Following on from an earlier post about the new production of Tropical DPM field shirts for SF and other specialist troops, we have another example of a uniform from a European commercial manufacturer that blends some newer elements with some more classic elements.
This particular set rose to prominence in some circles during recent years after being issued to UKSF. According to some sources it was procured as a barracks dress primarily, though if the designs fit the mission requirements I’d have no doubt these garments would be used for more than just down time on base.
Taiga is a Swedish design and testing house that has their products manufactured “in Europe”, which on the one hand is classically ambiguous as is so often the case with high end brands in the UK and EU, but it’s also an awful lot better than sending money to China. Generally in these cases the actual sewing factories are in Eastern Europe; countries like Poland. Taiga products certainly aren’t cheap as it is and you could probably add on at least 50%, if not a lot more, if they tried to manufacture anywhere in Scandinavia. Which is assuming a facility with the appropriate resources and experience even exists in northern Europe in the first place.
Fabric here is rip-stop with a clearly visible grid, where most standard issue MTP items are either twill, or the grid is only just about discernable when looking very closely and only under a bright light and at just the right angle. The fibres are also most likely 50/50 Nylon/Cotton, based on the closest equivalent shirt listed on the Taiga website.
Above is a close-up of the back of the shirt, the largest flat portion of the camo pattern I was able to get a picture of. I was told directly by Taiga employees that the TMTP (Taiga Multi Terrain Pattern) isn’t exactly the same as issued MTP, but as you can see it is very similar. Colour palette wise it looks quite a lot original Multicam, to my eye at least, with a slightly darker overall tone than MTP, more brown and less green – at least on this one example and when compared to my own issued PCS uniforms.
Coming from Taiga, the overall quality is of course very high to say the least, which lines up with the prices (when you can find similar items for sale commercially). When I have seen equivalent shirts in stores previously they cost more than a G3 field shirt and you can see why when looking closely at the construction.
Front closure is with a coil zip with a somewhat over-sized slider and metal pull, then you get a front flap closed by very nice slotted buttons that are sewn on with some generous edging ribbon/tape. Very reminiscent of CS95 shirts, but with a significant boost in overall quality.
Externally mounted chest pockets are billowed at the base and outer edge, with fold-over top openings for better security and a daisy chain for pens and perhaps some lanyard tying. Buttons are very much like a miniaturised version of those used on the large cargo pockets of issue CS95 and PCS trousers with an outer lip, as opposed to the smoother small buttons used throughout CS95 shirts.
Arm pockets are split into 2 areas, have side billowing, a handy pull tab and again we see the fold-over pocket openings commonly seen throughout British issue uniforms. Closure is purely hook and loop and you get a couple of lanyard points per pocket. The actual loop material is not Velcro brand, but another type that is generally only seen in use by manufacturers in mainland Europe.
Cuffs are also adjusted via a pair of buttons (not pictured).
The label unfortunately tells us little besides the shirt type, model number/designation and design mark… and UK/EU style care instruction symbols of course.
To me, this is the all around ‘best’ field shirt available in MTP; or at least a very close semblance of the pattern. Certainly as far as non-FR garments anyway. The two commonly issued MTP shirts aren’t bad at all but the pockets on the Taiga are simply much more useful and usable than those on either the CS95 cut ‘barracks shirt’ or the PCS shirt. While the Taiga might not be ideal under body armour, I have no doubt it would work well with just about any other type of kit in a wide range of environments.