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Posts Tagged ‘Nextec’

Massif Offers PCU Level 7

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

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.

Level 7 Jacket

Massif PCU Level 7 (1)

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.
Massif Lvl 7 hood
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.

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Finally, there are two large, hand warmer pockets accessible via zippers on each side of the jacket.

Level 7 Pant

Massif PCU Level 7 (2)

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.

An EPIC Story

Monday, August 4th, 2014

I remember first seeing the Nextec folks at Outdoor Retailer many years ago. As we make our way to this week’s OR Summer Market, I thought it would be good to sure this with you.

You’ve probably run across a material called EPIC by Nextec at some point over the past decade. If you are, or have been, assigned to SOCOM, you’ve definitely used it. The same EPIC technology, that set the foundation of the outdoor industry‚Äôs softshell category with leading brands in the late 90″s, can also be credited for helping create the much improved military uniform systems fielded over the last decade of war. If you have worn PCU Levels 4,5 & 7, GEN III ECWCS Levels 5 & 7 or USMC ECW Parka & Trouser; you have experienced the EPIC performance!

EPIC’s silicone encapsulation technology places an environmental barrier inside fabrics that does not wash out or wear off. This durable performance of water resistance, wind resistance, lowest absorbing, fast drying, high breathability and packability set the highest standard for softshell items.

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As the outdoor industry and its consumers became more savvy with the rapidly emerging softshell market in the early 2000s; products that were less about performance but more concerned about their brand strength and revenue goals captured much of this now predominant softshell market. As the outdoor market was quickly getting saturated with many softshell offerings; Nextec recognized that it did not have the brand strength, marketing dollars or the resources needed to hold onto the outdoor softshell business it ignited. More importantly, Nextec acknowledged early feedback from the SOF community after their field testing of EPIC gear. This SOF feedback generated the “walk dry” criteria and the fact that SOF expressed more concern about the user’s survivability performance of its gear versus the commercial brand strength set in motion today’s update Military uniform layering systems.

Prior to 9/11, Nextec shifted its focus from commercial market to working closely with SOF on the development of their Protective Combat Uniform system PCU. The EPIC performance became the cornerstone of the PCU system, which the Army field tested shortly after and Gen III ECWCS was born! Unfortunately with the lowering of spec performance, an inferior knockoff and budget cuts the soldier is not wearing the authentic gear the Army first fielded. Thankfully if you are SOF, NSW or USMC you are still protected with the authentic battle tested EPIC gear!

Nextec is currently supplying several large International militaries with its EPIC fabrics.

When purchasing from the range of tactical brands out there research the true item performance you are investing in…inferior well marketed substitutes should never be an option!

nextec.com

OR – Military Appreciation Dinner

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Approaching it’s 10th year, the Military Appreciation dinner at Outdoor Retailer is held one evening each Summer and Winter market. Sponsored by various members of the outdoor industry that support military applications of their technologies, the dinner brings together industry and government for an evening of good food as well as an opportunity to meet new people and share stories.

This Military Appreciation Dinner was sponsored by Camelbak, Epic by Nextec, Primaloft, Smith Optics, and Velcro USA. Thank you all!

PCU Block 2 Preview

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

SSD recently had an opportunity to check the latest prototypes from USSOCOM’s Protective Combat Uniform Block 2.

Designed to be worn in temperatures ranging from 40 deg to -50 deg F, PCU is a 8 level environmental clothing system consisting of a variety of performance clothing items that can be configured based on conditions. For PCU, moisture management is a key feature driving its development. Keeping Operators dry, keeps them in the fight.

The original Block 0 configuration was fielded beginning in 2003 based on gear selections from PEPSE (Personal Environmental Protective Survival Equipment) and espousing wear principles from Mark Twight‘s seminal work on climbing, “Extreme Alpinism“. In 2006, USSOCOM charged their support office at Natick to make incremental improvements to the system based on user feedback and streamline the production process, facilitating a partnership between major outdoor manufacturers and National Industries for the Severely Handicapped.

Recently, to further modernize the system for the evolving needs of the SOF Operator and to insert the latest outdoor technologies, Natick’s PM-SOF sat down with representatives from the various stakeholders and went through Block 1 level by level. Based on these meetings, and some field trials of the new designs by 10th SFG(A) and NSW Det-Kodiak, the upcoming Block 2 system will feature a few changes.

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