10 March 2006

Marpats came in!

And here is a brief overview of my impressions regarding the Marines' latest incarnation of battlefield apparel.

In short, me likey!

I bought a pair of desert MARPAT BDU pants from eBay last week. There's a little more to them than just a neat0 camouflage pattern (which I have already discussed elsewhere. There have been some minor changes to the design of the pants themselves, which I had read about in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner a few months ago.

The waistband:
Past pairs of BDUs I've bought have always had those adjustable tabs on both sides. This pair (and they were manufactured by a contractor for the USMC, but rejected for minor defects) takes the old man's dress-pants approach by using elastic where the tabs used to be.

Don't know what the advantage of that is...maybe Uncle Sam was trying to save a few bucks off the metal that went into those tabs.

Next, the Cargo Pockets:
Functionally, they're the same as the old pants, however, these have four bellows-type flaps instead of three, are closed by one button (the back one--that makes sense; I rarely closed my pockets with both buttons), and also feature some elastic around the top. That is a nice feature.

I don't know if it's because the pants are new, but the pockets felt a little sturdier than those of BDUs past.

Next, the reinforced knees:

The old versions had the reinforced area run straight across the leg. These have their top edges run up the leg at an angle, as you can tell in the photo here.

Additionally, there's a pocket inside legs for inserting knee pads. That's a definite plus.

Finally, and I don't know if this is just because these pants were rejects, but there weren't any drawstrings at the leg bottoms. No matter; I'm having them put into my pair by a friend who is also a seamstress. She is also taking the pants up a bit, because I got size "Medium-Long", which fit me fine at the waist, but around the feet, it's like wearing those pajamas with footies I had when I was about six years old.

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