From down under comes the SORD Australia Hardface Jacket. SORD (Special Operations Research and Design) Australia manufactures their own products, as well as carrying a wide variety of military and tactical clothing and equipment. Ever since I got the Arc’teryx Bravo jacket early last year, I’ve been a big fan of the soft shell jacket concept. As light as a sweatshirt, yet water and wind resistant and quick drying, soft shells have become some of my most-used garments because of their versatility and usability over a wide range of conditions.
When I received the Stealth Softshell Hoodie jacket from Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) and took it out of the packaging, my wife remarked ‘Wow, that’s a nice jacket!’ And right she was.
The Stealth shown here is the unique custom colour “M.E. Green” (Multi-Environment Green). It’s difficult to describe it, and it photographs differently under various lighting conditions (as you can see below). Under overcast skies it looks a bit grey, while under bright sunlight more of the green shade comes out. The closest cordura nylon shade to it would be the Kifaru green, which is slightly darker. Suffice it to say, it’s a very attractive colour.
The green Stealth fabric is from Schoeller of Switzerland, and the black is Polartec. I’m not sure which exact fabric it is, but looks to be close to WB-400 (one of their soft shell fabrics). The material is of a typical DWR-treated soft-shell type – stretchy, water and wind resistant, breathable, with soft fleece next to the skin for moisture transfer and dryness. The weight of the fabric is almost identical to the Polartec in my Arc’teryx Bravo jacket. The cut is fitted, but just generous enough to wear a sweatshirt under it without a problem. I’m wearing a size Medium, refer to the top of this page for my sizing info as a reference.
This is the Military Free Fall rig (MFF) from SORD Australia (Special Operations Research and Development). SORD carries a variety of miltiary and tactical equipment, and also manufactures products of their own design. The MFF is one of SORD’s own products, and it’s designed as specialized rig for anyone who may not have the room for a full-sized vest or chest rig, or requires little or no interference with webbing, harness or packs. Designed for free fall parachutists, drivers, climbers etc, the MFF only covers the front of the chest, out of the way of most other equipment with the minimum of bulk.
The single trapezoidal panel has 3 rows of PALS webbing on it. The upper corners are angled off, which restricts the column of PALS on either side to two rows of PALS. The center portion has 6 columns x 3 rows of PALS webbing. The panel is lightly padded and retains its shape. The shoulder straps are 2″ wide, and are constructed of 2″ wide webbing with 1″ webbing sewn on top. This makes for a very low profile, flat strap, which is more than adequate for a rig this size. The shoulder straps connect to the front via 1″ SR fastex buckles and ladder locks at the sides of the panel. A 1″ waist strap is attached and adjusted to the panel with ladder locks. It was spec’d this way for parachuting, to prodive more security than an SR buckle. Both the shoulder and waist straps are long enough to wear the MFF over body armour. Construction, quality and materials are very good.
This is the Eagle Industries Universal Chest Rig, SKD MOLLE version, from SKD Tactical. The UCR is an SKD-exclusive version of Eagle’s CR-PHUTV (Chest Rig, Paul Howe Universal Tactical Vest).
The CR-PHUTV has been in high demand since it was introduced in early 2005, due to it’s simplicity, great value, and versatility. It was designed by Paul Howe (a very well-respected veteran of the Army Special Forces). The original CR-PHUTV had two MBITR radio pouches on each end, but SKD Tactical had Eagle remove these, and replace them with two columns of PALS instead, to allow attachment of any MOLLE-compatible pouch that fits in that space. This further increases the versatility of this rig, as the MBITR pouches were sized rather specifically.
LIGER PRODUCTS has added the Army’s Foliage Green colour to the Liger belt lineup to match the new ACU colours. Seen below with SOF-PCU Level 5 pants. It’s a medium/dark grey-green.
Crye’s ballcap shares many of the same features as the other ‘tactical caps’ out there (like the MultiCam HSGI cap). Nice, rounded profile, velcro strap adjustment in the back, and loop velcro patches on the front and the top (the button is eliminated for comfort under hearing protection). But leave it to Crye to add a bit more utility – their ‘VisorLites’™ feature.
The underside of the bill is lined with soft, loop velcro fabric, for attachment of a small LED keychain light, which has hook velcro on one side. It’s almost unnoticeable until you turn it on, and when you do, you’ve got a nice bit of hands-free light. Much better than holding the LED light in your teeth.
Triple Aught Design (TAD GEAR) is a San Francisco-based adventure gear company with the coolest website intro who carry a long list of top-notch outdoor gear and equipment guarranteed to make just about anyone drool. TAD collaborates with various top manufacturers on TAD Gear exclusives, and also offers products of their own design. The F.A.S.T. Pack Alpha Model is one example of such a collaboration – TAD teamed up with well-known nylon gear manufacturer MAXPEDITION to produce their first pack. Based on TAD’s initial concept sketches, MAXPEDITION refined the design through 5-6 prototype phases and this is the result. It’s available only through TAD Gear.
TAD GEAR F.A.S.T Pack – Alpha Model
(Note: This model is no longer available – Gen II in the works)