It is a very long time since I first reviewed the Arktis C222 Ranger Trousers, which have evolved considerably based on SF user suggestions, writes Bob Morrison.
Originally conceived to meet a specific requirement of the elite Army Ranger Wing (Sciathán Fianóglach an Airm) of the Irish Defence Force, which over the last thirty years has been involved in a surprising number of overseas missions, and then modified to meet a French Special Forces requirement, the C222 Ranger Trousers are today available in a very wide range of camouflage patterns and plain military colours. However in this brief review I am concentrating on the Crye MultiCam version from the Arktis Core range, which is not only favoured by Special Forces / Operations users but is also highly compatible with UK Forces MTP or Multi-Terrain Pattern garments; indeed the other garment seen in some of the accompanying photos is a British JACKET COMBAT TEMPERATE WEATHER MTP.
According to the Arktis product sheet: “The C222 posses many great features and is one of the most advanced trousers on the market ~ elasticity at the waist, knees, and crotch area, allows for total ease of movement without any compromise to durability.” The trousers featured here are primarily manufactured from Genuine MultiCam 50/50 NYCO Ripstop polycotton fabric, combined with olive green four-way stretch fabric panels below the waistband at the back, between the legs at the top, and over the knees behind the kneepad pouches. The stretch panel below the waist at the back prevents ‘builder’s bum’ when bending the lower spine, the panels over the knees (which have neat elasticated adjuster cords tucked away inside the small pocket above them) allow full flex when either sitting in a vehicle or kneeling, and the crotch panel is both comfortable and prevents potential seam splitting embarrassment if over-exerting when climbing etc.
The primary upper pockets ~ two at the front and two at the rear ~ have been designed to give easy access when sitting, for example in a vehicle, or when wearing belt order; the front pair have a sturdy and hard-wearing plain nylon gusset to accept a holster or pocket knife clip and the curved top rear pair have hook & loop fastener tapes for security. On each thigh there is a bellowed cargo pocket with hook & loop fasteners under the cover flap and inside each there is an elasticated retention strap for a 5.56mm magazine; there are also two paracord loops under each pocket flap for securing valuables. Other pockets include those previously mentioned as being above the kneepad pouches and one for a pistol magazine on the outside of each calf. At the request of some users, on the latest version of the Ranger Trousers elasticated loops have been added on the front and rear edges of each calf pocket to hold cyalume sticks.
There is a shaped kneepad pouch on the front of each leg, inside which is fitted a removable foam pad, but if the wearer prefers a more substantial commercial kneepad can be fitted instead and buttonhole slots are provided for the kneepad straps. Hook and loop tapes hold the supplied kneepad in place, when fitted, and there is a mesh drainage panel at the base of the pouch. Below this, the hems have hook & loop adjusters. Finally, the waistband has seven deep belt loops and the fly, with hook & loop closure tab, is zipped.
These trousers, which in MultiCam (and nine other patterns or colours) are part of the the Arktis Core Range so factory shop stocks are regularly replenished, are manufactured in eight waist sizes (from 28” to 42”) and in four leg lengths (from 29” to 35”). To buy direct go to the Arktis Web Store at store.arktis.co.uk, but if you prefer to try before you buy these trousers are stocked by some of the more specialist outlets (both UK and overseas) catering primarily for SF and SpecOps customers.
[images © Bob Morrison unless noted]