Blackhawk! PCU Level 5 - First Impressions

Ok ok, the Blackhawk! Warrior Wear Gen III level 5 Jacket, as far as I can tell is technically not PCU, it's from the ECWCS line. It just seems like the more I research PCU the more confusing things get. Both systems have seven layers, and are virtually the same as far as I can tell except for some extra velcro. Although the ECWCS system was developed in the 80s, Gen III ECWCS was not fielded until 2007, where as PCU was fielded in 2003. Having owned the ORC level 5 jacket, and now looking at the Blackhawk! level 5 jacket, I honestly think that the only major difference is the label. I may get some arguments about this one, but when it comes down to it, they are both softshell jackets made from Nextec's Epic fabric and have virtually all the same features. 

PCU Block 2 Update From Beyond Tactical

I had an interesting conversation with a rep at Beyond Tactical today while trying to get an update on my softshell. I had forwarded them the Protective Combat Uniform Block 2 preview article posted in January on Soldier Systems, and he said that his co-workers were very appreciative of the heads up. I then asked him if Beyond was going to be working on any of the new line of PCU.

Wanted! Goretex Trail Runners

This summer I plan on entering a few walking challenges. The OXFAM Trailwalker event, 100k within 48 hours, and the GoRuck Challenge, 15-20 miles with 6 bricks in a ruck with a crap load of push-ups, flutter kicks and a side order of getting wet and sandy. What drew me to these events was not that I think that I'm a good hiker or long distance walker. Quite the opposite, actually. I want to take part in these events because I'm actually terrible when it comes to walking and jogging long distances. It's going to suck, but it's my kind of suck.

Beyond Clothing PCU level 5 - First Impressions Part 1

Update - September 2016
This article has been updated with new information and photography.
Click here to see the new review.

As you might have read in some of my other articles, I had sadly lost my level 5 softshell. I have seen the Blackhawk! version of the level 5, but didn't really see any improvements over ORC's version; the possibility of finding a Patagonia level 5 was slim to none. I almost gave up hope until one of my buddies recommended Beyond Tactical's version of the level 5 jacket, called the Glacier Shock.

What really attracted me to Beyond was that you could customize the jacket to fit your needs. Zip off hood, roll up hood, permanent hood, no hood, pit zips, thumb loops, bicep pockets, velcro loop for the pockets, and best of all: the entire jacket is custom tailored to your body so it fits "perfectly".