When I first thought of making a list with all the stuff I have used throughout my time, I’m not quite sure I had an idea, just how encompassing it would be. I at first dropped the idea of having pictures, since it would have taken several hours to find the pics and digitize them. Edit: I have now found pics of most of the gear. Many of the pictures are mine, others found via a search on the interwebz, when I couldn’t find one in my own archive.
So here it is.
There is, with guarantee a few items I have forgotten to include or don’t remember the maker of, so left them off the list. But overall the list is correct, also in the timeline.
If it says “Issued and a year”, that is when I was issued it in the Army. Not when it was brought into service in the Army, there might be some discrepancies between those as some units were issued items at different times.
“Issued PSC 2005” means I was issued it while working for a Private Security Company and which year.
If it says “Purchased and year”, that is when I have privately purchased it.
I have decided to just give some general comments and not full reviews on each item as that would have taken ages to finish.
Belt mounted systems, complete with belts, harness, pouches:
A belt mounted system, often called a beltkit, is a system where the majority of the weight is carried by the hips. The harness is there to add stability to the belt, not as a primary means of load carriage.
So what have I used:
US M1956 load carrying equipment (Purchased 1985)
Used while I was still in the boyscouts (Our scout troop looked more like a militia unit, but with blue shirts and scarfs.
Canvas shrinks, when wet. H-Harness good for stability. Buttpack was nice. Alice clips gives chaffing wounds.
US Alice gear load carrying equipment (Purchased 1986) Upgraded my scout loadout, but kept it and used it when I joined the army in 1989. Nylon doesn’t shrink when wet. decent waterproofing, Y-suspenders (H-suspenders shown) = unstable belt when carrying a rucksack and the belt is lowered beneath it. Alice clips still give chaffing wounds.
Danish Army M/45 load carrying equipment (Issued 1989)
The worlds worst load carrying setup. Canvas webbing still shrinks when wet, X-harness, Magpouches from hell, canteen cap leaked. The F1 sustainment pouch same as the WWII British version, the F2 sustainment pouch/backpack upgraded with a nylon tarp version. Really funny to think back and realize that authorities thought, that this was an ok system and saw fit to ban the use of privately purchased gear, because if it was issued, it was good enough.
Arktis beltkit (Purchased 1993-94)
A very light and complete system. Most stable harness/yoke I had experienced so far. Nice padded belt. Decently designed pouches. Single layer construction, not as durable as the UK PLCE, but I did not have anything that broke, except for a corner on the bottom of a magpouch, that wore through.
M/96 beltkit, a Danish version of the UK PLCE. (Issued 1996)
Solid construction, good harness/yoke. The bottom corner part of the pouches tend to curl inwards towards the body and this leads to chaffing on the body, bum cheeks and upper thighs when carrying a rucksack on top for longer distances. A hip pad purchase is advised.
In spite of this, it is probably still the best designed complete belt based load carrying equipment I have used so far. There are newer designed systems on the market, that addresses some of the issues, but I have not had hands-on on these systems.
Why use a loadbearing vest instead of a belt kit?
Vests provide better comfort, when most of your time is spent in vehicles, since the back is usually free, which means better comfort in seats. They also work better with a long back rucksack, than a belt kit. Vests can have the same load bearing capacity as a belt, just spread out across the body instead of the waistline.
In my opinion, the loadbearing vest was outdated in the Danish Army in 2004, where it basically became the norm to use bodyarmor, all the time.
The Army proceeded though to design and issue a load bearing vest named M/05 which was adjustable enough to wear over your bodyarmor, however this layer upon layer of items couple with a very large bodyarmor, meant your volume was significantly larger, which is not good.
So what have I used:
UK CQC 95 Pattern Combat vest (Standard UK vest) (Purchased ~1995-1996) Magazine pouches with fastex buckles, not optimal. Small sized compared to the CQC DASOF vest issued to Danish Army Special Operations Forces. Not the optimal layout of pouches for me.
CQC Trial vest for the Danish Army (Purchased 1996-97)
Very much like the UK 95 Pattern Combat vest, but with a respirator pouch, UK sized, mounted on the right side under the armpit and behind. Not designed well, very unhandy.
No picture of this vest, sorry
CQC Danish Army SOF vest (Purchased ~2000) Overall a decent vest, pouch layout not optimal for my needs. Buttpack is a big plus for longer infiltrations and long days on the ground. Large sized. Can be used on top of the issued bodyarmor.
Custom Jayjays Brecon vest, (Purchased ~2001) Good layout of pouches, like I wanted it, but size wise it was cut to the same small size as the UK 95 pattern combat vest. Not large enough to wear over the bodyarmor for me. Our bodyarmor was significantly bulkier at that time, than the UK issued bodyarmor.
Close Combat Gear vest (Developed and produced 2003)
This was a vest, that 2 friends (1 DASOF + 1 Homeguard) and myself designed and developed and brought into production, with the lessons learned from other vests taken into consideration. Overall I was very happy with the end result, but there was some compromises we had to take to make the appeal wider than SOF applications. Mounted magpouches and breast pouches on the front. PALS webbing on the sides and rear for pouches and buttpacks. Integrated hydration pouch on the back for a 3L bladder. Loads of internal organization options and chest pistol pocket.
From DASOF input, we had discussed the option of making detachable plate pockets, to be strapped to the inside of the vest front and rear, if your mission required protection. Think long sneaky infiltration and recce followed with an assault on an objective. So, no plates for the infil and recce part, then strap on the plates for the assault. But we didn’t get to that, considering overall time to deliver it to the market and overall costs of production. I also discharged from the army end of 2004. Looking back, this is my biggest regret, that we didn’t get the plate pockets and mounting points integrated into it from the beginning.
Israeli IDF combatvest “Dolphin” (Issued PSC 2005)
Surprisingly light and comfortable, with foam parts towards the body. Pouches were mounted, not optimal layout, so I cut all the pouches on the back off. Useable and would use one again.
Why use a chestrig?
Chestrigs basically makes sense, the same places a loadbearing vest makes sense. When your back needs to be free, mounted in vehicles and if you are living out of a large rucksack.
Smaller carrying capacity than a loadbearing vest = Better mobility. Not great for long periods in the prone position, unless you have a split front version.
Advantages of a chestrig is that you only carry the most essential equipment. Great comfort in vehicles or with a rucksack. Possible to vent the front of the body with a rucksack and a split front version. Belt mounted system is better in the prone position.
So what have I used?
Arktis 3 magpouch Chestrig (Purchased 1994)
This was a clip-on design for the Arktis beltkit harness/yoke, for those days where 8 mags of 7.62 or 12 mags of 5.56 just wont cut it.
Arktis 42 pattern (Purchased 1995-96 i Olive Green and in 1998 in M/84 camo) (X-strap configuration)
3 magpouches on the front for either 3×5.56 or 2×7.62 mags each. 2 utility pouches, one on each side. Probably the most basic, useful designed chestrig I have come across. This is the chestrig I, initially, measure all others against. I still have it.
US Molle Rack (Purchased 2001) (X-Straps)
The first PALS/Molle chestrig I tried. I was not a fan of the bib flap at that time, as our standard was still to dump partial and empty mags into our jackets.
Blackhawk AK47 Chestrig (Issued PSC 2005) (X-Straps)
Simple chestrig for AK47 mags. At that time I was issued an AK, but went away from this chestrig very fast, as the weight of 8-10 AK mags was too much and very uncomfortable to wear in this rig.
DBT Low Profile Rack. (Purchased 2005) (X-straps) Really well designed chestrig, which later morphed into the Mayflower/Velocity Systems Chestrig Gen IV with H-Straps)
Blueforce Gear Tenspeed chestrig. (Purchased 2010)
H-Straps. Simple, super lightweight, Low profile, limited carrying capacity. Cut the harness off and mounted fastex buckles, and mounted it on my Mayflower LPAC for low vis profile jobs.
Mayflower UW Low Profile Chestrig. (Purchased 2010)
H-Straps. Pure PALS/Molle Chestrig, which I setup very much like my Arktis 42 Pattern. 3 mags on the front, utility on one side and IFAK on the other)
ChiCom AK47 Chestrig (Purchased 2017)
X-Straps, thin. Simple “OG” Chestrig which holds 3 AK or 5.56 mags and some grenades. Too simple design for me, but still “OG” cool and really cheap on eBay. I will keep this until the revolution begins for LCF points.
Chestrigs with rifle plate pockets on the front:
Same advantages as regular chestrigs, but with the possibility of carrying a rifle plate on the front, behind the bib flap.
Blackhawk Strike Rack (Purchased 2003)
Both X and H-strap configuration possible. I choose to use H-strap configuration, as I find it relieves chaffing on the neck and is more comfortable. The possibility to have a rifle plate, meant I was carrying a plate, where most others didn’t wear any bodyarmor during our Iraq deployment in 2003-04. (Note: This was right after the invasion and before the insurgency really got started, things were relatively quiet, with the odd skirmish here and there)
Crye AVS Chestrig (Purchased 2014)
Special Y/X straps harness, very technical design, some might say it’s a bit over the top, but it works really well. Possibility for front plate and combined with Crye’s AVS 100 Pack, you can have a rear plate also. This is very cool and combines the same ideas we originally thought of integrating into our CCG vest.
However it is expensive for the complete system, chest rig, harness and the pack.
But honestly, if I was in a position to wear a chestrig today, this is what I would wear. Honestly it is probably the most underrated Crye Precision product on the market.
Platecarriers (Which holds 2 Rifle plates):
So, a little background information is required here:
Platecarriers were designed and taken into use, because the regular bodyarmor, that was issued, like our Fragmentationvest, the US OTV, IOTV and SPEAR cut vests were too large and bulky and limited mobility.
It is virtually impossible to catch a local in a dish dash with sandals and an AK, when you are carrying 20-30+kilo more than him. Also scaling a 2 meter wall is virtually impossible on your own in real life.
It is basically the same balance you have to take if you are designing armor for a tank or an infantryman: Armor vs. mobility.
Mobility gives the commander maneuver options, that few of them seem to have balls or brain capacity to use to their advantage.
Armor perhaps, mentally, makes the letter writing, to families of deceased easier and doesn’s hurt your career. Meaning, if as a commander you had ordered all the armor all the time, you had done your very best (percieved) to ensure their safety.
Modular and scale-able armor systems are not always an advantage, if you don’t have a commander, who knows, when to scale up and down the armor system, to best accomplish mission goals. All the armor, all the time, is not the point of a scale-able system.
So what have I used?
HSGI Wasatch (Purchased 2003)
PALS/Molle webbing everywhere, internal magpouches. Badly designed rear lower part of the carrier. Ended up flipping that part up and tying it down with paracord to add stability.
Blackhawk Strike platecarrier (Issued PSC 2005)
PALS/Molle front and rear, padding towards the body, webbing straps and buckles on the side. Simple and works well.
Tactical Tailor platecarrier (Issued PSC 2005 and 2010)
Basically 2 shoppingbags with PALS/Molle webbing. Plates move around inside. Strong candidate for the worst platecarrier ever designed. Seriously, it’s that bad.
Diamondback Tactical FAPC 1 (Purchased 2005)
Great design, PALS/Molle webbing coupled with velcro on the front. Cut to fit US SAPI plates and sizes, so no plates sliding around anymore. Stable and comfortable, I used this a lot.
In 2006, I ordered the DBT cumberbund for it, but only used it once, then took it off again.
AWS Inc Platecarrier (Gifted from AWS Inc, 2005)
Also like 2 shopping bags, plates moved around in it. Interesting attachment system, that interfaced with AWS’s other panels from their assaulter vest. Tried mounting the DBT cumberbund on it, but was not satisfied with how it worked out.
Paraclete Hard Plate Carrier (Purchased 2005) Generally like the DBT FAPC, but no velcro on the front and no buckles on the side straps, just velcro.
Paraclete HPC with Cumberbund (Purchased ~2006-07)
Further development from the regular HPC. Better load carrying capacity than a regular HPC. I used this a lot.
Paraclete SOHPC (Purchased 2008)
Another further development from the HPC w/CB. They added a velcro front flap and softarmor in the cumberbund. I did not like the front flap flipping, with a 3 magpouch attached and the cumberbund was larger than the non armored one. Like all platecarries with a cumberbund, you tend to overload it.
LBT 6094 Slick (Purchased 2011)
A favorite of mine, simple, comfortable and slick. The front flap didnt bother me, as I did not have mags attached to it, but wore a chestrig on top.
Crye CPC (Purchased 2013)
Great design, best load carrying ability and weight distribution of all the carriers I have ever owned. Good ventilation compared to all others as well. However it felt too bulky and I still couldn’t get to terms with a front flap opening. At that time, I got this, I traveled a lot with my gear all over and it just wasn’t suitable for that.
Crye JPC (Purchased 2013)
Another favorite of mine, simple design, comfortable to wear, 3 mags on the front, but with a flap and a minimalistic cumberbund.
Paraclete HPC PJ Guardian Angel Carry Kit (Purchased 2017, to check out the design)
This is a weird mix of a platecarrier and a RACK morphed together, but I guess the PJ’s got what they asked for. The large buckle on each shoulder is simply a bad design, as they sit exactly where the butt of your rifle goes. But I guess that was for getting the thing off in a hurry if you’re a casualty.
Crye Airlite EK01 (Purchased 2017)
The lightest platecarrier I have ever tried. Minimal design, so you only carry the essentials, ammo, water, TQ’s. No cumberbund or front flap. Yay! Less is more.
TYR Tactical PICO MVW DA M/12 (Issued 2018)
This is the issued platecarrier of the Danish Armed Forces. Padded towards the body, very adjustable and comes with all the attachments and armor pieces you can imagine along with the armored TYR Brokos belt and X-Frame for distributing the weight from the upper body to the hips. All in all, it is a very good platecarrier on its own, but it is too heavy if you use all the parts at once. I have written about the upgrades i have made to this in another article, so go and read that for more pics and considerations for improvement.
Fragmentationvests / full bodyarmor vests:
So what have I used?
Danish Army issued fragmentationvest, M/92 to M/2000 (Issued 1992 to 2004)
All versions of this fragmentationvest sucked. Too big and bulky, limiting mobility. In the beginning (1992) we were only issued an extra square armor pack of softarmor, that fit into the chest pocket, so on the front part of the chest, the armor could stop a 9mm pistol round, since the rest of the vest was only NATO Frag rated. Later on, upgraded with a ceramic plate in the front, then later a plate in the back as well, then lightweight dyneema plates and so on. The basic design was kept through out with the only real change being the addition of 2 single magazine pouches on the front panel. Many tore the shoulder protectors off or they got “accidentally ripped off”, during vehicle work. While it had excellent coverage, it was too limiting for movement and breathability for the body.
Diamondback Tactical Predator vest (Issued PSC 2005)
SPEAR cut armor, more ergonomic than the Danish issued vest, so that was good. The Predator vest was basically a rip-off of Paraclete’s RAV, just with other shoulder adjustments and no cut away feature.
Paraclete Low Profile carrier (Purchased 2005)
Paracletes SPEAR-like armor cut. Just a simple low profile carrier for soft and hard armor, without any pouches. I had a sewing shop modify mine with 2 rows of PALS webbing, so I could carry 3 mags on the front. This worked great under a shirt or a 511 vest or the Israeli Dolphin vest. Good for those times where you dont want or need to look like a gorilla. However not exactly a covert carrier.
AWS Inc. CQB Assaulters vest (Purchased 2005)
SPEAR armor cut vest, witha combination of PALS webbing, velcro and press stud buttons for attachment of modular panels. Heavy construction with layer upon layer of materials and an outdated modular system.
Paraclete RAV model 2003 (Issued PSC 2005)
Paraclete SPEAR-like armor cut. Very modular system, but with room for improvement. Cut away, a big plus.
Paraclete RAV model 2005 Commo version (Purchased 2005)
The Commo version of the ’05 RAV had PALS webbing and velcro underneath the cumberbund, so you could mount opentopped magpouches behind it. Close to being the perfect “full heavy” bodyarmor vest I have ever seen. can be upgraded with neck, bicep and sideplate armor. I tried wearing that once on a redzone mission and realized I wouldn’t be able to fight in it or move any distance effectively. So off it came.
Mayflower Low Profile Armor Carrier (Purchased 2010)
This was the first vest utilizing the swiftclip system, where you clip a chestrig or panel onto the vest along with velcro, when needed, instead of having a set of straps going around your neck and the two being separate items. I loved that concept and execution and am a big fan of it for certain roles.
So what have I used?
Berghaus Munro 35L (Purchased 1991-92)
Versatile, robust and simple top loading daypack. Internal frame. Side pouches from the PLCE rucksack can be attached via the side compression straps for more capacity.
US AAFES PX copy of an Eagle AIII Pack. (Purchased 2001)
Got this from a AAFES PX in Pristina, Kosovo. No internal frame sheet. Not worth the money. Shoulderstraps tore off relatively fast. Volumewise, maybe too big to be a daypack (?)
Arktis Patrol Pack (Purchased 2001)
Toploader. No internal frame. You could zip the sidepouches from the PLCE rucksack onto the sides. Not stable enough. Daypacks need an internal frame of some sort.
Kifaru Marauder (Purchased 2002)
Panel loading pack. Internal frame. Used primarily as an aid bag. very complicated design and an plethora of buckles and straps. But it wore well.
Lightfighter RAID pack (Purchased 2004)
The RAID Pack is based upon the basic design of the Eagle AIII pack, with another front flap with PALS webbing and loads of straps and buckles. Created for a specific purpose, it is actually one of the most versatile packs I have ever used. I still have it, it’s packed and ready to go, for when the revolution starts.
Kifaru E&E pack (Purchased 2005)
Great little pack for the bare essentials, like, extra mags, grenades, snickers bars and Gatorade in a bump scenario.
Heavy construction. Still have it, love it.
Karrimor SF Rygsæk 35L (Issued 2017)
Panel loader, no internal frame. Good padding and adjustability. Integrated raincover in the bottom, that folds out over the entire pack. Front has a beavertail (Not shown in the photo) that can hold stuff, like raingear for fast access etc. PALS webbing front and sides, and inside the pack there is also a few rows of PALS webbing and a hydration pocket. On the body facing side of the outer pack, there is a large document pocket.
Hasn’t fallen apart yet and I use it on a daily basis.
All in all, I’m actually pretty impressed with it.
So what have I used?
German Bundeswehr rucksack (Purchased 1985)
Primarily used as a boyscout. Outer from canvas, no frame, actually was modified with old US H-Harness as shoulder straps. Soaked water, so heavy when wet.
US Alice Pack (Purchased 1986)
Used initialy as a boyscout and later on when I joined the army. Primarily used without the frame as it packed easier in vehicles. Limited capacity for a rucksack for Northern European climate conditions.
UK SAS Bergen (Borrowed from a friend in 1987, with intent to buy if satisfied)
Worst shoulder straps and frame on any rucksack ever, Too thin, basically you are carrying all the weight of the pack on two 25mm straps on your shoulders. Seriously, put 15-20 kilo in the pack and 5 minutes later you have lost all the feeling in your arms, because the bloodflow was stopped.
1 week trip in the Swedish Fjells was enough. I shouldn’t have to say, that I did not end up buying that pack.
Lowe Vector Sailent 70L (Purchased 1990)
Adjustable back, internal frame. Extremely good and versatile rucksack with top tier design and construction from that period. Still a great pack today.
Berghaus Vulcan 120L (Purchased 1993)
This is the rucksack that the PLCE rucksack is copied from. But this rucks has obviously better quality and execution. Better padding, ventilation channel along the spine, hipbelt that actually transfers the weight to the hips, super comfortable. Tempted to fill it to capacity every time.
Lowe Vector Commando 120 L (Purchased 1994)
Very close to being the ultimate miltary rucksack for big loads, that needs to be carried a long way. Adjustable back, internal frame, Radio pocket, sleepingback pocket divider, pockets on the sides for snacks or explosives. Webbing for attaching even more gear on the outside. Jumpable. Tempted to fill it to capacity every time.
Danish Army M/96 Rucksack, PLCE (Issued 1996)
Toploader, internal frame. Copied from the Berghaus Vulcan. Must be used in conjunction with the beltkit, so it can rest on top of the pouches, when you have to to carry it far with a heavy load. The “hipbelt” on the pack is a bellyband, nothing else, it is there to hold it tight to the body, so it doesn’t slide off the shelf you have made with your pouches on you beltkit. As a complete system, it actually works pretty decent. Learn its strengths and weaknesses and how to properly pack a rucksack and it will serve you well.
With regards to boots, it is very individually what fits and works for different people. Though the years, I have discovered that my feet prefers a light breathable boot. Wet feet sucks, but 15 years with foot fungus also sucks. Goretex socks are a good thing to have when the weather is crap.
When I began in the army in July 1989, it took less than 2 weeks for me feet to develop foot fungus and no cream or ointment helped. It only went away about a month or two after I left the Army and only wore hiking shoes during that period. Because of this, in all the time I was a civilian I never wore boots again.
So what have I tried?
US Jungle Boots, Vietnam edition (Purchased 1985-1989)
Green canvas upper, lightweight, breathable, fast drying. After 1990, they were virtually impossible to get a hold of. Not good for long walks with heavy packs. But for general field use, they worked alright for me.
Danish Army M/58 boots (Issued 1989)
Blister-Master 2000. Those boots and I never got along. Combined with the heavy wool socks, they were most likely the reason I got foot fungus in the summer of 1989. I tried resoling them with a Vibram sole and using insoles to counter the blisters, but it never helped.
US Jungle Boots, Black (Purhased 1986-2004)
New improved edition of the old jungle boots, but with a new sole and nylon upper. These were my go-to boots for field use most of the year and most of my service time. Had a pair of gore-tex socks in my kit, when it was rainy and cold. Probably wore out 3-4 pairs of these. Still, not a good boot for long walks with a rucksack.
Swedish Army Winter boots. (Issued 1993)
Hot even under extreme cold weather. Terrible to wear though, it felt like a pair of Dutch wooden clogs. But the Swedes know something about winter warfare and a soldier with dry warm feet is more effective than one with cold wet feet. Used during the wintertime in Bosnia 1993-94.
Matterhorn Gore-Tex boot. (Purchased 1995)
Matterhorns copy of the Danner Ft. Lewis boot. Better than jungle boots in the winter, decent walking boot. But if you get water in from the top, they take a about week to dry out in the field. Nice Vibram sole, meant you had lots of grip, compared to the issued boot.
Danish Army summer boot, green canvas or nylon (Issued 1996)
Without doubt, the best boot the army had ever issued me. Very breathable since the entire boot except the sole, of course, was made out of green canvas or nylon. Fast drying. The sole resembled the sole of the old green Vietnam era jungle boot. Only lasted a 6 month deployment to Bosnia in 1996.
Magnum Hi-Tec (Purchased 1997)
Like wearing running shoes, but dont get too close to a patch of wet grass. Super camp or peacekeeping mission boot.
Danish Army summer boot, Lebock. (Issued 1998)
Abysmal. Like wearing a pair of rubber boots. No support whatsoever.
Desert boots, US (Issued 2000)
Standard US Desert boot. Good desert boot, but maybe not after 20 km’s with 20 kilos of marching.
Danish Army Desert boot, Lebock, (Issued 2003)
Just a tan suede version of the black summerboot, still sucked.
Ecco Track boot. (Purchased 1999)
Super comfortable boot, waterproof with Gore-tex, so dont get water inside. The soles selfdestructed on both my pairs. Limited ankle support compared to a true hiking boot.
Sålen selvdestruerede på begge par jeg havde. Begrænset ankel støtte.
Oakley Assault Boots (Purchased ~2002) (Gen 1)
Super comfortable “Foot-Vagina”. Like wearing running shoes. Hot, not waterproof. The soles made a lot of noise walking on floors inside buildings.
Meindl Island Pro Gore-Tex (Purchased ~2002)
Best field and marching boots, I have ever used. Fantastic ankle support, waterproof, but dont get water in through the top.
Oakley Desert Assault Boots, (Purchased ~2003-04) (Gen 1) Again a “Foot-Vagina”, now in tan suede. The soles were not as noisy as the black version, but they were meant for the desert, so…
Meindl Desert Fox (Purchased 2003)
Best allround desert boot I have used. My feet and Meindl’s fit very well.
Later on, these boots became an issue item for Iraq and Afghanistan deployments and as unfortunately the quality control at Meindl’s factory was not good enough and lots of complaints came in about the boots falling apart. I bought mine before they got the contract, so my pair lasted until I gave them to a local we had working for us.
Danish Army, Jolly boots (Issued 2004)
Didn’t fit me well. The best thing about these boots, was that we were issued Smartwool socks along with them.
Alt-Berg light combat boots (Issued 2016)
Not so bad, out of the 4 different types of boots available at that time, I was issued them, they were the most comfortable pair. I used these for about 2 years. I had to get a size up from my normal size for them to fit.The issued socks are terrible though.
Alt-Berg Heavy combat boot (Issued 2016)
I didn’t get along well with these either. Large, heavy, clumsy, too stiff. Din’t fit well. Handed my pair back in to the supply depot and wore the light combat boots instead, year round.
Danish Army Boots, Combat, Light, M/18 Meindl. (Issued 2018)
In fall of 2018, new boots were introduced in the army. There should now be 10 different styles to chose from, but most supply depots only have a couple of different types of boots on hand, but can order sizes for you. On hand at my base, they had Haix, Light and Heavy version. Altbergs, Light and Heavy versions and Meindl light version.
As soon as I put my feet into these it felt like coming home from a long trip. True to size, I’m a size EU 42 and that’s the size that fit. In the Altbergs, I had to go up one size for them to fit. Time will tell how they hold up, but since my job isn’t exactly the most field active anymore, I’m sure they will do ok. Gore-Tex lined.
Danish Army Boots, Combat, Heavy, M/18, Aku Griffon (Issued 2018)
I had the supply depot order me a pair of these as my second pair of boots and they fit very well. I would say they fit even better than the Meindl’s. True to size. This is the heavy version and is one of the 10 different styles and makes of boots available. Again, just been issued these about a month or so ago, so only time will tell how they hold up and perform. But I’m sure they will be just fine in my job.
My only concern is that there is no real summer / hot weather boot available. Most of the new boots that are being offered come with a Gore-Tex liner, which is fine for winter and cold wet weather. But with the extremely hot summer we have experienced here in 2018, I probably will not wear these boots with Gore-Tex next summer.
Proper raingear is a must have for a soldier. It needs to be waterproof and brethable or you will not be a happy camper.
So what have I used?
Danish Army, M/84 rain gear, jacket and pants set. (Issued 1989)
Coated lightweight ripstop nylon. Green on the outside, white on the inside. 2 minutes in a light drizzle and you was soaked. Not breathable. Catastrophic. The common joke was they they had mixed up the fabrics for the raingear and the fabric for the field towels.
US Army rain jacket, Olive green (Purchased 1989)
Also not breathable, but made of a thicker material, so kept the the rain out at least. But soaked you from condensation on the inside.
Helly Hansen Helly Tech (Purchased 1990)
My first set of breathable rain gear. Black outer with a neon yellow inside liner. So had to be worn underneath my combat uniform. Probably saved my life on a 2-3 week exercise in 1990.
Sorry no picture available of this item.
US ECWCS set, Gen 1 (Purchased 1995-1996)
Woodland pattern Gore-Tex. 100 times better than anything I had been issued or tried at that time, but had some design flaws, like a moisture transporting liner, that actually transported the water from the outside up along your arms, so you had wet arms most of the time in wet weather, a short while after the rain had started. Excellent hood design. Most of the guys in my unit bought these and wore them almost exclusively in the field, instead of the issued combat jacket. Our Battalion Commander approved them for wear, since our unit probably had the most field time of any regular army unit at that time and he recognized, that the issued raingear was a catastrophe. Good guy.
Danish Army Motorcycle Messenger raingear (Issued 1998-99)
Better than the regular raingear, but not breathable, so you got wet anyway. After our deployment to Bosnia as Light Scouts, we had to hand it back in.
Arktis Waterproof smock (Purchased 1999-2000)
Waterproof smock with a waterproof liner, still in use and approved for wear in uniform today in Multicam, until a new clothing system is to be issued in a few years time. A little too hot in the summer, but pretty good the rest of the year. Only minus was the outer fabric soaks water after a while and the jacket become heavy when wet, but I have never had mine leak. Stuff in your pockets should be waterproofed with plastic zip-loc bags
Danish Army Raingear M/96 (Issued ~2000)
Gore-Tex type material, cut too large in the sizes. The legs were like two balloons, but actually waterproof and breathable. Major improvement compared to everything else issued up to that point. Used the rain pants once, then decided I would rather be wet on my lower body, than listening to the swoosh swoosh every time you took a step.
Funny story, when I attended a Tactical Medicine Course at H&K International Training Division in San Diego in the fall of 2004, there was a SEAL, who fell in love with the issued rainjacket and grabbed it from me and said I would not get it back and I could grab anything from the back of his truck as a trade. So I grabbed his MICH 2000 helmet with NVG mount, joke’s on you, buddy.
Arcteryx LEAF Alpha (Gen 1) (Purchased 2005)
Buy once, cry once. You get what you pay for. Without a doubt, the best raingear on the planet. Minus; Expensive, like very expensive. Pluses; The best designed and constructed raingear with a lifetime warranty. I still use this on a pretty regular basis, especially the jacket even after 13 years. Definitely one of the best purhases I have ever made. But the prices today are pretty steep for soldiers to pay out for a set.
Danish Army issued raingear M/12. (Issued 2016)
The raingear is markedly improved over the old version. The jacket is improved with internal pockets and is actually useful. The pants are cut slimmer, so the noise levels are down, but there is direct access to your combat pants underneath, although they have a coverflap, water still gets through to the inside when in the prone. Also the weird placement of a button on top of a velcro field, makes it had to unbutton, when you need to. The legs have zippers, so in theory you should be able to take the pants on and off with your boots on, but in reality, the zips catches the fabric and binds, so I have not been able to do that on mine, ever. This should be redesigned.
It is a lot easier to mention materials, instead of going through all brands and stuff I have used over the years.
Cotton = No Go. When wet it drains heat from the body, doesnt breathe, chaffes on inner thighs
Polypro a’la HH Lifa =Stinks after a day, if you dont stink after 2 days, you are not human.
Coolmax = Decent sweat wicking material. but also starts to smell.
Under Armor = Fantastic sweat wicking abilities, but also starts to smell
Silk = Depending of the type and quality, it can either be fantastic or suck. I love my silk boxershorts.
Merino wool ? The best inner layer material I have used yet. Depending on the brand, some itches more than others do. Try before you buy. Doesn’t smell foul after a few days like all the synthetics do.
The issued pure knitted wool sweater, commando pullower, was too itchy and I rarely used it, maybe a total of 3 times in all my years in service.
The issued fiberpile jacket M/84, was ok, when new. But when I got issued one in 2016, I could look straight through it, so thanked no and handed it back. If that is the best you can do, I will buy my own middle layer, thank you.
Polartec Fleece in various thicknesses. I was a big fan of these for many years and they still work well, for instance the Polartec Powerstretch is a big favorite among soldiers here.
The Snugpak Sleeka jacket I have had for many years. Its like wearing a sleeping bag, thats how warm they are. Really good, but quite bulky in the large and extra large sizes.
My current favorite middle layer at the moment is the Arc’Teryx LEAF Atom LT jacket with Coreloft insulating material. I use the Jacket, not the hooded version, as it goes easier underneath issued clothing without the hood. Best middle layer I have used yet.
This wraps up what I initially thought would be interesting for people to read.
If you have any questions or comments post them below.
Remember: Never become a casualty because of your equipment.