IWA 2009: tactical gear highlights

The IWA & Outdoor Classics exhibition in Nuernberg, Germany might not get as much mainstream attention as the US SHOT Show, but 2009 was its 36th year and despite the gloomy economic conditions it was still a resounding success.  This year there were more than 1,100 exhibitors from over 50 nations and more than 32,000 visitors from over 100 countries.  In fact, international visitor accounted for 74% of the exhibitors and 59% of the visitors.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the show last month.  But, one of my German buddies (Walter Ruf) was and he’s summarised the action on his IWA blog – but its all in German…  So for the benefit of the non-German speaking readership out there, I’ve done some translating and present the tactical gear highlights below (all exhibition photos courtesy of Walter Ruf).

Defcon 5 Vegetato-MultiCam

First up, what must be one of the most interesting developments seen at the show – the Italian companyDefcon 5 presented their ACU-style combat uniform in a special version of Vegatato camouflage pattern using MultiCam-type colours.  Unfortunately, Walter wasn’t able to ferret out of them what all else they’ve got planned.  But we’ll keep our eyes open and our ears to the ground on this one…  Meanwhile, you can check out all their other products at: http://www.defcon5italy.com/  Their website is available in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.  But take note: they only sell to retailers through the web.

vegetato-multicam vegetato-multicam-2 

Notice how well the Vegetato-multicam complements the regular Multicam pattern on the combat vest.

On very different note, Defcon 5 also do this rather spiffy Vegetato camouflage polo shirt:



Lindnerhof Taktik MultiCam, etc.

Continuing with a MultiCam theme, the German firm of Lindnerhof Taktik were there showing off their latest products – including a full range in MultiCam.  I’m assuming that the softshell jacket and trousers are their’s too – becuase at the moment their is a black jacket on their website as a place-holder that looks the same.  Their website is at: http://shop.lindnerhof-taktik.de/ (that’s “Lindnerhof” with an extra “n” – not to be confused with King Ludwig’s palace of Linderhof).


Also on show Lindnerhof’s Flecktarn camo range:

linderhof-flecktarn-ueber-alles linderhof-tactical-line-up

Plus, “Snow White” gets a modern tactical twist:


And finally, that Wile E. Coyotee makes an appearance too:  (I obviously watched too many Bugs Bunny cartoons when I was young – warped my brain)



TACGEAR – DPM and more

The German firm of TACGEAR were present again this year – showing off their DPM range for British customers as well as the rest of their range in a wide variety of NATO camouflage colours.  To see it all, check out their website at: http://www.tacgear.de/index.php (website is available in German and English/American).

tacgear-dpm-1 tacgear-dpm-2 tacgear-dpm-3 tacgear-medic-side-pouch 


Jack Pyke Ghillie Suit

Speaking of the British, there was a delegation of British firms exhibiting at the show.  Among them was Jack Pyke, with this rather nice off-the-shelf ghillie suit.  I’ve never been sure whether to call these types of standardised off-the-shelf 3D camouflage suits “ghillie” suits though to be honest.  To me, a ghillie suit is by definition customised by the individual user to his/her natural operating environment, and includes a lot more “stuff” on it than rows of fake leaves.  Oh well, at any rate, this suit looks pretty nice (and so do those boots)…


The Jack Pyke website is at: http://jackpyke.co.uk/


Heim Military & Outdoor

If I’m not mistaken, Heim produced the original KSK Battle Vest.  At IWA 2009 they were showing the latest version of that piece of kit, as well as the rest if their goodies.  Visit them on the web at: http://heim-outdoor.de/index.htm (website is available in German and English).

heim-ksk-combat-vest heim-2 heim-ksk-combat-vest-back 


Condor Outdoor Products Inc.

Condor was another international company exhibiting at IWA.  They were showing a wide range of their offerings, but their Battle Belt is the thing that seems to have particularly grabbed Walter’s attention – as well as the nice way that they use MultiCam fabric for their MOLLE loops to ensure integrity of the camouflage pattern.  Check out their entire suite of offerings online at: http://condoroutdoor.com/

 condor-battle-belt-2 condor-battle-belt-1 condor-multicam-line-up condor-up-close condor-packs 


Eagle Industries

Eagle were present at IWA in a big way for the second year running. 


Walter also secured a short (10-question) interview with John Carver of Eagle, which he has on his IWA blog (its in German though).  Interestingly, John relates in the interview that Eagle’s first product, specifically for the military market (sniper rifle carrying bag), came out in 1977!  For those of you who thought that the tactical gear market is a post-9/11 thing – think again.  The other interesting tid-bit I took away from the interview with John is that Eagle’s new softshell garments are just the first in what he hopes will be more clothing products from Eagle Industries.  He also says that they plan to do more in the civilian outdoor product space, that they plan to bring out hydration systems in cooperation with Source – and even that he appreciates airsoft customers who like having authentic gear.

Meanwhile, it seems that Eagle’s new MOLLE-equipped Becker Patrol Pack in Coyote Brown really captured Walter’s interest…

becker-molle-patrol-pack becker-molle-patrol-pack2 becker-molle-patrol-pack3 becker-molle-patrol-pack4

You can scope out all of Eagle’s other products – and enter their “Take The Shot” photo contest – online at:  http://www.eagleindustries.com/home.php


And finally…

There were lots of other goodies on display at IWA to help you get in touch in with your inner warrior – or that would just look good on your coffee table or in your den or library – such as this rather nice, hand-carved-in-France, Knights of the Round Table figure set.


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