Överkill – Kifaru Urban Zippy Pack Spotlight by No.1 Jimmy Pie

Överkill – Kifaru Urban Zippy Pack Spotlight by No.1 Jimmy Pie

Funnily enough, today marks the 3rd year anniversary of my very own ‘Pie Slicer’ from Jim over at No1. Jimmy Pie Knives

Needless to say, after three years of work, use and abuse – with a little care and maintenance it’s going as strong as ever …

Albeit it’s picked up what I think is some rather fetching patina …

Now, I’ve been meaning to get Jim on the blog for quite sometime, however, if not quite found the angle I was after – and he is a very busy man. In between cups of coffee he’s found toiling away crafting exquisitely functional knives, related accessories and ephemera in his incredible workshop hidden, somewhere in the depths of leafy suburbia …

I know this much, Jim is exceptionally well thought of, not just by me, or his customers and legions of fans but his contemporaries within the industry.

He’s forged, or should that be ‘carved’ a reputation through his intimate dialogue of photos of knives, axes and hatchets, often modified and detailed to bespoke customer requirements – and, have been seen subsequently across the globe in the hands of outdoorsmen, every day carry enthusiasts, hiking community as well as Law Enforcement and Military too …

I’ve got my own, and plan a second (I blame you Jim for sending that phot) – but what has attracted many, is through his visual diary you often get a unique insight into how they are made, processes he’s developed and learnt. It’s a very affirming process, and even from a customers point of view, gives you a real personable account of your knifes creation …

Anyhow, on with this posts topic – Jim, like many of us, comes from a background of gear collecting, and as such, having more than a passing interest knows what works and what doesn’t – I’d noticed he’d been shifting a few pieces of Cordura and suspected it was for a higher purpose …

Enter The Kifaru Urban Zippy

Jim recently picked up a brand new Kifaru Urban Zippy, this model in Ranger Green.

In his original post he had this to say:

Little Bag, big capacity, I honestly don’t think I’ve owned a ruck in this size range that packs this much in with room to spare.

He went on to further explain and evidence with some great explanatory photos too:

I can still fit in my hammock or a set of base layers, the rear pouch is still empty too …

Better yet, Jim gave a run down on what he was packing too, giving not only example of the packs capabilities – but many of the things you should consider carrying on a leisure hike and or short stay out camping …

He explained:

… it lets you get to it all easily too, great design by Kifaru.

External Lid Pocket

Small Fixed Blade, Ruck Cover, External Lid Pocket – Spare Large Kifaru Pouch

Internal Lid Pocket

First Aid Kit

Main Pocket

• 1Ltr Nalgene Bottle

• Jet Boil PCS

• MRE

• GoreTex Bivvy

• Triple Aught Design Scarf

• Kifaru x 4 Pockets (Wash Kit, Brew Kit, Fire Kit, Snacks)

Left Side Zipper

• Shelter Kit

• Folding Saw

• Cordage

• Bungees

Right Side Zipper

• Tarpaulin

Outside Pockets

• 1 Ltr Nalgene

• Large Fixed Blade

Rear Pouch

• Empty (as you can see the pack is vacuous with room for much more despite its diminutive size)

Encouragingly, Jim is always keen and enthusiastic to engage questions solicited from followers and made the following poignant remarks. When asked about not having a proprietary ‘waist belt’ he explained:

It does have a simple waist strap, nothing padded, and you’d be correct, I wouldn’t want to do a full days hike with it as it is – but a light bimble (walk) and an overnight wild camp, it’d be fine …

The proof however, will be in the pudding as they say, when I get out and test it properly.

Further praise was evidenced by Jim:

… this feels perfect, in the 25ltr range, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Kifaru in my life, maybe three years, very happy to get one back …

With regards to the unique and innovative design, the side pockets:

It’s a damn neat idea!

Quick access to the bottom of the bag or the internal mesh pouch, genius and cool as f**k !!!

As he’d sent over additional phot’s for this very article he parted out with this great line:

The real game changer I think with a load like this is the internal frame …

You can keep up with Jim here over at No.1 Jimmy Pie Instagran and check our more from Kifaru here: http://www.kifaru.net/

He also sent over this stunning exclusive photo – showcasing his incredible craftsmanship alongside his Kifaru Pack – S23

**RESTOCKING STICKERS – GET EM’ BEFORE THEY’RE GONE**

Restocking stickers, back by popular demand and now with

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Plaster your ‘Blaster Cases’ stocks, kit and gear or even coffee mugs with hard wearing S23 Familia Sticker pride

Each Sticker set contains:

• x 1 S23 Ranger Diamonds sticker

• x 1 S23 Beer Mat sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Rated Plastic Deth’ ESRB sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Mas Grey’ NSW sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘S23 Deth’ Skull

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant A*

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant B*

* (*whilst stocks last)

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TORTURE TEST – OBŌZ BRIDGER BDRY MIDS

**TORTURE TEST – OBŌZ BRIDGER BDRY MIDS**

Whilst out on early morning trek, an early morning stroll post breakfast on a quest for coffee, I took the opportunity to really punish my Obōz Bridger Bdry boots through sand and across gravel. Foot deep through streams and babbling brooks and of course my youngest and mines favorite – thick mud !!!

Feet and socks kept dry, without any undue heat or perspiration despite covering several miles the Bridger Mids remain undisputed across all terrain.

Whilst perhaps not in the truest sense of a torture test, this was only extensively put through their paces for a few hours. I took no end of reward from seeing them repel running water, thick viscous mud and sludge just oozed off the nubuck’s waterproofed hide.

The nylon shank and rubber toe cap easily brush out and away loose soil, gravel and debris. Even after three months of use, through the last throes of winter, snow, ice and the deluge of recent precipitation has seen little to none with regards to wear and tear. Even the rubbery tactile soles still have no end of heavy tread left yet …

Speaking of tread, the Obōz soles easily transition, even at heavily elevation and gradient across slime covered roots and mossy fallen tree trunks. In the mud or across the shoal of streams water beds grip and torsion remains uncompromisingly strong. Conversely when caked in mud the soles still find a sure footed grip …

I look forward to giving em’ an even harder time soon – S23

**UPDATE – AFTERCARE**

As you can see both boots have been cleaned free of dirt, grease, mud and sand. You can watch the instructional cleaning video by hitting the link to our original Obōz review below.

Both boots were cleaned using NikWax boot cleaner and re proofing spray and allowed to dry naturally whilst stuffed with newspaper. As you can see they’ve been restored to their original moisture resistance ready to face the elements once more …

Catch our original Obōz overview

You can read our full review here: https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/new-jack-oboz-bridger-bdry-mids-review/

**S23 Familia Stickers Ver. 2.0 -NOW WITH MORE NEW DESIGNS**

Plaster your ‘Blaster Cases’ stocks, kit and gear or coffee mugs with hard wearing S23 Familia Sticker pride

Each Sticker set contains:

• x 1 S23 Ranger Diamonds sticker

• x 1 S23 Beer Mat sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Rated Plastic Deth’ ESRB sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Mas Grey’ NSW sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘S23 Deth’ Skull

• x 1 S23 ‘Mystery’ sticker (whilst stocks last)

Don’t forget you can catch up on all our reviews, interviews and spotlights over at s23gearmonkey75 – Airsoft and MilSim reviews and interviews

https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/

Creeping Deth – HiWez’s Helikon ‘Polish GROM Chameleon’ from TacOps Gear.DE

Creeping Deth – HiWez’s Helikon ‘Polish GROM Chameleon’ from TacOps Gear.DE

Quite possibly needing little to no introduction HiWez has been around for a little while, building a staggeringly notorious legion of loyal followers with his incredible illustrations. The populist ‘Tactical Teddy’ series uniquely parodying, with a lot of love renowned figures within the ‘Plastic Deth’ community as well as SF units from around the globe.

Predominantly working out his finished designs digitally, having originally sketched and worked out traditionally – these get brought screaming to life, often offering the end user some modularity digitally.

As HiWez recently explained:

… It’s not only your tactical kit that should be modular.

Make your digital art modular!

I recently put this example together to show a client how I structure my illustrations and thought it might actually be interesting to show you fine people too.

Almost all of my illustrations are made up of complete sections.

This makes it easy for me to move things around or rescale things if something needs adjusting, or to fully drop out or change an element if I need to without needing to erase and re-illustrate things that could have been avoided.

These kinds of lessons or tips are great to know if you’re starting out in the world of digital illustration. Make your illustrations modular to give yourself the opportunity to make little adjustments.

It can make all the difference.

Anyhow, the design that really caught my eye, spotted at the recent IWA show in Germany was HiWez’s collaboration with TacOps Gear.DE – the truly stunning Polish GROM ‘Chameleon’ featuring gear selected from Helikon’s extensive catalogue of Cordura and Hardware.

This PVC patch aside from showing HiWez’s stunning design, clutching an iteration of the M4 and Trident, with NV’s casting that all too familiar ‘green eyed’ glow on the amphibious peepers – this design sports:

Helikon’s Mathilda Back Pack

Helikon’s Dump Pouch

Helikon’s Cobra Belt

Helikon’s Mini Medic Pouch

This variant is the limited Collectors Edtn.

Supplied with Art Card, Vinyl Sticker of the GROM ‘Chameleon’ and one of HiWez’s other designs too.

All beautifully packaged and sent in an ‘up armored’ box too, certainly testament to TacOp’s commitment to customer service.

As you can see I was in receipt of No. 61/100 and the ‘limited’ sets are going fast. Avail not as these are also available as a stand alone un numbered patch too.

You can get yours here from TacOps Gear.DE here: https://www.tacopsgear.de/de/

… and you can check out HiWez’s stunning art here on IG: https://www.instagram.com/hiwez

Plaster your ‘Blaster Cases’ stocks, kit and gear or coffee mugs with hard wearing S23 Familia Sticker pride

http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-familia-stickers

Each Sticker set contains:

• x 1 S23 Ranger Diamonds sticker

• x 1 S23 Beer Mat sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Rated Plastic Deth’ ESRB sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Mystery’ sticker

Don’t forget you can catch up on all our reviews, interviews and spotlights over at s23gearmonkey75 – Airsoft and MilSim reviews and interviews

https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com

End of Green – Crye G3 COMBAT PANT™ Multicam Pants Review

G3 COMBAT PANT™ Multicam Pants Review

Crye Precision the Birth of a Revolution

I recently had the good fortune to supplement the gear locker with a set of Crye’s G3 Combat Pants in the ubiquitous Multicam no less, in excellent condition from very good friend Scott over at Task Force Neptune.

Representing such good value, the price point made these, an opportunity to good to pass up – if only for the purpose to review them vs my previously owned Crye AC sets, UKSF and Custom respectively …

Whilst here, I’ve included considerable preamble before review – this is to perhaps best illustrate and set the tone and context within which the framework of this article focuses on.

Perhaps best illustrate the design, innovation and creative thought process by Crye Precision LLC we’ll take a look back just short of nearly two decades and set the tone for this review with a little retrospective insight. Much of what follows here in this introduction is extrapolated, or perhaps rather, is an interpolation of an interview published a few years back on the After Cooper site. I’ve included the link, as there’s much more to read …

Caleb Crye and Gregg Thompson, a School of Art graduate (’97) and an Albert Nerken School of Engineering graduate (’00) respectively, founded a business fourteen years ago that seamlessly united the art and science of their alma mater.

Crye Precision started as a “nothing to lose” spare-time venture in a studio above Chelsea Market that has grown to occupy 56,000 square feet of space employing 150 people in New York and New Jersey.

Here they design, prototype and manufacture protective clothing for the United States Military in a competitive industry market that not only keeps American troops alive but also arguably helps keep a shrinking Stateside Tactical Clothing and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) industry from an untimely demise.

Post-graduation, after two years of commercial design work, Crye decided to try developing products for the military, Caleb was quoted “because it would be rewarding and I actually like the military,” . In pre-9/11 New York, Crye says, “it felt like the military was not viewed positively and growing up I never really had that feeling. I’m a huge fan of freedom and see our military as big part of what safeguards that.”

Thompson, still completing his Masters at Cooper while working full time in the sculpture shop, came on board too.

For their first venture Crye Precision designed, prototyped and pitched a new version of the crude portable computer then used to calculate angle and propulsion for mortar ballistics. They learned their first hard lesson: the commercial model for getting business does not apply to the military. “We didn’t know that’s not the way the military works. That’s not the way you are going to get a contract”Thompson explains.

Instead you must develop products that meet a publicly stated need. So they proposed to work on an initiative to “revolutionize the soldier” by focusing on body armor and garments.

Their first assignment was to design a new helmet for the Army. They had only eight weeks to do it but crunch-time skills honed at Cooper came in handy. “So we made two, fully-functioning carbon-fiber prototypes that included integrated communications, removable chem/bio protection, flip-down goggles and integrated cameras” Crye says, “It was our first job for the Army and we wanted to hit it out of the park.”

As it happened, September 11, 2001 occurred at the midpoint of their development work. The resulting escalation in Afghanistan, followed by the invasion of Iraq, put CryePrecision in greater demand.

Over time the company found itself focusing more on the needs of Special Forces troops because, Thompson states “their needs are very tangible and they give direct feedback.

For more insight you can also watch this short video interview with Caleb Crye

However Crye and Thompson began to feel frustrated in their inability to mass-produce the products they designed. “Guys are telling us they want our stuff but we were not a manufacturer at the time and could not say when the gear would be available”

So they decided to take a risk and move into the world of production as well as design.

https://cooper.edu/about/news/after-cooper-crye-precision

Overview – Specifications, Material and Features

I’ll breakdown here the bullet points to give you ‘liner note’ style an overview, however, as Crye’ succinctly explain on their product catalogue:

designed as a no-compromise assault uniform, these pants are aggressively cut for maximum mobility. These combat-proven pants are sized in 2″ waist increments and multiple lengths for a perfect fit. Features a unique padded waistband and hi-mobility stretch panels at the knee and lower back. 10 pockets. Designed for use with our patented removable AirFlex™ Combat Knee Pads (sold separately). Base fabric is Mil-Spec 50/50 NYCO ripstop with durable a 4-way stretch-woven accents. Zip fly with VELCRO® brand closure.

Unique low-profile adjustable waist feature. Patented, see http://www.lwpatents.com. Made in the US from US materials.

FEATURES

• Unique low-profile waist adjust system

‘this is an intriguing feature, as such – Crye’ fit and form is a uniquely individual experience and, as supplied here – if you ‘read between’ the sizes you may well find a larger or smaller size can actually be at the very least – more comfortable and offer a wider latitude of movement and articulation. Point in case, I’m a longlegged 6ft tall and wear in a traditional boot cut pant, a 34R or 34L – however, confident in Crye‘ fit and form, these at 36S would be sufficiently adjustable.

Here, the waist adjusters cinch down viaelasticized Velcro Hypalon tabs to provide – combined with the front pockets which house the height bungee paracord adjusters not only transform these into a moredesirable size, but benefit is to be had from the larger and looser intended cut. This gives a more palpable sense of movement and mitigates restriction.’

• Each cargo pocket conceals water bottle/magazine stabilizer

‘whilst a simple feature, dismissively overlooked for its ingenuity, it’s the small details that really make the pants design shine. I’d even counter further, and illustrative of Crye’ design ethos.

A secure elastic loop centered in the middle of the bloused cargo pockets offers security for radios, magazines, bottles of water or comparable sized items – I’ve even placed certain sized pouches here. It’s security, retention and allows you to intuitively locate what you’ve housed without a second thought.

• Dedicated knife/light holder that still allows pocket access

‘A nice feature, however unless the item has clip invariably it drops through to the larger side cargo pockets. I’d suggest that an interior ‘sock’ of material would easily solve this minor quibble’

• Simple knee pad height adjuster located in front thigh pocket

‘As discussed above, these alongside the waist adjusters are pivotal in not only getting the best results from fit and form – but are integral to seating the proprietary AirFlex™ Combat Knee Pads

• Designed for use with removable AirFlex™ Combat Knee Pads

• Built-in flap covers kneecap opening when not using knee pads

‘I’d always considered that a panel of NYCO attached to the interior stretch panel would be a better option, thus allowing for more knee movement – the idea here otherwise being these covers when pulled into place offer a little more uniformity and protect the stretch panels.

• Stretch diamond gusseted crotch

‘A feature not seen on the Gen I or AC editions, the same tweave material offers greater movement and prevents the gusset from being subjected from too much torque and causing the pants from splitting.’

• Rear-zip pockets

• Larger expansion panel at lower back

‘the rear stretch panel combined with the stretch diamond gusset and double layer seat are a three part combination offering greater movement and mobility particularly when awkwardly positioned or when kinetic – ergo traditional cut garments can restrict climbing or abseiling , or awkward positioning when navigating restrictive confined spaces. Here this move towards greater mobility whilst negating restrictive fit is possibly subtly missed on some – but perhaps one of the pants driving design features’

• Larger front thigh pockets

• Double layer seat

• larger belt loops

• Velcro knee adjustment points

‘This quite simply lock the knee pad in place, and prevent the knee pad from rolling laterally. I’m surprised that each knee still doesn’t have two Velcro tabs like their competitors (imitators). This would offer greater stability and security, sadly overlooked.’

• Lower ankle cuff adjustment points

‘perhaps dismissively overlooked as an after thought – the ankle cuff truly completes the pant and is such simple solution to an age old problem. This cuff not only closes the ankle, but allows you to seat it at a height appropriate to your chosen boot. Negating the necessity to blouse your boot, it clears away and pulls material closer to the calf which facilitates easier use of gaiters and putties.

Sure not garrison friendly – but it’s surely one of the features that truly completes the fit, form and functionality of the pant – and, alongside the knee sockets stretch panels and height adjusters really pushes the design to truly work as a ‘3D articulated’ piece of apparel.

https://www.cryeprecision.com/Resources/en/SpecSheets/APRCPE_SPEC.pdf

G3 vs AC

Now, here’s the deal breaker. Whilst the design ethos and brief to make quite possibly the most innovative and packed with utilitarian features whilst offering unparalleled freedom of movement and mobility – is it worth the price tag ?

Whilst many of the enhancements between the AC cut and the Gen 3 are marginal – it’s clear they’ve listened to the end user and refined the design, rear pockets are now zipped, larger side cargo pockets and better more secure height adjustment system.

However, I miss the original sand tweave stretch panels, aesthetics aside – the Multicam patterned tweave is really the only way to go. I think the raised rear padded waist which has been forgone in favor of a more traditional belt line. The original AC raised belt line was great for belt compatibility and gave a more aggressive athletic cut.

It is without out a doubt, either pant visually is stunning – and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying they are comfortable to wear and inspire confidence to push yourself in even the most extreme and harshest of conditions – armed with the knowledge they’ll not fail and capably over perform.

however, of late I’ve been enjoying no end of simple functionality from standard BDU cut pants, and found everywhere at giveaway prices brand new I’ve not paid no thought to how hard I run em’ or how much abuse they get.

It’s here in lies the rub, Crye has always respectfully commanded prices that reflect its ingenuity, quality and to a lesser or greater degree that reassuring quality of exclusivity …

But considering the prices currently commanded and the recent price increases of RRP as recently announced by Crye it certainly encourages thought regarding are the really worth it.

No doubt supply and demand will make these the populist choice, and I expect we’ll see a backlash on the second hand market where scarcity, desirability and demand drive prices to exorbitantly heady heights.

That said, I think that will leave the market open for newer, hungrier company’s to exploit Cryes price driven un-obtainability – S23

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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

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Super Bowl of Hardcore – Patagonia Lvl 4 Gen II Windshirt

Super Bowl of Hardcore – Patagonia Lvl 4 Gen II Windshirt

I recently picked up from good friend Simon B an allegedly second hand Patagonia Lvl 4 Gen II Windshirt in ‘Foliage Green’ – arguably, due to its excellent condition I’d hazard a guess that it’s all but virtually brand new, so a big thank you to him.

As I understand it SOCOM sought to address harsh weather conditions for Special Operations troops deployed in Afghanistan in the early 2000’s.

Enter the PCU (Protective Clothing System) – NATICK leaned heavily on experiences from the civilian world with extensive cold weather experience to develop and issue an interchangeable clothing system called the PCU. This provided war fighters comprehensive suite of apparel and options for cold weather conditions.

The PCU is divided into seven levels, here I’ll clarify, which are not seven levels to be worn necessarily on top of each other, but rather combined interchangeably with one another for a wide variety of atmospheric and environmental conditions.

It’s comprised of a total sixteen garments – each providing a different complimentary functionality to the overall system.

Want to know more on this or other garments in the PCU system head on over to the inimitable ITS TACTICAL here: https://www.itstactical.com/gearcom/apparel/comprehensive-guide-protective-combat-uniform/amp/

Patagonia Lvl 4 Gen II Windshirt

Level 4 consists of a thin, windproof “wind shirt,” which is intended for use inside the system, though it can be worn as an outer layer. Generally it’s worn under other layers and helps retain 300% more heat than without a wind shirt. It is ideal in escape and evasion situations, as it’s very compact and can be rolled up and stuffed in a cargo pocket. It’s less durable than the Level 5 soft shell garments and not meant for high abrasion situations like low-crawling over rocks or work in which the wearer is getting into and out of vehicles with some frequency. It’s frequently worn as an under-layer beneath the soldier’s camouflage uniform and in helicopter use, or other situations with significant environmental wind.

With this in mind, I’ve used thus far as a supplementary garment for intended purpose whilst worn over a PolarTec ‘Grid Fleece’ and under my Patagonia Lvl 5 Gen II ‘Soft Shell’.

It’s worth mentioning here, The PCU system consists of synthetic materials that don’t retain moisture. While they may become wet, either from external moisture, or moisture generated by activity- they have been designed to dry quickly. The use of these materials stems from experiences mountaineers, who determined that it was impossible to stay perfectly dry. As a result, the superior strategy was to don materials that would shed water as fast as possible.

In short, this provided an ample protection against the recent freezing wind chill, biting cold snow and gale force winds, which even here in the South of the United Kingdom dropped as low as -12° …

Whilst we’ve apparently more inclement weather inbound, and even more snow due this weekend (at the time of writing) the temperatures have soared back into the early teens, and such a combination has proved, whilst on the move a little too warm, however, that’s a good thing, indicative of how much heat each garment traps, and naturally when combined it keeps you more than warm enough.

Features

So proverbially, what do you get out of the box. The Patagonia Gen II ‘Lvl 4 Wind Shirt’ is not unlike its civilian ‘Houdini’ model, however is minus the stowage feature of being rolled into its own proprietary pocket/bag – no matter as we ‘Ranger Roll’ jackets here at the S23HQ

Made from ‘Epic Fabric’ the wind shirt offers a slightly thicker brushed twill, comparators to the Gen I and civilian models. Yet is still comes in at paltry 14 oz’s – so thin in fact is easily stuffed into any BDU pant pocket or large jacket pocket …

The Gen II features a full zip, as opposed to the original Gen I which was a half zippered pull over affair.

Like the Lvl 5 it has a generous hood, easily worn over head wear, be it a beanie, boonie or even PPE such as a helmet, and as expected can be cinched down using the double barrel locks on the bungee cord that runs through the brim.

It’s worth noting that unlike the Lvl5 the hood which is stored in the collar as is the Lvl 5’s has additional Velcro points, allowing the collar to be brought back up into a full neck coverage, thus with the zipper brought all the way up, gives good protection from chilling frosty winds.

The zipper runs up from waist to neck, is naturally expected, the industry standard, YKK – and as you can see, I’ve traditionally heat shrunk the paracord pull tab …

Cuffs are elasticated offer full closure, but unlike other garments are non abrasive nor do they cause irritation.

You can see the difference in fit and form against the Lvl 5.

The front of the torso is cut slightly higher in line with the belt line, and the back slight dropped fishtail style – offering a slightly more dynamic and athletic fit around the lower abdomen.

Both the Lvl 4 and 5 have again barrel locked waist adjusters to draw the jacket in as well as adapt fit and form to suit your preferences as well as keep out the elements.

The jacket has little in the way of storage but does have a small Velcro’d closure on the upper left chest area, ideal for keys, pens, chem lights or a small torch.

The material, as mentioned above is ‘Epic Fabric’ and is DWR treated, whilst recommended for only light precipitation stands up well against heavy rainfall, albeit temporarily as eventually it will start to wick.

A form of 100% nylon made by Readyone Industries.

To summarize this garment will undoubtedly stay a permanent feature stowed in my day sack, as even during the more clement months, of either spring or summer – is a quick solution to either high wind, light rain or cooler late evening.

Or as a combination with other garments if the weather really takes a sudden down turn.

Combined with the Lvl 5, and a PolarTec fleece, with a light neck gaiter and PolarTec watch cap (beanie) this jacket provided invaluable protection from the elements in recent weeks, it is – quite simply a very welcome addition to the gear locker – S23

Stowage

1) lay the jacket out flat and zip up

2) fold over either sleeve and 1/5 of the torso

3) Repeat step two and you’ll now have the jacket in the form of a long rectangle

4) start to roll from the bottom up to the neck

5) Squeeze Rolled torso into hood, you can use the barrel locks to compress the hood size and achieve an even smaller pack – and if you so desire place in a zip lock bag from protection against water and quick and easy recovery from your pack as well as saving additional space and easier stowage – S23

**ORDER YOUR Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 Anniversary Patch**

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Qty Remaining: 12

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LIMITED TO A MAXIUM TWO PATCHES PER ORDER – ORDER PLEASE ALLOW 2-3 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY**

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

The Art of Rebellion – LBT Multicam Tropic 8000A Review

The Art of Rebellion – LBT Multicam Tropic 8000A Review

I spotted good friend over at Allied Risk Equipment letting go of some gears surplus to requirement, including this little gem, London Bridge Trading’ 8000A Pack.

Naturally, not only did he part out with it at an exceptionally good price, it is to all intents and purposes brand new.

Promptly shipped, it landed on my mat today with today’s post and it is upon inspection is as every bit as good as I expected.

Featuring the ubiquitous LBT Lion proudly on the side, this model of the 8000A is made from genuine high quality Multicam ‘Tropic’ pattern Cordura.

Whilst, I’m by no means adverse to the Multicam ‘Tropic’ Pantone’s, it’s a color way or rather camouflage I’ve optioned in favor of the defiantly populist and still highly effective original Multicam.

I recall initial footage of Tropic used in its intended AO, and was somewhat dismayed that, when put up against Multicam how much of silhouette it generated, but – I can concur, it performs superbly in low light, early dusk and dawn …

What drew my attention to this, was aside from having a bag for everyday load bearing of kit to and from work, naturally confident in LBT’s solid reputation for making good gear that lasts and stands up to use and abuse, and it’s uniquely alternative pattern – but that it is in the form of the traditional ‘school’ back pack style.

Pack Specifications and Features

• Large main compartment with tablet/laptop storage area on the back

• Medium sized exterior compartment

• Mesh storage area on exterior with draw string closure and loop for placement of morale patch

• Compartments secured with two (2) zippers with paracord pull tabs

• Adjustable padded shoulder straps with adjustable sternum strap

• Drain grommet on bottom of bag

• Carry Handle

• Overall dimensions approx: 14L x 8W x 16H

• Front pocket dimensions: 11.5H x 9W x 2.5D

A hark back to my old skate board days !!!

It features the classic oversized main bucket, however – LBT have opted to include a divider to allow separation of carried items, I’d imagine I’d keep soft goods, such as a soft shell, gloves and hat here, and my obligatory stash of coffee making equipment in the front facing side. Simply put, that’ll keep the clothing warm and dry and away from being soiled by my Coffee Press, Java Mill etc …

As you can clearly see, fitting in a jacket alongside a Jet Boil, Nagalene 1 LIt bottle and more, despite the diminutive stature of this day sack, is no problem, in fact it’s deceptively voluminous and has room for more.

It has a front facing pocket, again – a feature classic to this ‘school bag’ pack. Giving a little bit more carry space, and room to organize is no bad thing.

Last but not least, the front cargo pocket has a mesh kangaroo pouch, which a Velcro placement point, perfect for your latest morale patch, flag or call sign or IR identification.

This can be locked off, using the bungee drawing string and popper – great for short interim storage of keys, torches or glasses or even to dry and air out damp gloves …

Whilst the bag has no padded back, the shoulder straps are, and as I can attest upon loading up with a considerable amount of goods from the grocery store, it’s makes for a comfortable wear.

YKK zippers and zips used throughout, making it overall a little more than reassuringly standard, but a solid robust day sack.

Likewise, ITW furniture is used throughout.

Last but no least, it has the obligatory carry handle, here in MulticamCordura.

Here you can see it fully loaded, without breaking a sweat. It’s simplicity and brutal functionality over form makes it welcome addition to the gear locker, aside from the camouflage, it’s more otherwise sedate appearance harkens back to a simpler time.

The only adjustment I’ve made, as I traditionally do, is heat shrink the pull tabs !!!

However, undoubtedly, under the hood, with mil-spec stitching and construction throughout, I’m expecting a considerably longer lifespan to this day sack than the short lived packs that lasted barely a term during my college days – S23

**HERE IT IS – PREORDER OF THE Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 4th Anniversary Patch**

S23 FAMILIA Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 4th Anniversary Edtn.

Qty Remaining: 39

http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-familia-mk-1-5-beer-mat-2018-anniversaryv-edtn

**LIMITED TO A MAXIUM TWO PATCHES PER ORDER – THIS IS A PRE ORDER PLEASE ALLOW 2-3 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY**

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

My War -Spotlight on ‘OLD SCHOOL’ Thales MBITR Radio Carrying Case Bag Pouch Black AN/PRC-148

My War -Spotlight on ‘OLD SCHOOL’ Thales MBITR Radio Carrying Case Bag Pouch Black AN/PRC-148

Photo courtesy of Legit-Kit

Backstory …

… earlier this week whilst trawling a few posts from groups and pages I follow, I spotted a piece of gear posted up on the TRI/TCA REPLICA MBITR USERS PAGE – it certainly caught my eye, and as it was posted by good friend Gunnar aka ‘Whoriar‘ who’s our contributing guest editor here today, I gave it a good look.

Not only had he posted up photos, but an exceptionally well written, short but no less sweet review of the item he’d recently acquired.

It’d had certainly piqued my interest, so much so I went and re read it later that day, and was encouraged to ask if he’d allow us to republish it.

He kindly agreed.

Well, what is it – it’s an old school Thales MBITR Radio Pouch/Storage Bag. Best describes as a ‘Carrying Case’ on the tag. These were provided with the PRC-148 MBITR Radios. These can attach to PALS/MOLLE via ALICE Clips. Great piece of kit!

These can be found for a very reasonable price on eBay and as we’ve borrowed a few stock photos from Legit-Kit I’ve included a link to several he has listed here: http://r.ebay.com/iipt8f

Whoriar’s Review

This year I’m planning to write a series of gear reviews for the TCA/TRI Radio group. They might vary in quality and depth, but I hope I can satisfy your interest.

First out, one of the most basic items overlooked by most, the black PRC-148 carrying case.

I love the 148 radio. I have several replicas now, and while one is currently on my kit, the rest is stored in various types of boxes, bags or on the shelf in my closet.

But I found that I needed for a storage and transportation an option that could be both lightweight and versatile.

On eBay I found a pair of original US issue black nylon carrying cases. These fit the radio, a H-250 handset, antenna (both the whip and the blade antenna if you disassemble the gooseneck) a spare battery and a PTT (in this case, I used a PELTOR PTT).

The compartments are snug enough to provide a secure fit, yet roomy enough for small items like a relocation cable or some folded documents. This is ideal for keeping things organised and readily available if you need to grab a spare radio kit during weekend game.

The case has alice clips on the back so it can be used as a pouch on most any type of rigging, belt or webbing.

The main compartment has no less than four clips to secure it. The small compartment at the bottom is perfectly sized for a spare battery and is secured with one additional clip.

The black nylon is heavy duty (I’m guessing 500D) and each compartment has a small drain hole at the bottom. (the were used and popularized by SEALs from NSWS23)

The seams are solid and overall of solid quality as you should expect from a military issue item. I can’t seem to find anything on Google (don’t worry we’ve got you covered bro, as described above –S23) on who makes them but that doesn’t matter I believe when it comes to an item such as this.

For the money, such good value, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want one to keep things safe and tidy. No replicas of this are made, and I can’t think it ever will when the original is so readily available for a handful of change – Whoriar

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

Qty Remaining: 54

http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-familia-mk-1-5-beer-mat-2018-anniversary-edtn

**LIMITED TO A MAXIUM TWO PATCHES PER ORDER – THIS IS A PRE ORDER PLEASE ALLOW 2-3 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY**

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