AMCU Combat Lowers

Ask and thou shalt receive.

Was not easy tracking down these Aus Army issued AMCU combat trousers. I first saw them when being worn by some Australian blokes stationed at a base I briefly transited through in the UAE and I’d never actually spotted them online before then at that point, so being the nerd I am for this stuff my interest was more than slightly piqued. I saw a fair bit more of the stuff in another dusty place shortly thereafter and if it weren’t for the fact I knew they’d probably not have a well-stocked stores in country to replace bartered gear I’d have strolled right up and probably written a blank cheque.

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I certainly got lucky to source a new pair in my size not too long after getting back from that trip, especially since they represent 2 interesting things for me. First they’re another set of combats that are not Crye but will accept Crye combat knee pads, that being a kit niche I’ve been diligently searching for for many years now. Second they are an example of G3-like combat cut pants which have been issued to folks outside the US Armed forces. Again, not a common thing and from what I’ve read online (posted by Australians who’ve served) it’s not the norm for the Aus Defence Force to surplus gear at all, it gets used to destruction or deliberately destroyed so obtaining any of their kit isn’t nearly as simple as US/UK mil surplus.

Originally announced with adoption/roll out beginning at the end of 2014 you can read the official Australian Army fact/press release sheet here:

https://www.army.gov.au/…/files/net1846/f/amcu_factsheet.pdf

The pattern is of course essentially Crye Multicam using the old DPCU colour palette with ADF logos inserted (see pictures), with the exception of the stretch panels which are the same Multicam nylon/spandex fabric used by Crye in their combat pants. I’ve seen photos where the stretch panels appear to have been changed to be matching, though I’ve no idea if that’s just a result of dirt or the lighting of the image. Any proprietary stretch fabric used would more than likely be a downgrade in durability compared to Crye’s material.

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I’m still working through older photography here so I’ve been remiss in not picturing the label, but the fabric is majority cotton, around 60-70%, unlike common PYCO/NYCO that uses 50% cotton at the very most. The manufacturer name is Hard Yakka though their facebook page is expired. Whether they actually manufacture in Australia or do the same thing as the British uniform contractor and out-source to China I’m unsure, though I’d suspect the latter.

Unlike Crye combats the main cargo pockets are zipped closed, the top of the fly is a button, the ankle is cinched down with elastic cord and the waist adjustment tabs are an interesting moulded plastic piece. Other than that the feature set is pretty much what you’d expect from G3s and Crye knee pads are 100% compatible and fit just fine.

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I don’t personally rate the durability in terms of either the fabric, hook+loop brand used or the stitching quality. They have a lovely pyjama feel from all the cotton content but mine have faded substantially from just one short-cycle wash and a piece of the hook that secures the knee pad pocket cover flap is now hanging in the breeze despite being properly secured through said wash. It’s not like I’m not familiar with procedures to take care of/extend the like of uniforms through use by this point either. Still a nice item for the collection and hopefully the MoD will follow this example for more personnel than just aircrew in future.

 

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