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TYR Thursday – Huron Cold Weather Smock

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Developed at the request of an Allied SOF unit, the Cold Weather Smock is the first of a series of items under TYR’s new Huron Tactical Equipment and Clothing line. Over the next few weeks we are going to take a look at several additional new clothing items and packs from this line.

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Before we go any further, I want to talk about presentation. This is the first thing you are going to see when you get a Smock; a zippered carrying case with the item’s nomenclature displayed in the front, proudly emblazoned with the Huron logo. Unzip it and you’ll find a piece of craftsmanship. It is a simple thing, but it resonated with me.

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Why Develop A Smock?
I’ve been following the development of this Smock for the past several months, getting my initial glimpse during the TYR Tactical open house in Southern Pines. They are now a full year into it, on their 14th iteration of development, and ready to release.

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The point here is that, although TYR Tactical founder Jason Beck is a longtime fan of the smock, he did it for the customer. TYR isn’t looking for a big commercial market to validate the investment in time and energy although they’ve already sold 60 before the Smock even hits the market.

“If I sell 200 of this item, I’ll be happy. This is specialized clothing based on customer feedback.”
-Jason Beck
President
TYR Tactical

This softshell garment is manufactured from 4-way stretch fabric, treated with Marathon H100 which repels water, dirt, and oil while still giving the textile breathability and elasticity. Additionally, CSM reinforced rubberized elbows offer protection and grip in rough terrain. Those elbow sections will also accept D3O impact pads, available through TYR Tactical. I can tell you that while those elbows might look like overkill, they make a big difference while in the prone in rocky terrain.

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These features combine to make the Huron Smock an excellent 3-season garment. Truth be told, I don’t see you wearing this in temperatures above 70 Deg F, but it will be the heat, when it’s cold outside.

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In addition to the obvious pit zips, three other features help with wear in warmer conditions including heavy exertion. First, the hood is removable (leaving behind a stand up collar) and second, the antimicrobial treated mesh lining is moisture wicking to increase comfort and hold down stink from prolonged wear in the field. Finally, the back of the Smock is single layer fabric which is critical for those wearing a pack, external armor carrier, or other load bearing system in order to help avoid overheating.

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The Base Design
This is a pretty complicated design with 184 individually cut pieces. That makes for a lot of sewing machine time. They started working with the shoulders because the Smock has to carry up to 25 lbs of kit. A single-piece load bearing yoke was a necessity, and you’ll notice that there is double material across the internal yoke and down the front in order to support the weight of a fully loaded Smock.

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Maneuverability and range of motion were also key factors so they added material in the shoulder area to accommodate the deltoids. They also incorporated gussetted pit zips for venting during heavy exertion.

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The Smock features simple, Velcro cuff closures. Interestingly, the length of the flap and Velcro adjustment has been modified a couple of times over the course of the Smock’s development as customer feedback dialed the final design in.

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Additionally, there are internal drawstrings at the waist and hem for adjustment of load and to keep wind and snow out of the Smock. The barrel locks are sewn in place for one-hand adjustment. They’ve also incorporated 500D Cordura behind the main zipper. This gives it a little more support and won’t bind the zipper like a lighter wight fabric might.

Pockets, Pockets, Pockets
Did you say, “pockets?” Well, believe me, this thing has got them. In fact, the chest area alone has external flapped patch pockets right on top of zippered inset Napoleon pockets, while inside the Smock offers zippered chest pockets. Remember, it was designed to carry 25 lbs of equipment and you can compartment it well, including mesh pockets along the internal skirt of the Smock that will accommodate rations.

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Summary of Pockets:
4 Front Pockets
– 2 Top Patch Pockets – Velcro Closure
– 2 Bottom Patch Pockets w/Flap – Button Closure
2 External Napoleon Chest Pockets
– Zipper Closure
2 Internal Napoleon Chest Pockets
– Zipper Closure
5 Internal Base Mesh Pockets Along Skirt of Smock
– Button Closure
2 Side Radio Pockets
– 1 w/Flap and Bungee Retention
– 1 Bungee Retention
2 Rear Poacher Pockets
– Bottom Pockets w/Flap – Button Closure
2 Sleeve Pockets
– Zipper Closure

Depending on the application, TYR uses slotted buttons, Velcro, zippers or a combination of more than one as closures for the pockets.

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Internal Magazine Pockets
Inside several of the larger pockets found on the Huron Smock are internal magazine slots that will accommodate 30 rd 5.56 magazines. There are a total of six of these slots. The photo below was taken last Spring of a prototype variant.

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Radio Pockets
Interestingly, the two side hip mounted pockets were designed to accept the PRC-148/152 and incorporate cable routing slots so that the cables won’t be exposed.

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Developments
As I stated earlier, the hood is removable via button attachment and the version that comes with the Smock is made from the same 4-way stretch softshell material as the rest of the smock. However, TYR is already experimenting with other, optional hoods like this fleece lined one which they whipped up while I was there last week.

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I’d also keep my eyes out for a lightweight Smock, made from a different fabric, for hot weather ops in the future.

Colors and Sizing
This is a very specialized piece of kit, currently offered in MultiCam, with other colors to follow. Sizes are Small – 3XLarge. It is very generously cut and unless you plan on wearing a puffy jacket underneath, I’d suggest you go down a size.

I am impressed with the work that has gone into the new Huron Cold Weather Smock. While it may be a bit pricey for many, it is definitely worth considering of you require something along these lines.

LE and military organizations/personnel, contact TYR Tactical for special pricing.

www.TYRtactical.com

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55 Responses to “TYR Thursday – Huron Cold Weather Smock”

  1. John C. says:

    Super expensive smock with cheezy velcro adjustments at the cuffs. It makes me wonder if the designers have ever been to the field…

    Other than that it looks pretty nice.

    • Veteran says:

      I really like the smock from what Im seeing here, but Id have to agree it would be great to have button or some alternative, quiet, field expedient reparable means of cuff adjustment.

  2. Fred J says:

    For a first time jacket from a small company and with the features it has i think the prize is fair, not saying its cheap but its fair. Its in the same range as Arc’teryx Leaf’s Aplpha jacket witch has less options and might be less durable.

  3. tim says:

    I would tend to think that more individual pieces of fabric + more stitching = more failure points/potential seam issues.

    Usually simpler cut = more rugged, although I understand that in order to accomplish the intended purpose of the “smock” as a load bearing platform this is necessary

  4. D says:

    $1000 is a lot for a parka. But, when you add the cost of a quality soft shell and the cost of a quality chest rig or other LCE, $1000 isn’t that bad.

    There’s other similar products on the market from Vertx and First Spear, but they’re not incorporating radios into the design as well as Tyr. I look forward to seeing a hot weather version.

    Somewhat related: What’s the story behind the Huron brand within Tyr?

    • SSD says:

      You’re not paying that if you’re on the job.

      • D says:

        Roger. I’ll have to give them a call.

      • Hussar says:

        No, if you are “On the Job” you are not paying $1K for a jacket. However, is this a necessary expense that you really want to pass on to the taxpayers? I mean $1K can buy a lot of kit for other soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, rather than just one coat for an operator. I’m sure some tier one operator, somewhere will come up with an anecdotal “safety” or “quality of life” issue (which is never backed up or supported by empirical evidence) on why their unit needs these $1K smocks, when a less expensive and thoroughly congruent variant would suffice. I know, I sat on a Navy board that operators wanted $300 Titanium dive knives, special made by a former operator, over $90 COTS version.

        • SSD says:

          You’re not picking it up. Govt price isn’t $995.99.

          Done ranting now?

          • Hussar says:

            Not ranting, just presenting fact. Understand your position presenting industry’s side of the argument very effectively, but do you think this coat is a good value for the taxpayer even at the government price or could that money be better spent elsewehere?

        • Whitesands says:

          300 bucks for a quality titanium knife is a pretty reasonable price!

        • TheDude says:

          Or if your reading comprehension was where it should be, you would notice that it says “Allied” SOF unit which would imply that it’s not necessarily an American entity.

          In that case: who cares?

          • Strike-Hold says:

            Some people would just rather issue the troops nothing better than a rubberized nylon poncho made by inmates….

            • Hussar says:

              I wouldn’t go that far, but I would rather see 100 troopers kept dry from the rain with $10 rubberized ponchos rather than having 99 troopers soaking wet so one can wear a “Gucci” frock.

              The defense pie is getting smaller not bigger.

              • Chris K. says:

                Thus is America, calm the F down. If a company wants to make this smock for a customer then so what? The customer isn’t even uncle sam.

        • PNW_Tree_Octopus says:

          Sounds like someone is just angry they never got all “neat stuff”

          • Hussar says:

            Not at all angry about not getting all the “neat stuff.” I am very angry that very large number of units go without the basic and necessary implements of war, so a small minority can get unnecessary, nice to have, “neat stuff”.

            • SSD says:

              Ok, I’m game. Please, provide examples. You’ve been party to the most well equipped military to ever wage war. I have a hard time swallowing a combat arms or combat support unit missing basic equipment. I have a sneaking suspicion your idea of basic equipment and mine differs significantly.

  5. Strike-Hold says:

    Impressive – most impressive!

  6. STEPAN1983 says:

    IMHO this canadian buttons are too small for cold weather. They should use big ones that you can see on classic smocks

  7. mark says:

    The presentation zip case is a great touch.

    Would like to see a shot of the smock fully loaded out with mags and kit, its a very interesting concept. Depending on the bulk of the loaded smock, a black or grey version might make a nice alternative to a GHB/3 day bag when looking prepared might single you out.

  8. STEPAN1983 says:

    Also for 1000 dollars I expect to see more reliable and nice looking eyelet buttonholes (like the ones used in BDU and ACU), not a cheap straight buttonholes that can be made on a home sewing machine

    • SSD says:

      Fair enough, and I’m with you on the slotted buttons but fortunately for TYR, they’ve got a customer that is quite pleased with the bottoms and holes.

  9. TominVA says:

    Very nice. Clearly a lot of thought went into it.
    Hood looks way too small – prefer something that is helmet / mongo huge head compatible.
    Velcro’s got to go. Why not use the same button configuration on the chest pockets?

    • SSD says:

      User driven development. Huge hoods get in the way when you aren’t wearing a helmet. They went with different closures based on usage.

    • Reseremb says:

      Hood is detachable, so probably Huron/TYR will have bigger ones available for those who want to use it with a helmet

  10. Nice looking jacket, but ah the Camo pattern is the wrong way, as in vertical instead of horizontal as the designers intended

    • m5 says:

      Yes. It’s such an obvious mistake (and eyesore) that I suspect that the customer wanted it just that way. Stupid as it might be, it’s not unheard of. After all, the pattern of AOR is the same as in MARPAT etc, but turned 90 degrees, never mind that effectivity is impaired.

  11. Jon, OPT says:

    Somehow people appear to be missing this point “Developed at the request of an Allied SOF unit”. From what I can tell, this isn’t being purpose built for the US at all, in fact, most US units, including SOF don’t buy into the smock concept, we do rucks, LBVs, and armor. Tyr’s price to the consumer is always higher than their price to a military unit, as with most OEMs.

    If you like the smock concept, this isn’t a bad version, it is the first one I have seen that breaks the paradigm of smocks being a cotton or absorbent product, but I haven’t followed the smock concept lately aside from the versions I sell.

    I am not a rep of Tyr, I don’t sell their products unless bought through another vendor (VTAC Brokos Belt); just commenting as a third party here. I do use their gear, and have used it in a combat zone with success.

    Jon, OPT

  12. Matt says:

    Nice attention to detail. Hahahaha

  13. Will says:

    Lot of comments here that I would like to address in general…

    First, the materials used in this are very expensive materials. When you start talking about technical fabrics such as this… get ready to pay for it, especially Berry Amendment compliant.

    Second, cut parts…184 of them…that’s a lot of cutting, that’s a lot of prep, that’s a CAD nerds dream (or nightmare) trying to nest that on their Gerber cutter to eliminate waste… minutes cost, and nothing has even been sewn at this point

    Third, this fabric is hard use but delicate all at the same time. What does that mean? It means that the machine operators have to take great care when manipulating this fabric while assembling the garment or its sub-assemblies. Minutes cost, and with 184 cut pieces, that’s a lot of material manipulation and handling.

    I’ve met Jason before and seemed like a nice enough guy, but I don’t know him or care much about what Tyr is or is not doing. But I will call a spade a spade… Expensive materials + a ton of indirect labor + a ton of sub-assembly parts + careful handling and manipulation of materials + assembly of those 184 pieces of fabrics = expensive freakin jacket.

    Time costs… knowing this fabric, knowing clothing, knowing manufacturing, knowing sewing, knowing the specialized sewing machines, doing what I do for a living, I think I can objectively state that the price is what it is because of the sheer full cost of manufacturing. Maybe I am way off base, but I look at that jacket and all I see is dollar signs in the for of cost…and I am in no way going to bat for Tyr, just giving some perspective.

  14. Pro Patria says:

    Hum, would love to borrow one this winter in Multicam Alpine. Would go well with other things we are playing with…… But sadly I don’t have a spare $1K.

    The Arktis French or Saber Hyde pattern are the two smocks I was looking at for this winter, but choked on the price.

    Anyhow good job Tyr.

    • Check out Arktis’ eBay store, they usually have all kinds of smocks at really reduced pricing. That’s where I bought my last two smocks.

    • Rogue Male says:

      Also, be aware of the differences between Arktis smocks; the B110 is the basic unlined traditional smock (cheapest), the B210 has a liner, making it more of a heavier, fall/winter windproof-cum-parka, the B310 has a waterproof liner, apparently making it a quiet alternative to a Gore tex hardshell. That said, there is an A310 waterproof liner (rather expensive) that you could wear under the B110 as needed, or on its own.

  15. Cheezy Velcro cuff adjustments? There is nothing wrong with Velcro cuff adjustments. I don’t think there is anything cheezy about this piece at all and try to remember that it was made according to the end user specs whom I am sure has spent plenty of time in the field.

    Love the removable hood. Still kind of wish that it was waterproof though.

    • TominVA says:

      That’s about my only issue (besides noisy velcro) with smockery. Windproof is nice, but waterproof is a must for me. Of course, I haven’t seen a waterproof breathable garment that wasn’t pretty noisy as well, so maybe that’s why smockists tend to avoid it.

      • Rogue Male says:

        The idea is to layer a rainproof softshell under the smock, not over it. For example, the current British MTP kit includes an MVP (moisture vapour permeable, i.e. Gore tex type) jacket. Same can be done with MVP trousers/windproof trousers.

  16. mike says:

    I just have to keep telling myself I don’t need another smock. This thing is so sick!!!

  17. Papa ONeal says:

    I’m sorry…. this is just stupid…. you can get stuff 10 times better than this from patagonia or marmott for 3 bills not 9… why would you pay this much is beyond me… if this is where the industry is headed, then it will not survive

    • larry says:

      Could not agree more. Love the jacket, and the concept seem solid for cold weather but that price is about 5-6 bills more than I would ever pay. No way would that work in a hot environment.

      • Rogue Male says:

        The now-defunct EOTAC did a Hot Weather Recce Jacket that adapted the smock concept for warmer climes by applying a seersucker effect with the chosen fabric.

  18. Fred J says:

    So much BS about the price, just stfu and don’t buy it, its clearly not for you then.

  19. Taylor says:

    Damn. Do they realize that there is a market for this stuff outside of the requests of a few high speed dudes who can get it on a major discount? I would love one, but for that much money there’s no way. And no, I’m not just another jealous hater who wishes I had all the sweet gear…

    • SSD says:

      Quality costs. American made quality costs more. If you don’t believe me, give it a shot. I’d be happy to promote your success.

  20. Qball says:

    Nice…just need it in a nice “grayman” charcoal/dark gray. That would hide a PDW and mags quite nicely when in the cooler climates.

  21. the hobbit says:

    Wow…I guess my only question is which unit this is made for? I’m going to guess SAS, but like I said just a guess. More jacket than most of us mortals need.

  22. R711 says:

    In a review it was made for your Northern cousin’s. So, just go from there.
    R711

  23. joe says:

    Psssst. Tuesday is named for Tyr. Thursday is Thor’s.

  24. Dellis says:

    I love smocks….and I am not even British, nor a Canadian!

    This is a very pricey smock but it looks well designed and as noted high quality costs. I have the Reece DropZone smocks in just about every color option cept black. I also have several SORD smocks which are simple smocks and my favorites.

    I will keep an eye peeled for one of these on Ebay after some guy drops the coin for it, gets a divorce and needs to sell quick!!

  25. DCCB52 says:

    I would really like to see a hot weather version in gray or multicam tropic of cotton or FR material. I don’t know if that would be counter productive in a hot weather environment where traditional webbing and/or armor might be better. By trade I’m a mechanic so I’m just kind of dreaming here.