BE-X Field Smock, Gen. II
The first generation BE-X Field Smock was designed to pay homage to the classic 1985-pattern “SAS” smock and replicated its basic design quite faithfully – with the addition of some very sensible extra pockets and features. So, what’s new or different about the second generation model?
As with their Combat Suit, BE-X hasn’t really changed the smock dramatically – this is an evolution rather than a revolution. The basic shape, fit and layout remains the same, the smock is still made from the same lightweight, Nylon-cotton rip-stop material, and it still features a total of 15 pockets and an adjustable hood.
In fact, from a casual first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking nothing had changed. But when you look a bit more carefully, you notice that the sleeve pockets have been modernised, and then you start to notice other, more subtle, changes and improvements too. Things like D-rings added inside the chest and waist cargo pockets and zip-opening underarm ventilation slits, and slotted Canadian-style buttons.
- 35/65 NyCo rip-stop fabric
- YKK zippers
- Slotted “Canadian-style” buttons
- 2 zip-closed, “Napoleon-style” chest pockets
- 2 button-closed, bellows chest pockets
- 2 button-closed, bellows waist pockets
- 2 button-closed, slim, bellows hip pockets
- 2 button-closed, bellows rear pockets
- 2 rear, inner “Poachers” pockets
- 1 inner documents pocket
- 1 first-aid pouch on right-hand upper sleeve
- 1 small admin pouch on left-hand upper sleeve
Colours and Camouflage Patterns
- Dark Tan
- Olive Green
- US Woodland
- US 3-Color Desert
- Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP/ACU)
- “Rooivalk” (semi-arid pattern)
- “Rooikat” (jungle/tiger-stripe pattern)
Overall, the BE-X Smock is an authentic tribute to the classic SAS smock in its fundamental design and fit, which has both positives and negatives. On the positive side, you get the classic shape and fit of the smock – which I dare say cannot be improved upon. On the negative side, you get the large, non-detachable hood (without a retainer tab), the absence of pouches for elbow / forearm pads, and the large exposed buttons on the pockets.
The latter have been improved with the modern, slotted, Canadian-style of button. These are more robust and easier to use, but they are also more likely to snag on foliage, webbing, rifle slings, equipment straps, suspension lines, etc. The Canadians themselves now cover these buttons on their uniforms for these very reasons.
A few other modern features which I would prefer to see on the smock are:
o Pouches for removable elbow / forearm pads
o Detachable hood (or at least a hood retainer tab)
o Mesh lining in the shoulder area rather than a second layer of material
However, some people may not be that bothered by the absence of these features; and in particular, if your combat shirt has built-in elbow / forearm pads then the absence of them from the smock won’t be a big deal. In the final analysis, the other modernised features (like the upper arm pockets for example) still make this a great jacket.
The BE-X Smock really is the “jewel in the crown” in their current clothing range – its got a great classic design, a great set of features, its comfortable and practical, and its also priced very reasonably. So, all in all it’s definitely worth consideration if you’re looking for good all-round field jacket.
Price: 82.90 EURO (approx. 119 USD, or 70 GBP)
Where to buy: To find your nearest dealer/retailer, check out the list here.
The full range of BE-X gear can be seen at www.begadi.com.
Text by Lawrence Holsworth, photos by Benji Hanson.
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- 17/08/2009 / 14:59