Here’s a post that might stir a little debate (or not). How many of you think the clothing sold at Army Navy surplus stores is overpriced junk? Before you jump down my SHTF throat for even suggesting such a thing, know that I don’t think everything at surplus stores is TEOTWAWKI crap – just some of it, and (depending on the store) sometimes all of it.
In many cases, the older U.S. military surplus clothing is . . kinda junky . . at least when compared to other products on the market. For examply, I really like the look of the M65 field jacket. It screams “wicked cool, ayuh”. But I only wear mine in the spring or fall, because it really doesn’t keep me warm. It’s poorly designed. The waist cinch is way too high and it doesn’t prevent cold air from getting underneath. The material does not fair well in wet weather, and wind cuts right through it. Cool looking? Yes. Practical? Not so much.
Superior in design are hiking and hunting apparel. Products in these areas are better designed for inclement weather and incorporate the latest technological clothing advances. They contain wind-block features, Gore-tex, high quality wool, etc. The science behind the products is simply more advanced. I’ve never understood why the military always seems behind the times in this area. I thought they were finally beginning to catch on when, after the war in Afghanistan began and troops were in cold mountain terrain, they made a mad run on fleece hats, scarfs, and such. Hello! About time! At the beginning it was troops making personal purchases for the clothes available on the civilian market. The military finally began to catch on. Now they have what they call “Generation III Extended Cold Weather System” clothing. They developed this simply by taking lessons from hikers and mountaineers. These guys and gals already had the system figured out.
Features of the new clothing line include:
• Two lightweight, long-sleeve undershirts with long-legged drawers that are constructed with silk–weight, moisture-wicking polyester. The fabric aids in the movement of moisture from the skin to the outer layers of clothing, whether the wearer is moving or stationary.
• A mid-weight outer shirt with drawers built of polyester, grid-patterned fleece. It provides light insulation for use in mild cold and serves as a layer for more frigid temperatures.
• A zippered fleece jacket, with a fabric mimicking animal fur, acts as the primary insulation layer that provides an increased warmth-to-weight ratio and reduced volume when packed.
• A lightweight, waterproof windbreaker, which acts as a low-volume shell layer for use in mild or transitional environments, such as desert days or evenings.
• A water-resistant, wind-proof soft-shell jacket with trousers that increase moisture vapor permeability. This set is lighter, less bulky and quieter when the wearer moves than its predecessors.
• A waterproof extreme cold and wet-weather jacket with trousers for use in prolonged or hard rain.
• A water-resistant and windproof extreme cold-weather parka with trousers to provide warmth, and low weight and volume.
Source of information and pic is here. This is precisely the type of clothing Ranger Man wears when he goes winter hiking, and it’s awesome! This “system” allows you to regulate your body temperature to prevent building up sweat inside your clothes, which is critical in cold weather environments.
– Ranger Man