MVP, or moisture vapour permeable, fabric is an extremely useful fabric to make waterproof jackets out of as it lets the vapour of the wearer’s sweat out, but does not allow water from rain in. Modern British army waterproof clothing is made from this fabric and tonight we are looking at the short Lightweight MVP jacket in multi terrain pattern camouflage:This jacket comes down to the waist and is fitted with taped seams throughout to prevent any ingress of water:This extends to the zips, which are covered with a tightly fitting weather strip to keep the rain out:An elastic cord and drawstring are fitted to the waist to allow the bottom of the jacket to be drawn in:Each jacket has a centrally mounted rank slide tab, secured with Velcro:Pockets are fitted to the sleeves:And the cuffs are secured with Velcro:A piece of fleece is fitted around the neck of the garment for comfort, note though that there is no hood:The lack of a hood led to vociferous criticism in the press when the jackets were first introduced in 2015. This report is from The Telegraph:
In war torn Afghanistan, life was a daily battle for survival as they fought the Taliban under the constant threat of handmade landmines and roadside bombs.
But back at their UK barracks, soldiers have come up against a completely different challenge.
Their new lightweight, standard-issue jackets have no hoods, meaning that they are getting drenched whilst on exercise at their wet and windy UK barracks.
The uniform has provoked a volley of complaints from the cold, damp troops.
“Can you tell me why the multi terrain pattern waterproof jacket doesn’t have a hood?” Corporal Tristan Munro of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers wrote in Soldier, the Army’s in-house magazine.
“It is designed to be worn with a helmet on operations but we spend most of our time in the UK.
“So does that mean our only option when it rains is to wear this garment with a helmet on?”
He added: “If the camouflage pattern itself is designed to be multi purpose then why can’t the jacket’s actual design be as versatile and function well in various situations?”
The Ministry of Defence admitted that the lightweight jacket was designed for use by troops serving in hot and dusty climes of Afghanistan and as such, they had no need to consider how it might fare in blustery Britain.
They acknowledged that mistakes had been made with the kit and disclosed plans to introduce a new waterproof cold wet weather hat if the funding could be secured.
Lt Col Simon Blake, SO1 Availability Management, Logistical Support, told Cpl Munro that his discomfort had been noted.
“Your observations on the current lightweight waterproof jacket and in particular the lack of a hood are understood,” he said.
“However the garment was brought into service originally as an urgent operation requirement for Operation Herrick.
“It has since been rolled out as standard issue. The item was designed for the most exacting dismounted close quarter combat role, where a hood was deemed inappropriate because it restricts hearing and situational awareness.
“A waterproof cold wet weather hat, subject to final funding approval, is scheduled to become standard issue for field wear.
“In addition, the use of the jacket and its overall design will be the subject of further research and development work.”
The jackets came in a more limited range of sizes than the traditional windproof smock, here this is a ‘large’:These jackets are very good at keeping the rain off the wearer’s body, but the lack of a hood does limit their utility considerably. Despite this they remain highly popular on the surplus market and they usually command very respectable prices- the light weight of the jacket and its excellent water repelling abilities make these jackets prized by those who spend time outside in all weathers.