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Posts Tagged ‘SOD Gear’

The Smock

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Finally, the smock is beginning to gain some traction here in the US. We’ve written about them in the past, mentioning smocks from Drop Zone, the now defunct EOTAC, SOD Gear, Level Peaks, SORD as well as the upcoming Vertx smock. But, we’ve never really talked about them and explained what they are all about.

They are literally a concept unlike anything we have in the US. I’ve heard them compared to the M65 field jacket but that idea is simply uniformed. A smock isn’t just a coat.

Rather, the smock is much more than a simple jacket. In addition to use as clothing, the smock is also intended to carry much, if not all of the wearer’s fighting load. They were originally envisioned to carry several days of combat equipment including rations, ammunition, and radios.

Primarily, the smock is a European concept and in particular, used by Commonwealth nations. I got my first SAS smock in 1989 in a trade for a poncho liner during an exercise in Belgium. Its use as an issue garment has traditionally been restricted to Special Forces yet several nations have adopted it for general issue in one form or another. One example of a much watered down smock on general issue is the Canadian Army’s combat jacket. When this design was initially adopted in the 1960s it was envisioned that the Soldier would carry his ammunition and other fighting load components in the jackets pockets. What’s more, the British military now issues a Smock as a general purpose item.

There is very limited use of Smocks by US forces. During the early 1990s, an experimental clothing system called Battle Dress System (BDS) was developed by the US Army Special Operations Command. It was a layered clothing system that eventually became the Lightweight Environmental Protection sub-system of SPEAR. The outermost layer called the SOF BDU, was a solid grey combat jacket and over trouser. With its solid great color the item was rejected due to institutional prejudice. When LEP was adopted, it was without the SOF BDU.

Issue items like the SAS Smock are pretty good, but commercial interests have taken them to a whole new level. Britain’s Special Air Sea Services has been manufacturing specialized variants of the smock since the 1980s. Other companies like Canada’s Drop Zone picked up the torch in the 90s and now, commercial items are more prevalent than the issue garment.

Smocks have made a lot of sense in Northern Europe where the cold wet climate requires layering. You see, as smocks are coat-like garments they are generally worn layered over shirts. In many climates the US military finds itself in, this would be too warm as a daily wear item. What’s more, the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System in all three of its incarnations has offered various technical shells. It seems as if the US skipped the smock altogether for a time. But, with the advent of the most modern smocks, new fabrics have been introduced into the design essentially making them softshells. Conversely, Australian Mission Pac has developed a MultiCam ripstop 100% Cotton Smock for use in warm climates.

Other interesting concepts have been developed such as the Arktis SF Sleeveless Smock which looks like a hybrid between a smock and a 5.11 shooting vest.

Oftentimes, those with no experience with smocks will criticize the design. They don’t understand that use of a fully featured smock allows the reconfiguration of the load. For example, armor can be worn under the smock. Perhaps a chest rig may be required and perhaps not, but much of the items carried on the armor or in a pack can be carried in pockets, readily available.

With even more products hitting the market soon, smocks look to be making an indelible mark on the US market and as they become more and more prevalent, we will begin to see more widespread use, including on the battlefield. Think of the smock as yet another tool in the toolbox and use accordingly. Remember, it’s a tool, not the tool, and you’ll be ok.

-Eric Graves
The Editor
SSD

SOD Gear Spectre Cap

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Italian SOD Gear has introduced their Spectre Cap in Hyde Definition’s BadLands variant of their PenCott family of patterns. It is a patrol cap style with a couple of changes. For instance, the rear is adjustable for sizing and Velcro panels have been affixed to the cap for ID patches. Additionally, the interior of the cap features a sweat band for comfort.

The cap is offered in two sizes and a variety of colors and patterns from www.sodgear.com.

Talk About Cross Branding!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

This picture has got a lot going on. There’s SEAL Craig Sawyer and Medal of Honor awardee Sgt Dakota Meyer (USMC) wearing newly designed uniforms from SOD Gear in Hyde Definition’s PenCott camo. They are also wearing 215 Gear hats and belts. That’s not to mention the weapons.

Check out the rest of the story at Strike Hold!

Guess What Showed Up on Our Doorstep Last Week

Monday, September 26th, 2011

It’s definitely coming. We received a package out of the blue from Max at SOD Gear containing a Operative Field Parka (Smock) and Spectre Shirt featuring Hyde Definition’s PenCott Bad Lands.

www.sodgear.com

SOD Gear Updates Website

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Italian combat clothier SOD Gear has updated their website. Go check out their new look.

sodgear.com

SOD USA is Coming

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Italian tactical clothing firm SOD Gear has licensed their designs to US-based Four Spears. We are huge fans of SOD Gear and welcome this new opportunity to purchase their products.

In 30 days, SOD USA will launch. They have developed a phased approach to introducing the line here in the US including FR options. With the exception of one material, the entire production will be Berry compliant and they are working to bring that fabric to the US as well. SOD USA is taking the next 30 days to identify interested resellers. Interested parties should contact [email protected] directly.

Sneak Peek – Badlands Trousers

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

UK-based Hyde Definition and Italy’s SOD Gear have teamed up to offer SOD’s line of clothing in the PenCott family of camouflage patterns.

Here is a sneak peek of a pair of SOD Gear’s Para One trousers in the Badlands pattern.

If that isn’t proof enough that something is afoot, check out these pants ready to go.