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:

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.


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


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**

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

Qty Remaining: 12


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

How to ‘Ranger Roll’ your Jacket Tutorial

How to ‘Ranger Roll’ your Jacket Tutorial

“… bunch of readers asked how I ‘Ranger Roll’ my jackets – you can also use the bungee cinch cords to make it even smaller.”

After posting two photos on Instagram earlier today as I prepared to brave the sudden brace of snow that’s hit the United Kingdom, I mentioned I ‘Ranger Rolled’ my Adventure Tech NV/DCU GoreTex Parka, which we incidentally reviewed last year.

Anyhow a slew of readers asked how to do this quick, easy and simple technique – happy to help and pass on this cool trick, I made this little tutorial …

You can also ‘Ranger Roll’ no collared garments and jackets inside ‘hooded’ garments – and using the hood bungee cinch cords you can set it to pack up smaller yet. It’s a great way to store jackets, even putting them in a zip lock bag to keep dry and maximize space in your day sack, great for a speedy draw without pulling out all your other gear too – S23

**ORDER YOUR Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 Anniversary Patch** S23 FAMILIA Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 Anniversary Edtn.

Qty Remaining: 18


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


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

New Jack – Obōz Bridger Bdry Mids Reviews

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 Police Officer 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 Gear Whores 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’s ‘Pilgrim’ GTX’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

Boot Maintenance and Cleaning

Step 1

Brush/rinse off the mud after each hike. Taking a moment to wipe off the dirt or mud when you return home is a good habit to get into. Better yet? Do it at the trailhead and it will save you having to clean out your car of those mud tracks!

Step 2

Several times over the hiking season (or more if you hike year-round, lucky!) thoroughly clean your boots. It’s important to use the correct cleaning agent; avoid solvents, petroleum, and detergents, and never put your booths in a washer or dryer. A great option is Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel.

Step 3

After you’ve removed as much of the dirt and mud as you can, rinse with clean water to damped the boot surface. Shake your cleanser well, and press applicator to break the seal before brushing over the area of the boots you want to clean. Don’t worry, you can apply generously! If an area is really grimy, you can scrub the area with a stiff brush.

Step 4


Step 5

If your boots need to be re-waterproofed, you can then apply a leather conditioner or waterproofing product.

Step 6

Air dry and plan your next adventure!

*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: 54


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


Made by none other than BritKitUSA for us, head on over to and gear up at

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S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ – Life Hacks Pt. I

S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ – Life Hacks Pt. I


… pull tabs …

Part born from a conversation with top man Richard B from Allied Risk Equipment and desire to put out some smaller written pieces I’ve decided to put these out test …
I’ll be interested to hear what you think, and I’m open to solicit any ideas, theories or ‘hacks or cheats’ you the readers come up with – in fact if their good enough, you can have spot as guest editorial and have your name and words up on here.

… magazine retention …

So, ‘hacks and cheats’ – a term unashamedly plagiarized from the ‘gaming’ world, this series takes a short brief look at few little things I’ve adopted and picked up along the way.
Applicable not only to Plastic Deth but many translate or rather crossover to everyday life too …

Electrical Shrink Wrap

So, first up ‘Electrical Shrink Wrap‘.

Commonly used to cover or replace worn or damaged sheathing over wires has many other practical uses.

All that’s needed is a sharp pair of scissors, a ruler, a lighter and of course the correct gauge shrink wrap. All that’s really needed now is your imagination !!!

… lanyards …

I was always dismayed that upon purchasing say for example a high end Soft Shell, and unless it was pre furnished with stitched or plastic pull tabs on zippers, the mini Para-Cord pull tabs where either loosely affixed, or not properly cinched off.
Here, I’ve pretty much gone along a wide variety of garments, including bags and pouches and upon applying the correct gauge ‘shrink wrap’ (it needs to be slightly oversized) slip it over the knot, and indirectly gently warm a few inches away until it tightly shrinks around your cord tab.

… tidy up bungee shock cord …

This stops the not only the knot coming loose, if correctly measured, seals away excess loop which can become snagged or caught. Furthermore, particularly when hands are gloved it makes the operation of zippers and closures easier.

Plus, I think it looks smart and gives a little respite to items that subject to the damp may rot or distress.

A good friend of mine even suggested certain colors can be selected, particularly on pouches to denote contents – such as IFAK’s and First Aid kits, red or green perhaps ?

I’ve also taken to applying this to the ends of bootlaces. Even the best of boots, the vinyl covering eventually brakes off, leaving the lace prone to burring and unthreading – sealing the ends with heat shrink extends their longevity and makes em’ all the easier to rethread through the boots eyelets.

… boot laces …

Whilst most certainly neither the originator or innovator, I’d certainly wager I’m a progenitor of such a ‘hack’.

… shrink wrap everything !!!

It’s not only furthered the lifespan of gear, improved upon its functionality but also propagated good admin and thus allows me to either concentrate or enjoy what I’m doing when using such equipment.
This ultimately, if like me your out laying your hard earned ‘per diem’  and want to get a little extra mileage from your gear and kit is invaluable – S23


Our very good friends over at T.A.C.T. Belgium filmed this little video, post reading our article and proves to be a great visual tutorial – check it out here:

**Project Delta Whiskey & S23FAMILIA PTW Collaboration T-Shirt ‘Fortune Favors The Brave’ Now Availble** Available now in S, M, L, XL, and 2XL in Black or Grey:

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Dirty Black Summer – GSI Java Mill and Aerobie Aeropress Spotlight

Dirty Black Summer – GSI Java Mill and Aerobie Aeropress Spotlight

A few months back I finally, boy was a late to the party, got involved and picked a Jetboil FCSC Flash Cooking System – Carbon.

Naturally with genuine Multicam cozy, with heat changing indicator and FDE housing on the proprietary stainless steel burner.

Naturally, I’m sure your aware The when assembled with the burner heats boiling water in under a minute, the Flux Ring 1.0 liter Cooking Cup be naturally, very conductive to heat. That aside, that’s all been admirably covered elsewhere. Needless to say this should, or rather be in your kit bag regardless …

Now, the brief here today is I’ve extensively made no end of high end cups of coffee, but aside from water and a coffee mug you’ll need a few extra bits of kit.

Now before I deluge you with reviews of either the Aerobie Aeropress or the GSI Java Mill aka ‘Java Grinder‘ – I’ll explain my mindset. You could quite naturally reduce load bearing weight, and space. Optioning for either pre ground coffee, or instant coffee and quite simply leave behind or avoid these items from the outset.

But wether on an extended MilSim– be it mid firefight or reconnaissance, out trailing through miles of woodland, or hiking through hills and mountain sides. The use, particularly in combination with the Aeropress and subsequent preparation offer a welcome distraction and morale inducing satisfaction, all rewarded with a steaming hot cup of joe …

GSI Java Mill aka ‘The Java Grinder’

Basic brief, what you really need to know is the GSI Java Mill grinds fresh coffee beans, and it does it well, really well.

But, here’s why -the difference between a good cup of coffee is all about the release of the flavonoids. First thing to understand about coffee, is the caffeinated vs decaffinated debate. Coffee beans are naturally caffeinated and the process to remove caffeine, deteriorates flavor, and in short, the beans commonly used, are more hardier variation, commonly Robusta, typically regarded inferior in flavor and prone to bitterness.

So, it’s recommended that you always start with fresh, whole caffeinated beans that have been stored away from heat, light and humidity. 

Here’s where, armed with your GSI Java Mill, you can quickly grind enough coffee for immediate use. It’s worth noting, unless correctly stored, ground coffees surfaces area increases immensely and exposure to air will eventually degrade its flavor. Never reuse already brewed grounds, the first brewing process having already given all the flavor, will result in a nasty bitter taste, adding a little hot water is often enough to rejuvenate a Luke warm cup.

The GSI offers the ability to adjust for desired coarseness. Removing the grounds cup allows access to the T-Handle – rotating clockwise will give a coarseness from Percolator, Coffee Boiler, Drip (very fine) through to Cowboy Coffee (very coarse) up to French Press  and Expresso (very fine).

The handle, which locks in place via the bearing in the grinders lug point. The rubber cap switched from end to end, either for storage or torque when in use, allows for the handle to be reversed.

Bearing assembly is removed, and whole coffee beans in through the top of the mill. Replace the bearing and handle. Grasping the Mill and turn the handle clockwise to grind, simply removing the cup afterwards and pour grounds into your preferred coffee maker.

This kit, has revolutionized not only the abilty to grind fresh coffee in the field, but prevents pre ground coffee from becoming damp, spilling loose and soiling other gears, but conversely gives a morale inducing satisfaction …

Aerobie Aeropress 
The brilliant, lightweight and portable AeroPress Coffee Maker produces quick, simple and delicious coffee in just 30 seconds. Increasingly popular with coffee aficionados, it can easily be dropped into a rucksack for a coffee-fuelled outdoor adventure and it’s a must-have for all camping situations. What’s more, the coffee it produces can easily compete with coffee from machines costing hundreds of pounds.

The AeroPress comes with a year’s supply of micro filters, coffee scoop, coffee stirrer and micro filter holder and works with standard-sized mugs …

Simply pour in your ground fresh coffee into the main body, which at the bottom of which seats the diffuser, it’s here you place either the paper filters.

Or, as I’ve chosen to replace, with the far superior permanent and reusable straining filter disc by Percolo

The paper filters are fine, but not only an added expense upon replacement, but another unnecessary item to be carried, prone to getting damp and even blown away in the wind. The Percolo filter once in place, gives an even finer brew, only furthering the rich aroma from fresh ground coffee, which as stated by Aerobie provides great tasting coffee, 1/5th less in acidity than as produced by other methods and devoid of any other flavors picked up from more traditional methods.

Then, simply adding freshly boiled water to the ground coffee, install the second part,  the the plunger.

Pushing down, creates a vacuum, this not only forces all the hot water through the coffee, but traps all of the steam which too, is forced through the coffee.

This gives not only an unparalleled hot cup of joe, but gives a superb brewing capability equal to if not superior to any high end, and expensive coffee maker. Unlike many French Presses, this does not lose heat and allows for a hot coffee in under 30 seconds. An ideal solution for any outdoors ‘cuppers’ S23

Post publication this very spotlight was featured on the Aeropress Store, check it out:

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Fire and Ice – Adventure Tech Reversible Goretex Camouflage Jacket review

Fire and Ice – Adventure Tech Reversible Goretex Camouflage Jacket review

So, third blog in, three days no less into the New Year – I thought I’d capitalize on the recent dreadful down turn in the weather.

Despite a very mild Autumn, and even more, almost humid winter thus far. Suddenly, the temperatures have plummeted, frost has covered the land and here, in the UK we’ve been gripped by icy cold torrential rain and howling winds.

Fortunately, only two months before the holidays, I scored a brand new DCU (Desert Camouflage Uniform) reversible Night Camo Goretex jacket by Adventure Tech.

Like many of my contemporaries, I couldn’t find one at either a resonable price, in my size or in serviceable condition – it was surely no easy feat.

Price, availability, had made these far beyond elusive until fate struck, and as fortune would have it, due to being too big was procured at a truly bargain price – brand new no less.

On day of arrival, under very heavy rain, it’s value was immediately proven – virtually impenetrable by even the heaviest down pour on a several mile walk into my local village for coffee, was a truly grin inducing experience.

So, when coupled with a reputable fleece or even as today proved, a micro fleece lined crew neck jumper. This jacket is incomparable against any of its contemporaries, proving again, that no matter how heavy the rain, or wind, it’s the undisputed heavyweight.

It will keep going too, how – well, it’s this easy. A quick wash on a low temperature without any detergents, will release residual dirt and grime, which will otherwise eventually impede its resistance to rain. Once washed, all that needs to be done is a short low tumble dry, naturally reactivating the Goretex’s natural moisture resistance. You are now ready to wage war against the elements once more, confident the jacket will keep you dry.

Mythical properties of protection aside. The jacket has several features, which I’ll overview here.

The hood is a generously sized fitted affair, which when folded down provides a generous collar, protecting the neck from wind and cold. This is loosened or tightened with two adjusters either end of the bungee shock cord running through the hood.

This can be further rolled down using the Velcro tab. Both cuffs for that matter too, can be opened up of cinched close using the Velcro closures, these are all mirrored on the reversible pattern. So, the jacket retains functionality regarding pattern of choice …

I’ve looped these, and further protected with electrical heat shrunk tubing. It’s tidy and an effective way of preventing needless snags and wear and tear.

The jacket is served by two generous zipped lower torso pockets, and one interior chest pocket. All of which are seamed at the opening to prevent ingress of water, and secured by YKK zippers for additional security.

Externally the jackets patterning is the inimitable DCU camouflage, but as required, or desired, it can be reversed and used with the Night Vision disruptive pattern. This pattern was  from an inception to disrupt and defeat early EasternBloc Gen I Night Vision capability.

How effective it is against today’s technology, is anybody’s guess, but there’s no denying it’s cool guy factor, and looks aesthetically very cool when combined with today’s modern camouflage patterns and color ways.

So, again with the AKU ‘Pilgrim’ GTX mid boots, and MountainHardwear gloves (as reviewed earlier) – whilst lost and amongst the elements these three elements alone kept me warm, dry and comfortable.

Ironically, I was on the phone at the time talking kit and gear to MikeZeroNine no less. It gave me a wry smile, as rain drenched the surrounding countryside – I marched on purposefully without a care in the world idly chatting away, drinking my ‘popcorn’ coffee. It’s a great jacket, and I’m aware, as rare as these are, they are available in a variety of patterns and deserve to be in any adventurers   day sack – S23

** Looking to Source One of these Jackets **

These are available at an incredible discounted price, brand new no less from Tactical Assault Gear:

**PREORDER YOUR Mk 1.5 ‘Beer Mat’ 2018 4th Anniversary Patch Here**

Qty Remaining: 54



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 the only patch we are releasing this year …

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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Over the Edge – Mountain Hardwear Stimulus Glove review 

Over the Edge – Mountain Hardwear Stimulus Glove review

It appears I have a predilection towards gloves, tactical enhancer, personal protective equipment, keep hands warm, who knows – it could be just an affection back to the nice woolen gloves I wore walking to school on any given frosty morning …

That said, until I got involved in ‘Plastic Deth‘ I’d overtly dismissed gloves of any form for many years. 

Initially after powering through many a pair of Nomex CWU ‘Flight Gloves‘ – having had a brief dalliance with Oakley’s SI Assault gloves, although I found their tactile grip torquing the pistol grip in my hand and off setting my site picture. I’d been since thereafter on quest to explore what other iterations are out there that best meet a variety of tasks or roles.

Late last year, we turned in a short piece on PIG’s FDT gloves, already put through their paces at work, giving them a real work out in some foul and dirty conditions really cemented that they can, stand up to some abuse. However, ultimately they are designed in my mind for more direct action scenarios. Specifically when manipulating weaponary.

I’d hasten to add, at this juncture, that my pair of Mechanix probably some four – five years old are still going strong and see regular use – everything from tearing it up in the field to DIY. 

So, rather than have one pair or another supersede each other – I’ve developed a collection of gloves, with perhaps specific tasks or roles in mind.

So, the next entry here is Mountain Hardwear’sStimulus‘ glove. 

Manufactured here, in charcoal black PolartecPower Stretch‘ across the back of the hand to retain warmth, the palm is made from a conductive fleece – allowing full use of fingers and thumbs when using touch screen smart technology. 

The manufacturers refer to the palm material specifically, named as ‘Stimulus‘ as using conductive polymer, and as quite correctly stated flawlessly intergrates touch screen compatibility into the very glove.

Refered to as ‘screen print‘ – what appears to be a silicone textured pattern, offers a secure grip when either holding phone or tablet, even when the glove is wet. 

Fit, on even my oversized hands is comfortable with no loss of detexterity – the stretch way upper provides a snug fit, with no excess material to snag of catch, and amply covers up and over the wrist around the cuff.

Both gloves are fitted with a loop, attached are to triangular ringlets, which can be connected together with the OEM supplied clip for stowage and thus preventing loss or separation when packed in your day sack. It’s a nice detail, and a credible testament to Mountain Hardwear’s reputation of quality and design. I may yet remove the ringlets if the needlessly get snagged …

Of course this is all topped off with their very cool ‘nut’ logo just above the knuckle area on each glove, clearly and distinctively embroidered it gives this instance a real nice finishing touch to what is essentially a great bit of kit.

So, as fortune would have an evening spent at work, in frozen and bitingly cold winds, minus degrees no less saw the gloves keep not only my hands warm, but in combination with other cold weather gear kept warm. Better yet, testing them on touch screen equipment I could easily type emails, update systems and manipulate the screen between menus with ease, even when the screen was splattered with rain droplets. 

Again whilst lost, they too had another road test in truly torrential rain, which in current temperatures was bitterly, and icy cold. My hands again where kept warm, and allowed despite the rain to use my map on my phone to reorientate myself. One hot coffee later, and the gloves drying off in my cargo pocket of my pants and they were good to go again.

A word to the wise, those manipulating ordinance or pyrotechnics in the field, these are flame resistant – equally, I’d be mindful when cooking the field too if wearing these gloves, and anyway – their far too nice to melt – S23

 You can find out more on Mountain Hardwear here:



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It’s Goddamn’ Electric – Storacell Battery Organizers

It’s Goddamn’ Electric – Storacell Battery Organizers

I’m again, probably, late to the party but recently picked up Storacell’s AA and CR123 Battery Organizers (Caddy’s)
These are produced in a variety of color ways, and for a variety of popular every day battery sizes from AAA right up to CR123 etc …
More so, often than not, I’ve carried a variety of batteries in game to power a wide variety of electronica, gadgets, torches, and thusly despite rigorous checks it’s always prudent to have spares …
Having heard a variety of horror stories, everything from batteries discharging having connected with other metal objects, such keys and coins, to connecting together and starting a small fire incinerating an other great LBT Day Sack …

I also have an incredible propensity to be organized and have everything where it should be and accessible within reach, based on order of priority.
So impressed, I’ve been back to that well known ‘bidding’ site and purchased the AAA caddy for less than price of premium cup of joe …

Be it to and from work, everyday carry, duty or ‘Plastic Deth‘ I now have that peace of mind …
So, here, commonly used batteries, are now safely stored in these rugged, rubberized plastic dispensers, easily removed with the pre cut sprung latch and ready for use – S23

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