P1G-TAC combat-ready gear line-up including hot weather jacket, pants, hat, gloves, backpack and hip pack are put to the test from the tropical beaches and jungles of Panama’s Caribbean coast, to the Pacific Northwest mountains of the United States. Developed and produced in Ukraine, P1G-TAC tactical and outdoor products are now available to the international market.
Eastern Europe has long been a hotbed of conflict and military action, sometimes expressed in all-out war, but more often manifested as drawn-out showdowns of military might with troops and equipment staged for action, while smaller skirmishes test the restraint of the opposition and flex troop capabilities as geopolitics play out. Straddling the frontier where the borders of smaller independent nations of eastern Europe and the ruling parties of Russia have fluctuated for centuries, the small nation of Ukraine has always found itself in the crosshairs of conflict, even as recently as 2014 when the Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by Russia.
Founded in 2012, P1G-TAC has focused on responding to the operational demands of the Ukrainian military which weren’t being fulfilled by post-soviet era gear, munitions and tactics, and which weren’t adequately satisfied by US, European or Asian suppliers. Today, P1G-Tac is a leading supplier of products to Ukranian tactical units of the Armed Forces including special forces, state security services and police, and have been deployed and proven in the battlefield.They also supply the special forces of Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other post-soviet nations in Eastern Europe.
Designed for Hot / Tropical Environments
P1G-TAC offers a product line-up that has been developed to excel in the environments of Eastern Europe. While the first image that comes to mind for most of us when we think of Europe is mountains and cold temperatures, you might be surprised to know that summers in the southern, coastal region of Ukraine can actually be quite hot and humid. In response to this local need, as well as anticipation of future demand, P1G-TAC now produces clothing that is designed to perform in hot and tropical climates.
When I connected with Pavel at P1G-TAC, he was happy to hear that I would be able to test some of their hot-weather gear in a truly tropical environment. I spend a lot of time in the jungles on the Caribbean coast of Panama as well as the mountains and rainforests of the U.S. Pacific NorthWest, which both offered an excellent variety of temperature and natural backdrop to test the materials and camo pattern. Pavel was quick to send me a full load-out to put to the test including the Mabuta MK-2 field jacket and pants which are specifically produced for hot/tropical climates, Active Shooting Gloves, Field Tropical Boonie Hat, Kuzmitch SGB (SAW Grab Bag) field backpack and SBP universal bag/pouch, all in proprietary P1G-TAC Toad (Jaba Poliova) design came.
Mabuta MK-2 Field Jacket and Pants
With an eye towards tactical as well as general outdoors applications, the Mabuta MK-2 Hot Weather Field Jacket and Field Summer Pants offers a combination of camouflaged concealment, breathability and durability. Both the jackets and pants are constructed with durable yet lightweight rip-stop “Profit-on” material and feature heavy-duty YKK zippers, sturdy Velcro, elastic cords with YKK cord locks and strategically-placed mesh panels for breathability.
The field jacket offers a comfortable fit and was surprisingly cool in the hot weather of both the humid Caribbean, as well as the dryer summer climate of Washington State. The inner mesh panels in the front of the jacket allows air to circulate around the torso and multiple zippered vents allow body heat to escape easily. Even the pockets on the upper arms have an additional vent that can be left open for heat to escape. The jacket closes with a zipper in the front and also features a flap that covers the zipper and attaches with Velcro, allowing the jacket to be closed without using the zipper, which offers another venting solution.A variety of Velcro loop points allow for mounting patches on the shoulders and chest of the jacket and chest, side and arm pockets provide plenty of easy-access storage for documents and other small items.
The field pants are well constructed with a high-cut waist that has built-in padding, which makes a huge difference when wearing a load bearing belt or even just a heavily-loaded backpack with waist belt. The pants are secured with a zipper and a Velcro closure, which held up well and did not come apart despite a lot of movement. D-rings attached at the bottom of the belt loops, reinforced front pockets (for clipped knives and lights) and multiple pockets secured by either Velcro or large buttons around the rear and front thigh of the pants provide plenty of storage space on the body for accessories, documents and anything else you might need to stash on the go but keep readily accessible.
Particularly effective for use in hot environments, the upper knee area as well as the rear waist are made of breathable, flexible mesh allowing for easy movement and ventilation to key areas of the lower body. It was definitely an interesting sensation to feel a cool breeze through my legs while wearing pants, boots and coat on a Caribbean beach.
The kneepads that are included with the pants are removable, but were secure and didn’t shift around too much when kneeling on rocks and other debris. On the side of the legs are external bungee drawstrings to adjust for a tight fit, and despite ordering pants that were a bit too long for me, I was happy to find an adjustable drawstring inside the pockets that allows for hiking up the kneepads so they are at the optimal level for kneeling. Unfortunately, this was where I found the one of the only defects that I encountered in any of the P1G-TAC equipment that was sent to me. It appears that during production, a needle passed through one of the drawstrings for the kneepad adjustment and I was unable to adjust it until I cut that string. Over extended use, it is possible that this string may become lose and the seam may come apart, but Pavel assured me that any small issue like this would be easily taken care of immediately.
Field Tropical Boonie Hat and Active Shooting Gloves
The Field Tropical Boonie Hat features a narrow brim, which is not typically my first choice when dealing with the torrential rains that can fall in the forests that I frequent, but I found that when combined with the high-rise turtleneck collar of the Mabuta MK-2 Field Jacket, there wasn’t much of an issue staying dry as the water ran off the hat and straight down the jacket. Unfortunately, the YKK cord stopper broke at some point, which likely speaks more to the batch of cord stoppers than any P1G-TAC production, but this too would be remedied quickly under warranty.
While there is no shortage of "operator gloves" on the market, I was particularly happy with the comfort and durability of the Active Shooting Gloves. In the hot weather environments where I can often be found, it’s nice to wear a glove that stops at the wrist, but still feels secure and fits my hand very well. The palms of the glove are durable and made from high quality goat skin, which allowed for a high level of sensitivity and dexterity, and the back of the gloves is made of a flexible nylon mesh that contributes to breathability and holds its form, even over much use.I’ve used these on the boat, on the range, and they have a permanent place in my EDC bag.
Kuzmitch SGB Field Backpack and SBP Universal Bag/Pouch
The "sling bag" style of backpack has become pretty popular in many tactical applications due to the rapid access it provides to a bag’s storage compartments, and this design has been applied to the Kuzmitch SGB (SAW Grab Bag).In this case, not only does the sling bag design allow for easy access tothe large interior pockets which have been designed to accommodate a maximum amount of belt-fed munitions pouches and other MOLE-mounted pouches, it also eliminates the uncomfortable issue of shouldering a rifle and shooting with a backpack strap between the rifle buttstock and the shoulder. In my case, I am able to sling the bag on my left shoulder, which leaves my right shoulder comfortably free to absorb the recoil of the rifle.I didn’t have a chance to test the operability of the bag with a full load of SAW ammo, but after a bit of use with a decent load of range/outdoor gear I was pretty comfortable with slinging it back and forth in maneuvers.
Compression straps on the sides make it easy to cinch down the load, but they also make it possible to carry the bag with the zippers for the main compartment open on one side so that even quicker access to the large storage compartment is possible by swinging the bag around to the front and just releasing the YKK clip buckle to open the flap. There are plenty of MOLE attachment points located throughout the interior and exterior of the bag as well as on the sling strap, and pockets are spacious with additional areas for organizing smaller items. A hydration pocket is located behind the ventilated back pad, with dual holes at the top of the bag for the hydration tube or radio antenna.
The bag is built tough with 1000D Cordura, YKK zippers and buckles, and I found that even a heavy load is balanced surprisingly well considering that it is a sling bag design, especially when securing the waist belt. The only feature that I found slight challenging sometimes was trying to grab the secondary cross-chest strap to secure the bag from swinging toward the front, sometimes it took a little bit of fishing before grabbing it and clipping it into the sling strap.
The SBP ("Super Butt Pack") Universal Bag/Pouch was an effective addition to the kit and went well with the rest of the components. It is secured by an adjustable waist belt with a large YKK buckle, and also has an optional thigh strap with YKK buckle that can be removed if unnecessary. The bag rides low on the thigh so it doesn’t get in the way of most pockets or belt-mounted gear, and provides a good stash pouch for any quick-access gear you might need to carry. Two built-in side pouches are located on either side of the bag for cell phone, radio or GPS, and there are plenty of other small pockets for odds and ends. The main compartment is closed with a drawstring top and is covered by a flap that is secured with a strap and YKK buckle, which features another small pocket. This bag has proven to be a handy accessory in many situations and I often use it for general purpose applications on its own.
The small nation of Ukraine has seen its fair share of conflict and challenges, but from that has risen a proud and effective tactical culture that is now producing quality apparel and equipment. P1G-TAC has learned from its real-world experience and has delivered dependable products to their armed forces and those of their neighbors, and are now enthusiastically expanding availability of their products to the Western market, with their eyes on Western consumers who value battle-tested gear for both tactical and recreational applications.
To learn more about the products available from P1G-TAC, please visit their website at http://p1gtac.com/en/.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned in this article for free from P1G-TAC in consideration for a gear review.
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