Soldier Systems
Tactical Assault Gear
Categories About Us EmailArchives Home Tactical Fanboy Soldier Sytems Home

Posts Tagged ‘EOTAC’

It’s Getting Cold Outside – The Smock (Redux)

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

I first published an article on the Smock last November. It’s getting cold outside and the time is now to get your hands on a Smock. This article isn’t the be-all-end-all word on Smocks, but it’s a good start.

Finally, the smock is beginning to gain some traction here in the US. We’ve written about them in the past, mentioning smocks from Drop Zone, the now defunct EOTAC, SOD Gear, Level Peaks, SORD, Vertx Vertx smock and the FirstSpear Squadron Smock. But, we’ve never really talked about them and explained what they are all about.

Even though we are slow to adopt, they are literally a concept unlike anything we have in the US. I’ve heard them compared to the M65 field jacket but that idea is simply uniformed. A smock isn’t just a coat.

Rather, the smock is much more than a simple jacket. In addition to use as clothing, the smock is also intended to carry much, if not all of the wearer’s fighting load. In fact, that was the point. They were originally envisioned to carry several days of combat equipment including rations, ammunition, and radios.

Primarily, the smock is a European concept and in particular, used by Commonwealth nations. I got my first SAS smock in 1989 in a trade for a poncho liner during an exercise in Belgium. Its use as an issue garment was traditionally restricted to Special Forces yet several nations have adopted it for general issue in one form or another. One example of a much watered down smock on general issue is the Canadian Army’s combat jacket. When this design was initially adopted in the 1960s it was envisioned that the Soldier would carry his ammunition and other fighting load components in the jackets pockets. What’s more, the British military now issues a Smock as a general purpose item.

There is very limited use of Smocks by US forces. During the early 1990s, an experimental clothing system called Battle Dress System (BDS) was developed by the US Army Special Operations Command. It was a layered clothing system that eventually became the Lightweight Environmental Protection sub-system of SPEAR. The outermost layer called the SOF BDU, was a solid grey combat jacket and over trouser. With its solid grey color the item was rejected due to institutional prejudice. When LEP was adopted, it was without the SOF BDU layer.

Issue items like the SAS Smock are pretty good, but commercial interests have taken them to a whole new level. Britain’s Special Air Sea Services has been manufacturing specialized variants of the smock since the 1980s. Other companies like Canada’s Drop Zone picked up the torch in the 90s and now, commercial items are more prevalent than the issue garment.

But, for me, the most ambitious smock project of late has been the FirstSpear Squadron Smock. I will be blunt. I love it. But, with it’s gridded fleece lined yoke, it’s a cold weather garment.

Smocks have made a lot of sense in Northern Europe where the cold wet climate requires layering. You see, as smocks are coat-like garments they are generally worn layered over shirts. In many climates the US military finds itself in, this would be too warm as a daily wear item. Rather, the US Army’s Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System in all three of its incarnations has offered various technical shells. It seems as if the US skipped the smock altogether, at least for a time. But, with the advent of the most modern smocks, new fabrics have been introduced into the design essentially making them softshells. Conversely, Australian Mission Pac has developed a MultiCam ripstop 100% Cotton Smock for use in warm climates.

Crye Precision debuted a warm weather Recce smock during SHOT Show 2012. Thus far, it has not been released for sale.

20120117-072019.jpg

Other interesting concepts have been developed such as the Arktis SF Sleeveless Smock which looks like a hybrid between a smock and a 5.11 shooting vest.

Oftentimes, those with no experience with smocks will criticize the design. They don’t understand that use of a fully featured smock allows the reconfiguration of the load. For example, armor can be worn under the smock. Perhaps a chest rig may be required and perhaps not, but much of the items carried on the armor or in a pack can be carried in pockets, readily available.

With even more products hitting the market soon, smocks look to be making an indelible mark on the US market and as they become more and more prevalent, we will begin to see more widespread use, including on the battlefield. Think of the smock as yet another tool in the toolbox and use accordingly. Remember, it’s a tool, not the tool, and you’ll be ok.

-Eric Graves
The Editor
SSD

What’s your favorite Smock?

The Smock

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Finally, the smock is beginning to gain some traction here in the US. We’ve written about them in the past, mentioning smocks from Drop Zone, the now defunct EOTAC, SOD Gear, Level Peaks, SORD as well as the upcoming Vertx smock. But, we’ve never really talked about them and explained what they are all about.

They are literally a concept unlike anything we have in the US. I’ve heard them compared to the M65 field jacket but that idea is simply uniformed. A smock isn’t just a coat.

Rather, the smock is much more than a simple jacket. In addition to use as clothing, the smock is also intended to carry much, if not all of the wearer’s fighting load. They were originally envisioned to carry several days of combat equipment including rations, ammunition, and radios.

Primarily, the smock is a European concept and in particular, used by Commonwealth nations. I got my first SAS smock in 1989 in a trade for a poncho liner during an exercise in Belgium. Its use as an issue garment has traditionally been restricted to Special Forces yet several nations have adopted it for general issue in one form or another. One example of a much watered down smock on general issue is the Canadian Army’s combat jacket. When this design was initially adopted in the 1960s it was envisioned that the Soldier would carry his ammunition and other fighting load components in the jackets pockets. What’s more, the British military now issues a Smock as a general purpose item.

There is very limited use of Smocks by US forces. During the early 1990s, an experimental clothing system called Battle Dress System (BDS) was developed by the US Army Special Operations Command. It was a layered clothing system that eventually became the Lightweight Environmental Protection sub-system of SPEAR. The outermost layer called the SOF BDU, was a solid grey combat jacket and over trouser. With its solid great color the item was rejected due to institutional prejudice. When LEP was adopted, it was without the SOF BDU.

Issue items like the SAS Smock are pretty good, but commercial interests have taken them to a whole new level. Britain’s Special Air Sea Services has been manufacturing specialized variants of the smock since the 1980s. Other companies like Canada’s Drop Zone picked up the torch in the 90s and now, commercial items are more prevalent than the issue garment.

Smocks have made a lot of sense in Northern Europe where the cold wet climate requires layering. You see, as smocks are coat-like garments they are generally worn layered over shirts. In many climates the US military finds itself in, this would be too warm as a daily wear item. What’s more, the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System in all three of its incarnations has offered various technical shells. It seems as if the US skipped the smock altogether for a time. But, with the advent of the most modern smocks, new fabrics have been introduced into the design essentially making them softshells. Conversely, Australian Mission Pac has developed a MultiCam ripstop 100% Cotton Smock for use in warm climates.

Other interesting concepts have been developed such as the Arktis SF Sleeveless Smock which looks like a hybrid between a smock and a 5.11 shooting vest.

Oftentimes, those with no experience with smocks will criticize the design. They don’t understand that use of a fully featured smock allows the reconfiguration of the load. For example, armor can be worn under the smock. Perhaps a chest rig may be required and perhaps not, but much of the items carried on the armor or in a pack can be carried in pockets, readily available.

With even more products hitting the market soon, smocks look to be making an indelible mark on the US market and as they become more and more prevalent, we will begin to see more widespread use, including on the battlefield. Think of the smock as yet another tool in the toolbox and use accordingly. Remember, it’s a tool, not the tool, and you’ll be ok.

-Eric Graves
The Editor
SSD

A-TACS Deal from The Sportsmans Guide

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Apparently, The Sportsman’s Guide bought out the A-TACS run of the EOTAC Direct Action Recce Smock and Pants as well as A-TACS versions of the Operator Pant and Shirt. Before Remington pulled the plug on the EOTAC brand they placed orders with their factories for a run of their smock and pants in the A-TACS pattern. Still no word on of the combat shorts were ever actually manufactured. The garments are a ripstop cotton blend and feature pattern matched elbow and knee reinforcements.

Gets yours before they are gone. Due to the closeout nature of the offering they are priced to sell and won’t be available for long. Sizes vary due to stock.

www.sportsmansguide.com

EOTAC Updates Website

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

EOTAC's Direct Action LineEOTAC has introduced numerous enhancements to the site but probably the biggest is under the “collections” tab. Other than displays at SHOT Show this is the first time they are fully unveiling the new Direct Action line. Consisting of the Recce Smock, Shirt, and Pant, the new line will incorporate pockets designed to complement the wearer’s load as well as durability enhancements. Additionally, the Direct Action clothing will be offered in Sand as well as A-TACS Camo in a full range of sizes. Visit www.eotac.com for more details.

Tactical Pants Blog Interviews Fernando Coelho

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Tatical Pants Blog interviews EOTAC founder Fernando Coelho, but I won’t steal any of their thunder. Head on over and check it out.

www.tacticalpants.com

EOTAC Releases Direct Action Line

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

My friend Mil Spec Monkey was hard at work running all over SHOT Show serving as videographer to the stars. He captured this video which gives you a great introduction to EOTAC’s Direct Action line.

EOTAC’s Fernando Cuelho showcases the new DA Recce Smock and Trousers, pointing out several unique features such as the napoleon style pockets on the chest that were designed to be large enough to accept empty magazines.

Look for the entire new Direct Action line at www.eotac.com.

EOTAC Knife Now for Sale

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

The Elite Operator Grade Knife from Emerson we recently told you about is now available on EOTAC’s website. I have to say that $218 for a limited run Emerson designed knife is a steal. Especially when it is offered in A-TACS pattern.

EOTAC's EOG-1 was designed in cooperation with Ernest Emerson

Order it at www.Eotac.com.

A-TACS Sighting

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

A-TACS seems to be popping up everywhere at SHOT. Here. high atop the EOTAC booth a mannequin stands watch kitted out in their new RECCE Smock, Shirt and Pants.

A-TACS

EOTAC Launches New Emerson Knife Collaboration at SHOT

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

From the get go, EOTAC wanted to do a knife to complement their clothing styles so they went to knife making legend Ernest Emerson to produce the EOG-1 (Elite operator Grade). Emerson designed a custom blade design crafted from 154CM premium Stainless Tool Steel hardened to 57 Rockwell with a partial serration. The EOG-1 also features G10 scales and Titanium liner lock.

EOTAC's EOG-1 was designed in cooperation with Ernest Emerson

The production knife will only be available with the partially serrated blade like the Black variant above. The A-TACS version below is a prototype shown so that you can see how it will look with the camo finish. The knife will be available only through EOTAC and select EOTAC dealers and quantities will be limited. It will be offered in Black, Khaki, OD Green, and A-TACS.

A prototype EOTAC EOG-1 produced by Emerson in A-TACS camo

EOTAC has a whole slew of new stuff coming for SHOT in booth #11456. Hopefully, we will be able to give you a couple of more sneak peeks before the show kicks off.

NY Iron Works Open House

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Attention New York readers: New York Iron Works is holding an open house on Friday, 18 December. Be sure to stop by and try on some EOTAC clothing for a chance to win a Sig Sauer P239. No purchase necessary, winner will be chosen on the 18th.

NY Iron Works Open House

Additionally, from December 11th till December 25th, order clothing from EOTAC’s website and receive a 25% discount. Simply enter XMAS during checkout.