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      TacSource Blog

      REVIEW: Helikon Tex UTP Pants - Multicam

      REVIEW: Helikon Tex UTP Pants - Multicam

      Polish-based, Helikon-Tex first patented their Urban Tactical Pant (UTP) design in 2009 which became a staple and favorite in the tactical apparel world. Following up this popularity, Helikon-Tex has released an upgraded and improved design with their UTP Flex Pants (also known as Urban Tactical Flex Pants). Although the main construction of the pant is the same as the original design, Helikon-Tex made some major improvements when it comes to fabric, freedom of movement, and sleek aesthetics. 

      Known to be one of the most durable and preferred fabrics on the market for tactical apparel, the UTP Flex Pants are made with nonelastic NyCo RipStop fabric. Helikon-Tex wanted to ensure that the pants still provided flexibility and freedom of movement for the user, which is why they added VersaStretch elastic panels in both the back neck and crotch area. When it comes to keeping a low-profile, these tactical pants are an optimal choice. The cut and placement of the pockets help maintain a civilian look while still having the functionality of combat pants – with room for all of your on-person gear and essentials. Plus, the wide belt loops allow for a belt up to 50 mm – which includes all of Helikon-Tex’s tactical belts. 

      The smart design of the Helikon-Tex UTP Flex Pants includes 10 pockets overall:

      • Two classic front pockets – edges are reinforced against abrasions from flashlight and knife clips

      • Two cargo pockets on thigh – closed using reversed YKK zippers

      • Two front flapped pockets for small electronics or AR magazine

      • Two slim back pockets

      • Two wide back pockets

      The thoughtfully-designed combat pant comes in 8 colour options including three camo patterns and Helikon-Tex’s sizes stray away from your typical American-based sizes – choose from S through XXXL with regular/long/X-long length options. 

      Overall, the Helikon-Tex UTP Flex Pants are practical, durable, and can be worn on an everyday basis. Both on and off duty – you’ve found your new go-to pair of tactical pants. 

      5.11 Tactical RUSH 2.0 Upgrades

      5.11 Tactical RUSH 2.0 Upgrades

      The RUSH series from 5.11 is by far one of the most iconic and well-known tactical bags in the market. Ranging from 6L capacity to 106L capacity, the RUSH bags are versatile, durable, and ideal for any situation and environment. The most popular series are the 5.11 Tactical RUSH 12, 24, 72 models – the numbers indicating the hours you can theoretically be away, and have enough gear packed inside. Since their release, 5.11 has upgraded its RUSH 12, 24, and 72 models and now this tactical backpack is better than ever. Here’s what’s changed.

      Users of the 5.11 Tactical RUSH 2.0 bags will notice that the MOLLE webbing system has remained the same, however, there is now an added third row of velcro in the centre for multiple or larger patches. The pockets and compartments remain the same in both versions, but users will notice a couple of practical and useful additions. In 5.11’s upgraded RUSH version, there are now rain flaps over the zippers of both large compartments – the side pockets continue to have rain flaps as well. You’ll also notice that the three loops previously found on the RUSH series bags have now been omitted.

      Turning the bag around, 5.11 changed the location of the buckle on the shoulder straps as well as making the straps slightly wider. This now allows for the straps to be tightened an additional 7.5 cm (3 in) and provides better comfort to the user. Also adding to the comfortability of the packs, the upgraded tactical RUSH bags now have rubber panels along the lumbar region of the back – this also prevents the bag from sliding or moving around. 

      On the bottom of the bag, users will find rubber pads and a 3.75 cm (1.5 in) loop at the base of the shoulder straps. You’ll also notice four new lashing points – perfect for adding a sleeping bag or tent.

      The bottom line is that 5.11 has perfected the tactical bag and it comes in the form of the new and upgraded Tactical RUSH series. There’s no doubt that these tactical packs will be a fan favourite until 5.11’s next ingenious upgrade.

      Pack Marching by Navy Clearance Diver Max Burch

      Pack Marching by Navy Clearance Diver Max Burch

      Pack marching is a key component of any Selection where loads tend to vary from 25kg to 80kgs depending on the task, phase or type of selection. For me, pack marching or stomping has been, by far my lease favourite military activity to do. This is due to a number of reasons, from having short legs to never actually been told how to set up a pack before ripping in.

      Having learnt a lot of hard lessons over time it’s important that prior to starting any pack training activity you ensure that you have the correct gear and that it is set-up correctly.

      Setting-up your pack then packing your pack will become an important skill to have in the military and for many none military hobbies you may have that required you to move a heavy pack over long distances (hunting, hiking ect.). In the military you will potentially have to carry equipment, but you will also have to survive and fight out of your pack. It is an art to identify exactly what you will and will-not need, then pack the essentials in a way which will suit the task or mission because it is important to have critical equipment placed where it is easily accessible yet secure. This will come with experience and trial-and-error. I always have the chocolate and sweets easily accessible.

      So with all that in mind, the most important thing is to ensure that your backpack is fit-for-purpose. I.e. designed for military rucking, hunting or hiking and able to be modified to your needs. The key components to be aware of are: capacity (litres), comfort, functionality (pouch placement), weight, frame-size and waist-band.

      Make sure you do your research for task you are undertaking and get the pack that best works for you. Once you’ve got the pack you want “test and adjust”.

      For carrying heavy loads the waistband or hip-straps are a must. To protect your back, the weight of your pack must be distributed between your shoulder straps and your hips and as close to your back as possible This will go a long way towards enabling you to carry heavier and for longer. Things like water cantinas in external pack pouches will drive the pack backward towards the ground and really make you hurt as I found out on selection.

      Good worn in boots are a must and like anything else you’ve just got to put the time in to get better at it. The crawl walk run method is recommended here. Find yourself a good program that’s tailored to pack marching and increase the weight of the pack over time. If you’re going to run a marathon you don’t run 42km on day one of the program. The same goes with pack marching increase the weight safely and slowly and over time the speed will come but if I’m honest it never really gets easy.

      Enjoy guys.

      You can follow Max here on Instagram

      REVIEW: 5.11 Tactical RUSH 100 Backpack

      REVIEW: 5.11 Tactical RUSH 100 Backpack

      The RUSH 100 backpack by 5.11 is the first full-framed, true deployment bag that the brand ever released. And ever since—it’s been tried and true. This tough and durable backpack is ideal for going off-trail, spending time outdoors, or using for any tactical or military assignments. The RUSH 100 bag can hold it all. 

      With 60 liters of capacity, this versatile backpack has a spacious main compartment and an impressive amount of additional pockets to hold all of your gear. Using 500D nylon for the main body and a 1050D nylon for the base, 5.11’s RUSH 100 has no problem standing up to the elements. For the frame of the backpack, you’ll find custom aluminium with fibreglass rods added for added durability and strength. On the exterior of the RUSH 100 backpack, 5.11 provided their signature loop panel external web MOLLE system where you can attach holsters, canteens, and other gear for easy access. 

      Users of the RUSH 100 pack can expect notable comfort from the padded backing, adjustable shoulder strap, and removable padded waist belt, as well as easy access pockets where you can keep readily-needed items. As an added perk, the top-zippered pocket boasts a fleece-lined pocket to store your glasses or small electronics. The side pouches also detach to help you slim down the bag, essentially giving you numerous bags in one. 

      5.11 is no stranger to quality—and the 5.11 RUSH 100 backpack is no exception. For excursions and outings that require a good amount of tools, clothing, ammo, or gear—this is the ideal bag for every adventure. 

      5.11 Tactical RUSH 100 Backpack

      5.11 Tactical RUSH 100

      Benefits of Ice Baths

      Benefits of Ice Baths

      You may have seen or heard about athletes taking a post-workout or post-game dip into an ice bath. But, what does an ice bath do, exactly? And does it really bring any benefit to your fitness and workout routine? Let’s take a closer look at some benefits, studies, and other things to consider if you’re thinking about bringing an ice bath into your fitness or training regimen.

      What is an ice bath?

      Also known as cryotherapy or cold water immersion, ice baths require you to sit submerged to your chest in chilly water (around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius) for about 10-15 minutes. These cold baths that are literally breath-taking have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve recovery, and helps enhance your mental resilience. 

      Ice baths and Inflammation

      Studies have shown that ice baths most certainly reduce inflammation which leads to less stiff muscles and reduced soreness. However, for an athlete or someone looking to gain muscles, this anti-inflammatory reaction could hinder muscle growth. Immersing yourself in cold water reduces blood flow, which could slow down muscle protein synthesis – this is when muscle rebuilds itself after strain (like an intense workout) or injury. “Damage” created after a workout signals your body to build growth in that area – by reducing or removing that damage/inflammatory signal, there is no stimulation for growth. 

      How can ice baths improve sports and fitness performance?

      Taking an ice bath every day won’t make you a better athlete or stronger weight-lifter, but they do have some short-term benefits. 

      • Ice baths can have a relaxing effect on your central nervous system providing better sleep, which can lead to increased performance.

      • Ice baths may improve performance if taken before working out on a hot or humid day, dropping your core body temperature a couple of degrees. 

      • Participating in cold water immersion after an intense workout may provide temporary pain relief of sore muscles.

      • Ice baths can be useful for quick recovery between events if participating in a competition. 

      Are ice baths for you?

      Unless you suffer from cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, you’re welcome to try and incorporate ice baths to see if they work with your personal routine and goals. Many athletes swear by the practice, claiming ice baths help them feel better in general. Give one a try and see if it works for you – just remember, if you’re looking for muscle gain, they probably aren’t the best idea. Always consult your doctor prior to starting.