I was browsing Arktis’ refreshed website today. The splash page features a pic of a garment, which I couldn’t find anywhere else on the site. It was intriguing in two ways. Firstly, it looked like a stripped down, high speed low drag SAS smock. Secondly, the fabric’s pattern was…disorientating. I screen grabbed the pic, a cropped version of which is featured above.
So, after failing to find the correct product page on Arktis’ site, imagine my surprise when I opened January’s Raider Magazine. Not only did I find more pics of the smock, but also a two page spread examining the camo as well as the design fundamentals of the smock. Win…if a little spooky.
Whilst I’d urge anyone to pick up a copy of Raider to read the full article, the most interesting thing I learned was that the person behind the camo and the smock is Ben Wall of CROPS. CROPS is a UK rural surveillance, tradecraft and training consultancy, which delivers clandestine expert services and BTEC level curriculum delivery.
From reading the Raider article, I gleaned that the pattern belongs to a family of three camouflages called DSP. It is a dispersal camouflage. Close up, it tricks the eye. Further away, it acts disruptively – breaking up the wearer’s outline.
Here’s one of those spot the camo guy pics:
The smock itself is feature-rich, though in a lopro, less is more way. There is no excess. Gone are the billowy buttoned pockets, in favour of discrete zipped versions. However, features like the large wired hood are retained (a feature also popular in the serious outdoor technical apparel market). It looks very modern. The SAS smock for the 21st Century. And yes, it is being manufactured by Arktis – so the quality will be right up there with the likes of TAD Gear, Patagonia and Arc’teryx.
I emailed Ben at CROPS (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out about availability and he was extremely helpful. However, as it currently stands, the DSP print is not fully available on the civilian market. I can only imagine this stuff will be going straight to the tip of the spear. And who would begrudge them of that?
I’ll keep my eyes open for general availability news, so watch this space.
Ben added this:
“Just so you know, CROPS is going live with an on line store selling only the very best from close partners.”