Before I begin I would like to congratulate Europe on being at the forefront of the Multicam Tropic drive. There are more companies manufacturing uniforms & nylon, both bespoke and for the commercial market in this particular pattern than another part of the world that we all know about, so thank you.
Right, the companies that I have chosen were selected on various criteria but most of us should be familiar with the names by now. They are Applied Orange Performance Equipment, Tiger Tailor, TRU-SPEC and Black Palm Syndicate. You will also see some other bits of gear which were picked up by colleagues in the shape of Crye Precision and Extreme Gear Labs.
Applied Orange Performance Equipment
This is my core uniform and consists of their Short brim boonie, UBAX Top and FDD Gen1 adapted trousers. I have had a great deal of time with this uniform, in a variety of patterns over the years and I had no hesitation in choosing this as my primary outfit, in simple terms it’s just bloody good.
The short brim boonie hat has all the normal AO features I have come to love such as the moisture wicking lining, ventilation points, ITW cord-locks and the twin head attachment points. This has been a solid design for the company is certainly considered one of their signature pieces.
The UBAX is again another of their signature pieces with the use of ‘Tencate Defender M’ fabric which is both FR and very breathable. I have had several of these tops over the past 2 years and they are solid piece of uniform. These tops are in use both with Government & private sector ranging from active military and police through to private contractors in areas of operation across the globe.
The FDD (Field Duty Design) Trousers were adapted Gen1 versions, they are now on Gen2 but those are for blue uniforms not green. The trousers have a number of features including cargo & concealed pockets, double button waist attachment, adjustable waist and elasticated Velcro closures.
Both the UBAX and FDD Trousers utilise the D30 Hard Impact protection system for knees & elbows.
I have been using Tiger Tailor gear now for some time and the key piece here is the ‘Chestright’ x7 Magazine chest-rig, however the one pictured in MC Tropic is Gen.4. This still retains the key elements of my previous chest rig such as the x7 mags & full PALS for increased modularity and user adaptation as well as the drag handle located top back of the H-Harness that has been tested to a 280lb pull. However it has a noticeable change to the rear admin / map pockets with the larger of the two now being zippered.
I have complimented the ‘Chestright’ platform with two ‘MuFo’ general purpose pouches situated left and right, the ‘Rushingle’ x3 magazine pouch (Version 2) mounted central and the ‘Dumperator’ dump pouch (version 2) attached to the fast-cinching waist belt at the rear.
I have a number of pieces of tactical nylon from Tiger Tailor and the quality of build & designs is always excellent. It is hard wearing, versatile and comfortable which for me are the key factors in any LBE.
Without wanting to go into too much detail some of you will notice the use of another pattern (ATACS-FG) for the webbing. Tiger Tailor deliberated and experimented with a number of variations and as they were producing a modular, not fixed pouch system they felt the solid colours were unacceptable and with no 1” MCTropic webbing available on the market they had to make a compromise. Remember that both Tiger Tailor & Applied Orange have had this gear on the market long before many other parties!
Black Palm Syndicate
This is the first of two US based companies I have supplemented my core MC Tropic gear with and TBH I had not heard of them before until a few months ago. This is the Black Palm™ Range Day hat and it has some nice little features like the ‘snapback’ closure system, no rivet on the top of the cap and where the mesh is you have a very light foam padding (inside) which provides comfort, wicks away perspiration but does not impede airflow. Also the ‘Black Palm’ logo on the side is pretty sick, although I would not say that is a feature more of a very nice aesthetic quality.
This is my second US based piece of gear although I originally looked at a smock from a German company but due to time & finances I went with this the ‘Tactical Response Uniform’ jacket, one of the core designs from TRU-SPEC. It is constructed out of 50/50 Nyco rip-stop, has a variety of pockets both for admin as well as general purpose, good size Velcro for ID & morale patches, reinforced elbow pockets for padded inserts and a ‘mandarin’ collar.
Do these pair of trousers need any form of introduction or overview? The G3 Combat Range Pant (my colleague pictured also has the top but preferred his TAD on this particular day) made out mil-spec 50/50 NyCo and includes their signature ‘Airflex’ combat knee pad.
Extreme Gear Laboratories
OK, so EGL have built three of my rigs over the years and it was good to see a colleague getting in on the bespoke build action. This is the VOCR x3 magazine which is a fixed pouch set up consisting of a GP pouch, double magazine pouch and a STUFFIT pouch. What is not pictured is the MMH (multi-mission hanger) that attaches at the back and sits at the bottom of the chest rig to increase load capability, although that was in action at an event a few weeks ago.
Alright, that was the overview. We hope you guys liked it and got some information for your personally needs. If you want to know something else, please write it in the comments below. Cheers
Special thanks to our reviewer Richard aka FireBase Alpha for his write-up.