The Windproof Smock Concept

Get Your Notebook Out
November 14, 2013
MVT: Transition & New Training Opportunities
November 15, 2013

The ‘SAS Windproof Smock;’ is an excellent piece of equipment. The ‘smock’ concept does not seen to have penetrated the US military world as thoroughly as it should. There have been many times that I have wished I had my smock with me.

The SAS windproof was made of tightly woven cotton material, making it windproof.  It is used as an outer layer, and it really helps to keep the windchill out and it also keeps showers out. The smock concept is best utilized in colder weather while using a battle belt. It is really best as an ‘old school’ method using battle belt and patrol pack/ruck. You can wear a plate carrier  (PC) with it or not. In fact, we often (as in the photo below) used to wear the smock over our body armor.

Using a smock also means that you can use the front zip, and the front of the smock, as a dump pouch, so long as you are wearing a battle belt to stop the mags falling out the bottom. The four large pockets also allow you to keep gear on your person, which is great if you have to E&E.


 Above Windproof Smocks in Action, 2001

Max Velocity

Above: Same Smock, still in use, 2013

I have recently been looking to replace my trusty old smock. It is on its last legs and is starting to fall apart.Smock I don’t wear it over the summer, just using a BDU style jungle shirt, but now it is fall and winter I am using it as a top layer. It goes well over just a t-shirt or thermal shirt, and any additional layers of clothing you want to add. You are not supposed to add outer layers on top of the smock, like sticking fleece jackets over it. You are supposed to keep it as an outer layer and add or remove layers from underneath it.

I tried ordering from the UK, but the original issue style is no longer made so I am having trouble finding the right size ( I then found ARKTIS NORTH AMERICA, based in Ohio.  I have just ordered one from them.

They do various jackets in various styles of camo. They do British DPM: which is what I want. They also do multi-cam (MTP) and other styles.

They have a improved version of the original SAS windproof, the Arktis B210 Windproof. They also do the exact same jacket in the B310, which is a waterproof version.

They also do various other similar military style jackets available in either windproof or waterproof styles.  I saw Joe and Helen this last CRCD weekend wearing the Kommando Parka. This thing is like a windproof on steroids.The B221 Kommando is only available in windproof, no waterproof version, because  it was designed under direction from the German KSK who use it, hence the name.  Joe and Helen were wearing the MTP version. It has about eight large pockets. The pockets go round the side and back, so it is like an old fashioned poachers/sniper jacket. You could go on patrol with just this jacket, and it would be ideal for E&E.

The useful thing also about these available products is that they don’t have to be bought in camo colors – they come earth toned as well, so you can lower your profile. You could carry significant equipment and magazines in the pockets on these jackets without wearing camo and without wearing a tactical rig.

(BTW, I am not getting sponsored for this post!)

Here are some photos. I ordered the B210 windproof XL in British DPM. They do sell via EBAY.

smock mtp

B210 Windproof MTP

smock dpm

B210 Windproof British DPM

Here is the Kommand0 (EBAY Link):

smock kommando

Live Hard.

Die Free.



  1. I just picked up a german smock in pea camo and I am looking forward to wearing it this winter. I never liked the M65 much.

  2. Joseph Fahy says:

    Really nice quality and well thought out smocks. A couple of notes. I believe only the Kommando has underarm ventilation zippers. The “poofy” snap closure right shoulder pocket is for a battle dressing-thanks for the info Max. The more gear you put into the pockets, the tighter the fit of the smock. I normally wear a L, but with mags, food,…, an XL was more comfortable. I’ve a 46″ chest. Helen normally uses a S, but the M fit better with gear.

    Only cosmetic issue is the material used as a liner on the lower inner portion of the smock. Any hook portion of velcro seems to cause pulls in the fabric. Our trousers have velcro closures on some of the pockets. This velcro bitched up the finish of the liner. Not a biggie, just a PITA.

    The only other change I would have liked is either a detachable hood or one that rolled up into a collar structure.

    The smock seems to work really well with a battle belt.


  3. Submariner says:

    What are the advantages to “tightly woven cotton material” over Gortex (TM)?

    Any disadvantages?

    • Max Velocity says:

      It’s a different thing. Goretex is a waterproof jacket – which Arktis do do in the 310 version. The windproof is a lighter jacket. I don’t want to wear a Goretex jacket all the time.

  4. Mike says:


    It’s funny that you should mention the smock. I was speaking with a friend formerly of 10th Mtn. And they would toss mags down the front of their BDU blouse, held in place with the battle belt.

    I have always liked the smock concept, though.

  5. LFMayor says:

    I use one of those flecktarn parkas as an overcoat during deer season, with a polyester windproof shell under and then a mix of wool/polypropylene depending on how cold it is.

    It works great.

  6. Semper Fi, 0321 says:

    Big fan of the Brit smocks, have several of the old style DPM and a new desert DPM. Have been looking also for the newest MTP. Thanks for the link.
    Why the US military never had these is beyond belief, they are one of the finest pieces of outdoor gear I’ve ever worn, and will never be without one.
    I wear a hooded polarfleece300 jacket from Cabelas underneath when it gets cold , and add a wool sweater under that when it’s freezing out. If you live in a cold climate, buy large, leave plenty of room for extra clothing. And the large Canadian buttons are perfect for use with gloves. Can’t recommend these enough!

  7. Ray says:

    I have a Reproduction Dennison smock that I wear over a heavy rugby sweater(its a REALLY heavy old thing ,sold to me years ago as a RN sweater) in the winter. Love it! The only part I dislike is the “donkey’s tail” in the back

  8. Doc B says:

    I’ve had my Leo Kohler smock for a couple of years now. Great piece of kit, holds up quite well to actual field use and northwest winters.I paid 100 euros for it a couple of years ago and about 60 euros in shipping, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

  9. Steve says:

    Drop Zone makes a nice smock. They are out of Canada. Spendy though

  10. Curtis says:

    We recently tried out some German Flecktarn surplus hooded field jackets with cost effective results

    • Max Velocity says:

      Don’t forget that there is a big difference between a simple field jacket (or ‘combat jacket’) and a windproof. The windproof part makes all the difference. That’s why the SAS windproof was designed as it was, and is so good.

      • Semper Fi, 0321 says:

        The German flecktarn field jacket is a beautiful and well made piece of field clothing, but still not anywhere as versatile as the Brit smock.
        The Brit smock has an oversize hood, much better than the German for keeping wind and snow out of your face. The Brit smock also has zippered chest pockets (with small tiedown loops inside, for compass, pencil flare, etc) underneath the buttoned chest pockets.
        I live in the windy mtn/desert region of Wyoming, my favorite coat for winter hiking is the Brit smock, hands down. However, I do prefer the zippered side pockets and pit zips of the German field jacket.

        • Doc B says:

          Leo Kohler is the manufacturer for the Bundeswher. They produce a very nice smock (I think it’s basically the same thing that Max is talking about)complete with NSN numbers. I have had mine for a few years now and would do it again in a heartbeat. It comes with pit zips, 8 exterior pockets, 5 inside pockets, and a wire rimmed hood. Holds up to the weather pretty good, and it’s available in desert flec that would prolly work pretty well in parts of Wyoming.

          • Max Velocity says:

            I haven’t seen it. But just to say: a windproof smock is not supposed to be a ‘big effing kacket’ – it’s not even necessarily a winter garment. It’s an outer windproof layer that should be reasonably lightweight: not an arctic jacket.

  11. Tim B. says:

    I have one of these smocks in Auscam and love it. The brand I bought even has a waterproof membrane liner so it is good to go in the rain too. Pockets everywhere on mine.
    A fleece jacket under it and you are good for temperatures down to the single digits.

    • Semper Fi, 0321 says:

      Maybe you misunderstood my point. I have several heavy arctic parkas(coats for -40’F) and know the difference between them and a windproof smock.
      However, I wear the Brit smock as a wind jacket OVER my cold weather gear. Keeps the wind from blowing thru my fleece/wool clothing. Right?

    • Doc B says:

      Having looked at the pics you posted, I am convinced that this in actually a “kommando smock” that I picked up. I wear this as my shirt in the winter months, and just put layers on underneath when needed. I agree with you though, it can become a bit heavy if one is not careful when loading stuff.

  12. Former Sapper says:

    The SAS smocks are ally pieces of kit, I had one for a while which I still to this day regret traded for some gore tex boots and rip stop DPM trousers.

    Anyone looking for surplus MTP I can recommend cadet direct ( whose prices aren’t super cheap but they’re reasonable enough (especially when compared to Silvermans).

    If you can get a hold of the C95/C2K rip stop windproof DPM jacket and combine it with a Norwegian army shirt you’re sorted.

  13. A Freeman says:

    A few months back I picked up a new Genuine British Army Issue MTP (PCS) Combat Smock for UK₤36 (around US$58 now) from the following eBay seller. I have no connection but I can recommend based on my experience of the service and item received. He has about half a dozen in different sizes regularly up for auction. And the extra couple hundred dollars I saved goes into other essentials.

    Stay alert!

  14. Steel6Whiskey says:

    I saw Joe and Helen using these at Dodge’s class and been thinking of getting one ever since. I love my goretex but these have way more capacity and are more quiet.

  15. Mike Dismuke says:


    I love the wind-proof smock concept. After years of wearing gor-tex, I’ve reached the conclusion that this W/P breathable concept just doesn’t work at high exertion levels. I see very little difference between it, and rubber coated material. So I am returning to the wind-proof, water-REPELLANT jacket, as an all-around cold/windy/rainy weather jacket WHEN ON THE MOVE. When stationary, I’ll switch to a gor-tex or rubber-coated jacket if required.

    I am presently working on a project with taslan nylon on a L5 “soft shell” jacket concept, which is the grandson of the classic SAS windproof smock, as far as I’m concerned.

  16. JD says:

    I use a surplus USGI M65 parka in a similar fashion, with the button in lining it’s good fall, winter and early spring.

  17. My Homepage says:

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  19. Bergmann says:

    Perhaps have a look at my smock page and offer up some advice..

    Thanks, Greetings from now frozen Alaska

  20. CC Coleman says:

    Helikon makes an inexpensive ($120 USD) SAS Smock. Had it for years. Worn it in rain and cold winds – totally solid. It will keep you warm and dry. Comes in many colors and patterns. Great as a carry all when your airline carryon is filled to capacity. Plenty of vents for cooling when it gets muggy after a warm rain. No bad points about my Helikon.