Words and Pics: Rich Norman
I bought a pair of Crye Precision AC (Army Custom, also known as G2 or Gen 2) Combat Pants recently and they are every bit as comfortable as everyone promised.
I say everyone, I mean mates in the same forty-something age bracket as me. That’s what I realised when I ticked off all the friends who’ve made a particular point of recommending ACs to me over my usual G3 Combat Pants.
Trouble is, I was in denial about ACs for some time because I couldn’t quite explain from the cut why they should be more comfortable.
If someone justified their predilection for ACs by saying, “They are baggier” or “looser” it didn’t mean much to me.
I sometimes wear relatively narrow trousers like Arc’teryx Texada Pants which are extremely comfortable when compared with some of the looser cuts I’ve owned and discarded over the years.
In short, baggy does not always mean comfortable to me.
So, what’s the AC’s secret sauce?
For me it’s the rise.
G3s offer a relatively low cut waist compared to ACs. Granted, the G3 is probably classed as a medium rise – it’s no hip hanging pant – but ACs are a more traditional ‘dad’ cut.
Think Simon Cowell outfitted by Caleb Crye.
Because this is me, I took some measurements of both AC and G3 trousers in 36R. Nowhere is the dimensional difference more stark than the rise.
G3 vs. AC Measurements
All measurements are approximate and are taken with the garment laid flat, in inches. Bear in mind that my sample is limited and apparel often have tolerances of whole inches from one garment to the next.
G3 11.25; AC 12.75
Top of waist band to crotch seam, measured over fly.
This represents the most significant difference between the two Crye styles and is, for me, what makes the ACs feel more roomy and comfortable.
All other dimensions are much closer together between AC and G3, which I did not expect.
G3 19.5; AC 19.25
Waist band tip to tip, measured straight.
It’s a bit of a red herring to say that the G3’s waist is bigger than the AC’s, because the G3 sits lower at the waist.
Also remember that the G3s have adjustable tabs to vary waist size.
3. Inside Leg
G3 32.5; AC 32.5
Crotch seam to tip of ankle cuff, measured inside leg.
No pic as hopefully this is self explanatory. Regular length means the same thing in both G3 and AC. Go Crye!
4. Ankle Cuff
G3 9.0; AC 8.5
Ankle cuff band, measured straight at base.
A bit of a surprise that the AC has narrower ankles, but the taper is easy to see in the pic.
G3 13.5; AC 13.75
Measured at 90 degrees to vertical, crotch seam to outside leg.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the AC’s thigh measurement isn’t much greater than the G3’s.
However, even 0.25″ here is perhaps enough to make a difference coupled with the significant difference in rise between the two styles.
6. MRB Compatibility
I also recorded another measurement, which may be more relevant when I get to know the ACs a bit better and am able to review them.
So far I am only able to comment on how comfortable I find them compared to G3s (hence the article).
The measurement in question is the distance between the front belt loops (8.0 and 10.5 respectively). As can be perceived, the AC front loops are spaced much wider.
This lends itself really well to MRB inner belt compatibility, because I don’t have to fuck about feeding the fastening tab under the right hand loop.
One last point I’d like to make is that regardless of both the AC and G3 being made of 50/50 NyCo, the AC has a softer hand and the fabric feels more breathable; but possibly less rugged than the G3’s NyCo.
I am imagining this? Others seem to agree.
A nylon fibre can be extruded in a billion different shapes, and it is this which changes the fabric’s properties. So while fabric composition can remain the same on paper, a fabric’s performance can differ depending on the synthetic component’s fibrous cross section.
Want more Crye reviews? You can find a whole list of them here. The list is updated as more reviews are published.