By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
All photos and video contained in this article were shot by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos and video clips were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).
August 14, 2011
Last updated on 8/16/11.
While we’re on the subject of tactical technical clothing, we should probably discuss Massif Mountain Gear Company (MMGC), who’s products we recently came across at the 2011 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC 2011). When we first heard about Massif a couple years ago and saw the spelling, it looked and sounded like a European company, specfically a Swiss company. But, nope, it’s American. The company, which specializes in flame-resistant/fire-retardent (FR), 4-way-stretch combat clothing, is actually based out of Ashland Oregon, which some of our readers may recognize as Noveske Rifleworks country (about 41 miles away in Grants Pass, OR). We have no idea what Massif’s owners or executive staff (Executive Vice President Chris Wasgatt, for example) think about tactical firearms or the Second Amendment, but they appear to be making some pretty cool combat clothing/tactical clothing for people who use guns for a living. The garments are pricey, but quality costs.
The specific items we’re most interested in at present are the Massif Army Combat Shirt (ACS) (FR)/Airman Battle Shirt (ABS) (FR), the Integrated Tactical Jacket (Non-FR), Lightweight Tactical Jacket – MultiCam (FR), the Elements Tactical Jacket – MultiCam (FR), and Elements Tactical Pant – MultiCam (FR). Crye MultiCam camouflage pattern is our first choice for all of these garments, since the super-slick Hard Point Maniple-I Tactical Armor Carrier/tactical vest system (awesome vest!) we’re currently running is in MultiCam pattern. We got to photograph and handle several of these items at the Massif booth at SOFIC, and the products looked well-made and well-designed. We didn’t try anything on, so we don’t know how comfortable they are, but they look comfy.
The Massif Lightweight Tactical Jacket (LTJ) – MultiCam (FR) softshell jacket, Massif Army Combat Shirt (ACS) – MultiCam (FR), and latest-model Massif tactical gloves we saw at the company’s booth are the first three products Defense Review would actually like to run at the range, ideally through a professional tactical shooting course (rifle/carbine and pistol) over the course of several days. The FlameStretch Beanie (FR) looks pretty cool, too, but we don’t want to push it. If the LTJ isn’t warm enough by itself for cool-to-cold weather, we’re hoping it’s loose-fitting/large enough that we can combine it with our Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) Recon Hoodie fleece, which we would wear underneath, just like we did with the TAD Raptor Hardshell jacket. The Massif MultiCam Army Combat Shirt (ACS)/Airman Battle Shirt (ABS) is a stretchy moisture-wicking shirt designed to be warn under tactical body armor in hot-weather environments, and is reminiscent of (or an homage to) the Crye Precision G3 Combat Shirt, just like the Blackhawk! High Performance Fighting Uniform (HPFU) Combat Shirt V2, TRU-SPEC Tactical Response Uniform (TRU) Combat Shirt, and every other combat shirt out there. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Crye Precision should be very flattered, indeed.
The Massif Integrated Tactical Jacket (ITJ), available exclusively from U.S. Cavalry, is signficantly less expensive than the jackets displayed on Massif’s website and that we saw at SOFIC, due to the fact that it’s a non-FR (non-flame-resistant) product. The ITJ is composed of two lightweight, breathable softshell fabrics and designed to be compatible with tactical body armor (tactical armor carriers) in cool or wet weather. It will protect the wearer from wind and rain on the shoulders and sleaves.
The Massif Elements Jackets and Pants come in both standard (cold weather) and “Lite” (cool weather) versions, and are also softshell. The standard cold-weather Elements garments are just thicker and heavier.
All Massif FR garments “meet stringent standards for Vertical Flame Resistance” (VFR), meaning it’s truly flame resistant, not just “no-melt/no-drip”. The most extreme flame-resistant tactical clothing of which Defense Review is aware is made by CarbonX Non-Flammable Fabrics (also written “Carbon-X“), specifically their CarbonX Ultimate Baselayer tactical clothing line. CarbonX tactical garments utilize oxidized polyacrylonitrile fibers (OPF) blended with strengthening fibers to “enhance the strength-to-weight properties of the yarns required in the construction of CarbonX fabric,” which is “thermally stable, does not burn, melt or ignite, is impervious to molten-metal splash and has exceptional electrical resistance.” In other words, it’s pretty badass on the FR capability front. Massif’s FR technology fabric would appear to come from Gehring Textiles, Inc., at least according to this press release, but we don’t know which specific FR fabric it is (Nomex, perhaps?). We’ll try to find out. By the way, Gehring owns Tweave Stretch Woven Fabrics, which can also be found in Otte Gear combat clothing. Otte Gear, run by Todd Fairbairn, also has a reputation for making high quality tactical/combat clothing.
Ultimately, DR is curious as to just how conducive Massif garments are to dynamic tactical shooting (carbine/rifle and pistol), specfically close quarters battle/close quarters combat (CQB/CQC). Since we haven’t run any of the gear, yet, we have no idea–but we’ll try to remedy that, ASAP, and report back to our readers.
© Copyright 2011 DefenseReview.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.
FERFRANS Rate Reduction System/Delayed Sear Activation System (RRS/DSAS)-Equipped Adams Arms (AA) Tactical Piston AR SBR/Sub-Carbine Upper Receivers Mounted on Colt M4A1 Carbine Select-Fire Lower: Full-Auto/Semi-Auto Range Test on Video!
Hard Point (formerly Personal Protective Systems, or P2 Systems) Centurion Armor Maniple-I and Cohort-I Tactical Body Armor Carrier Systems: Advanced Tactical Vest Systems for Military Special Operations (SPECOPS), LE SWAT, and PSD Ops (Photos & Video)
Centurion Armor Tactical Armor Carriers by Hard Point Equipment (formerly Personal Protective Systems, or P2 Systems): Best Tactical Body Armor on the Planet? DR Looks at the Latest Centurion Armour Hard Armor Plate Carriers, Battle Belt, MOLLE Backpack System, and Passive Ventilation Channels/Removable Padding System at SHOT Show 2011 (Photos and Video!)
Tactical Watch Technology (TAWATEC) E.O. Diver Ultra-Bright, Ultra-Rugged Tritium-Illuminated Analog Tactical Diving Watch for Military Special Operations Forces (SOF), Law Enforcement SWAT Operators, and Civilian Tactical Shooters