Posts Tagged ‘YKK’

Beyond SOFIC – Mystery Ranch Introduces New IR Compliant Zippers For SPEAR Packs

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Working with YKK, Mystery Ranch has introduced the first IR-Compliant Urethane Coated Water Resistant Chain. As you can see, they’re also color matched. This is a really big deal for the SPEAR pack program as Mystery Ranch pushes toward full IR-compliance.


In case you’re wondering about the Black pulls, it’s because they’re cast Zinc with Black Metal Oxide coating, which is much harder then the enamel paint on many color matched sliders. These zipper pulls last about six times longer than enamel coatings.

DSEI – YKK Announces FR/Waterproof Zipper

Monday, September 21st, 2015

During DSEI, YKK announced a new zipper that is simultaneously FR as well as waterproof, combining elements from its Fire and Aqua lines.


They’ve molded their patented VT technology (EN ISO 11612:2008 certification) to a PU flame retardent laminated tape. Currently, the zipper is only available in Black and Green.

FirstSpear Squadron Smock

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Originally developed for a Government customer, the Squadron Smock is evolved from traditional British designs. FirstSpear sat down with their customers and integrated the features they required for use under combat conditions. These smocks remain one of the most prized possessions of the men who were issued them.

-Hood and Torso lined with gridded fleece
-Hood accommodates helmets
-Hood features drawstring and rear adjustment
-Hood Brim incorporates wire stiffener
-Scrim/Camo attachment points along hood, upper back and waist
-Velcro patches for ID on upper back and bicep pockets
-Removable padding in Cordura reinforced elbows
-2-Way Pit Zips for ventilation
-Pen pockets on both lower sleeves
-Drawstring waist
-Drawstring hem
-2-way Main zipper (closed with Velcro strips as well as Slotted Buttons)
-Snap closure at bottom of main zipper
-Drawstrings feature captive barrel locks for one-handed adjustment

Amazingly, the Squadron Smock features a total of 18 pockets!

Here is the breakdown:
2 x Bicep Pockets with Velcro for ID
2 x Cargo Chest Pockets
4 x Cargo Pockets Along Skirt
2 x Zip Closure Exterior Napoleon Pockets
2 x Zip Closure Interior Napoleon Pockets
1 x Exterior Poacher Pocket
3 x Interior Flat Mesh Pockets
2 x Zip Closure Gridded Fleece Lined Handwarmer Pockets

There is an ingenuous pass through at the main zipper flap that allows you to access the left interior Napoleon pocket without opening the main zip. Additionally, there are three flat mesh pockets along the inside of the skirt to store flat items or those that need to be next kept to the body.

Cargo pockets are bellows design and feature drain holes as well as slotted button closures, interior D-rings and tacked corners with pass troughs for dummy cords. Additionally, the pocket flaps are the fold over style for positive closure and Cargo pockets also incorporate drain holes. Additionally, the Cargo and Poacher pockets as well as the main zipper flap rely on large Slotted Buttons which can be handled when wearing gloves or mittens. When paired with slightly undersized buttonholes, it means you won’t have a pocket fly open while in a helo or vehicle. Additionally, the Slotted Buttons are properly attached meaning there isn’t too much play in the ribbon and the buttons have room to slide which helps avoid rips.

The shell fabric on the Squadron Smock is 330 denier by 3-ply 70 denier Taslanized nylon with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. Additionally, it integrates a gridded fleece lining, 330D Cordura elbow reinforcements as well as mesh interior pockets along the skirt. All fasteners are US Mil-Spec from ITW Military Products and zippers from YKK.

General Impressions
Although I haven’t had a lot of experience with this particular smock (just 4 days), I’ve had years of experiences with smocks from a variety of origins. The Squadron Smock is excellent. Due to its construction it is admittedly a 3-season garment. With the fleece lining I feel it would be too warm for warm weather use. However, the fabric is very breathable, has a comfortable hand and feels like Cotton even though it isn’t.

The hood has plenty of room to go over your helmet when needed and features a wired brim. This keeps it stiff so it won’t sag into your eyes and can be formed when needed to form the opening during extreme weather. The hood also has a Velcro adjustment at the rear as well as attachment points for camouflage material that extend down the back of the Smock. Additionally, there is a Velcro patch for ID badges.

I really like the inclusion of Pit Zips. This will help with venting if worn during dismounted patrols. Additionally, the smaller bicep pockets are a welcome relief. They aren’t big enough to overload or have gear flailing around inside.

The Squadron Smock is absolutely built for combat, but…it looks good doing it. Even with all of its features, in the Coyote color, it doesn’t scream military. In a solid color, it looks like a high end, foreign jacket. You’re not going to be the grey man wearing it, simply because it is so feature laden, but you won’t necessarily be made for a guy with a gun.

If I were to change anything it would be to make the pen pockets slightly wider to accommodate larger pens. Additionally, the handwarmer pockets aren’t the deepest or easiest to use. However, considering the overall geometry of the Smock, it would be difficult to alter them without affecting other features.

I recommend the FirstSpear Squadron Smock if you are looking for a cold weather, fully feature laden, combat jacket.

Available for pre-order in Black, Coyote, and MultiCam sizes Small – 2XLarge. Look for deliveries beginning 1 December, 2011.