FN Herstal

Archive for July, 2008

Wild Things “Name That Jacket” Contest

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Wild Things

Last week we met with Wild Things owner Marie Meunier-Bouchard. Marie is a lifelong climber having begun mountaineering in her native French Alps at age 14. She combined her love of climbing with a desire to build better products and founded Wild Things, named after the book, “Where the Wild Things Are” with her ex-Husband, John Bouchard. Vermont-based Wild Things is a longtime supporter of the military. Their designs have been used for years in the SOF community. But recently they have gained prominence in the Soldier Systems industry by designing and manufacturing the Gen III ECWCS Level VII Loft layer for the US Army. A slightly modified variant of the Level VII garment has been dubbed the “Happy Suit” by the Marines and included in a developmental Cold Weather Clothing System. Both of these garments are also available from ADS.

Wild Things Jackets

Some of the most exciting things that Marie showed us were two recently released new jackets designed for the Soldier Systems market. Essentially they are different versions of the same jacket with the exception of materials. One is FR and the other is not. The price on the Basic jacket is phenomenal, just under $100 direct. The FR version is 100% FR, shell, lining, insulation, and zipper so naturally the price is going to be a bit higher but wasn’t available yet at press time. Intended to replace levels 3 and 4 in Gen III ECWCS, these jackets are simple yet elegant. A lot of thought was put into the design by a house that always been at the forefront of new, promising fabrics. There aren’t extraneous bells and whistles on either of these jackets and the casual observer wouldn’t appreciate the design features incorporated into these garments until he wore it. Every design element makes sense from a functional point of view. These jackets a practical application of the Ultra-LightWeight movement in combat clothing. They combine the practicality of more than one other garment and each feature is there solely for function.

JacketPockets

Manufactured with a face fabric of Polyester microfiber, the Basic jacket features a quilted Primaloft insulation, the same material found in both PCU and Gen III ECWCS. The rear hem is elastic in order to keep it taught and prevent cold air or snow from entering the jacket. There are two slash handwarmer pockets on the front of the jacket and a single interior pocket on the left chest. The hand warmer pockets are lined with a comfortable knit material. The jacket also comes standard with pile tape for Name, Service, and Rank insignia.

Insignia Pile

Both jackets are currently available in Black, Coyote, Foliage, and UCP. Plans are underway to also offer the basic jacket in Multicam.

Wild Things

Marie is looking for your help in naming both of these jackets. The winning entry will receive a jacket as prize.

Contest Rules:

– One entry per contestant

– Name BOTH jackets

– Marie decides the winner

– Winner will be announced here

– In the event more than one contestant submits the same winning entry date of email will decide the winner

– Winner receives a jacket as prize

– Only one winner for the contest

– Contest ends 31 July, 2008 at 11:59 PM

– Send all entries to: Marie Meunier-Bouchard.

For more information on their entire line go to Wild Things.

Solio Chargers

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Solio

Keeping your electronic gadgets charged, especially when deployed can be a serious challenge. While you can be out of practically everything else, one thing is in abundance; sunlight. Consequently, solar chargers are a great option but many require large, unwieldy, and expensive panels. Then came Solio chargers and in particular the Magnesium Edition.

Solio Magnesium Edition

New this season, the Magnesium Edition is lightweight, durable and takes up little space. Capable of accepting a charge from its internal solar panels or from shore power via a standard plug (international adapters available), the rechargeable ME stores its internal charge up to one year (80% of charge at one year). When used as a solar collector the device stores the power and when in use as a battery regulates its output as though coming from shore power. A full Solio ME will charge a typical mobile phone more than twice or give over 20 hours of MP3 music – just 1 hour of sunshine = 20 minutes talk time or 50 minutes of MP3 music.

Solio Magnesium Edition

Technical Specs:

* Nominal DC Output: 3V 3A
* Maximum Wattage: 9 Watts
* Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Ion 3.7V 1.8A cell
* DC Input: 5-6V 0.4Ah
* Dimensions (LxHxW): 4.72 x 1.34 x 2.56 in (120 x 34 x 63.5 mm)
* Weight: 6.38 oz. (179g)
* Temperature Range: -4F to 131F (-20C to 55C)

What’s more, the ME charger now comes with iGo adapters. Anyone familiar with the iGo system knows that they have an adapter for virtually anything. Solio offers a wide range of iGo adapters but click here if you need more information on iGo.

Included in each charger:

o Charging Cable for iGo® tip system
o Female USB Cable (powers iPhone, iPod, MP3s)
o iGo Motorola Razor tip
o iGo LG Chocolate tip
o iGo Nokia tip
o iGo Samsung tip
o iGo Blackberry tip
o Pencil
o Solio Draw String Hemp Pouch*
o Universal Wall Adapter

* We recommend DoD users dump the Hemp Pouch.

The Magnesium edition is the top of the Solio range, so be sure to check out all of their offerings. While Solio is a UK-based company, we have found the best place to get them Stateside is TAD Gear. TADGear really supports the troops and often has products on special discounts.

Photos property of Solio.

Ghetto FastMag

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

The guys at ITW Nexus told me about this…

MARS is Alive and Well

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

In 2004 Patagonia developed a turnkey environmental clothing system called the Military Advanced Regulator System or MARS. Based on their commercial Regulator line, slight modifications were made to designs and the color was changed to Alpha Green. Since its initial inception Patagonia has also added base layers in coyote.

Patagonia has recently changed distributors so many have sent us questions as to the availability of MARS. Rest assured, it is available in all sizes through their new distributor ADS as well as direct from Patagonia.

Look for a full article on MARS soon.

Updated to correct Ranger Green to Alpha Green. Alpha Green came first and was adopted for use by the Rangers after a slight name change to Ranger Green.

Strider Knives Exclusive

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Strider

The special operations medical community recently approached Strider Knives to produce an edged tool to perform cricothyrotomies. Apparently, the current issue item just doesn’t stand up to the rigors of field use. In true Strider fashion they came up with something that doesn’t just accomplish the mission, it does it with style. To give you an idea of scale, the scalpel is just over three inches long.

Strider

Available soon from Strider Knives.

Navy Adopts Blackhawk Uniforms

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Blackhawk Products Group unveiled a new family of high concept uniforms at SHOT Show 08 in Vegas. Less than six months later one of the variants has been adopted and the Navy will begin deliveries today.

The desert digital uniforms will be issued to a small user community and feature Blackhawk’s patented Integrated Tourniquet System at key areas on the arms and legs of the four component uniform system. Dubbed the High Performance Fighting Uniform, the system consists of an FR athletic cut combat shirt, a lightweight zippered vest for wear over the combat shirt in garrison, a BDU style blouse and combat trousers.

Commercial variants may be available in as soon as 60 days.

Look for a more comprehensive article soon.

McNett Gruntline

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

McNett

Sometimes the simplest things make life better. For guys who can’t rely on KBR laundry, washing your clothes on a washboard and hanging them out to dry is a reality of life. Manufactured from braided rubber tubing the Gruntline stretches up to 7′ and has clips on each end to attach it for use as a clothes line or as a tie down strap. Although its been around for awhile, its a classic. I carried one with me for years and it got lots of use as intended as well as to suspend ponchos in a large tent so I could stake out some “me” space.

McNett Gruntline

Available from McNett.

Photos courtesy McNett

Becoming Batman

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero

Batman is the ultimate Badass. A science hero, Batman is the product of dumb luck and a very strong will. He has tapped the very pinnacle of human potential and has access to Gucciest of kit. He is so popular because of all super heroes, he is the most plausible. Its easy to consider yourself in his situation. A new book entitled, “Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero” from The Johns Hopkins University Press by E. Paul Zehr is poised to be released in October. Zehr is an associate professor of kinesiology and neuroscience at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and long time practitioner of Chito-Ryu karate-do. In his book Zehr examines what it would take to become the “Bat”.

Scientific American has a great interview with Zehr on the subject.

Available from The Johns Hopkins University Press.