap and nylon shank covering the front and rear – Obōz has your back.

Don’t just take my word for it, Rich over at the Reptile House, lauded them as the boot communities best kept secret and warmly welcomed me into the ‘secret cabal’ of Obōz faithful.

I’d encourage any outdoors enthusiast, experienced or casual walker or explorer – or even for that matter die hard exponent of ‘Plastic Deth’ to duly consider Obōz when looking to purchase a new boot. A truly welcome, and warmly received entry to the ‘gear locker’ – S23

*Bonus Section – Danish Endurance Merino Wool Socks

For years, I’ve eschewed perhaps the most vital part for truly enjoying and optimizing any boot I’ve owned, socks !!!

Whilst I’ve used either good quality cotton or wool socks, or generic thicker twill boot socks – I’ve missed out on what some of the hiking and trekking ‘boot communities’ have been enjoying for decades.

I’ve a few other brands to try, but initially opted for Danish Endurance’ Merino Wool Hiking Socks in Forest Green no less.

Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking Socks are the perfect hiking partner to help you perform at your best.

These socks are designed to keep your feet dry, warm and comfortable.

The cushioning will prevent your feet from getting blisters, aching and optimize ventilation.

1) Premium craftsmanship for durability

2) Perfect Anatomical fit

3) Optimum padding to prevent blisters and wick away perspiration

Constructed from 33% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic and 33% Polyamide plus 1% Elastane – these are an ingenious hybrid of Boot, Sports and Support sock all rolled into one.

The thick Merino Wool panels offer warmth to the toes, heel and lower ankle. Acrylic calf and upper foot stretches to promote correct articulation and Polyamide stretch panels proffer support.

These compliment the boots no end and will be surely stocking up on more imminently – S23

S23 FAMILIA Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 Anniversary Edtn.

Qty Remaining: 77


Pre Order the classic ‘Beer Mat’ Cloth Patch – now, new, improved, and rejuvenated for 2018 we are proud to offer the limited Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ classic edition for 2018. Strictly Limited run to only 100 pieces, only a maximum of two patches per order – never to be repeated.

This is a redesigned variant of the original Mk I ‘Beer Mat’ originally produced by ToySoldier for us, which was subsequently put out as a ‘give away’ – the original patches went as far as Finland, Norway, Japan, Australia, United States, Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and of course all over the United Kingdom – S23


Keepin’ It Real – Spotlight and Review Pt II on Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear ‘The Centurion 1/2 Zip Pullover

Keepin’ It Real – Spotlight and Review Pt II on Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear  ‘The Centurion 1/2 Zip Pullover

Back to Business, Temporarily …

As some of you may already gathered, or even read on the S23 Facebook page, I’m taking a break, and as such putting all of this on a much needed hiatus.
Sure at some point, I’ll be back, when I’m ready and put the whole show back on the road.
But, in the interim – as I wrap up for the year I’ve a few more pieces that require my attention, and I’ll work through these at a pace and tempo that’s desirable to me.

Cannae’s ‘The Centurion 1/2 Zip Pullover

So, onto business in hand, and I’m here to review Cannae Pro Gears ‘The Centurion’ 1/2 Zip Performance Pullover.

We’d recently enjoyed reviewing and giving Cannae’s ‘The Phalanx’ a thorough overview and as such now turn our attention to this piece, from their extensively growing range of apparel.
Essentially, in its most basic interpretation it’s an iteration of the venerable soft shell. Whilst not quite designed or expected to perform perhaps in general terms of other jackets specifically with the brief as outlined, or rather coined by the designation ‘soft shell’ it does offer many similar qualities, performance and even a few little positive differences which actually in some respects should afford The Centurion it’s own designation.

What does that mean in layman’s terms ?
Well, whilst it affords reasonable protection against the elements, such as wind, frost and even considerable precipitation – it’s fabricated from materials traditionally not used by more traditional ‘soft shell’ jackets.
Ergo, they’ve opted here for a more contemporary and technical suite of materials which when combined, not only offer protection from the elements, but dry faster when it truly does become saturated, and you’d be surprised just how heavy the rain has to be before The Centurion accepts defeat. 

But, the breathable fabric expels moisture actively and thusly drys quicker and reverts instantly back to its repellency …
It’s lower torso is also lined and as such traps warmth and is a superb performer for assisting in keeping you comfortable when temperatures drop.

Good Lookin’ Out

But, before we discuss these in further detail, initial impressions on appearance, cut, fit and form.
Without a stitch or seam out of place, The Centurion surely looks the part, and its inimitable black non reflective subdued colorway looks sublimely menacing, sleek and aggressively athletic in cut and form.
However, in complete contrast, as eye pleasingly cool as it looks to me, a long time fan boy and aficionado of tactical gear and apparel, it truly and equally is at home on the street or office space as it is on the ‘proverbial’ battle field.
It in a word looks smart, comprehensive and devoid of needless accessories is a subtly essential addition to any enthusiasts gear locker without needlessly drawing attention to yourself.
Even Cannae’s logo, whilst proudly taking pole position on the upper right corner of the shells torso is subdued.
As such, I’ve utilized this in a myriad of conditions, and more importantly over broad variety tasks.
Everything from duty at work, late night in game to more spells at work at height and plunging temperatures.
It’s also seen everyday wear to and from the store, frosty early morning runs to casually relaxing out in the autumnal ‘patrols’ with my youngest …

The end result has been the same, even taking a few scuffs and knocks along the way from some fairly abusive wear, it has retained its fit, form and function admirably.
It’s attracted admiring respect on immediate appearance in the office, but overt enough it’s not attracted unwanted attention when worn elsewhere as ‘unauthorized non issue kit’.

The arms, shoulders and chest material is made from a durable wind-resistant poly soft shell to absorb the tough contact while the body is made of a super soft breathable poly micro-fiber. Plus, a bit of flexible spandex is added throughout for tactical maneuverability with everyday comfort.

It’s non reflective exterior has, perhaps more decisively won my admiration as it’s effectively aided concealment and camouflage when out at a recent ‘Night Game’ – and whilst by no means IR defeating, it certainly offered considerable additional concealment when coupled with my favored ‘low light’ camouflage, my ‘Woodland’ M81 G3 patterned pants …

… micro fleeced lining …

As simple and streamlined as the Centurion is, you’d nary expect or immediately spot or even be aware of some of its features.
I’m 6ft tall, a 42″ chest and if memory serves a 16″ collar, which inordinately long arms, I often have to scale up to an XL cut, as I’m often left wanting at the cuff, particularly when I extend my arms. 

Here, Cannae have actually put in considerable homework and R&D’d a set of dimensions which happily straddle both an atheistically athletic performance cut and style, whilst not not comprising on an all round generous fit and form.
It’s either serendipity or ingenious development but this goes a long way to assisting when combining this with other outer layers, as it sleek profile gives a good space between the outer layer to trap warmth – conversely it’s loose enough to accommodate with ease either a base layer, or even a tee and a shirt with out building up excessive heat …


Extreme situations call for high performance technical apparel gear. Engineered for maneuverability and flexibility, The Centurion Performance Pullover provides the active operator an ideal alternative for any scenario. 

It’s essentially of a two part construction, using a power stretch zippered upper across the top of the chest, shoulders and arms, which offers a slightly more resistive posture against any LBE, Armor or Packs you may use, more over its this portion which truly offers shelter from rain and the wind.
The lower portion, a far more softer twill, with a very giving elasticity is lined with a breathable micro fleece inner, which offers great control for trapping warmth and maintain core temperature.
It’s collar is structured and fitted cut, zippered to allowing don and doffing with ease, and when the wind picks up secures closely up and around just below the chin and high around the back of the neck to keep out the cold.
It’s worth noting the YKK zips are rubberized with an affixed cap, and the feature a small overlapping cuff when fully closed to house the zip out securely of the way.

 Features include easy-entry left arm zipper pocket, elbow patches for additional durability, generous patch fields on both arms to customize your identification. Spandex binding at cuffs helps keep the heat in and the cold out.

Shoulders, Arms, and Chest made of Durable wind-resistant Soft Shell

Body is a breathable micro-fiber poly

Left Arm Zipper Pocket

Patch Fields on Both Arms

Spandex Trim at Cuffs

I’m a fan, and whilst I don’t give marks out of ten this is a worthy contender for your hard earned cash. It’s can be sought out for a little as $49.95 (£38.15 at the time of going to print) if you know where to look on line, hint just type in ‘Cannae The Centurion‘ into your browser …

As such, it’s been proudly added to the gear locker, and has rarely been a day without use since it landed on my desk.
If I had any criticisms, they’d be either moderately driven towards the aesthetic – the inner collars sweat panel, where the size and washing instructions are housed are on a rather gaudy grey urban camouflage print, think how amazing it’d be to have an M81 or Multicam panel, hell, even UCP would really killer …
The only over criticism I’d offer is the spandex trim on the cuffs, whilst superb and has without compromise held its stitching, for assurance and perhaps longevity should be double stitched, but it’s a minor quibble and has not failed yet.
To push it out on a high note, and I’d argue others should take heed, the Velcro fields on both arms have ‘merrowed’ borders. This prevents wear and tear, secures the Velcro field and is far more covert and professional in fit and finish. Right, I’m off to get a coffee, and yes you guessed it, I’m taking The Centurion with me – S23

You can check out more from Scott Country and view all their products including Cannae Pro Gear at the links below:

Scott Country Web

Scott Country Facebook

Scott Country Instagram

Cannae Pro Gear Web:

Cannae Pro Gear Facebook

Cannae Pro Gear Instagram


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Balance The Odds Pt. V – an interview with Hermes Medical

Balance The Odds Pt. V – an interview with Hermes Medical

So, we’ve interviewed HHK (Hestehovkompaniet) Trident EOD, Arquebus Control Team and of course Sky One from Norway’s stunning RealSim collective Task Force Exorbitance

We round the series with Hermes Medical, by no means last and definitely not least, Hermes are pivotal in keeping the rest of the TF in the fight.
Here we’ll talk through their kits, gears and blasters and these impressionistas Medic and PJ (ParaJump Rescue) inspired load outs, and more importantly their quintessential role within Exorbitance.

S23: Welcome aboard, last but not least it great to round out what’s been an astounding series of interviews with Hermes
Dialing it right back to the beginning, how long have you been playing ‘Plastic Deth‘ (Airsoft) and how did it all start ?
M03: Like most of us, I and my friends in our early teens bought some springer pistols at this local shop that didn’t really care about age, rules and such. We had ‘BB Warz‘ in our backyards, of course this was not accepted by our parents but ever since, I’ve always thought that Airsoft had so much potential, little did I then know what I had in store. 

… the early days …
When I found a local, organized club in early 2013.
I found a few likeminded guys and we went all in with Russian gear, I think it took three months before I went from casual gamer to impressionist.

‘Leeroy Jenkins !!!’ (Now)
I joined ‘Spetsgruppa K‘ and from there I got to know some really cool guys, including HHK.

S23: What was you first taste of the Norwegian RealSim scene, what sort of impact did that have on where you wanted to go ?
M03: I didnt really get into RealSim before I had already gone from Spetsgruppa K and joined TF Exo, what really drove me into this extreme niche was the dedication the other guys had, the constant drive to be better, make the experience better for others and the friendship within the Task Force.

S23: Possibly one of the more eclectic, possibly even difficult load outs to develop and evolve – what inspired the PJ and Medic load outs of Hermes ?
M03: Hermes wanted to fit in with TF Exo, so we started out with the guys from ‘Inside Combat Rescue‘ (National Geographic PJ documentary) and the last year we have been moving towards modern STS (Special Tactics Squadron) just to get our hands on some better gear and follow the timeline with the rest of TF Exo.

S23: How much painstakingly excruciating research did you have to put in ?
M03: Oh my god, you have no idea! I went from Russian gearwhore to AFSOC PJ in like, five months, I had literally no clue on western gear, I hardly knew what a LBT 6094 was. 

Fortunately I had a lot of help from the rest of the Task Force, and they knew that I didn’t know that much on western gear. Asgeir, the founder of Hermes already had a basic kitlist but like the rest of the Task Force, I like to customize my loadout a bit more than the basic kitlist, and make it more effective for our missions. The last year, when we have been moving towards STS, the new guys, M04 and M06 have really made an effort in identifying kit, finding pictures and guiding Hermes the right way, I couldn’t have done it without them.

M03 with a member of Grey Group

Special Tactics Squadrons consist of Special Tactics Officers, Combat Controllers, Combat Rescue Officers, Pararescuemen, Air Force Special Operations Weather Technicians, Air Liaison Officers, Tactical Air Control Party operators, and a number of combat support airmen which comprise 58 Air Force specialties.
S23: Now, for the most part, I’d imagine much of your medical expertise and its application is simulated and undoubtedly brings a very new dynamic to RealSim events – is this immersion possibly something that more events should explore. I’d imagine it adds no end of tone and tempo to the proceedings?
M03: Most definitely! Strict medic rules changes the whole dynamic to the event! 

Everyone should be afraid to get hit, and getting hit should have consequences for the rest of the team, even the mission, and having dedicated medics should be rewarded. When TF Exo participate in events with simple medic rules, we play with RealSim rules just to heighten our own experience, and possibly guys around us also …
S23: … and how much of your ‘in game medical care’ is counterpointed by real world first aid and medical care, I’d imagine any knowledge, even routine basic first aid would prove to be invaluable for the environments you often find yourselves in ?
M03: The average Airsoft player is not in always average shape, lets face it, and when an average player runs sround in the woods, injuries are bound to happend, so yeah, some basic first aid training comes in handy.

 Asgeir serves in the Norwegian military, I myself was a medic in the military and those of us who have got no training or experience in first aid, we teach. 

The pack is a TSSI M9, there are several producers of the same pack, but mine is from Tacops. Its a great pack, slim and low profile – you can carry all the essentials, but not much more. When I served I had a much bigger pack with alot more equipment, but then I did not walk all the time, so it was no big deal. What I really like about the pack is how you can customize it to your needs. You got padded shoulderstraps, but if you dont like them and they get in the way of your weapon, you got these really slim straps attatched to the pack. You got three different inner panels, and you can change every pocket, even rip them out.

We are also a good resource for others around us who may be more skilled than us, since our backpacks are filled with real, relevant first aid supplies.

S23: … it surely must be quite exhilarating, patching up a ‘fallen comrade’ and getting your buddy up and running again all the whilst drawing fire – do you utilize tactics to concentrate on the task in hand while the rest of the team give cover and pull security?

: Yeah, its kind of ‘own safety first’ – Hermes falls, Exo is f****d, so we get some guys to help us get our fallen back behind the line of fire, or we move the line of fire forward so we can reach our guys. In extreme cases where nothing else is possible, we just run as fast as we can towards the fallen. The adrenaline and kick you get when you are reviving a fallen team mate and people are shooting at you or the guys beside you are really something to experience.
S23: Talk us through you personal load out, what modifications and adjustments have you made to improve functionality at events, Skirmishes and RealSim‘ ?

M03: The key factor is weight and access to medical kit, so I have TQ’s in my shoulder pads for quick application, scissors between the kangaroopouch and vest, carabiner hook on the stock to hang the rifle up and away if we are treating someone in a vehicle, my backpack is almost the exact setup as I had in the military so i know every pocket, content e.t.c. for easy, smooth use. Since we dont roll in Blackhawks we pretty much carry everything with us, including litters, IV’s and such so our loadouts are pretty clean, nothing is unnecessary, everything is put to use.

Hermes and other elements of TF Exo

S23: And of course, your blaster – I take it you still use the Marui M4 NGRS as a base platform ?
M03: Yes, we are still using the Marui M4 as our standard platform but as our gear have transitioned to the modern STS PJ Era, so have our rifles. Most of our guys are currently running M4 CQBR with 9.5″ Daniel Defense rails and 10.3″ barrels with up to date accessories. Other than our standard M4’s we have started our reconnaissance loadouts where we’ll be utilizing an M110, SR-25 and M14 EBRS.

S23: … Really appreciate you taking the time out to talk, obligatory last question I always like to ask (kind of a trademark), I’m a fan of 30 Rounds per mag, what’s your thoughts on this – could you see this perhaps bringing something new and fresh to game play if embraced by the masses ? 

M03: definitely, like strict medicrules, lowcaps change the hole dynamic, you have to think before every shot, count rounds, even better, before the event you have had to zero your sights to make every round count – M03

Keep up to date with Hermes right here on  Hermes Medical Facebook:

Huge thanks to M03, and of course to all of Task Force Exorbitance who’ve made this series of interviews such a resounding success. Don’t forget, of course you can catch up with the other four parts right here, and see what role HHK, Trident, Arquebus and Sky One play in TF EXOS23


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Balance The Odds Pt. IV – an interview with Sky One

Balance The Odds Pt. IV – an interview with Sky One

Sky One, possibly the least visible online and more importantly, or relevantly in game – are Task Force Exorbitance‘ two man ‘Reconnaissance’ element. Often found deep beyond friendly positions, deep behind enemy lines and far in advance of the TF’s other elements, HHK (Hestehovkompaniet) Hermes (Medics), Trident (EOD) and Arquebus (Communications).
Providing real time intelligence visually and over the TF’s communications net as well as providing long range overwatch utilizing their specialized and custom blasters. 
As the fourth part of our series, with TF Exorbitance we sit down with one of their elusive members to get the insiders perspective of being a ‘Recce’ patrol group.

: Welcome aboard and thank you for being apart of this series. Rather than the obligatory ‘Plastic Deth‘ (Airsoft) history – we’ll jump straight in with this opening gambit, what exactly does the ‘Reconnaissance’ role you and your counterpart play as part of TF Exorbitance ?

: Thank you for letting us be a part of the series. Yeah, the reconnaissence part is actually really basic. We are the guys in the front, scouting the area and observing the enemy, and the occasional “sniper” missions too. We are only two guys at the moment, so our team is light and fast. That is one of the key parts. 

: Whilst I’m aware, in part from a rare photo of you guys taking part in a VBSS training exercise – you have access to more ‘commonly seen’ gears and blasters as sported by the remainder of the group. How does the specialist gears, kits, equipment and blasters differ from everyone else, specifically with application to your ‘Recce’ role ?

: Well our equipment is more long range oriented. Heavy upgraded rifles with long range optics, concealment gear, a good spotter scope, and basically stuff that will make us survive three day or more. Big ass rucksacks and long range communication is also very important. 

: Often working far in advance from the rest of the TF, often in less than hospitable conditions and seasoned veterans of Norway’s RealSim community, your experience in the field must be really put to the test on regular occasion. What have you learned, and what additional or specialist equipment do you utilize to make your time in the AO a little easier and bearable ?

: Most of what I have learned is from my time in the military, but this gets put on test from time to time because there is no one around to guide us and the environment can easily kill you if you are not smart. Warm and dry clothes is crucial to make it easy. 

Knowing when to take it off and when to put it on. No actual special equipment other than standard (Norwegian standard that is) winter survival gear. But the best equipment I can point to is the Eagle Industries hand warmer, Salomon Quest 4D boots and Outdoor Research Gaiters.

S23: Gunngir recently commented that comm’s are put to good use amongst your TF, I’ve used over the last few years similar if not identical systems to not only keep good communication with team mates but larger elements to good effect, he furthered that comm’s and the benefits of investing in such equipment is key to making teams not only more effective but opening up new tactics and options possibly otherwise not afforded to those who overlook this facet of RealSim, what’s your experience with using a good command net and how does it benefit your role and the rest of the TF ?

: For us it’s absolute bread and butter. We can’t go out and recon the area without good and stable comms. We can’t pass information to the rest of the team, and without us they often has to go in “blind”. 

We need to know where the enemy is and their strength. And It’s good to know where HVT’s are and where patrol units go. 

If we have good comms and a good spotting position, we can guide the DA teams pretty close without being seen. This lessen the risk for large casualties and mission failures …

: You both often employ some specifically unique blasters, which really give you some real long range capabilities – talk us through these ?

: We have two SR25 DMR’s, which is what we usually use for our primary blasters.

One M40A3 which is for when we are going on sniper missions to take out MG positions, HVT’s or counter sniper missions. This goes on one of our backpacks usually and one is always a spotter and radio man. 

We also have basic Tokyo Mario NGRS 416’s. One is a bit more longrange oriented with shortdot and long Geiselle rail. 

And ofcourse our custom Salient Arms Glocks

S23: As such, most modern militaries boast in some shape or form, a ‘Recce’ capability – however, rarely heard of, shrouded in OpSec or rarely seen in the wild, has this made researching your gears difficult ?

: Yes it has, but we have some basic guide lines …

: What was the primary influence or inspiration for your Recce builds, as research material is scarce to say the least ?

: It’s a role we both enjoy so after trying it out a bit here and there, we decided to make a proper kit for it and we also got a tip from H-47 that they needed a recon team in Exo, so a lot of the inspiration comes from there …

Not much is known about CAG recce units, so we use some aspects from DA such as certain brands they have been seen with and use our imagination for the rest, this allows for some freedom, but we thought through very thoroughly when building our kits. 

S23: Now, whilst HHK are storming compounds and putting squeeze on the OpFor, Trident busy breaching and clearing positions or taking care of disposal of enemy ordnance, Arquebus coordinating it all over a tightly maintained command net and Hermes keeping everyone in the fight, what is often your perspective of the action, or even overall an event – is somewhat slightly more sedate and a game of patience or do you still get to participate in at least some of the action ?

: Most of the time we spend we’re taking shifts in looking through a spotting scope, taking notes and reporting, but if we are needed, we will ditch our backpacks and all the gear we don’t find necessary and join in on the action.

It’s a game of patience, but when we have set up the gear and we’re high up on the side of a mountain you can see all that the enemy are doing, It’s actually really fun and exiting, especially when we are stalking someone. Like when you are hunting for large game.

S23: … and, if you get ‘bumped’ – what’s your escape and evasion plan ?

:  When s*** hits the fan, we pack fast and run like hell and let the rest of the team know that we are compromised or we hide nearby, leaving the “camp” behind and either wait or ambush them unless its a large group. 

: Immersion, realism and attention to detail amongst the entire TF have brought admiration and applause from the globe over. Despite this, you’ve a passion for Airsoft, gears, kits and blasters that is refreshingly pleasing to see such longstanding passion – what do you have planned next for Sky One ?

: Next plan is perhaps a new long-range bolt rifle and upgrading our DMR’s. Also work on our sneaking/infiltration game and camouflage. 

: Before we part out, with our trademark question, could briefly talk us through your personal ‘Recce’ load out, what LBE (Load Bearing Equipment) Boots, Clothing etc you are currently using ?

: We are both running Blue Force GearRack Minus‘ with a combo of Crye and TYR pouches. 

Crye combat/field and our signature LEAF Jacket and Boonie. Boots are Salomon Q4D. Outdoor Research Gaiters. TRI and TCA PRC 152. S-04 is running a Arc’teryx Khyber 80, and S-10 is running a Mystery Ranch SATL assault pack. 

: … Really appreciate you taking the time out to talk, obligatory last question I always like to ask (kind of a trademark), I’m a fan of 30 Rounds per mag, what’s your thoughts on this – could you see this perhaps bringing something new and fresh to game play if embraced by the masses ? 

: We really like the idea of ‘real cap’ in CQB and MilSim events. It would make people think a bit more before they pull the trigger. We don’t shoot much anyways so we wouldn’t notice any difference in it.

Huge thanks to René from  Sky One for an awesome interview. Stay tuned for part five coming soon. Don’t forget to catch up with parts one, two and three of our Task Force Exorbitance series featuring Hestehovkompaniet, Arquebus and Trident too – S23

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The Great ‘Plastic Deth’ Trendkill – The Ai500 ‘Unfinished Business’

The Great ‘Plastic Deth’ Trendkill – The Ai500 ‘Unfinished Business’

This weekend just gone, 22nd through to the 24th of September, I again for the eighth time had the pleasure and honor to lead once again Task Force Viper, and face our formidable foes (friends) Team Mongoose.

Held for the second time this year, again using the eerily abandoned and apocalyptically derelict theme park located amongst the leafy confines of Cleethorpes in the North East of England.

Over 350 players assembled to partake in over two days of ‘Plastic Deth‘ and bring this years storyline of ‘post civil war’ power play to its earth shattering and explosive conclusion …

Airsoft International‘ – The Ai500Unfinished Business‘ is clearly still a relevant, popular draw amongst players not just here in the United Kingdom, but globally drawing players from all over the world from Belgium, The States, New Zealand, Denmark, Holland, Greece and of course not forgetting ‘The Isle of Man‘.

… Isle of Man’s Colin C – photo courtesy of JVis & MvE photography
Not only hosting possibly one of the largest fixed battle large scale Airsoft events, it also gives opportunity to celebrate the very best of the Airsoft Community – it’s profoundly unique in inception and large scale in vision.


Upon arrival, it was ideal opportunity to meet old and new friends alike, and take opportunity to not only set up gear, kit and blasters in preparation for the two days ahead, but also to take the opportunity to relax and unwind after a long hard week at work. This actually, whilst not always possible at any and every event always goes a long way to getting into the mindset and mood perhaps best intentioned to fully enjoy and embrace the event.

… kits, gears and blasters …
Present to not only offer a wide variety of accessories, consumables and erstwhile last minute forgotten purchases – but HR4K had an abundance of Rogue American apparel and Black Rifle Coffee on sale, Enola Gaye with their pyro, smoke and of course new their new FUG gloves. Scott Country alongside their new optics, NVG’s and thermal imaging had much to offer with their new Cannae Pro Gear range including two new jackets in their subdued color ways. Viper also on hand to cover any last minute clothing or load bearing issues. Of course ASG and ICS where presents with a complete range of demonstration models to try and stock to purchase. All of which was rounded out by Pilgrim Bandits veteran charity as well as Airsoft Internationals stand, here you could meet the team and editorial and pick up that missing copy of Ai

After Friday’s intermittent rain, after some good food, a few beers and even better yet hot coffee – the assembled teams gathered to wage war once again, fortunately to an otherwise fresh and bright Saturday morning.
It always never fails to impress, the lengths people go to travel to not only events like the Ai500, but it’s staggering to see the effort and logistics you, the players put in to get yourselves here safely, with all your kit, gears and blasters – and all the supporting ephemera to sleep, feed and get your selves through the event.
Whilst by no means a parade or a fashion show both teams look truly formidable, resplendent in their respective load outs. Vipers opting for the arid brushed tones of Multicam, Digital Desert patterns and Team Mongoose using a solid mix of Blacks and Greens, DPM and M81 Woodland. It’s a truly simple, yet effective way of not only giving both teams a unique identity, but offers both teams equal footing to camouflage themselves amongst the autumnal foliage without giving either an advantage over the other or detracting from the suspension of disbelief …

‘Honary’ 2IC Jon A ‘The Pirate Raccoon’
After Ai’s Editor and event lead, Ben W’s succinctly perfunctory but no less compellingly comprehensive safety brief, the greens departed for their Forward Base of Operations, leaving us The Vipers to brief out our first objectives at the old disused ‘mono rail’ station – its elevated platform gave me a superb view of the site and allowed me to plot movement of our call signs with ease …

The action started furiously, with our first objective underway, to rescue a team of downed special forces, superbly played by our guest from the Isle of Man, the Manx Airsoft Club – the remainder of Viper went in to extract them …
If I recall, whilst not entirely successful – this did set the tone, tempo and action for not only the remainder of the day – hard, fast and relentless – whilst always in good spirits, it was clearly evident this was to be a hotly contested event, violent in action with every inch of ground fought for by both sides almost quite literally nose to nose …

Charlie Coy’s Sub Commander Neil W
This time around, the lower left corner of the sight, just on the south eastern corner of the lake had been annexed – this gave the green a rotationally clockwise path of egress towards the remains areas of the AO – either alongside the lakes rail track or up through the old farm infrastructure which whilst providing cover, was more serpentine to navigate and perhaps somewhat slowed their advance. We alternately had a straight run up the main drag, and this gave us two points of entry on the north eastern corner of the lake, the rail track and open brush land ahead of the old farm housing.

… green deth …

This proved to be a hotly contested area, and it was here the majority of both forces dug in a quite literally spent the majority of the day locked fierce firefights throughout the afternoon as the attempted to brake the stranglehold on this vital area of access.

… smokes out !!!

I imagine it’s as frustrating for the opposition as it is for players on Viper, whilst on the front lines, amidst the schism and chaos to objectively see the battle unfold, or even objectively comprehend what I the commander is seeking to achieve.

S23’s ’08 PTW vs Jake L’s ASG CZ EVO
However, this ultimately saw us utilize the time this main push had purchase to send out smaller teams to enact many of day myriad of objectives. 

… sunset on day one …

Overall, wracking up considerable points from both ‘time’ and recovered ordnance – it was for me, another impressive turn from Viper.

… defending our HQ and ‘coffee station’ …
Naturally, a tip of the hat has be given to Team Mongoose, who made us pay a high price for our success in blood, sweat and tears.
Rivalries aside, after EndEx on day one, after some brief admin, and fresh coffee I gathered with the attendees in their entirety for not only the traditional prize draw ‘raffle’ but the opportunity to enjoy a cold beer.

Photo courtesy of JVis & MvE photography

Sadly, an absent attending player had recently lost his very young son to illness, such grave news was not lost on our community – and without encouragement the players attending here dug deep into their pockets to help staggeringly raise over £1000 pounds to help meet funeral costs. It’s endeavors like these, which truly display the very best of our community, which you’ve all helped build and establish – I for one, alongside the event organizers am truly proud of your selflessness and generosity.

Photo courtesy of JVis & MvE photography

This saw more of the good weather we enjoyed the day before, waking early Sunday morning – and whilst enjoying a hot coffee as the sun rose, over the tranquility of the still lake I smiled to myself knowing that in less than a few hours, the otherwise serene tree lined and overgrown amusements would be once again be torn asunder with chaos and explosive action as previously witnessed the day before – it’s shame that before we knew it’d be over …
We stepped out, having swapped command posts – and almost instantaneously grasped control over a large aware of the site, gambling the entire task force and sending them straight up the rail tracks to annex the top end of the AO.

Terry A – my comm’s guy and advisor
This allowed me to slow time send reinforcements up through the tracks of the old farm to reinforce this position and again send our smaller teams on ‘reconnaissance’ to achieve our objectives without being impeded by enemy forces.
Sure, the bulk of Viper had to bear the brunt of the heavy fighting. But, their can do attitude and enthusiasm whilst approaching all the ‘heavy lifting’ against an all but almost unbreakable foe saw us rack up such stunning statistics points wise.

Photo courtesy of JVis & MvE photography
However, screaming for vengeance, the Team Mongoose really put the squeeze on, and saw them push down the rail track tallying incredible attrition on our forces. This too, saw our hold on the farm courtyard nearly broken but, fortunately and to our advantage a temporary ceasefire was called to reorganize, feed ourselves and rearm before recommencing operations.

Photo courtesy of JVis & MvE photography

The latter part of day two, saw us defend to vital parts of infrastructure – to complete our mission we had to hold, defend and prevent both rail bridges from being destroyed with timed explosives. Last time our, saw this scenario reversed – but we managed to blow at least one of the bridges, this time out saw us defend both bridges leaving them successfully intact, an achievement I’m proud of – and even saw me out of the HQ at one point, assisting my mortar team drop no end of mortar rounds on advancing enemy forces …
Photo courtesy of JVis & MvE photography
It all saw us head on mass to the north east corner for one final climatic battle, smoke covered the sight in an almost eerie green mist and was illuminated by more mortar rounds, grenades and flash bangs. Despite being held back Team Mongoose proved to be as relentless as ever, and continuously crashed into our defensive positions.
Photo courtesy of JVis & MvE photography

It was epic stuff, truly beyond imagination and expectation. A fitting conclusion to yet another epic weekend and another classic Ai500 committed to the history books.


It was an honor, and always a pleasure to lead Task Force Viper and face off against our formidable foes Team Mongoose led by Tim Van de Cavey – thanks to you, the players who truly make this all the more worthwhile.
Huge thanks to Paul and Sharon Monaf, Ben Webb and Ben Dickie (there in spirit) and of course Richard M and Tim Criddle and all the event staff. Not forgetting Paul Wignell, Jake L and the ASG team, Scott Country and Cannae Pro Gear UK – and not forgetting, the top men over at HR4K.
Special thanks to Mark from Task Force Voodoo, and Alpha Coy, Terry and Mike Arnett and Bravo Coy, Neil W and Charlie Coy and Carlo T and Delta Coy and of course Dave Porter and Team Centurions & Manx Airsoft Club.
Special thank to Jon A (our honorary 2IC) James Spearing and JVis & MvE Photography – cheers S23

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Keepin’ It Real – Spotlight and Review on Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear Pt I ‘The Phalanx Two Day Pack’

Keepin’ It Real – Spotlight and Review on Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear Pt I ‘The Phalanx Two Day Pack’

The good people over at Scott Country reached out to us and spoke to us about having a good look at some of their Cannae Pro Gear Range.

Naturally, an exciting prospect, and a venture we were only too happy to undertake – as in fact we’d been already following their product range with no end of considerable insterest.

Cannae Pro Gear has an interesting and  cool history, and whilst I’ll save their modesty and blushes as I understand it, this is born from a renowned and since much longed for and lamented industry leader in gear manufacturing, who back in the early days where one of the leading innovators in modern gear and equipment.
Subsequently reborn, under the auspices of Scott Country, Cannae Pro Gear has been subsequently unleashed upon the discerning tactical gear world. That should perhaps, despite being somewhat vague give you, the reader a baseline from which to approach this review and the pedigree from which Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear is originates from.

Scott Country sent several pieces they thought would interest us the most, and more importantly you the reader. So much so, I’ve decided to give each one it’s own individual review.

This review, is the first of three and we’ll endeavor to give each one a detailed inspective insight into what each product is capable of.
The first piece of Cannae Pro Gear will look at is the Phalanx Full Size Two Day Pack w/ Helmet Carry

The Phalanx Features and Details

It’s significant to note, each bag comes with a label, this is well worth keeping as it gives you the end user not only a brief but succinct over of the bags features and details but includes the code for registering your product under their life time warranty policy.
Further more the card supplied gives a brief overview – ‘detail’ of the bags capabilities and functions.

• Comfortable Yoke Strap

• MOLLE Webbing along both shoulder straps

• Sternum Buckle (which also features an emergency whistle function)

• EVA Foam Air Circulated Back

• Removable Waist Belt

• Concealed Hydration Compartment

• Eye Protection Hard Pouch

• Patch Field

• Helmet Carry

• Quick Access Open Pocket

• Bottom Compression Straps

• 9 x 6″ Zipper Mag Pouch

• MOLLE throughout
All of this is supported by Duraflex Buckles, Hard Wear and Furniture including D-Rings and Clips, as well as YKK zippers with super grip pull tabs, and as you’d expect 500D Invista Cordura throughout.

… in Cordura we trust …
It dimensions are as follows:
• Capacity: 21 Litres

• Dimensions: 19.5″ in height x 11.5″

in width and a depth of 6″ (59.5 (H) x 29.2 (W) x 15.2 (D) cm)

• Weight: 2.9 Ibs/1.3 Kgs

Phalanx Review 
Literally, straight out of the packet or proverbial box if you will, The Phalanx screams function over form. That’s by no means to describe it as ugly or unbecoming in appearance, but perhaps in deference to other ‘prettier’ packs – The Phalanx is quite clearly here to do work and has some very specific tasks in mind.
It’s that no thrills honesty, that immediately draws an element of ‘old school’ admiration and respect.
Initial inspection clearly evidenced that this in the first instance has been ‘built’ with hard use – and abuse in mind.
Don’t let it’s broadly ambiguous appearance fool you or dissuade you against more aesthetically appealing products which may well lack some of the operability of Cannae’s Phalanx.

Phalanx Full Size Two Day Pack w/ Helmet Carry

The stitching is solid and consistent throughout, with many of the external pockets and the packs main ‘bucket’ being reinforced with additional ‘Cordura‘ panels, to protect not only contents, but the actual exterior from abrasive wear and tear and ensure longevity and prevent dreaded failure ‘in the field’ …

… hydration bladder is housed in the concealed pocket behind the EVA backer and has pocket to feed the bladders drinking tube through. Look closely and you’ll the emergency whistle on the chest straps clasp …
I was personally thrilled to see all retention straps are looped and stitched at the end, and feature a double side male and female Velcro ‘tidy’. This is ideal for cinching off the straps to size and not only storing them safely out of the way from snagging on branches or doors of vehicles or cargo holds but assists with keeping them locked at their desired setting. As you’d expect some of these straps are for assisting with expanding or compressing the pack, ultimately preventing contents needless rolling around and either interfering with ‘noise discipline’ or becoming unnecessarily jumbled about.

… fully loaded with primary, secondary, clothing and even a HSP D3 CR …

My initial overview and review here, was essentially an attempt to play with the bag and see just how much I’d could fill up its interior, what applications could I use it’s interior pockets and compartments for, and could I carry most if not all  of the equipment, gear and clothing I take out for longer extended events.

The answer to that quite simply is yes, but perhaps understanding the limitations of the bags volume, which is generous – but you the end user need to understand and decide on priority of packing, more critically what you intended to to immediately use, and what can be carried and drawn from the Phalanx as required.

… spare gear and clothing for inclement weather …

I’ll explain further. The Phalanx is broadly quite capable in the first instance of carrying my blaster when both the receiver and lower are disassembled, my secondary blaster, a jacket, such as soft shel shirt or light weight PCU and even at push, a spare set of pants and shirt. Additionally spare magazines, perhaps your primary load for both your rifle and secondary as seen here. As well your helmet utilizing the the exterior ‘kangaroo’ pouch as I’ve aptly nicknamed it.

… easily secures this Ops Core Maritime when on patrol …

The helmet storage –  functionality at it finest, however – and by no means fault of the Phalanx, but in my attempt to ‘pressure test’ just how exhaustive the pack could be carrying all of my immediate gear it proved to be a tight fit. However, as I mentioned earlier, it’s about managing your, or in this case my expectations. Here in this instance, once some of the equipment  has been deployed, such blasters, there’s a little more give and depth given back to the pack. As such using the retention straps and bungee paracord fasteners the ‘kangaroo pouch’ can be adjusted to accommodate your head PPE. Simply then drawing the straps tight your helmet is now secure, of course not forgetting to tidy those straps away with the supplied Velcro closures.

I’ve also here dropped in one of my Source hydration bladders, which sits inside the quilted and micro fleeced pocket, which zippered behind the back, which unlike many other packs has ‘concealed channel for feeding out onto the left shoulder strap, a nice touch often overlooked on other packs I’ve owned, and is perhaps indicative of the packs design and innovative thought that’s been applied throughout.

Sticking with my brief of seeing just how much I could get inside the Phalanx opening the main primary cargo pocket shows Cannae have used every inch of space to offering functionality. The main pockets opening aperture forms a zippered and pocketed tray. This has allowed me to store batteries, pens and markers, Cymalume’s, torch, watch cap and face wrap.

… main cargo tray features two mesh pockets for contents visibility and two partitioned lower pockets with a singular master zippered closure …

Inside the main cargo pocket you can see, I’ve got clothing, weaponry, magazines, gloves, headwear and much more. All of the interior is padded and quilted and alongside the walls of the main cargo area are again covered with micro fleeced lining to prevent wear and tear against the interiors contents when being moved around in vehicles, storage or during use. There’s two adjustable elasticated straps, my initial thoughts were to use these to retain my rifle when stored, but alternative they too can be used to compress larger items of clothing.

… secure …

The main cargo pocket also has an additional sleeve, with Velcro retention flap, again I intend to store in the first instance, shirt and pants here, but concur it’s of comparable size for either armor plates or even a laptop.

More importantly, the pack when fully loaded is an easy wear. Holding here, just short of 30 Ilbs it’s comfortable and the EVA padded back, in conjunction with the generously padded shoulders makes easy work of heavy loads.

This channels heat away from the body, using the meshed interiors of the straps to allow air to ventilate and EVA pads keep the pack off the back as much as possible again to promote good gear management.

Cannae Pro haven’t stopped there, it’s with good examination you’ll find lots of details and additional features such the external admin pocket.

The Padded Eye Pro pocket and patch field, which with its merrowed border which decreases wear and fatigue of the Velcro. Are just some of the many additional features that really make this pack a true contender for your attention.

Or the packs external right side pocket ideal for additional magazines – the possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination.

I’m proud to welcome this to the gear locker, and keen to put it through its paces at Airsoft International’s Ai500 at the end of September.

It is The Phalanx’s shining strength, its versatility to switch between load bearing carriage option and quickly changing gears to be used as mission specific pack. Alternatively, using the compression straps it would easily be at home used as an every day carry pack be on outdoor adventures, to work or to and from training – S23

You can check out more from Scott Country and view all their products including Cannae Pro Gear at the links below:

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Spotlight review on WarCry’s HexCam Face Wraps

Spotlight review on WarCry’s HexCam Face Wraps

Lets start at the beginning. HexCam is a veteran owned and designed revolutionary honeycomb camouflage based on naturally occurring patterns found in several animal species. It’s versatile design has already been proven to perform well in a multitude of environments against some of leading designs in the industry.
We received two patterns, in the form of War Cry Apparel’s Face Wraps, from our good friends over at Allied Risk Equipment. Selecting two patterns that we felt best suited environments and topography that we most commonly found ourselves in.

… options – Allied’s Arid vs HexCam’s Spectre and Wasteland. All three are going in the kit bag, ‘one is none’ …
Before we discuss these further, War Cry CEO Gerry Searfoss had this to say, and puts this suite of camouflage into perspective – ‘Hexcam USA is a camouflage line under WarCry Apparel. As an American disabled veteran company it was our goal to bring a quality and functional pattern to the hunting, tactical and recreational community. The Hex is nature’s strongest shape, when combined with other hexagons it forms solid shapes within the pattern. With our patented shading and color techniques we have been able to create an illusion of three dimensional depth.’

It’s that very quote which for me is pivotal to this review, and whilst I’m no authoritative expert on camouflage other than what I’ve used for perhaps the best part of decade –  a multitude of patterns with a varying degrees of success.
This success or effectiveness has in part been based on utilizing the right camouflage for the right environments. 
More often than not, most modern camouflage, ideally is perhaps employed in low light, and as I’ve often found using the wrong camouflage whilst operating in the pursuit of ‘fun’ can result in hilarious consequences – I can only imagine that in the real world, the consequences are dangerous and quite possibly fatal.
However, something the really intrigued me with HexCam, and it has been attempted both successfully and unsuccessfully by individual patterns and other suites of patterns is to create the illusion or the appearance of depth, shadow and ultimately disrupting form and shape which the human eye and brain instinctively and unconsciously pick up on.
Whilst almost virtually essay worthy in itself, most modern infantry, particularly those who are employed as snipers are trained to further utilize this concept and natural instinctive behavior to not only further conceal themselves but to spot and identify targets too.


As stated above in the reviews opening introduction, HexCam have sought to provide a suite of patterns which emulate naturally occurring shapes and patterns amongst animals, plants, fauna and environments and use a series of naturally based algorithms to generate a series of shaded hexagonal patterns – which, in layman’s terms disrupt the perception of depth as perceived by the human eye.

Spectre vs Wasteland – just two of six patterns available, giving the option to choose a pattern best suited to the environment and specific light and topographical conditions …

I’d further describe this, as I can best example, it’s not entirely dissimilar to gazing into a heavily leafed tree. It’s almost three dimensional appearance creates an illusion of depth and distance, which is arguably counters, going some way, to preventing the human eye from naturally detecting shapes and form instinctively otherwise recognized.

… camouflage to suit your AO …
More over, HexCam have identified that perhaps no one pattern truly works in anyone AO. These variants include patterns such as Wasteland, Spectre (the two I selected to review) and additionally Makalu, Attica, Adirondack and 5-Echo.
These patterns obviously have some specific applications, however I chose Spectre and Wasteland specifically for several reasons. Both tonally used a series of color ways which I felt really best reflected the UK’s foliage and forestry and really resonated with my perception of colors, shape and form as seen and observed in low light, such as dusk or very early dawn. 

Specifically as we enter a time of year when the colors and shades of the UK really start to mix and change, these seemed ideal options as we enter Autumn.

HexCam Review

… blend in …

So, as supplied from Allied Risk Equipment, the Spectre and Wasteland patterns – where chosen by us. It’s certainly a visually challenging pattern, and whilst I really, really find it aesthetically appealing. It certainly could be argued, it won’t win any fashion accolades for being ‘pretty’.

It’s that very principle, that it clearly adopts the muted tones and shapes of environments at particular times of the year, specifically the Autumn – those muted washed grey greens and pale limes, combined with the dark browns, coppers and oranges which made me snap up Spectre and Wasteland variants.

Some of the tones are certainly evocative of palettes used by famous artists and illustrators in their landscapes – who using a select palette of tones, particularly to capture visually a particular time of day, or season for that matter. I in fact wondered if art had either consciously or subconsciously influenced HexCam’s design, or perhaps their study of nature had serendipitously arrived at the same conclusion.

Choosing between either two as a favorite is no easy task, as is deciding which is more effective – as such I’d argue that it’s perhaps akin to choosing a ‘favorite child’.

… Wasteland Pattern …

That however, is inconsequentially irrelevant is that ‘Wasteland‘ is my preferred option for day light use and ‘Spectre‘ will undoubtedly be employed during the low light of dusk and dawn as well as the gloom and shadow of the night. I’ve got an event coming up where I be employing both specifically in those very conditions.

… Spectre Pattern …

As exampled, I found that Wasteland proves to be a complimentary accompanying pattern to pre existing pattern amongst my collection, serving well alongside Multicam.

And the darker tones effectively alongside the venerable but ever popular M81 ‘Woodland’ pattern.

However, I would offer in countenance, true effective pattern disruption would best achieved utilizing either BDU’s or Technical Apparel in HexCam’s patterns, possibly even using several patterns at once. I for one will be seriously looking at Spectre patterns for pants and Wasteland for Shirt color ways and again combing with either a Spectre or Wasteland face wrap. 

So, to summarize, I’m highly impressed, in fact smitten with the two patterns issued here, and will putting these in the gear bag or day sack permanently f’sure – if only as its good to have alternatives and options, and these will sit perfectly alongside my MOE.Gun’s Allied Risk Equipment’s face wrap which we reviewed earlier this year, which is perhaps better suited for either the summer or more muted tones of winter.

… both patterns compliment and work with pre existing suites of patterns with ease …

Like Allied’s wrap – these wraps are constructed from 92% polyester and 8% spandex – which makes for a lightweight and breathable wear. Better yet, they’re tapered at either end and crocodile stitched along the ‘spine’ of the wrap which helps it sit more comfortably around the face and not otherwise gathering around the neck.

… Spectre – ideal for low light, dusk, dawn or the dead of night …
I’m aware, that these subsequently may be produced in a lighter and ventilated variant, needless to say retaining the pattern and colors seen here, but most possibly done so for use in warmer or more historically humid climes.

… perfectly suited to the UK’s, North Europe and North American foliage and fauna …

That said, in part why I’ve specifically chosen to look at the camouflage and its effectiveness as a pattern – its impressive, if only for the initial fact it’s broken my traditional perceptions of what a camouflage can do or what we should expect from other current patterns in use today – I’d go as far to call it ‘intelligent’ and look forward to seeing where, who and what’s it’s employed for – S23


At Allied Risk Equipment has a very limited number of wraps and ball caps in stock, and as I understand it are the only current UK stockist, you can take a look or better yet pick them up here:

You can keep updated with HexCam here:

And of course check out projects, products and equipment from WarCry Apparel:


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