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SPARTANAT: Gear Made in USA – Back Bay USA

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

On our trip through the States we made a home visit in San Diego at Back Bay USA. The owner, Jack Graham, was available for an interview.


SPARTANAT: Jack, thanks for your Invitation to visit your facility! How long are You in Business with this Company?

JACK: I launched Back Bay USA in January 2018. I have been a partner at other companies in the past, and decided it was time to start my own business.


SPARTANAT: What`s your Military Background?

JACK: I am a retired United States Navy Senior Chief FMF/DV/FPJ, Special Amphibious Corpsman (SARC). (Those designations mean I was Fleet Marine Force, Diver, Freefall Parachutist). I served for 23 years, working mostly with the U.S. Marines. I served with 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, and 1st Marines, just to name a few!


SPARTANAT: How does your Background influence your products?

JACK: I grew up in a Navy family and learned at a young age to “do more with less” and how to be creative. After I joined the service, I discovered the Marines used the same slogan! We had to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome the lack of funding that was given to the Marines; and especially the Corpsman/Medical sections back then was week at best. Things have changed for the Marines now and they have some great gear, thank God.


SPARTANAT: Where else do you get your ideas from?

JACK: I watched a lot of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., James Bond – 007, Our Man Flint back in the day. Making my own weapons, and parachutes to jump off the two-story base housing when I was in first grade; I might add without breaking my legs! Sometimes I try not to think about anything, and that is when the ideas happen. The inspiration you seek is already inside you.
So shut up and listen!

SPARTANAT: Do you do collaborations or produce gear for other companies?
JACK: We do both OEM manufacturing in-house as well as design work for others. We have on-site designers and engineers. I can’t say much more about who our customers are, other than they are some pretty cool people!


SPARTANAT: Tell us about the “mysterious” material you are using.

JACK: We started looking at new technologies about 18 months ago. We wanted to move Some people thought my ideas were crazy and “whacked out” and that’s one of the reasons I decided to launch my own company. They could not see the vision. So, back to the “mysterious materials”. First, they are not fabrics. They are laminate composites made in the USA. Made of material that is 15X the strength of steel and flexible, with the ability to be sewn and cut with a laser. Products like Tegris, and Dyneema but not limited to one brand or one company.


SPARTANAT: What about that magnetic locking mechanism?


JACK: Well, this is still a work in progress. The pack magnetic release system is built. We’re just waiting for some technology to catch up with us. Let’s just say I need a certain magnet company in Germany to speed up…


SPARTANAT: Where can we buy your products?



SPARTANAT: What are the plans for the future?

JACK: NATO show in October, Ripper single point release, Tactogami, Magnopacks, 28L FNG pack and last but not least.. The vision is… Armor The World, what else?

SPARTANAT: Anything else?

JACK: I am not a big fan of looking like a soldier unless you are in the military or going hunting. Why not hide in plain sight. You know, Greyman shit. If you want to be a target when you are out and about then wear your camo and military looking packs.

Wink, wink, nod, nod… I see you!


SPARTANAT – New Gear for Swiss Army: MBAS is coming

Monday, March 5th, 2018

Everyone wants to develop, the Swiss are no exception. But they’re fast. In 2016, the “Further Development of the Army” was adopted as a programme. Since 1 January 2018 it has been implemented. From 2022 the new “Modular Clothing and Equipment System (Modulare Bekleidungs-und Ausrüstungssystem – MBAS)” replaces the formerly used “Kampfbekleidung (Combat suit) 90/06” – we have presented MBAS HERE and HERE at SPARTANAT last year.

But now there is the new “Armeebotschaft 2018″. This is the Federal Council’s proposal to approve the corresponding budget for armaments projects. An essential part of this is the ” Modulare Bekleidungs-und Ausrüstungssystem (MBAS)”. And the Swiss Confederates are willing to pay for this: 377 million Swiss francs are to be approved for MBAS. That’s the equipment for 100,000 army personnel. 3,000 CHF are spent per man; the ballistic protection plates account for half of the costs.

Here we document the text passage of the Armeebotschaft 2018 on the topic MBAS. In addition, there are the freshest pictures of the new Swiss equipment.

Modulare Bekleidung und Ausrüstung

Modulare Bekleidung und Ausrüstung

Armeebotschaft 2018 (excerpt)

Modular clothing and equipment Initial situation and need for action

The 90/06 combat uniform, which is currently in use, was introduced into the army during the 1990s and has been a feature of the army for over twenty-five years. The materials used correspond to the state of the art at that time (e. g. regarding breathability and weather protection). In order to take account of the changes in application, technology and logistics, it is necessary to introduce new clothing and equipment. In addition, the use and warranty period of the vest 96 expires.

Until the introduction of the new modular clothing and equipment planned for 2022, the army personnel will continue to be equipped with the current 90/06 combat gear. This is given as part of the personal equipment as well as basic equipment (corpse material) in schools, in refresher courses and on missions. In order to cover the needs of the coming years, follow-on purchases are also necessary for the current combat clothing, which will be applied for via the AEB loan. It is not envisaged that these items of clothing and equipment will be liquidated immediately after the introduction of the new clothing and equipment. Instead, components of the 90/06 combat clothing will continue to be used for the time being even after the introduction of the new modular clothing and equipment.

In addition to the necessary subsequent purchases of the current Kampfbekleidung 90/06, the present Armeebotschaft is also applying for a subsequent procurement of protective plates for the vest 96 (cf. No. 2.7). This is necessary because there are no protective plates for a considerable part of the existing vests, which means that the protection of the army personnel cannot be guaranteed in robust operations. The protective plates purchased to close equipment gaps will be reused in the ballistic body protection of the new clothing and equipment.

Description of the requested variant and justification

The clothing and equipment applied for is intended to assist the members of the army in fulfilling their missions and has a high degree of modularity and all components, which is why it is known as the “Modular Clothing and Equipment System” (MBAS). Procurement comprises the following components:

– Fighting clothes: camouflage suit, wind, rain and cold protection;
– Carrying systems: carrying devices, backpacks and pocket sets;
– Ballistic body protection in two versions: a version with reduced protection area for combat operations with high physical load and to ensure mobility, and a second version with accompanying collar and body protection with maximum protection area for guard operations with normal physical load;
– Drinking system: water bags, drinking tubes and various adapters for PET bottles. ?The tried and tested “onion shell principle” of the 90/06 combat clothing is to be retained with the requested procurement. This means that the person or members of the army should still be able to adapt their own clothing to the temperature and weather conditions. The individual bags can be mounted and carried according to the specific application (either on a carrying device, a backpack, a plate carrier or a protective vest). ?The new clothing and equipment is better in terms of ergonomics and thermophysiology than the current one, which has a performance-enhancing effect. It is reduced to a minimum of volume and weight and has a modular design. ?Thanks to modular components such as pockets and protective plates, clothing and equipment can be designed for specific applications. Where appropriate, the aim is to integrate existing or newly introduced items of equipment into the new modular apparel and equipment.

The new clothing and equipment was examined in detail in a military test with around 350 army personnel from a total of 13 training associations and competence centers and the suitability of the troops was assessed in practice. All components were tested in plain colours. With the introduction, a new camouflage pattern is used for a large part of the components.

The commitment loan applied for will enable 100,000 army personnel to be equipped. The new clothing and equipment will cost around CHF 3,000 per person, with around half of this sum being spent on ballistic body protection.

The new clothing and equipment will be handed over to the troops in schools and courses and as corpse material when used. A circulation reserve is eliminated for logistics. Procurement will be put out to public tender in 2020. The new clothing and equipment will be introduced in 2022. It should be usable for at least 25 years.

Further tested variants

As an alternative to a replacement, a service life extension of the existing clothing and equipment was tested. However, such a solution was rejected after careful consideration. One of the main reasons for this is that today’s clothing and equipment, which will soon be thirty years old, could not be adapted to today’s ergonomic and weatherproofing requirements if it were only to be used for a longer period of time. Another reason for this is that, after the expiry of the warranty period, there is a need for a successor system. As with weapon systems, progress has been made in equipment and clothing since the early 1990s in terms of functionality and quality. In addition, the need for re-equipment and re-establishment means that larger quantities of imported clothing and equipment are procured each year. An extension of the useful life therefore does not result in savings.

It was also examined to apply for modular clothing and equipment with a later armament program. This was dispensed with because on the one hand the complete equipment was required with the WTG. The individual protection of the military personnel has a high priority. On the other hand, the evaluation of the new modular clothing and equipment is well advanced.

risk assessment

The individual components of the new clothing and equipment are always based on solutions that correspond to the current technical state of the art of conventional products. Tests were carried out to reduce risk. These referred in particular to the necessary adaptations to the items to be carried by the army personnel, the modularity, the combinability of the subsystems as well as their components and the logistics processes.

The intellectual property of the subsystems belongs to armasuisse. Public tenders can therefore be procured independently of suppliers and with a high level of supply security.

ARMASUISSE on the Internet:


What you can still see in the pictures in a neutral color comes in this camouflage pattern.

It remains with the onion skin: MBAS also works with different layers, and is not meant to replace everything. What is good remains.

New core elements: Modular plate carrier, drinking systems, modern backpack and appropriate textiles.

The Swiss confederate relies on MOLLE: Belt and plate carriers can now be equipped individually.

The plate carrier system with chest rig and pockets. A very versatile solution in a modular configuration.

That’s how it can look like individually. And we can see how closely the Swiss looked at it. The Swiss Army has taken international suggestions from various manufacturers and incorporated them into its own design.

This is what it looks like in the Swiss Forest. Still in testing, no camouflage.

SPARTANAT IWA 18 – Put Andres Industries in front of your Specter DR

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Specter DR Tilo 1

Doing something deliberately can make sense. And so you decide to shoot something at night, and then you need this solution: The world’s smallest thermal glasses are used in front of one of the usual military optics, the Elcan Specter DR. The TILO-3 we have introduced to you HERE, the Specter DR HERE. The new mounting adapter, which brings the two worlds together, comes from Oberland Arms and enables the TILO thermal imaging device, which is also new, to be attached to the Elcan Specter 1/4x, turning the Tilo observation device into a thermal imaging attachment.

Specter DR Tilo 2

Andres Industries is pleased that OA offers accessories for the TILO-3Z+ they’ll present in Nuremberg. Although the TILO-3Z+ was developed as a thermal imaging spectacle and is also sold by Andres, it is very robust and has no problems with strong accelerations and vibrations. Even a fall on concrete is guaranteed to cope with it and has a few more scratches on the outside.

The new TILO-3Z+, which corresponds to the military version in its performance, will be available to civilians after the IWA, i. e. from 12 March 2017. It has an on-screen menu. About the can’t be to deactivate the required palettes or activate video output.

Oberland Arms im Internet:
Enforce Tac 2018 in Halle 10.1, Stand 10.1-641
IWA 2018 in Halle 9, Stand 9-405

Note: this was translated from the original German

SPARTANAT: New Camo from Germany – CONCAMO

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Shortly before the IWA we are pleased to present the new CONCAMO. It comes from Germany and was developed by Matthias Bürgin. And it will land from now on: Leo Köhler produces clothing from this new camouflage print. Gear in CONCAMO will come from ZENTAURON.

concamo 1

As you can see, you hardly see anything. But someone is hiding in the middle.

concamo 2

The story behind Confusion Camoflage (CONCAMO): The developer of CONCAMO designed camouflage even as a 10 year old child. The basic idea for CONCAMO was born in 1992 when Matthias Bürgin designed the first three dimensional camouflage nets at the age of 17. During his service with a special military unit, he was able to deepen his knowledge about camouflage patterns and their effects. After his active service, he turned it into a hobby and continued to design patterns for a variety of purposes, from the urban to the high mountain pattern. The breakthrough came after he became familiar with perceptual psychology. CONCAMO effectively confuses the subconscious with a special patented pattern arrangement.

Concamo 4

Now is the time to release CONCAMO into the wild. At the IWA 2018 trade fair, the camouflage pattern CONCAMO green will be presented at Leo Köhler’s booth and starting May 2018, CONCAMO green will be on sale.

concamo 3

Here is a comparison with common patterns. We will definitely take a closer look at the camouflage pattern at the IWA 2018 in Nuremberg. More infos and high resolution pictures can be found on the homepage of CONCAMO.


Leo Köhler:

CONCAMO can be seen at Leo Köhler on IWA 2018 Halle 9, booth 9-343.


Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

SPARTANAT: Tardigrade Tactical, you are from Denmark. What do you specialize in?

We specialize in designing and developing equipment for military and law enforcement end-users. – Equipment that cuts down on bulk, weight and comprises and integrates functionality in each design. We work hard to fit all functions into one layer rather than to do several layers, with each layer having a different function – both in a literal sense with layers of fabric but also in a more holistic sense, knowing that our products will become a part of an end-user’s complete setup – most likely wearing issued kit and other brands of gear. It’s really all about focusing on helping the end user perform as good as possible. We actually produce products meant specifically to be integrated with the professional end-user’s issued kit. We know that some departments of the military and the Danish law enforcement have strict guidelines on what’s allowed to be worn and we work around that issue with a “low footprint integration” in mind, basically ending up with designs that looks like an integrated part of the original gear. This makes it a lot easier for the end-user to wear his gear and focus on his task at hand rather than being concerned of what his or her leaders might think of a non-issued product – which is a very real issue these days.


SPARTANAT: How long have you manufactured gear? How did it all begin?

We have been manufacturing gear since 2011, but it all really started when I was deployed the Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009, with a small reconnaissance unit. At that time, we bought a lot of our own kit and spent tons on money making our setup perfect. We imported most of the stuff from USA but the integration with our issued kit, at the time, was never perfect. It lacked a “Danish touch”. I started doing sketches on different designs during our down-time in the FOB (Forward Operation Base), and figured I needed a creative hobby to focus on, in my spare time, when returning to Denmark. When I returned home to Denmark after my deployment, I bought my first industrial sewing machine and spent a few years learning different design- and manufacturing processes – basically learning the “source code” on how to turn fabric and webbing into a piece of gear. For a few years I was designing sewing gear for my colleges, in my basement, but things really escalated in 2015, when we set up shop in an old building not far from my home, in Copenhagen.

Today, my business partner Frederik and I run the company and have two employees working at our facility on a daily basis, producing gear for several web shops and retailers as well as government departments and SOF units.


SPARTANAT: You have a logo not easy to identify. What does it show and why?

Yes, we are often asked that question and I always enjoy telling people about the meaning behind our name and logo. The Tardigrade is a small organism, gaining more and more popularity due to its tough attributes. When the Tardigrade is in a certain state, it has the ability to withstand extreme temperature fluctuations, radiation and even the vacuum of space. The creature is no more than 1 mm of size, but lives in all corners of the world, making it really great mascot for our brand: sturdy, versatile and with a small foot print. I have always been very fascinated with science and biology and have always admired the low profile of the tardigrade, that is most likely the only living organism to outlive all other, here on Earth.

SPARTANAT: What’s your favorite product?


My favorite product? That’s a hard one to answer. I love all my children… I’ll have pick the one that has made the most impact with our customers, specifically those in the Danish Army: the “Low Profile Laminate Belt (beta)” so far has proven to be a great piece of kit for the soldiers, wearing heavy MOLLE belts. It’s really light weight, has a very low profile and very easy to adjust, using hook and loop. The belt is designed to follow the curvature of the hip and to do nothing more than keeping the operator’s pants in place. The idea came from wearing big, bulky rigger belts (that does not serve any other purpose, anyways) under the issued MOLLE belts. Big belts on top of each other will created fatigue, irritation and soars, during longer patrols. The “Low Profile Laminate Belt (beta)” does not, as it is so light and thin, you can hardly feel it, when wearing it. We plan to crowd fund the final version of the belt, for an international audience within a few months, as we think it has a very big potential.


Also, worth mentioning is the combination of our “Tardigrade Tactical – Speed Reload Pouch, 5,56 Rifle” and “Tardigrade Tactical – Light Weight Dump Pouch”. Two products that has been around since approx. 2012. A great deal of effort has been put into designing these two products, basically to give the operator the option of placing two pouches on the same space normally used for one pouch, with the MOLLE/PALS on the inside of the dump pouch. The “Tardigrade Tactical – Speed Reload Pouch 5,56 Rifle” is very light weight, very small but very functional magazine pouch, designed to allow the operator at full grip of the magazine when drawing for a speed reload. The design allows for adjusting the tension on the magazine and the opening allows for an easy insertion on a full magazine during breaks in engagements: a soldier should never take his eyes away from the thread, even when rearranging his full magazines.


SPARTANAT: Anything you want to tell your costumers? 3-5 pictures, portrait (if wanted), give us a short bio

Absolutely! A big thank you so far for supporting our brand and project! Also, a big thank you to all service members using our products down range and providing us with much appreciated end-user feedback! This helps us to continually design products that will fit the needs of future end-users deploying worldwide.

Finally, I very much appreciate all the different individuals we meet during shows, helping us to gain a bigger and better understanding of the industry as a whole and in detail.



Name: Birk Anton Knudsen.
Age: 30
Geo: Copenhagen
CEO and founder of Tardigrade Tactical.
Military background: Corporal in the Danish Army since 2007 – Reconnaissance and Armored Infantry (PNINF), Gardehusar Regiment, Slagelse.
Deployments: Helmand, Afghanistan

SPARTANAT – Andres Industries AG is bringing Diamond Age to Europe

Monday, February 5th, 2018


Andres Industries AG, hitherto known for its highly innovative thermal imaging systems (TIMRO-X, TILO-3 see SPARTANAT Review), starts a cooperation with the US company Diamond Age for the development of ballistic protection systems and takes over its European distribution. Diamond Age has been intensively involved in the development of new materials for many years and specializes in the production of high-performance ceramics for armour-plating.

At the IWA and EnforceTac in March, the company will be presenting the BASTION helmet it announced last year. This is characterized by an unequaled bullet-resistance up to the range of rifles (VPAM 7). Although thin special panels are used for this purpose, the total weight of the helmet remains below 1.9kg, i. e. it weighs no more than a normal fragment protection helmet.


But even without the additional VPAM-7 panels, the helmet achieves the protection class VPAM 3 with a lower weight of only approx. 930g (shell weight). In the lightest combat-ready version, the helmet weighs only 1.15kg. Another special feature is the very low back face deformation of only one centimeter (0.39″) when firing handgun ammunition (NIJ Level IIIa). This extremely low value will become increasingly important in the future, as recent studies show that it is often not enough to stop projectiles. It is equally important that the depression on the helmet caused by the projectile does not lead to a serious skull injury.


Commenting on the new cooperation with Diamond Age, Andres Industries AG CEO, Björn Andres, said “For over a year we have been working intensively on ballistic protection systems and have built up a successful new business line. Most manufacturers, and we too, have so far been working mainly on new techniques to process existing materials better and better. We have found that we need to work more closely with developers of such materials because we need new and even better materials. With Diamond Age we have found such a partner. Where others stop at boron carbide, Diamond Age is just beginning.”

Andres Industries und Diamond Age auf den Messen in Nürnberg
EnforceTac from 7-8. March 2017 Hall 10 – 614
IWA vom 9-12. March Hall 9 – 405
Mehr Messe unter:

SPARTANAT – Corvus Is Coming

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Corvus Shot Show Kopie

VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Corvus Defensio announces its first presence at SHOT Show and is proud to unveil its partnership with Steyr Arms, Inc., who will distribute their whole line of products in the USA.
Corvus Defensio will be exhibiting its full product line of innovative and high quality accessory parts for the Steyr AUG rifle family.
Established in October 2016 the company immediately presented a wide range of upgrades for the most famous Bullpup rifle.

Corvus AUG Handguard

Their goal was to enhance the pros and overcome the cons of the Steyr AUG rifle, that just celebrated its 40th birthday. With their accessory parts Corvus Defensio answers the desire to utilize and manipulate the Steyr AUG like any other modern sports or military rifle to meet state of the art rifle training standards. The Case Deflector enables the user to shoot from the left shoulder around barricades. The Enhanced Magazine Release Button allows faster and more reliable mag changes. A wide variety of accessory receiver and barrel rail systems enhance the utilization of optics, back up sights, lasers, lights, slings and bipods. And their newest product is a free float Handguard system which is an attachment to their 35 Slot Receiver Rail. It enables the shooter to wrap around his support hand like with any AR15 system without getting burns or other injuries from the hot gas exhausting at the gas port. Corvus Defensio will also present a Case Deflector for the AUG NATO stock now.
Meet Corvus Defensio at the booth of Steyr Arms, Inc. at Shot Show 2018 (booth number 10246). The staff of Corvus Defensio is looking forward to discuss their products and their general experience with the Steyr AUG with visitors of Shot Show 2018!
Corvus Defensio:


SPARTANAT – Gear Made in USA: Zulu Nylon Gear

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Zulu Nylon Gear 2

Zulu Nylon Gear is almost an insider tip, as we’re familiar with a lot of stuff from them – Zulu sews on behalf for ITS Tactical. Today we’re presenting the RSCR Chest Rig – this is the link to our review. We talked to Joel Zaruba about what he does otherwise.

Joel Zaruba Zuly Nylon Gear

SPARTANAT: Zulu Nylon Gear is a small gear manufacturer from USA. What are you specialized in?

Zulu Nylon Gear: We primarily specialize in private label manufacturing and design work for other companies. We also have our own product line.

SPARTANAT: For how long have you manufactured gear?

Zulu Nylon Gear: We’ve been manufacturing tactical gear since 2007.

Zulu Nylon Gear 3

SPARTANAT: The first of your products we were familiar with is your Visor panels. What else is typical for you?

Zulu Nylon Gear: The MOLLE Visor Panel is a very popular item from our line. The Mega Admin Pouch is also very popular.The new RSCR Chest Rig is our latest product and I hope people like it! It has gone through several years of evolution before I felt it was ready. My goal was to build a minimalist rig that carries only the essentials in a slim, comfortable format but still works well in a “tactical” environment beyond just the flat range.

SPARTANAT: Maybe more people know your work under the name ITS Tactical. You produce their tactical nylon? How did this come?

Zulu Nylon Gear 4

Zulu Nylon Gear: We’ve done worked on the design and manufacturing for many of the ITS Tactical nylon products – look here at ITS Shop . I knew Bryan from ITS from the very beginning of the blog and the work on nylon products naturally came from that.

Zulu Nylon Gear 1

Zulu Nylon Gear has been providing high quality custom tactical nylon to military, law enforcement, and civilian customers from all around the globe since 2007. By relying on common sense practicality and critical user feedback, Zulu Nylon Gear will help you complete your mission with unique, specially tailored equipment. All Zulu Nylon Gear products are proudly sewn in the USA. You can find their tacticool Patch here.