One of the quickest videos I’ve ever uploaded, but honestly I think one of the most valuable.
Also few of my thoughts on the high end vs cheap copies vs military surplus and what makes sense in different situations. I have my personal preferences, but when discussing this sort of thing I like to try and mention different perspectives so that anyone can choose appropriate gear regardless of what they do. Lots of folks have different jobs and hobbies so a perspective of ‘only X brand is any good’ is futile without context.
Obviously that subject could easily be a length standalone video or article, but I wanted to just touch on the basics as it’s something that gets debated a lot. That and a lot of people online have an angle as it were, whereas I’m in no position to gain or benefit regardless of what kit you buy; be it top end or the cheapest clones going.
Comparing the UF PRO Striker XT Combat shirts in PenCott CamouflageGreenZone. This is a brand I don’t think I’ve featured before on the channel but definitely one you should pay attention to, especially being one of the few brands in Europe putting out really high quality kit at a price that’s a hell of a lot more palatable than some other big names. Still in the upper echelons, but in terms of fabrics and construction quality vs cost the ratios are excellent.
The thumbnail will make sense when you watch the video I promise.
Went all in on the title I’ll not lie, but hey that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.
I picked up a new MBAV cut Strandhogg from FirstSpear only a few weeks back and since it is pretty much their flagship product and they’ve made a fair few changes to the design I wanted to go over those while A) I still had my old one as it’ll be sold off to make room and B) the new rig wasn’t yet setup and covered with all the pouches and modular placards/panel systems I had here waiting to be attached.
To be 100% honest I’m not personally a fan of the interior design on the new cummerbund or the way it adjusts. I don’t mount stuff inside there, the mesh always helps with airflow and dissipating sweat and you lose adjustment range with the new wide elastic attachment vs the old design where the PALS slots carried on in to the back panel and you’d expose more when you made adjustments. Am I however a blurry-faced CAGGRU dude who’s probably put the feedback that lead to the new design? Well… that’s classified.
I was a bit torn making this video, because I felt I was almost betraying my gear whore principals in a way, but on the other hand I don’t think I’ve ever pretended that buying the super high end kit turns you in to the SF equivalent of Superman either.
Most likely I’m going to bring up the SKD Tactical ‘Enhanced Combat BDU Shirt’ a few more times in the near future because I’ve got a couple of other field cut shirts in original MC that I’m planning on going over and none of them get close to beating the SKD in terms of value. Do they (higher end shirts) look and feel more premium in general, handy little features in the pockets, more pockets maybe, more time and effort put in to cutting the fabric and stitching it all together? Yeah, no doubt. I’ll continue talking about that sort of gear just because I want to put out the information, as I always have, such that if you do want to spend the money you can at least get a bit more detail than a website product description before you invest so much. Plus of course I just enjoy collecting that sort of product and I can only publish info on the products I have.
All that said, for a shirt to cover your torso and camouflage you, carry a few items in pockets, protect you from the sun and certain abrasive things better than a t-shirt will; well I’d be dishonest frankly if I tried to claim that anything from Patagonia, Crye, Arc or Beyond did anything magical that this SKD shirt doesn’t, it can even take elbow pads. At the basic level of things that matter like durability, wearer’s comfort and practicality in usage, the difference between the really gucci brands and this shirt is quite little.
Now the winter’s here I can finally put on my MilSpecMonkey Hoodie the way I like and talk about it.
If you’ve been subscribed to the channel over there a fair while you may remember the previous video I did on this jacket, I liked it then, but this newer example is definitely softer to the touch and more comfortable all around.
If you find camo and tactical colourways interesting make sure to check the description for the articles MSM have published going in to great detail on the minutiae of choosing the shade they finally went with. There’s a lot of very interesting pictures in there. Before reading those pieces I myself thought Wolf Grey absolutely made sense as the solid colour to go for in an urban environment, but I think the Monkey has done a really good job debunking that concept in reality.
Will we see more apparel and cordura load gear like rigs and pouches in this colour? Maybe, but given the logistical issues for a company of investing tens of thousands in getting thousand yard rolls of fabric printed (be it NYCO or 500D) and then standardising other components, adding it all to the production line for various offerings and then convincing other brands to get on board so people can build the loadouts they want… it’s a slow conversion process.
As I mention, RAL 7013 uniforms are already out there from UF PRO and Clawgear and RAL is not too far off this shade from MSM, but I’ve not seen any loading bearing kit to match yet. Ranger Green rigs and pouches from Crye or FirstSpear probably come closest but that cordura can most definitely vary in shade depending on when it was manufactured. The old Foliage Green cordura some companies made 5-6+ years ago may have been closer but that is long gone from most inventories.
If the right people see this stuff and appreciate its’ value I reckon we could well see an expansion in these ‘muddy’ middle-ground colours. Hard to say which shade it would replace exactly since they sit very much in between RG and Wolf (with a bit of Coyote in there) but do keep your eyes peeled and we’ll see what unfolds.
My run down of the PLATATAC VM Chest Rig in RG.
Unfortunately, and annoyingly, as of this moment there’s no stock of these in. I have had this one for a fair few months in order to be able to actually try it out a couple of times, examine it in depth and put out the review, but I’m hoping they’ve not been discontinued entirely.
We’re certainly taking it back to the sort-of old school a bit with this design, but it’s the sort of layout I like and the zip up front is a really crucial element to include I think. You always have to consider carefully what you’re actually going to carry before picking up a fixed pouch rig, but if this one fits what you need and you find one for sale, I’d have no reservations about recommending it.
While the concept of covers for lids seems to have died a bit of a death in some circles, one thing I see everywhere these days is people just running around with their mega shiny helmets out and I think “bloody hell, cover that up will ya”.
Honestly though, non-ballistic brain buckets tend to be super shiny and look kind of ridiculous to my mind when not using a cover. If they’ve got a hydro dip then doubly so, because the varnishes they put over those dippings are always shiny as hell.
If you’d like to treat your dome guard to a real fancy cover then the FirstSpear offering will of course serve you very well. If you’re purely after aesthetics and having the highest quality doesn’t matter for you all that much, there are cheaper options out there and I fully get that, you have to spend what makes sense for YOU. But for my readers out who can’t compromise and need gear built for what they’re doing, I’d recommend the FS cover for various reasons I’ve detailed in this video.
Friends don’t let friends attach their pouches like newbs. Show them the proper way to rig their gear with this handy explanatory video.