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US Navy Gore-Tex Parka Review

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Kit, Reviews | No Comments

Over the years, I have purchased and used a good range of Military Surplus clothing and equipment due the cost effectiveness when compared with equivalent civilian outdoor products, and also importantly for their general ‘tried and tested’ hard wearing quality.

Last year I stumbled across a US Navy Gore-Tex Parka whilst browsing at a militaria convention in Malvern, and couldn’t resist buying such a rarely seen item in the UK. After using this jacket in a variety of conditions over the past 12 months, I am very pleased with how well it has performed, so thought I would share a quick review;

US Navy Digital Camouflage

US Navy Digital Camouflage

The Jacket;
The US Navy Parka is made of extremely tough and heavy weight Gore-Tex material, which has an almost brushed cotton feel to the outer, and heavy duty taped seems on the inner. This design concept is something that many of the civilian outdoor clothing companies are now finally starting to produce, for more hard wearing and effective waterproof/breathable products.

The jacket itself is a slightly oversized fit, which is great when wearing those bulky layers underneath in bad weather. (I can even comfortably wear my down or softie jacket underneath without any restrictions with movement.) The front YKK zip is nicely water proofed along it’s entirety and can keep you covered above your chin if needed, and features under arm zips of similar quality for quickly cooling down. It also has a large and generous hood with a peak, which can be conveniently rolled up and stored under a flap in the collar when not required.
US Navy Parka hood

The Parka has a huge range of very accommodating pockets, with two large main front below pockets with velcro closure, and side hand warmer pockets behind. Interestingly, the draw cord tightening cords for both the waist and hem are located securely within the main front pockets. There are also two upper arm/sleeve pockets with velcro flaps which can easily fit a GPS or small first aid kit etc. In addition on the chest area, there are two vertical slash pockets running either side of the main jacket zip which can just about fit an OS map in, and these are again secured by waterproofed zips. It also has a set of inner zips for attaching it’s associated Polartec fleece, which can be useful if in a static environment, where you just want the ‘one layer’ jacket to quickly put on.

The Colour;
I wouldn’t usually buy a military ‘camouflage’ jacket, preferring a neutral colour if possible..
However this pattern instantly appealed to me, and I would think most people in the UK would assume it is just one of those ‘ski jacket crazy colour camo types’, rather than noting that it is in fact US Navy issue. However those blue/grey colours do blend in fantastically to most terrain in fading light.

US Navy camouflage

The actual camouflage design and development is in itself an interesting subject in regards to creating such a unique look, and which also makes it a hard product to obtain here in the UK surplus market. For more information explaining the reasoning as to why this pattern came about, check out further details here.

So in summary, the US Nay Gore-tex Parka is a tough and hard wearing jacket which is my waterproof/winter outer layer of choice.
Also thankfully due to the uniqueness of this design and finish, I can use it in day-to-day in a city or the hills, whilst also being the perfect jacket for difficult conditions.

Would love to hear your views on this or any surplus items you use and love

Thanks to friends for photo assistance, and thanks for reading…

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