photo credit: The stunning photo of Crater Lake was taken by KKELLYIMAGES (Massif’s former Senior Customer Service Rep Kristan Williams)
Designed for use down to -60 Deg F, the Level 7 garments from Massif are components of the latest update of the USSOCOM issued Protective Combat Uniform, Block 2. Yes, this is the actual garment issued to SOF. Although Massif is well known for their FR garments, the Level 7 Jacket and Pants are non-FR.
Massif did a great job redesigning the garments which retain the same overall functionality of their earlier incarnations with a few new enhancements. They’ve significantly reduced the weight from earlier incarnations of PCU Level 7 knocking about 25 ounces off of the total weight of the Jacket, Vest and Pants (size Medium) in this version.
The big story here is the fabric selection for this ensemble. The face fabric is 2.1oz Nextec Peak 40D Ripstop which is not only lightweight and tear resistant but the fabric is encapsulated in Silicone so it sheds and won’t absorb water. The liner too is a lightweight 40D ripstop fabric but is 1.5oz Brookwood Ecology which you may remember from the Level 4 windshirt. It has a very soft hand and is comfortable against wind and sun chapped skin. For insulation, Massif chose 3.6oz Climashield Apex for its CLO factor and compressibility. Zippers are color matched and incorporate zipper garages.
The Jacket has an ergonomically shaped, helmet-compatible smart hood for improved peripheral vision. It has a rear adjustment cord with barrel lock to keep it where you want it.
Additionally, there are two internal mesh pockets for water bottles or other items you need to keep warm as well as a zippered chest pocket accessible from the outside of the jacket.
Finally, there are two large, hand warmer pockets accessible via zippers on each side of the jacket.
The Pants have full side zips for ventilation, and easy donning and doffing. Additionally, there is reinforced fabric along the knee for increased durability. They’ve also retained the elasticized waist to accommodate varying thicknesses of underlayers.
Overall, this new design has reduced garment weight, and improved functionality and comfort. Feedback from the field has been very positive.This a great opportunity for individuals as well as organizations that are not part of the SPEAR program to incorporate Level 7 into their gear. It’s important to note that Massif offers GSA and contract pricing for approved customers. Additionally, they have been very good in the past at working with individual military and LE. Available in MultiCam, sizes Small – XXLarge in Regular and Long lengths.
As you may recall, Massif was recently purchased. I have heard they are in the process of preparing some new products. They’ve also placed several items (both FR and non-FR) on clearance at really great prices.
This is an announcement from Massif Mountain Gear Company regarding their recent acquisition by Samtech, LLC. Their release can be found below.
Massif Mountain Gear Company L.L.C., is pleased to announce that it has officially been acquired by Samtech, LLC. Samtech is affiliated with Los Angeles-based Antex Knitting Mills/MatchMaster Dyeing & Finishing, Inc. Antex/MatchMaster has long been our largest supplier, providing circular knits for the Army Combat Shirt and FREE program for almost a decade. We’re excited about this partnership. The change will be relatively seamless for our customers and suppliers.
Our company name will be changed to Samtech, LLC dba Massif so you’ll see a change on our documentation, dropping the “Mountain Gear Company” portion of our name. We’ll just be Massif.
We will still be the same innovative company designing and producing garments to protect our troops.
Received some great news today that Massif will be purchased by Samtech LLC. Massif has long been at the forefront of providing FR clothing systems to the US military.
Massif Mountain Gear Company L.L.C., the flame resistant clothing company, announced yesterday that Samtech, LLC was the successful bidder at a Section 363 sale auction to acquire substantially all of Massif’s operating assets. Samtech, LLC is affiliated with Antex Knitting Mills/MatchMaster Dyeing & Finishing, Inc. based in Los Angeles, California. The acquisition enhances Massif’s supply chain through vertical integration, product innovation and rapid prototyping capabilities, while providing Antex/MatchMaster with an expanded infrastructure to meet the global needs of the civilian & military flame resistant clothing industry. The Massif brand will be maintained.
“The Massif team is thrilled to solidify our long standing relationship with our most important supplier. This acquisition will be seamless to our customers” said Noelle Christensen, VP/GM Massif. “The Antex team has been a huge part of our business since its start so we’re looking forward to growing the business together.”
“The Antex/MatchMaster team has worked closely with Massif for many years on development and production of flame resistant fabrics and garments. We are very excited about this acquisition.. It is a natural outgrowth of our long-standing partnership and we look forward to our next phase as one team.” Bill Tenenblatt, Vice President Samtech.
The sale to Antex is subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court at a hearing on August 22, 2014 and is expected to be finalized within the next two weeks.
This is awesome news to me. I only have I known Dave for years I’ve been a huge fan of the Cocona fabric technology for almost as many. This is a great team up and I’m looking forward to see what Dave has in store for us in his new position.
Dave Bywater, who built the Military, Special Forces, and Wildland Fire business at Massif Mountain Gear, is now heading up all Military, Wildland Fire, and West Coast accounts for Cocona Natural Technologies, maker of patented 37.5™ Technology.
“It is an honor to be reunited with Dave, he is one of the finest men I know”, noted CEO Jeff Bowman who previously worked with Bywater at Massif. “Dave will help take our customer service to the next level.”
A lifelong user of high-performance gear, Bywater grew up climbing in Utah and spent 16 years as a Grand Teton National Park Employee. As part of the elite Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers, he routinely performed helicopter short-haul rescues as well as high-angle rock, ice, and snow rescues. Bywater received the Department of Interior Valor Award for an extreme rescue on Mt. McKinley. He has also been a Wildland Fire Fighter on engine and ground crews.
Bywater has more than 10 years of experience in the high-performance garment and textile industry and was most recently Vice President of Government Sales at Massif. Instrumental in developing and securing the company’s most successful programs such as the Army Combat Shirt and the Flame Resistant Environmental Ensemble, Bywater was also responsible for getting Massif’s flame-resistant garments approved for use in every branch of the US military.
“I’ve spent my career both using high-performance gear and getting the best equipment possible into the hands of people with the world’s most dangerous jobs,” said Bywater. “I’m excited to work with 37.5 technology, which, among other benefits, can help mitigate heat stress so you can focus on the job at hand—whether that’s training for an event, performing on a team, or protecting the country. The technology has an incredibly broad range of applications and the opportunities are limitless.”
Bywater will be at the 37.5 Technology booth at OR in August 6th through 9th. For inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, Tactical Holdings filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in Federal Court in Wilmington, DE. The brands under Tactical Holdings include well known FR clothing manufacturer Massif as well as footwear makers Wellco and Altama as well as other companies Tactical Intermediate Holdings Inc, Tactical Holdings Operations Inc, Ro-Search Inc, Mo-Ka Shoe Corp, and Massif Holdings LLC. As you may recall, Ro-Search developed the Panama sole used in the old jungle boot.
Fortunately, they were given permission to use up to $3.5 Million in loans from Wells Fargo to pay vendors in order to keep things going through the process.
At face value this looks pretty scary for these brands but Massif may well come out of this situation stronger than before. While all brands were given until the end of July to find buyers, Massif has already been courted by Sun Capital Partners, who owns Point Blank Solutions, Protective Products Enterprises, Paraclete, Kelty, Sierra Designs, Slumberjack, Ultimate Direction and Royal Robbins. These guys know how to do it. Dow Jones reports that Sun Capital Partners has a $13 Million offer for Massif. As I understand it, Massif will go to auction soon with Sun Capital Partners as keen bidders who wish to nurture the business alongside its other holdings.
In a telephone interview with Noelle Christensen of Massif, she related, “As you know, we’re part of a larger corporate group, including footwear brands Wellco and Altama. The corporation, along with all entities, filed Chapter 11 last week. This court process will divest Massif from Tactical Holdings and Massif will be proceeding with an auction soon, to determine if Sun, or another investor, will be taking ownership.
Massif is a strong company and we’ll remain strong after this process is complete. As mentioned in the court filings, Massif received approval to pay vendors deemed critical during this process, so we can continue to deliver high-performance protective clothing to the warfighter.”
Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t as good for the footwear brands. Declining contracts and an investigation last year into sourcing of footwear has led to layoffs at Wellco. If they can’t find a buyer, DoD contracts will be moved elsewhere.
I would say that assuredly, Tactical Holdings as we know it, will cease to be. Things look promising for Massif who may find a new home alongside other PPE manufacturers. However, considering the crowded tactical footwear market, we are unsure who might go after not one, but two boot makers.
This news from Massif is huge for aircrews.
Innovative FR nylon-face fabric provides all the benefits of the best water-resistant outdoor fabrics while meeting stringent requirements for flame resistance.
ASHLAND, OR, FEBRUARY X, 2014 – Massif® Fire and Ice Layering System including Air Force Elements Jacket and Pant made with Battleshield X fabric has been authorized Safe-to-Fly.
Massif Battleshield X fabric is a flame-resistant, water-resistant laminate, and features GORE® FR stretch technology. It was developed specifically for the military and tactical markets, with a US patent-pending nylon face fabric. While nylon garments have a long history of performance in the outdoor market, it has never before provided adequate FR protection. Massif Battleshield X fabric offers a shift in flame resistance by combining filament nylon-faced laminates with exceptional FR protection. The result is an extremely durable, highly breathable fabric with a superior warmth-to-weight ratio that is highly water resistant and flame resistant.
“We’ve been working with the Air Force for a decade and are thrilled to have our FR Layering System approved as Safe-to-Fly. The new fabric used in the Elements line of softshell garments is a revolutionary innovation, with amazing breathability and durability, coupled with FR protection” said Dave Bywater, VP of Government Sales at Massif.
Massif Battleshield X has been rigorously field-tested in some of the world’s harshest conditions, and has proved itself over and over. In high-activity situations, Massif’s unique fabrics with Gore’s breathable stretch membrane reduce overheating and chilling from moisture retention and reduce user fatigue, keeping soldiers dryer, safer, and more effective in a wider range of situations and temperatures. What’s more, Massif Battleshield X fabric meets the stringent requirements of ASTM D6413/F2302 and shows extremely low Burn Injury Prediction when tested on a manikin per ASTM F1930.
The authorized Massif® Air Force Elements™ Jacket and Pant with Battleshield X™ fabric are available as commercial off-the-shelf products. The Air Force has rigorously tested and authorized all products in Massif’s Fire & Ice Layering system, ensuring that pilots and aircrew have access to the world’s most technologically advanced FR equipment. Fire & Ice includes Cool Knit, HotJohns, and Flamestretch base layers covering the silk weight, mid weight, and expedition weight needs of varying environments in the air and on the ground.
ASHLAND, OR, JANUARY X, 2014 – Massif® NAVAIR Elements™ Jacket and Pant with Battleshield X™ fabric has been authorized to wear by NAVAIR, adding sage green shade for rotary and fixed wing non-ejection seat pilots and aircrew.
“It has been less than a year since Massif and Gore announced the commercial introduction of this revolutionary new fabric for the Elements line of softshell garments, so we’re very excited that it’s now tested and approved by NAVAIR,” said Dave Bywater, VP of Government Sales at Massif. “The new fabric in these garments represents a real leap in innovation, ultimately resulting in better performance and protection for our troops.”
Massif Battleshield X fabric, featuring GORE® FR stretch technology, is a flame-resistant, water-resistant laminate developed specifically for the military and tactical markets, with a US patent-pending nylon face fabric. While nylon garments have a long history of performance in the outdoor market, it has never before provided adequate FR protection. Massif Battleshield X fabric offers a shift in flame resistance by combining filament nylon-faced laminates with exceptional FR protection. The result is an extremely durable, highly breathable fabric with a superior warmth-to-weight ratio that is highly water resistant and flame resistant.
Massif Battleshield X has been rigorously field tested in some of the world’s harshest conditions, and has proved itself over and over. In high-activity situations, Massif’s unique fabrics with Gore’s breathable stretch membrane reduce overheating and chilling from moisture retention and reduce user fatigue, keeping soldiers dryer, safer, and more effective in a wider range of situations and temperatures. What’s more, Massif Battleshield X meets the stringent requirements of ASTM F2302/ASTM D6413 and shows extremely low Burn Injury Prediction when tested on a manikin per ASTM F1930.
“Even after a more than a decade of providing garments and fabrics to the US Military, it’s still really gratifying to get another approval. It’s our mission to increase comfort and durability, improve life cycle costs, and provide the best flash-fire protection possible for our troops,” added Bywater.
The approved Massif® NAVAIR Elements™ Jacket and Pant with Battleshield X™ are available as a commercial off-the-shelf product. In addition, NAVAIR has rigorously tested and approved all products in Massif’s Fire and Ice Layering System for use by Navy and Marine Corps aviators, and fifteen of Massif’s products are included in NAVAIR’s State-of-the-Art Survival Items (SOASI) list, ensuring that Navy and Marine Corps aviators have access to the world’s most technologically advanced FR equipment.
Sales Manager—Government/Industrial Sales:
Massif Mountain Gear Company is a leading company in the world of high-tech clothing. Our company is fast-paced and high-energy. View our product line at www.massif.com. Located in the beautiful resort town of Ashland, Oregon, we offer a casual work environment, competitive salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.
We are seeking a Sales Manager—Government/Industrial Sales to drive sales of the Company’s flame-resistant apparel in existing U.S. military channels, and expand the Company’s sales into complementary channels such as public safety, utility, industrial and foreign military markets. This individual will work with the rest of the Company’s Sales team to establish, develop, maintain, and grow customer relationships in all of these arenas.
This individual must have a comprehensive understanding of the government procurement process. Experience working with DLA and PEO Soldier required.
This is a full-time position. Domestic and international travel required.
Location of position to be determined. Position reports to Vice President-Government Sales.
SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:
• Minimum 10 years’ sales experience, including 5 years’ sales experience in military/government channels, preferably in arena of technical fabrics, apparel and/or personal protective equipment
• Strong understanding of military/government procurement
• Exceptional history of consistently meeting or exceeding planned sales and profit objectives
• Demonstrated ability to build customer relationships
• Self-motivated, professional, diplomatic, with strong interpersonal skills
• Ability to understand and articulate technical properties of fabrics, garments, and protective equipment
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, including strong presentation skills
• Strong organizational and time-management skills
• Flexibility and the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
If interested and supremely qualified, please send your resume, cover letter, five-year salary history, and three business references to email@example.com. Documents should be in MS Word or PDF formats.