ON THE COVER

Recoil - - Down Range -

As well as the shirt and pants across the page, Crye’s also re­leas­ing a new ver­sion of its Air­lite plate car­rier for 2018. The Air­lite SPC, short for Struc­tural Plate Car­rier, of­fers the ca­pa­bil­ity of Crye’s JPC 2 but has the struc­tural sup­port of a stan­dard plate car­rier.

When Crye made the orig­i­nal Air­lite plate car­rier five years ago the goal was to make light­est plate car­rier pos­si­ble. It was un­der a pound, but Crye wanted to in­crease the amount of weight the rig could com­fort­ably carr y.

Crye says the new car­rier is about the same weight as the JPC 2, but it can carry more weight thanks to a new fabric pack­age the com­pany spent a year de­vel­op­ing.

At first blush, it looks like Air­lite SPC is a JPC 2 made from the new Air­lite ma­te­rial, al­low­ing it to dis­trib­ute the load and hold more equip­ment. But, there’s more go­ing on be­neath the sur­face.

Air­lite SPC’s side clo­sure is made from a heav­ier weight ma­te­rial that sup­ports a fully loaded vest us­ing Cr ye’s StKS sup­port sys­tem. StKS works with any Cr ye bal­lis­tic belt to trans­fer the load from the shoul­ders and carr y it on the hips.

Fea­ture for fea­ture the SPC feels a hair lighter to us than a sim­i­larly equipped JPC 2, and it’s also a bit more breath­able since the plate bags are made en­tirely of a spacer mesh com­pared to the JPC’s en­closed plate bags.

Pric­ing on the new car­rier wasn’t set at press time.

New for 2018, Crye Pre­ci­sion’s fourth-gen­er­a­tion com­bat uni­form fea­tures up­dates in de­sign and ma­te­ri­als that, the com­pany says, make it the most com­fort­able, durable, and func­tional com­bat uni­form it’s yet pro­duced.

The up­dates in­clude op­ti­miza­tion of the pat­tern and pock­etry, and the ad­di­tions of a few fea­tures, but the head­line up­date is the brand-new stretch fabric Crye de­vel­oped called VTX Rip­stop. The de­sign­ers set out to make a fabric as strong, or stronger than the 50/50 ny­lon/ cot­ton fabric used in its G3 uni­forms, but the new fabric had to be lighter and it had to stretch. In fact, Crye says the G4 is the first stretch NYCO uni­form to be made in the USA from U.S.-made ma­te­ri­als.

Crye’s head ap­parel de­signer Jo­hanna Bloom­field says the key to reach­ing and ex­ceed­ing the per­for­mance goals of the new fabric was us­ing In­vista’s T420 high tenac­ity ny­lon fiber. Crye spun its own yarn from the fiber know­ing the re­sult­ing fabric would be lighter weight than the 50/50 NYCO it wanted to re­place, but lighter fab­rics are rarely stronger than heav­ier fab­rics.

“We worked on the fabric con­struc­tion, all the way down to the way we spin the yarn to make it stronger,” said Bloom­field. “Keep in mind our fabric is an ounce lighter in weight than Mil-spec NYCO,” she said, “and lighter is usu­ally not as strong, but this ac­tu­ally has a higher strength-to-weight ra­tio.”

Crye says com­pared to 50/50 NYCO, the new fabric is 17-per­cent lighter weight, has times more tear strength, dries 60-per­cent faster, is four times more breath­able, and is no melt and no drip. The new fabric’s in­te­grated stretch al­lows for a slim­mer cut with­out com­pro­mis­ing mo­bil­ity.

Aside from the fabric story, other changes in­clude a re­designed thigh pocket sized to fit a cell phone in a pro­tec­tive case with­out it turn­ing on its side, a new cargo pocket open­ing op­ti­mized to fit dif­fer­ent types of equip­ment with­out in­creas­ing bulk, and low-pro­file loops on the front of the pant for se­cur­ing charges.

Pric­ing on the new uni­form wasn’t set at press time.

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