Now I can recall seeing and hearing about this on SSD (Soldier Systems Daily) feed at SHOT SHOW 2012 and then over the past 2 years I have always kept my eye so you can gauge my excitement when a few weeks ago a member of the site I visit regularly turned up with the Crye Precision ‘Compact Assault Ghillie™’ and we got to have some fun with it.
Now the first thing I will say is that this is very compact and I mean very compact. The pictures I show I hope will do justice as to how small this system compacts down to. If you can imagine or know directly the size of a traditional snipers ghillie jacket then you will appreciate what this is able to do in such a small package. Weight wise, although we did not have scales we gustimated it around 3/5 ounces compared to the circa 7/8lbs in weight a more traditional ghillie jacket might way. Both the size (compacted) and the weight to how much coverage it provides a user is extraordinary.
The actual system is not dissimilar to those of the foundation ghillie systems that are more readily available on the market. However the added benefit is that already has the laser-cut 3D fabric shapes (not natural foliage) already securely stitched to the foundation. The material used is in the Crye Precision Original Multicam and is similar to their ‘soft shell’ fabric allowing versatility in most terrains due to its transitional pattern. The use of the mesh foundation greatly increases airflow and stops a user overheating as well as assisting in drying should the suit become wet. This would certainly make it more bearable and manageable to be worn for longer periods of time than a traditional suit would be.
It attaches simple and is MOLLE mounted. The stuff sack has a mesh base to allow drainage and I will assume airflow to assist in drying out the suit if it was wet and need to be stored back in its sack?
When mounting this for the first time I did find a peculiar thing. When wearing gloves the fabric was so light that I could not feel it when trying to grasp for it, however once I had it in my hands I was able to feel it. Might I suggest that if you are mounting this for the first couple of times, gloves off or you may look like a flailing lunatic (or in my case ask for assistance).
The attachment point also configure well with the Crye Precision CPC and JPC systems (see the little black hook) as well as three plastic toggles to keep the top half nicely secured. You also have shock cord running around the entrance to the hood, secured with cord locks to provide a tighter fit depending on head gear.
The main coverage of the system is the Head & shoulders but also extends to both the arms and great deal of your back. The duel layer panel allows the user to fold over the head to provide further concealment to either a rifle or other mission specific equipment.
As the name suggests this is aimed at more of the Assault / RECCE / DMR roles that we find in the modern infantry. The ability for an ‘assaulter’ to camouflage up very quickly to provide that extra level of concealment for whatever role they are carrying out and then to stow away just as quickly I know would be an invaluable tool. With that in mind this system is designed to work armour & plate carriers, chest rigs, LBE such as webbing and smaller / low profile packs. As you can see from previous pictures the front is open so as not to impede the users access to their plate carrier / chest rig etc.
Left this till last as I know a few of you will want to know. This system was purchased direct from Crye and so unable to disclose that figure however I would imagine; if you actually found a retailer stocking these (none of the pre-order crap) you would be looking at paying in the ballpark of £160/170.
By no means was this an extensive review of the system but I hope it will give you a more in-depth understanding of what it is, what it can do and how it performs and I hope to follow this up at a later date once I have my own that I can be a little more brutal with!
What can I say; it’s an outstanding piece of design & engineering and nothing less than what we would expect from Crye Precision. Now this system was kindly lent to me for some use and sadly is not my own (being rectified as you read this) so I would like to thank Mr. AR for the loan as well as Mr. Waite from ‘MDWaite Photography’ for the assistance on the day.
Thanks to our reviewer Richard aka “FireBase-Alpha” for the field test and the write-up.