REVIEW: Defcon5 Multiland SAS Smock -
For a while now my team (Shadow Stalkers Airsoft Team) has used Vegetato camouflage, primarily for these reasons:
- It is incredibly effective at the sites we play at
- It is rather distinctive, and very few airsofters seem to use it
- It can be had very cheaply (china clones) or moderately priced (less than 50 quid for a surplus shirt/trouser set from Italian eBay)
- The issued gear is very very comfortable and hard wearing
So when I found myself needing a new jacket for night games/winter gaming, I found myself thinking: “Why not get something really gucci?”. Enter Multiland, which is to Vegetato what Multi-Terrain Pattern is to Disruptive Pattern Material. It features a wider colour palette and is designed to be more of a transitional camouflage. Like MTP, it features the same shapes as its parent, and perhaps mixes better with Veggie than MTP does with DPM.
Defcon5 invented the stuff (as well as doing a lot of the italian issue gear), and I really couldn’t resist picking this up from UKMCPro, who I believe are the exclusive UK supplier. The smock comes in a rather neat black mesh pouch, and on getting it out the quality really struck me. This product is made of proper high quality ripstop material, with solid fasteners and zips, and is very very lightweight.
The only jacket I can compare this to in terms of performance is a lightweight snowboarding jacket that I have. It’s thin enough to let some light through, yet it’s more or less waterproof, windproof, and will keep you warm (provided you keep moving) at subzero temperatures.
Going onto specific features of the jacket starting at the top: The hood is wired for support, and has a velcro flap on the back to take up excess hood material. The armpits fully unzip, giving you a 12″ long vent under each arm for operating on hot days. The front of the jacket is secured by velcro, zips AND big buttons, giving you various levels of venting/sealing for different climates.
Velcro for patches is kept to a minimum – two strips for name tapes on the breast of the jacket, and a 1″x2″ patch on each sleeve. The sleeves have 500D Cordura elbow crawl pads to stop you tearing holes in the jacket (or your elbows), and terminate in velcro cuffs. Finally, the jacket is lined with a lightweight, breathable black fabric.
As you would expect from a smock that costs nearly 100 quid, all of the zippers are made by YKK, and I believe all of the plastic hardware is made by ITW Nexus, really the only two companies worth trusting in these fields. One slight let down with this jacket is that the waist and hem adjustment straps are overly long, and made of simple paracord. However, this does mean they are a) readily replaceable and b) readily trimmable, which is something I need to do.
This jacket features a multitude of pockets as any jacket purporting to be an SAS Smock should: four large button closure pockets on the front, two vertical zippered breast pockets on the front, and one top opening zippered internal pocket that is ideal for a radio. The left sleeve also has an upper arm pocket.
I’ve used this jacket for three airsoft events now – the first two being full day skirmishes, the third being an all night sneaky crawly game. If its any indication of how effective the camouflage is, I have been stood on whilst prone wearing this jacket. It kept me warm and dry through a pretty damp night, took mud, thorns, brambles and paintball paint (kryptonite to expensive airsoft gear) and didn’t take a single scratch (I did though). I have also used this jacket for half a day’s gardening/servicing a pushbike in the rain (mainly to test out its waterproof-ness) – it kept me dry and warm very satisfactorily.
The only thing I have noticed with the fit of the jacket is that the shoulders seem to tighten ever so slightly when arms are pulled into odd positions. At 5’7″, with a bit of a belly on me and not the meatiest set of shoulders that is perhaps slightly concerning from a large size jacket.
So to conclude – if you like alternative camouflage patterns, and want a very good quality jacket, I would recommend this one to you. Defcon5 do produce it in Vegetato and Multicamo (essentially Multicam) as well, but you will probably need to buy those direct
from Italy, or even from the States. As always, here are a few more photos:
The hood adjuster
The waist draw-string
The side of a sleeve
The back of the smock