Time for some more signature straight-up no BS gear truth:
For those that remember the new version Arktis Ranger Trousers I posted up about a few times a couple of months back, after many e-mails and a lot of prodding I’ve finally got some response worth reporting on.
I did a bit of testing (in a non scientific way) with the 2 pairs they lent to me for review and overall they were pretty damn good. Top end materials throughout, bar-tacks and double/triple stitching where it needed to be, all the pockets you might need etc. However there were some minor niggles that I took substantial time to document and report back on, as was the agreement when Arktis sent over the items in the first place. A couple of small areas where parallel stitch lines weren’t quite right, some small suggested changes to the factory kneepad inserts and, primarily, the knee pad pockets being just a hair’s width too short to 100% fully fit G3 kneepads perfectly.
Initially I was told the 2 pairs of trousers I have were first off the production line early models (borderline prototype) and the kneepad fitment issue apparently wasn’t evident on other pairs in the warehouse upon checking. I said ok then, in that instance let me return these sets and I’ll borrow a fresh pair from you guys for actual recording of a video review so that I’m not putting out false negative information about the product.
Now, all this communication was with a gentleman working in the design department at Arktis. There was a bit of a gap in comms, I then received an e-mail that had been shotgunned out by this person to explain he was leaving the company. I didn’t exactly say why but it came across as perfectly normal and amicable, no big dramas or anything.
The next person I moved on to speak to then again (it turned out) left the company shortly after. Maybe I have just a terrible effect on people? Regardless I’ve now been informed that “the trousers are still under review”, from a design perspective presumably, and I should get in touch again later this year when Arktis are planning to have made further changes. What those changes will be and whether they’re actually going to finally listen to the feedback I’ve given them on many, many occasions now, advice that would fix the problems I keep finding with these trousers, who knows?
It’s frustrating that they have such a well established manufacturing location, access to plenty of mil-spec materials and just keep falling that tiny bit short of the mark. The one pair I have here in temperate DPM that were custom 1-off modifications of the earlier model are absolutely top notch and fit Crye pads perfectly, yet, the 2 examples of the current iteration I’ve got here do have small issues that really do bring them down (disproportionately so).
I’ve made it very clear that my assistance is available going forward and maybe they’ll actually take me up on that and I’ll keep that ship sailing straight and true. Maybe not though. I will as always keep you updated.