I started writing this post which should’ve just been about displaying some recent acquisitions, before I knew it I was an excel spreadsheet deep in to cost vs performance discussions. So for now, I’ll just say, I have what I have and that’s about all there is to it.
I’ve mentioned it briefly before, but to re-iterate, I decided around the start of this year that trying to change and ‘perfect’ (as much as is possible) my camo, load-carrying kit and my replicas all at the same time was making for slow progress in each area. So I decided to spend 2016 just hunting down the tactical apparel that I ‘needed’ to complete the collection idea that I had completely fabricated within my own mind.
For those who saw the last Mail Call post back around September time, this is everything I’ve had show up since then, minus review items and a few very small bits and pieces that are purely for airsoft usage. Keeping all this in boxes for months and not ripping open all the packaging was pretty tough I’ll say that. Now, without getting either a UAV or some kind of scaffolding rig, this was the best I could do picture wise, and even this involved me spending (what felt like) a long time on a really rickety old plastic garden chair placed precariously on the edge of a step in the paving. Paving covered in slug trails, recent rain and a thin layer of green lichen.
Lucky I survived the never-ending karma sutra of photography and lived to get in another weird, awkward position to take pictures another day. Though being as unimaginably old as I now am, the 2 hours or so I spent in a non-stop squat/kneel getting everything arranged might also have ruined my joints for the next year or so.
So why so many Crye things? As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I deliberately avoided Crye to an extent for many years, pretty much right up until I deployed back in June actually. Really it boils down to wanting to put out good information for folks. I’ve had a fair few comments on YouTube and other places from people saying they were struggling to find information on some certain piece of gear that I happened to post about, and that for me is a solid achievement. Talking or writing about a lot of Crye products doesn’t provide anything new by this point, the merits of their combat apparel in particular have been well and truly covered on many media platforms. The fact has always remained however that Crye are the objective best options available for certain colours and patterns.
Going back to my fabricated list of tactical clothing I decided wanted to obtain this year:
-Temperate, transitional and arid combat shirts and trousers from the families of Pencott, Kryptek, ATACS & Multicam.
-At least partially replace temperate and arid FROG MARPAT sets with AOR1 and 2. I’ve got pretty much zero interest in NSW outside of watching the odd movie about SEALs, I just like the patterns and they’re comparatively fairly commonly available in the forms of modern, quality clothing vs a lot of other patterns that have been seen military usage.
-UCP, purely because the experimental Crye Army Combat Pants can be obtained relatively cheaply and despite the patterns’ poor performance in Everywhereistan it is very much rooted in history at this point.
-Standard multicam; given that everyone wears it and MTP looks just like it, I am rather sick of the look of the stuff in a way. However it’s just as common as solid colours when it comes to all types of tactical gear and given the level of military usage, the high end companies are all producing Multicam in large quantities, making good MC gear of mega common and easy to find.
The rest of the items pictured are either already marked for sale, replacing things I already have, or were somewhat impulse buys based on lots of time spent trawling ebay and forum classifieds. I do still ‘need’ combat shirts in Multicam Arid and Pencott Badlands, as well as a good, non-insulated softshell in some sort of green (so there’s another Crye order), but once those are out the way 2017 will be all about load-bearing kit. I’ve got a couple of PCs and belt rigs that need total overhauls and the few items you see below the red sleeve in the first picture are pieces from Tyr Tactical that will be test beds for some ideas I’ll be trying out, then potentially implementing on all of my LBE during the course of next year.