SIG SAUER - Never Settle

Outdoor Research Adapts To A Changing Market

The market for Soldier Systems items is changing rapidly. No one knows this more than Outdoor Research who for many years, has led the development of specialized handwear for military customers. In fact, their association with military customers predates the current conflict and many of the styles that troops wore that first winter in Afghanistan came from their factory in Seattle.

But how this market purchases their clothing and equipment is transforming. The military isn’t consuming products at as rapid a pace as even a year or two ago and the cost of domestic Berry Compliant production is too high for most individual, retail-based purchases or even procurement by law enforcement agencies with tight budgets.

Outdoor Research is adapting to this new reality by introducing three different versions of their highly popular Firemark glove in order to offer different options for different types of customers.

First, they continue to produce a Berry Compliant version of the glove that is manufactured in the US, from materials made here in the US. These are intended for contract purchase by the US Department of Defense.

Second, OR has produced a Trade Agreement Act glove that can be sold via GSA. This model is meant for purchase by Government agencies. TAA Compliance means that a product is manufactured in the US or Designated Countries. These countries are generally those that we have a free trade agreement with, belong to the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement, are considered “least developed” or located in the Caribbean Basin. There are several countries not on this list, particularly North Korea, Cuba and the People’s Republic of China. A full list of Designated Countries is in FAR 25.003.[3].

And last, but not least, there is an overseas production model that will find its way into retail outlets for individual purchase. It’s also a great model for those agencies and departments that do not require Berry Compliance. Regardless of production, all three versions meet OR’s performance specifications.

As you can see below, there are slight differences with each variant and these are based on materials and construction techniques available to each manufacturer but the quality remains the same. I’ve seen samples of all three versions coming out of these factories over the past few months and they’ve really dialed it in. You might not realize it, but in many cases, Berry Compliance limits the types of materials that can be used and how they can be assembled into a finished good.

To see which model is which, in the photo below, click the jump.
Firemark Glove


(From left – right)
TAA Compliant, Berry Compliant, Retail (manufactured overseas)

The Firemark features Fire Resistant fabric, with non-FR leather on the palm and fingers to increase tactility. It also incorporates padded knuckles.

Additionally, they are introducing the Suppressor in TAA and Retail versions.

I’m impressed with Outdoor Research’s efforts to provide options for a changing customer base. I look forward to seeing what they have planned for the future. I think you’re going to be pretty excited.


5 Responses to “Outdoor Research Adapts To A Changing Market”

  1. paul says:

    The Firemark gloves are sweet. I used the same pair for a couple years until I ripped a seam in the left index finger. Then I took them to selection and lost one during landnav…Great gloves!

  2. Kaos-1 says:

    Speaking of, I bought a pair of PS-150 gloves from OR’s website a couple years ago, then a few months back my buddy gave me a pair of the PS-150’s that he was issued to him by the Marine Corps. Compared to the ones I bought direct from OR, their crap. Material is thinner, not as plush, their loose more than stretchy, and the elastic strip on the inside around the wrist is white instead of black and it’s thinner than my original PS-150’s

  3. Ryan says:

    I just ordered a pair of fire mark gloves they better be the US made versions they were 79 bucks!

  4. TV-PressPass says:

    I love my firemarks, but I’m burning through them fast. It would be nice if my inevitable replacement set was a slightly lower cost.

  5. levie says:

    Let me be clear because this will sound very negative and I have nothing but praise for OR. I think OR makes some of the best military and outdoor products on the planet not to mention their customer service is the gold standard. They also have a great military discount that other brands refuse to give unless your “special.”.
    I am in love with American made products not because the same product made in China is inferior but because I love knowing that Americans made them for me. Companies will always exploit cheap labor no matter where it is because they are in the business of making money. We as defenders, law enforcement and first responders of this nation should do our part and spend our money at places that will go to American wages. I know its a rat race out there and OR is doing what it can to get by but remember to buy American when you can afford too and foreign when you have no choice. My rant on globalization of the tactical market is over.