SOF Select – Sneak Peek Of Patagonia’s New Military Active Recce System

Not only did Patagonia’s MARS* get a whole new name, it got a complete makeover as well. This new version of MARS was developed under their Lost Arrow Project, an initiative to create special-purpose clothing systems for extreme environments by leveraging Patagonia’s deep expertise in materials innovation, technical design and precision manufacturing.


The developmental team was allowed a clean slate and developed the system from the ground up. Not only did they introduce new materials into this multigarment system, but they also introduced a new way that garments are worn together. For instance, the system is designed so that the user won’t wear anymore than three layers to get the desired effect. However, it’s important to umderstand that this is an active insulation system rather than a passive insulation system. This means that the wearer takes a more active role in pushing moisture out of the clothing.


In my opinion, it goes much more to heart of the original intent of Protective Combat Uniform than what is currently available. However, it is designed for Recce work, of longer duration and more extreme environments than the DA tasks most units are currently engaged in.


Here are a few more examples of garments in the line. These are prototypes and although some of you will fixate on their paintjob, they will be available in different solids and patterns. The garments range from FR Wool next-to-skin items, windshirts, insulating vest and jackets to waterproof breathable, fully seam taped overgarments. The designs are quite elegant, engineered really, to maximize mobility for the wearer and manufacturability for the producer.

I have to say, MARS is the most remarkable thing I have seen in military or outdoor clothing in many years. It isn’t just the design; it’s everything that goes into it. Everything you see here is Berry compliant, can be manufactured in short runs with short lead times, and is relatively low cost, especially considering those factors.

Look for additional, in-depth information on the entire MARS line, soon here on SSD.

*Released in the early 00s, MARS originally stood for Military Advanced Regulator System.


30 Responses to “SOF Select – Sneak Peek Of Patagonia’s New Military Active Recce System”

  1. Kemp says:

    The folks at the forge know what’s good. I wonder if the kryptek is just a tech demonstrator or if someone’s been asking for that specific pattern

    • Non-operator says:

      As seen elsewhere on the internet: Kryptek is the Nickelback of camouflage. I know, I know, we’re not supposed to get wrapped around the axle about the pattern, but it’s still odd.

      • Kemp says:

        It’s a complex pattern so it might just be to demonstrate their textiles can be printed

        • ODG says:

          You’re right that they wanted to demonstrate the fabric’s printability and wrong that kryptek is a complex pattern, its actually fairly simplistic from a design and printing standpoint.

      • SSD says:

        You’d be surprised what’s going on with Kryptek. But by all means, concentrate on the color and ignore design.

        • ODG says:

          SSD the only thing that surprises me about Kryptek is that they’re still in business. However the new Patagonia gear rocks and was certainly innovative.

          • Lawrence says:

            Coulda had PenCott…..

            (yup, I went there. LOL)

          • Jester says:

            I just order what my guys want, regardless of the pattern. Someone clue me in to what’s wrong with Kryptek, either as a pattern (aka “the Nickelback of camouflage) or as to why they are still in business. We have some of their rain gear and it seems as good as any of the other stuff we’ve tried, but if there are issues, I’d like to know for future reference. They seem alright to me, but I’m not the gear queer some folks on this site are.

            In keeping with the topic above, we also use and appreciate our patagonia stuff.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Patagonia continues to impress me with the products they make and the way they carry themselves as a company. Unlike some other “boutique” outdoor brands, I have zero qualms about dropping big cash on their products.

    • PNWTO says:

      They are indeed a fantastic company with great values. Much more conservation and hunting/fishing friendly than most people think, as well.

      • Bryce says:

        Nope, just another anti-gun liberal CA company manufacturing 99.99% of their clothing in Asia and South America. They also used to be affordable but prices have skyrocketed, gotta love those markups!

        • Luke says:

          There is also a mysterious force call inflation, and increasing materials costs, and increasing overhead, but patagonia is probably just run by some Mr. Burns character, hoarding money and laughing manically.

        • ODG says:

          I recommend reading “Let my people go surfing” it might change your un educated opinion.

        • Jeremy says:

          Find me a pro-gun conservative company that manufactures 99.99% of their clothing in the US with the same quality and material technologies, at a lower price point.

          I’ll wait.

          • ODG says:

            Jeremy, Who says Patagonia is anti-gun? The founder of Patagonia is a very avid outdoors man, and also served in the US Army. They support the SOF community, what does political ideology have to do with cutting edge textile innovation and durable functional clothing and equipment?

        • SSD says:

          This was all made in USA. Can’t wait to see what your company introduces. Be happy to share it on SSD!

          • Mike says:

            Lol… I love this thread. Patagonia rules. I don’t know why everybody has to be so concerned with what politics a company has. You can, in fact, be a conservative snowflake. If you don’t want to buy their stuff, then don’t… it really is that easy. Maybe we need a refresher course on just what being Berry Compliant means.

  3. Adun says:

    Active insulation system implying it is designed to keep you warm on the move/using body motion to make the moisture wicking work more effectively?

    • SSD says:


      • Adun says:

        So does that mean you would have to supplement the system if you were going to be standing/laying at an OP for a while?

        • Luke says:

          Physics would dictate yes.

        • Burned says:

          You would probably not need much moisture wicking if you are stationary for long periods of time. If you did, you would also not likely be wearing all the layers, which would also negate the need for the garment to have such property (as you would not be wearing it).

        • JKifer says:

          throw on your lvl 7 puffy’s.. then when moving again ya stash them in your ruck

  4. Strike-Hold says:

    That Jungle Recce uniform really caught my eye. I’m very curious how that 100% nylon fabric wears in the jungle – the ‘hand’ of it was amazingly soft.

  5. Unimog says:

    M.A.R.S also stands for Military Armaments Research Syndicate which was the weapons and equipment suppliers to COBRA and owned by James McCuellen AKA Destro.

    And now you know.. And knowing is half the battle..