Following last week’s look at the Canadian 64 pattern set here, tonight we are taking an introductory overview of its immediate successor, the 82 pattern set:As with last week’s post, my thanks go out to Andrew Iarocci for his help in supplying me with these sets of webbing- they are not common on this side of the Atlantic! The 82 pattern set was the first modern nylon set of webbing adopted by Canada, and it draws heavily on contemporary US designs with the accompanying user manual almost a word for word copy of its US equivalent. The design is a vast improvement on the 64 pattern design and is built around a broad 3” wide belt and a padded yoke assemble. Pouches and packs are then fastened onto the belt with plastic tabs and Velcro:A large variety of pouches were available, with various modifications undertaken to them over their service life, we will look at these in more detail as we study each component in turn. There were four different standardized set ups for the kit; Fighting Order, Battle Order and Marching Order:The basic layout of my 82 pattern webbing is set out below:The 82 pattern was generally welcomed by the infantry, although it was not without its shortcomings- the plastic fasteners to attach the various pouches were liable to become brittle and break at low temperatures, something Canada is famous for! One user Dean O, reports:
82 Pattern!!! I really hated that crap, on the belt the grommets sometimes would pull out, the plastic “bars” on the equipment bits, would break off at the top and or bottom in extreme cold weather ( and remember we have that here), and what a pain to adjust it to make it fit over parkas or make it smaller for summer, again, the buckle would break in very cold weather .and that back pack!!!?? What were they thinking?? I could never get it to fit correctly, and, again to adjust it took a lot of time and everything had to be moved to keep it even, and as everything “locked” into the belt, it took time and never seemed to ride correctly on shorter people like myself.
Despite that, the set remained in use well into the 2000s, and saw service out in Afghanistan before being replaced with more modern systems. As ever we will be looking in greater detail at the components in the coming months.
Picture courtesy of the W.E.Storey Collection.