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Crye MultiCam™


The small, New York-based design firm of Crye Associates was formed in 2000 and in 2001 won a contract to participate in the U.S. Army’s project ‘Scorpion’, which was the first phase of FCS (Future Combat Systems) program. Crye’s involvement in the project included a complete redesign/overhaul of the uniform and equipment worn by the combat soldier. One of the many innovative ideas/items that stemmed from that project is a new camouflage pattern. Unofficially referred to as the ‘Scorpion pattern’ until now (as it was born out of the Scorpion project), Crye is now producing it as ‘MultiCam’. Newly established Crye Precision is the manufacturing/production side of design-oriented Crye Associates, and has introduced the pattern, as well as apparel and equipment made in MultiCam. Fabrics in 1000d and 500d Cordura and 2 weights of 50/50 NYCO twill are now available.

The MultiCam pattern is a result of extensive development and testing over the past couple of years, by both Crye and the Army. It is designed to work in multiple environments (hence its name) – which include desert, woodland and urban. Although it came out on top in Army tests, the Army has decided to go with new ACU pattern which is basically a variation of the MARPAT pattern used by the USMC, with changes in colour. Why they chose grey as the overall shade, I don’t know.
Crye studied the many factors that affect camouflage, like geography, seasonal changes, varying lighting conditions, shape and form in the development of the pattern and colours.

MultiCam is comprised of six colours, (note that I'm using names that I'm most familiar with to describe the colours and that may not be entirely accurate)- a dark chocolate brown, a medium/flat earth brown, MJK khaki/green, medium green, desert pink, and a light grey (the base fabric natural colour). What makes it difficult to describe (and see) is that some of these colours are gradiated and fade into each other in some places. Another feature of MultiCam is that is does not consist of a uniformly tight pattern that repeats itself freqently. The medium shades of colour alternate in a larger pattern, so that an area will change from a predominantly green hue to a brownish one a yard down. The small blotches of grey and dark brown will sometimes cluster in one area, then be absent in another. This combination of tight pattern and larger, 'seasonal change' enables MultiCam to work both close up and from a distance away. The large changes of overall tone break up one the silhouette of the larger form while the smaller patterns blend it with the immediate environment. Crye coined the term 'macroflage' for the way the distribution of large areas of colour works. Photo (1) on the left shows 4 different swatches cut from different areas of fabric. The top left swatch is predominantly green while the bottom left one is brown. The ones on the right incorporate the smaller blotches of colour. Photos (2) and (3) show Multicam in arid (L) and woodland (R) environments. Photo (4) shows me in the high desert.


(1) 4 swatches cut from different areas of the fabric - swatch size 5"x5"

(2) MultiCam in an arid environment

(3) MultiCam with woodland camo

(4) High desert

Crye Precision Field Shirt and Field Pants - Gen I (Discontinued - for reference only)


Crye Field Shirt and Field Pants, overview. Note that this model has been discontinued and is shown for reference).

Crye's Field Shirt and Field Pants are their BDU-style articles of clothing. Let me start by saying a big 'Thank You' to Crye for the opportunity to preview these before they come out, and to give the reader a good idea of what to expect. The projected release is late-November for the more common sizes and pre-ordering is up on their website. I'll update this if I hear anything different. But they will be available from Crye Precision.

The Field Shirt and Pants form part of Crye's 'B-line' apparel. The 'A-line' apparel includes the Combat Shirt and Pants, which are much more specialized articles of clothing, mainly meant to be worn with body armour (BDU's on steroids, is all I can come up with at this moment). The terms 'A-line' and 'B-line' are internal designations, used just because the 'A-lines' came first. The 'B-line' Field Shirt and Pants can best be described as 'Enhanced BDUs' for more general use, whereas the 'A-line' is more specialized and more direct-action oriented. Upon examining the Crye BDUs, it's obvious that a lot of thought has gone into their design, and choice of materials and construction. The Field Shirt and Pants are the result of extensive research and collaboration with operators in the Spec Ops community. Read on...



Crye Field Shirt

The Field Shirt I was sent was Multicam 6-6.6 oz 50/50 USMC NYCO twill material. It has a 5-button front closure, and no lower front cargo pockets. Here are the main features of this garment:

  • Mandarin collar with velcro closure - this can be worn folded down and open or up, and closed. The collar is slightly taller in the back and shorter around the sides and front to maximize protection of the neck without limiting mobility.
  • Engineered cuff with velcro closure - The cuffs extend past the wrist on the outside to provide some hand protection, and for a better fit. The inside part of the wrist is a bit shorter, and the cuff finds its 'natural' position and centers itself on the wrist.
  • Double sleeve pocket with velcro panel and closure - the 7" x 6" sleeve pocket is slanted at an angle for easier access. It is divided into two full size compartments (the outer compartment opening is staggared slightly) and has a bellows on the back for it to expand. The outside of the pocket is completely covered by loop velcro. The amount of velcro coverage (an issue amongst some) was at the request of operators. The original prototypes started out with less velcro on the sleeve pockets, but the request was for more. By the time you put on name tapes, flags or IR patches, the space runs out pretty quickly. The flap has two velcro strips which close both the inner and outer compartments.
  • Removable D-ring attachment point under the right chest pocket
  • 500D Cordura elbow reinforcement with pad pocket - this provides resistance to abrasion and accomodates an optional shaped pad or any flat foam if padding is needed. The pad pocket has a velcro opening and the pad is inserted from the top. A vent hole at the bottom of the pocket lets out any sand or dirt that enters the top of the pocket. The Crye shaped pad is undersized so that it 'adjusts' itself and finds its own position (which usually ends up being the correct one). The Crye shaped elbow pad will fit in the USMC MCCUs foam pad pocket in the elbow, but the posiiton doesn't feel right, unlike the Crye field shirt.
  • Double breast pockets - each of the two front breast pockets have a pleated for expansion. A velcro-closed flap secures the contents. Underneath each pocket is a side entry pocket, which can be accessed when wearing a vest or armour. A pen slot is featured beside the left pocket.
  • Velcro name tape strips - 6" x 1" loop velcro name tape strips are located horizontally above each breast pocket.
  • Center back velcro patch for ID - a 1" x 1" loop velcro patch is located at the base of the neck for an IR tape square.
  • Field shirt sizing will be small short through XXL.

The Field shirt is extremely comfortable in the lightweight twill. The mandarin collar is comfortable with no chafing. Workmanship is some of the best I've seen - much better than issue BDUs. All pocket flaps corners are angled off, a feature that I like, and all stress points are bartacked.



Overall front view - no lower pockets

Double shoulder pockets on each side with velcro flap closure

Front breast pockets

Side entry pocket under front breast pocket

Another view of the front/side breast pocket

Closeup of the flap design and closures

Tag

Elbow reinforcement and pad pocket


Crye Field Pants

The Field Pants are made of a slightly heavier 7 oz 50/50 NYCO twill for harder wear. Here's a rundown of the features:

  • 2" waist increments for a better fit - instead of going with the S, M, L etc sizing with adjustable waist, Crye decided to go with a more 'custom' fit like civvie pants. There is no adjustment or elastic in the waistband, so a BDU belt is recommended. Waist adjusters were left off as they found that under a pistol belt, they would end up being a source of irritation or hot spots. As it stands, the waistband is smooth and free of bumps and hard buckles.
  • Button fly
  • Removable D-ring attach points below belt loops - each belt loop has a D-ring attach point below it for use with a split plastic D-ring, for dummy cording items in the pocket etc.
  • Double front 3" x 5" besom pocket - before some of you ask, 'besom' means 'A flapless pocket trimmed with welting or reinforced stitching'. Yeah, I had to look it up, ok? This pocket located on the front top of the thigh is for smaller, flat items. Its location allows it to be accessed more easily when wearing gear, leg rigs etc.
  • Double rear pockets - closed with a small square of velcro
  • Double front slash pockets - instead of the usual side entry slash pockets, these have been moved to the front so the opening is not blocked by thigh rigs or holsters.
  • Side cargo pockets with velcro closure - large pleated/bellows pockets with a velcro flap closure. The front edge of the flap is sewn down, like the issue BDUs.
  • 500D Cordura knee reinforcement with pad pocket - like the elbows on the Field Shirt, the knee reinforcement also doubles as a pad pocket. The 500D Cordura is lightweight enough to feel comfortable and I noticed less heat being trapped at the front of the knees than with 1000D knee reinforcements, which get too hot. The optional Crye shaped pad can be used, which is sized to fit the pocket, or any flat piece of foam. Note that the Crye shaped knee pad will not fit in the USMC MCCUs - it's too long (I tried).
  • Double calf pocket with external stow points - a 7" x 3" pocket adorns the outside of each calf, with a velcro closed flap. Two loops of elastic and bottom points allows items like lightsticks to be kept there.
  • Shaped legs for improved mobility - this feature shows Crye's attention to detail and human engineering. The pants are made up of shaped panels, which optimize the shape and amount of material around the leg. The pants are pre-shaped for the bend of the knee, instead of using an excess of material to accomodate movement and mobility.
  • Double seat - 'nuff said.
  • Standard flat drawstrings/ribbons in the cuffs - these were left the same as standard BDU design as some people wear their pants bloused or tucked into the boots (a thicker cord would be uncomfortable), and some wear them outside the boot. It's left to the user to make any mods to suit their purpose. I wear my pants outside my boots, and replaced the drawstring with elastic shock cord (I find that the drawstrings on all BDUs tend to come undone), which I sized to fit slightly loosely around my boot, so it doesn't ride up, but the opening is smaller than if no cord were used at all.
  • Sizes available will be waist 28" through 48" in short through extra long lengths.

Like the Field Shirt, the attention to detail in the design of the Field Pants is apparent. Even the internal pockets have small grommeted drain holes. The shaped elbow and knee pads very lightweight, are lined with fabric, and have a smooth, hard, outer shell. Any flat foam can be cut and used, but I'd go with the optional Crye shaped pads. Note: that's a SOTECH slim rigger belt I'm wearing with the pants, in case anyone was going to ask.


Front pocket overview

Pants rear overview

Reinforced knees and calf pockets

Main side cargo pockets

Shaped knee pad

Closeup of calf pockets with lightstick holders

Crye shaped elbow and knee pads


Crye Field Pants in Khaki

The Khaki Field pants are a more 'civilianized' colour - they're still hard-wearing combat trousers but wearing them around town won't attract any attention. The khaki material is a heavier-weight twill than the MultiCam field pants, and instead of the 500D cordura on the knees, the same material as the pant is used. Note that if you use the knee pad inserts in the khaki pants, the fabric on the knees is not as wear and tear resistant as the cordura on the MultiCam pants.

 



Closer view


On the range. I headed out to the range yesterday for a 1-day refresher carbine/pistol class. I wore the Crye Field uniform the entire time, and even though it was about 85°F out there, the lighter weight of the shirt made it comfortable. I found that the 500D knee reinforcements provided enough protection without the shaped knee pads for occasional kneeling. I didn't get to utilize all the features of the field uniform or abuse it much this time, but I'll add comments when I do.

Used the knee pads more and I like them a lot. They're light enough so that they don't inhibit my movement, and provide just the right amount of padding. The lack of elastic straps behind the knees really adds to the comfort of the pads. Even though they do get warm, air is able to circulate between the knee and the pad when standing and moving, as there aren't straps holding the pads to your knees constantly. This gives the knees a chance to dry out.


Crye Precision R6 Field Shirt and Field Pants (Discontinued - for reference only)

10/17/06 - Crye Precision R6 Field Shirt and Field Pants, overview. Note that this model has been discontinued and is no longer in production.

Crye has just introduced their R6 Field Shirt and Field Pants in Ripstop MultiCam and Black fabric (Sand to be offered in the near future). Check their website, Crye Precision for availability. While it's the '2nd Generation' or version that has been offered to the commercial market, it's actually the sixth revision of the Field Uniform. The others were made for non-commercial customers. Hence the designation 'R6' (Revision 6).

First of all, please read the writeup on the Gen 1 Field Shirt and Pants as a 'refresher' if you haven't already. Unless mentioned in this writeup, the R6 shares the same features as the Gen 1 with a few changes.

The most noticeable update for the R6's is the new Ripstop material offered. It's 50/50 NYCO and feels identical to 50/50 NYCO DCUs that I have, which means that it feels slightly stiffer (when new), but lighter and less 'lofty' than the 6-6.6 and 7 oz 50/50 USMC NYCO twill material used in the Gen 1 Field Uniform. The Gen 1 field uniform I have has become very soft and comfy through multiple washings and wearing. There's also a perceived feeling that the ripstop material feels cooler because it's less 'lofted' than the twill and doesn't get as 'fuzzy' with a lot of use. Whether it breathes better, I don't know. But the ripstop does give an impression of increased durability and abrasion resistance. The same weight ripstop material is used for both the Field Shirt and Pants. The Gen 1 Pants were made of the slightly heavier weight twill than the shirt.

 


Crye R6 Field Shirt

The R6 Field Shirt shares the same basic features as the Gen 1 (outlined above) - these are the changes:

  • Mandarin collar with velcro closure - a small tab that folds back over the hook velcro on the collar has been added. When the shirt had velcro name tape on the chest, and the collar worn down, the hook velcro on the collar would sometimes stick to the name tape patch. The new tab folds over and prevents this from happening.
  • Conventional cuff with velcro closure - The Gen 1 cuffs that extended past the wrist on the outside have now been changed to a conventional design. Crye found that users found the engineered cuffs difficult to fold back and roll up, due to their shape, and preferred a conventional cuff. Aesthetically, I like the unique design of the Gen 1 cuffs, but have no complaints with the functionality of the R6 ones.
  • Double sleeve pocket with velcro panel and closure - Instead of loop velcro ID patch covering the entire sleeve pocket, there are now two patches - one on the pocket flap (4" x 2"), and another on the pocket itself (4.75" x 4"). The lower patch is partially covered by the flap as it serves as the flap closure, so the effective area exposed is 3.5" x 4".
  • Cordura elbow reinforcement with pad pocket - this has been changed to 330D cordura with a light urethane coating instead of 500D. It still provides resistance to abrasion and accomodates the optional shaped pads while being thinner, lighter and cooler.
  • Velcro name tape strips on chest - these have been deleted to give the user the option of sewing his own on. Users were removing them from the chest, and Crye felt that velcro was more difficult to remove and leave holes or damage the base fabric, so it's up to the user now to have any sewn on. The center back velcro patch for ID located at the base of the neck for an IR tape square has also been deleted as it was not used often.


Overall front view - collar down

Rear view

Collar down

Collar up

Sleeve pocket

R6 and Gen 1 cuffs open

Cuffs closed


Crye R6 Field Pants

The R6 Field Pants are made of the same 50/50 NYCO Ripstop fabric as the Field Shirt which makes them lighter than the heavier twill of the Gen 1 pants. All features are the same as the Gen 1 unless otherwise mentioned:

  • Sizing is still in 2" waist increments for a better fit instead of the S, M, L etc.
  • The "rise" (distance from the crotch to the waist) is still the same - slightly shorter/lower than standard BDU pants. Some prefer a longer rise of standard BDUs. Personally, I prefer the cut of the Crye pants as I don't like my pants riding so high around my waist as it makes my short torso look even shorter.
  • Pocket configuration is the same - double front 3" x 5" besom pockets, double rear pockets - closed with a small square of velcro, double front slash pockets, large side cargo pleated/bellows pockets with a velcro flap closure and small pockets on each calf. The velcro on the side cargo pockets has been reversed; the Gen 1 pants I've got have the hook velcro on the flap, the Gen 2 pants have them on the pocket itself. This is to prevent the contents from snagging the hook velcro when being taken in or out. It's not as scratchy on the hand either.
  • Cordura knee reinforcement with pad pocket - like the elbows on the Field Shirt, the knee reinforcement pad pocket is now lighter weight 330D Cordura instead of 500D. It traps even less heat than before, and almost feels like it isn't Cordura.

Gen 2 Knee and Elbow pads - The Gen 2 knee and elbow pads have actually been out for a while. Instead of the foam lined, gray hardshell of the Gen 1, the Gen 2 pads are molded/shaped foam covered in nylon fabric. They're not as stiff and conform/bend better, and when used on rough ground, will impart less wear and tear to the pad pockets than the hard Gen 1's. They're also lighter.

With the first runs of the Gen 1 Field Uniform, there were some reports of QC issues with stitching/workmanship - loose buttons, stitches coming undone on seams or velcro etc. The R6 uniform shows no sign of that, and all the stitching and quality looks good to go. Personally, I prefer the features and fit of the Crye Field Uniform over standard BDUs, and with the R6's in ripstop, they're even better. And they're still made in the USA with US materials.

 


Front overview

Pants rear

Reinforced knees and side pockets

Elbow pads (Gen1 on left)

Knee pads (Gen 1 on left)

Elbow and knee pad pockets

 

Crye Precision G3 Field Shirt

5/12/11 - The Crye Precison G3 Field Shirt is an evolution of their previous models, with some new features.

The G3 Field Shirt is a traditionally-tailored utility shirt made from Mil-spec 50/50 NYCO ripstop material, available in MultiCam, Ranger Green, Black and Khaki. It has a 5-button front closure.

  • Mandarin collar with velcro closure - this can be worn folded down and open or up, and closed. The collar is slightly taller in the back and shorter around the sides and front to maximize protection of the neck without limiting mobility. There is a small tab that folds back over the hook velcro on the collar. When the shirt had velcro name tape on the chest, and the collar worn down, the hook velcro on the collar would sometimes stick to the name tape patch. The new tab folds over and prevents this from happening.
  • NoProfile™ chest pocket design - The chest pockets have velcro-secured flaps that have the ends of the flaps sewn down, so that they don't 'flap up' and therefore necessitating only a single small velcro tab in the center to keep it closed. It's lower profile and not difficult to access.

Overall front view - collar up

Collar down

Side view


Collar details


Chest pocket
  • Dual-access chest pocket - Behind the chest pockets are side-entry pockets, so they can be accessed while wearing some armour or rigs (depends on the rig of course). The bottom 2.5" on the side is sewn shut to prevent items from falling out. It's meant primarily for flat items.
  • Double sleeve pocket with velcro closure - The 7" x 6" bicep/sleeve pocket is slanted at an angle for easier access. It is divided into two full size compartments (the outer compartment opening is staggared slightly) and has a bellows on the back for it to expand.
  • Flexible Velcro configuration - Instead of the normal large velcro field on the outside of the pocket, there are instead two vertical 5" x 1.5" segments. By having two segments vs. one large piece, the pocket remains more flexible and less bulky. Patches can either straddle the velcro strips, or smaller ones can be placed on one segment or the other.
  • Pen pocket and eye-pro hanger - The left bicep pocket has a pen slot along the front edge and both pocket flaps have a small slot in the top for hanging eye protection/sunglasses by inserting one of the temples into the slot.
  • Elbow reinforcement with pad pocket - the elbow is reinforced with the same material as the rest of the shirt instead of the 330D cordura used on the R6 uniform. It still provides resistance to abrasion and accomodates the optional shaped Crye AirFlex field shirt elbow pad.
  • Conventional cuff with velcro closure - The cuffs are a conventional design with velcro tab.
  • Available sizes are XS-3XL in Short, Regular and Long lengths.


Dual-access chest pocket

Flexible velcro configuration

Dual layer bicep pocket

Patch on velcro

Pen and eye pro slots

Reinforced elbow

Cuff details

The Crye Precison G3 Field Shirt is shown below in Khaki.


Overall front view - collar up

Collar down

Side view



 

Crye Precision WindLiner™

7/27/11 -The Crye Precision WindLiner™ is an extremely light weight and packable jacket that offers outstanding widn and weather resistant in a featherweight package. It stuffs into its single mesh-lined shoulder cargo pocket.

The WindLiner actually debuted at the 2010 SHOT Show, and was there again in 2011 but hadn't really made it out until now. The WindLiner is intended as a ultra-packable zip-front shell that is designed to be donned over a uniform or other garments in case of inclement weather. It's not intended to replace a hard shell rain jacket, but be light weight enough to carry along in case some unexpected protection from the weather is needed.

Like Crye's Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC), the WindLiner follows the light weight/minimalist design philosophy, yet still offers features that a truly mimalist garment might omit. I've been using an original Arktis Stowaway Shirt for more than a decade, and while it packs down smaller than the WindLiner, it's truly devoid of any features like a hood or pockets.

Here's a summary of the features on the WindLiner, size large shown here (I usually wear medium, so bear that in mind when using the pics as a size reference):

  • Material - The WindLiner is made of Crye MultiCam Epsilon 40D x 40D rip stop with NANO STX™ treatment. It's a featherweight 1.55 oz nylon with a faint ripstop grid. It's treated with NanoSphere liquid repellant DWR. Water beads up on the surface and it's quite resistant to wetting out. The nanoparticles in the NanoSphere finish form a fine structure on the textile surface. Water or substances such as oil or ketchup simply run off the NanoSphere surface which is naturally self-cleaning, and any residue can easily be rinsed off with a little water. The NanoSphere coating has a high level of abrasion resistance, and the protective function is retained even with heavy-duty use. The jacket therefore requires less frequent washings at lower temperatures (wash resistance is up to 100 washings). No fabric softener or dryer sheets are to be used.


Open

Zipped up



Hood up
  • Stowable hood - The hood has an elasticized opening and keeps it secure around the face without the need for shock cord adjustments. It rolls up neatly and stows inside the collar. It has so little bulk that the collar feels flat, even with the hood inside it. The hood is attached at the bottom of the collar, and is independant of the collar, so the collar still functions normally when the hood is deployed. There are small velcro squares inside the collar which keep the hood compartment closed when the hood is deployed, and also on the back of the hood, which secures the compartment when the hood is rolled up.
  • Lined collar - The collar is lined with a very soft, low nap brushed material. It's also used behind the main zipper for comfort.

Hood details


Hood stowed

Hood compartment


Armpit mesh
  • Armpit vents - There are mesh vents under each armpit, for ventilation. This is the area that normally gets overheated and needs the least insulation when on the move.
  • Elastic-bound hems - The bottom hem is bound with elastic, which cuts down on the weight and bulk of elastic shock cords and cord locks.
  • Elastic cuffs - The cuffs are also bound with elastic, and have thumb stirrups for putting your thumb through to cover the back of the hand. The sleeves are cut longer to accommodate this.
  • Right sleeve pocket - There is only one pocket, located on the right sleeve. It is mesh-lined. The entire WindLiner jacket can be rolled up and stuffed inside the pocket (turning it inside out).
  • Segmented Velcro ID panels - Instead of a solid velcro patch on the shoulder for ID/patches, there are instead two vertically-sewn strips. They'll still accommodate all patches, but with reduced bulk and packability. Larger patches just straddle the velcro and are plenty secure.

Right sleeve pocket

Cuffs

Thumb stirrups

Stuffed in pocket

Sizing, fit etc - The WindLiner has a relaxed fit/cut; as it's meant to accommodate other garments under it like a uniform or mid-layer. I normally wear a size Medium, but I am wearing a Large in the photos. If you anticipate wearing it alone as a windbreaker or over thin baselayers, then get your normal size. If you think you'll be wearing it over thicker layers, then go one size up.

Notes and Observations - The Nanosphere DWR works pretty well in light rain/drizzle. Water beads up and doesn't soak through unless it's been sitting for a while or it's rubbed in. We had some heavy rain earlier this year and I had a chance to test out all my rain gear. The WindLiner isn't waterproof or a rain jacket substitute, but I was still curious as to how it'd hold up when it rained. Light showers/drizzle is no problem. I wore it over a fleece jacket as it was cold outside. In medium rain, it held the water at bay for a while, then I'd notice some dampness on the head and shoulders, on the most exposed areas, which was to be expected. Even when it was damp, it still kept working to stop the majority of the rain penetrating into the fleece underneath. Same thing in heavier rain - it's not going to keep you completely dry, but it'll definitely keep you drier than if you didn't have it, and slow down your under-layer getting wet. Filling up a sink with water, the fabric held the water for a while, and after about 10 minutes, started wetting through. It was definitely more water-resistant than the Crye MultiCam 70D 1.9oz nylon with a ripstop pattern I'd tested before on the OTTE Super L Windshirt.

The hood is close-fitting and non-restrictive. I wouldn't have minded having a brim in the rain (because I wear eyeglasses), but this hood was also designed to be worn under a helmet, and a brim would interfere. In any case, a hat will help keep the rain off my face.

The Epsilon fabric is also much more wind-resistant than the 70D 1.9oz ripstop nylon; I cannot blow through it. I tested it out under a mesh motorcycle jacket, and worn over a sweatshirt on a cold morning. I usually have a leather jacket for winter and a mesh jacket for summer, but wanted to see how well the WindLiner worked. Without the WindLiner, the cold air just cuts right through the mesh jacket and the sweatshirt doesn't do much to keep me warm. With the WindLiner over the sweatshirt and under the mesh jacket, it blocked the wind completely, and also helped keep me warmer by trapping body heat under it. It made a huge difference in comfort, even though it's such a thin material. Note that it will not keep you warm by itself, but it'll make an insulating layer or your regular clothes much more efficient if there's a cold wind blowing. Another thing to note is that the Epsilon fabric is pretty quiet, when compared to other nylons. It doesn't have a high-pitched 'swish' like GoreTex fabrics.

I was able to stuff the WindLiner into an EMDOM Baby Utility Shingle, which is 5.5" x 3.5"x 1.5", and also an M4 double magazine pouch, which is pretty small. Stuffed into its own pocket, it'll fit easily in pants cargo pockets, jacket pockets, emergency kit, GP pouches etc. It doesn't take up hardly any room. The WindLiner is useful is as an ultra light shell over a fleece garment or base layer, to help trap warm air in the insulative layer; and also to help shed light rain or snow and keep the insulative layer dry. Or, as a light windshirt over a t-shirt when the sun goes down. It's light and packable enough to carry along when a more bulky softshell or hardshell might not be.

 

 


Crye Precision Range Vest (Not in current production - for reference only)


Crye Range Vest

Crye Precision's Range Vest is intended to be worn in conjunction with the Combat uniform shirt (A-line) when the body armour/load bearing system is not being worn, as the Combat shirt doesn't have pockets on the torso portion. It can also be used as a stand-alone vest, of course. It's not meant as a substitute for nylon load bearing equipment, but provides some utility and the ability to carry a few mags and some gear in case of an emergency. It also should work well as a 'range vest' for shooters. It'll be available in khaki for those who want a more 'civvie' look. Thanks again to the guys at Crye for the opportunity to preview this product.

My first impression of the Range Vest was that it was much more sturdily constructed than I had envisioned. I expected a 5.11/Royal Robbins-type vest; lightly constructed and loose. The Range Vest has a much more solid feel as it's made of heavier material, with an array of built-in features that add to its structural integrity.

The Range Vest shown here is part of a prototype run, so some minor tweaks might be made for the final production version. It's constructed of the same material as the Pants - 50/50 NYCO heavy weight twill. Here are the main features of this garment:

  • The Range Vest has an internal lacing system for an adjustable fit (shown below). The vest consists of a back panel, and the side/front panels. They're all connected at the shoulders, but the girth of the vest varies by adjusting the distance between the two side/front panels at the rear of the vest. The side panels can move relative to the back panel, and the lacing is shortened or lengthened to move them closer or farther apart. This enables the wearer to achieve a snug/custom fit, which I find much more comfortable than a vest that's too loose, when carrying items. It makes for a more stable platform. Of course, if you like a loose vest, you have the option of wearing it that way as well.

  • Short, stand-up collar.
  • Side/waist compression straps - these keep the vest snug around the waist to minimize shifting of the load during movement.
  • Front #10 zipper closure, or single tab closure with snap.
  • Removable D-ring attachment point under the left front chest pocket.
  • Large back vents.
  • Velcro name tape strips on each side of the upper chest.
  • Front upper chest pockets on each side, top entry (no closure), with a pen slot on the inboard sides. 4" x 2.75" velcro patches on the front of the pockets.
  • Deep side-entry handwarmer pockets
  • Inner side-entry chest pockets with zipper closures.
  • Large lower side-entry torso pockets with zipper and velcro closures. The zipper can be left undone and closed with Velcro for quick access. This pocket will accomodate a full size handgun.
  • Double back/kidney elastic pockets. These are accessed by reaching behind and will stow small, soft items.

Hand warmer pockets on each side

Side entry upper and lower pockets

Closeup of lower pocket

Detail of upper and lower pocket closures and webbing reinforcement

Back elastic pocket and waist compression strap
  • Internal hydration bladder pocket in the back panel with Velcro closure, and tube port. This will fit up to a 100oz standard hydration bladder (not the wide type). I stuck a 70 oz bladder in there. It works best when the weight of a full bladder is offset with a load in the front of the vest.
  • Epaulet drag handles with hydration tube webbing loop underneath. The epaulets come with removable fabric covers, which incidentally, can be used on the Field Shirt sleeve pocket velcro patch.
  • Four rows and four columns of PALS webbing at the front, on each side. These will accept any MOLLE compatible pouches, but is intended for light loads. (The production vests will have the ends of the webbing turned under and sewn down)
  • Four rows of PALS webbing under each arm, sewn at an angle for attachment of more pouches if needed.

 


Rear hydration bladder pocket and tube port

Epaulet drag handles and tube loop underneath. Removable fabric cover.

Loaded up with EGL triple pistol mag pouch and multi-tool pouch, and TT single mag pouch

View of side PALS webbing

Rear view showing hydration bladder in pocket

The vest fits great - I like being able to adjust it to just the right snugness. It really makes a difference when the pockets are loaded up. Although its original intention was to compliment the Combat shirt, I think it'll be just as popular as a stand-alone item, for those who want something more ruggedly built than the others currently on the market.


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