by Charles Bausman
MTI continues it’s uniform comparison study this week with the Arc’teryx LEAF Assault shirt and pant. This is most expensive uniform that will best tested, with the shirt retail price at $259.00 and pants at $349.00. We will test along the following criteria under identical conditions as the Crye Precision uniforms:
Uniform Wear Procedure:
The uniform was washed once before wear according to the Arc’teryx instruction. It will not be washed going forward in order to observe the effect of sweat on the uniform over the two-week period. No undershirt is worn beneath the uniform. All activities are done in either Garmont NFS Boots or running shoes (unloaded running only).
Total Training Conducted in Week 1:
- Rucking – 14 miles in Hilly Terrain
- Ruck Running – 6 miles on trail
- Running – 8.5 miles
- Sand Bag Run – 1 mile
- Sand Bag Squat/Lunge – 158
- Push-ups – 310
- Sit Ups – 260
- Pull Ups – 72
- Leg Blasters – 6
- 25m Shuttle Run – 48
- Vertical Climb and Descent – 1.5 hr.
- Sandbag Get Up – 56
Fit and Comfort:
The Arc’teryx LEAF Assault shirt has an excellent cut for the lab rat with a fit that allows for breathability, but not unnecessary bagginess. The tougher sleeve material covers the shoulder and upper chest/back, providing a more durable and comfortable feel when wearing a plate carrier or ruck. The torso material is comfortable, has an athletic cut, and has a stretch to it, which enables the uniform to remain tucked in when training. Additionally, the elbow area has a built in sleeve with a piece of foam to provide protection.
The Arc’teryx LEAF Assault pants fit along the waist according to their sizing chart, however the cut is slim from the crotch down to the ankles. The lab rat did have full range of motion, however in kneeling or squatting material, the tension of the material in the thigh, buttocks, and crotch was significant and uncomfortable. As with the shirt, the knees have a pocket inside the pants with a piece of foam for padding.
The material is softer out of the box in comparison to the Crye uniform, however the seam across the upper back is tough against the skin when worn with a plate carrier. The uniform material does seem to be more breathable as a whole, however the foam padding creates significant sweat spots on the elbows and knees.
The biggest function issue is the sizing and cut of the pants. While these may loosen with more wear and wash, the slim cut is not the most functional for movement as the lab rat could feel the tension of the material on his upper legs.
Pocket positioning on the pants is typical, with two large cargo pockets secured by velcro. The upper pockets are high for easy access, and built to go beneath the cargo pocket.
The shirt’s cut is the most functional tested yet, ensuring it will not untuck and potentially get in the way of any belt-carried items. Two large shoulder pockets are big enough to fit checklists, batteries, or whatever else might be deemed appropriate for that location. The shirt utilizes buttons on the sleeves and collar rather than velcro or zippers.
As with function, with cut of the pants creates possible issues for durability as the stress put on the gusset seams is significant with any kneeling or squatting movement. We have not observed any fraying of the seam yet, but it would seem inevitable with the amount of tension put on that area.
The Arc’teryx LEAF shirt is comfortable in feel and fit, and the amount of material in the sleeves is much less baggy in comparison to the Crye uniform. As previously stated, the cut of the pants is much too tight for the lab rat’s body type and may prove to reduce the durability over repeated wears. Thus far, the lab rat prefers the Arc’teryx shirt to the Crye shirt, and prefers the Crye pants to the Arc’teryx pants.