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FirstSpear Squadron Smock

Originally developed for a Government customer, the Squadron Smock is evolved from traditional British designs. FirstSpear sat down with their customers and integrated the features they required for use under combat conditions. These smocks remain one of the most prized possessions of the men who were issued them.

Features
-Hood and Torso lined with gridded fleece
-Hood accommodates helmets
-Hood features drawstring and rear adjustment
-Hood Brim incorporates wire stiffener
-Scrim/Camo attachment points along hood, upper back and waist
-Velcro patches for ID on upper back and bicep pockets
-Removable padding in Cordura reinforced elbows
-2-Way Pit Zips for ventilation
-Pen pockets on both lower sleeves
-Drawstring waist
-Drawstring hem
-2-way Main zipper (closed with Velcro strips as well as Slotted Buttons)
-Snap closure at bottom of main zipper
-Drawstrings feature captive barrel locks for one-handed adjustment

Pockets
Amazingly, the Squadron Smock features a total of 18 pockets!

Here is the breakdown:
2 x Bicep Pockets with Velcro for ID
2 x Cargo Chest Pockets
4 x Cargo Pockets Along Skirt
2 x Zip Closure Exterior Napoleon Pockets
2 x Zip Closure Interior Napoleon Pockets
1 x Exterior Poacher Pocket
3 x Interior Flat Mesh Pockets
2 x Zip Closure Gridded Fleece Lined Handwarmer Pockets

There is an ingenuous pass through at the main zipper flap that allows you to access the left interior Napoleon pocket without opening the main zip. Additionally, there are three flat mesh pockets along the inside of the skirt to store flat items or those that need to be next kept to the body.

Cargo pockets are bellows design and feature drain holes as well as slotted button closures, interior D-rings and tacked corners with pass troughs for dummy cords. Additionally, the pocket flaps are the fold over style for positive closure and Cargo pockets also incorporate drain holes. Additionally, the Cargo and Poacher pockets as well as the main zipper flap rely on large Slotted Buttons which can be handled when wearing gloves or mittens. When paired with slightly undersized buttonholes, it means you won’t have a pocket fly open while in a helo or vehicle. Additionally, the Slotted Buttons are properly attached meaning there isn’t too much play in the ribbon and the buttons have room to slide which helps avoid rips.

Materials
The shell fabric on the Squadron Smock is 330 denier by 3-ply 70 denier Taslanized nylon with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. Additionally, it integrates a gridded fleece lining, 330D Cordura elbow reinforcements as well as mesh interior pockets along the skirt. All fasteners are US Mil-Spec from ITW Military Products and zippers from YKK.

General Impressions
Although I haven’t had a lot of experience with this particular smock (just 4 days), I’ve had years of experiences with smocks from a variety of origins. The Squadron Smock is excellent. Due to its construction it is admittedly a 3-season garment. With the fleece lining I feel it would be too warm for warm weather use. However, the fabric is very breathable, has a comfortable hand and feels like Cotton even though it isn’t.

The hood has plenty of room to go over your helmet when needed and features a wired brim. This keeps it stiff so it won’t sag into your eyes and can be formed when needed to form the opening during extreme weather. The hood also has a Velcro adjustment at the rear as well as attachment points for camouflage material that extend down the back of the Smock. Additionally, there is a Velcro patch for ID badges.

I really like the inclusion of Pit Zips. This will help with venting if worn during dismounted patrols. Additionally, the smaller bicep pockets are a welcome relief. They aren’t big enough to overload or have gear flailing around inside.

The Squadron Smock is absolutely built for combat, but…it looks good doing it. Even with all of its features, in the Coyote color, it doesn’t scream military. In a solid color, it looks like a high end, foreign jacket. You’re not going to be the grey man wearing it, simply because it is so feature laden, but you won’t necessarily be made for a guy with a gun.

If I were to change anything it would be to make the pen pockets slightly wider to accommodate larger pens. Additionally, the handwarmer pockets aren’t the deepest or easiest to use. However, considering the overall geometry of the Smock, it would be difficult to alter them without affecting other features.

I recommend the FirstSpear Squadron Smock if you are looking for a cold weather, fully feature laden, combat jacket.

Available for pre-order in Black, Coyote, and MultiCam sizes Small – 2XLarge. Look for deliveries beginning 1 December, 2011.

www.first-spear.com

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21 Responses to “FirstSpear Squadron Smock”

  1. Daniel says:

    This looks like the traditional smock has been taken a little step further again. I really can appreciate the fleece lining in the lower pockets. Note to those unfamiliar with these jackets: smocks are not designed to be lightweight garments. The fabrics, overload of zippers and fully loaded pockets (gloves, watch cap, map, compass, shemagh, snack-pack etc etc can make it weigh a couple of kilo’s.
    I do find the price on the high side when compared to other brands (lik Arktis). a basic smock with 80% of the feautures shown here costst around $ 160 around here..

  2. Carlos says:

    And one issued british smock with 70% of the features cost less than 60$ :-/

  3. MoE says:

    That Patch looks really great! Coyote rocks.

  4. Administrator says:

    You guys are comparing apples and oranges here on pricing. It would be like pointing to a high end fleece jacket and saying that you can get that at a big box store. Sure, you can get a cut rate fleece jacket, but it’s a commodity at that point and not a purpose built product with a lot of design behind it.

    Yes, you CAN get a smock for $120 US or so. BUT, it won’t have half the features you see here and it will be made from Poly Cotton or if you’re lucky NYCO. The price for this particular smock, when you consider the fabrics used as well as the multitude of features is actually very reasonable.

  5. straps says:

    Anyone with insight into sizing can chime in any time they want. Trying to size outerwear–especially from quality outlets–is becoming crazy making.

    Far as the utility, if you’re LE, PMC or even military and you can move freely looking like something out of Halo or MW I envy you. There are a lot of situations where I can’t, be they political (“You need you to look a little less, um, ‘provocative.’ Maybe I’ll talk to your OIC about putting you guys in polo shirts and getting you backpacks for all your toys.”), safety (“Shoot them first, they’re the best-equipped.”) or OPSEC (“I had no idea that there was something important happening until I saw Master Chief over there. Maybe I’ll hang out and take some video.”).

    Who knows, in 5 years these could be the new 5.11 vest. But until Smelly figures it out, looks like a good way to work somewhat discreetly.

  6. da hui says:

    This coat is the heat. Its filled with technical features one would expect from high end outdoor sport coats and obviously built by someone with a brain. Don’t let some buttons scare you into some homophobic rage, look past it and see the technical features of a well thought out combat outerwear. Nice work First Spear! Pre Order in.

  7. Administrator says:

    Straps,

    What do you need to know? Sizing was right on for me, meaning I was wearing slick armor under the Smock and could have had some layers on as well.

    If you have long arms, like gorilla long arms, it may be an issue.

    -Me

  8. straps says:

    By sizing I mean:

    Does the cut presume wear of armor and low pro kit beneath, and a size Medium dude (by shirt size) who wears size Medium BALCS would wear a size Medium smock (or maybe a size Large because of “their” gorilla arms).

    OR…

    Should someone go up a size the way they do with “normal” shirts and jackets to be worn over soft armor, or pants to be worn with IWB holsters?

    Thanks

    • straps says:

      @Admin: Thanks for the sizing. Sleeve lengths seem a bit, how you say, tyrannosaurus-like?

      • Administrator says:

        Not at all on the sleeve lengths. They are right on. It’s just if you are a lanky, tall basketball player type, you’re going to show some wrist unless you size up. A lot of commercial outdoor equipment is sized for climbers. Skinny body, long arms. This is sized for a fightin’ man.

  9. wyhunter says:

    time to die: grow up

    Honestly, I miss buttons on field uniforms -they’re quiet, easily repairable and hold well. Coat looks functional, though I just don’t have much need for tons of pockets, as my gear will be covering it. Looks good otherwise.

  10. gunny86 says:

    I think you meant “I see what you mean, but…” to grow up

  11. Carlos says:

    I owned about 6/7 different smocks in the last 25 years, and i tried about 6/9 more….. from simple designs to custom ones, and i work with clothing manufacturers and know somethin about production costs…. Im quite sure that Im not comparing apples with oranges.

    Maybe in USA is difficult to find smocks, but in the european market you can find a huge offer of similar designs (including custom manufacturers)

    The new cloth and fleece lined is a good adition, some details as the hood designs seems to be an improvement but is a fact that 90% of the features that the “new generation USA made smocks” offer come from previous designs …

    nobody doubts that this smock is a very good piece of clothing …. but a 400$ tag is difficult to justify

    • Matt says:

      I’m fully with Carlos on this one – its a nice smock, but except for the grid fleece it hardly differs from a family of Brithis Arktis or German Sabre smocks. Not that these are cheap garments, but if we’re speaking of innovation – I’ll take Vertx softshell smock anyday.

  12. [...] this new First Spear smock mentioned over on Soldier Systems is going to be a hit. Unfortunately now I’m going to have to buy one…the chances of [...]

  13. coops says:

    Being a Brit the cotton gabardine sas smock is hard to beat. I wear my summer, winter rain or shine. Its a nice smock but for $400 I would get a kit carry smock from sass kit uk and a decent fleece for a mid layer.

  14. MarkM says:

    If you consider a combat smock replaces the chest harness, then the pockets and features make sense. We’re talking not wearing a LBV at all, because the environment is cold enough to force choosing insulation first. A soldier can’t wear both in a cold wet environment.

    That’s why the Brit’s, Canadians, and others are using this in the typical environments they operate in above the 40th parallel.

  15. Patrick says:

    Looks almost like the Claw Gear Pathfinder Smock

    • I see what you mean but... says:

      From the only picture I can find online, that claw gear smock looks like a knockoff of a Drop Zone smock.

  16. walter shumate says:

    but what’ll it weigh, man, what’ll it weigh?