Following on from the softie jacket we looked at a few weeks ago, tonight we turn to the matching trousers, which are again made of a reversible soft shell construction, with thick padding inside. They can be worn with either a green side outermost:Or with the tan side showing:In order to accommodate this reversible nature, the waist is secured with a pair of buttons, one facing outwards and one inwards, regardless of which way round the trousers are:A full length zip runs up each leg to allow them to be easily taken our off, even with boots on:Note also that the cuff is elasticated to help retain air inside the trousers and give the wearer another layer of insulation. A label is sewn into the garment with details of sizing, NSN number etc.:These trousers are normally issued with a compression or ‘stuff’ sack, much like a sleeping bag which allows the air in them to be squeezed out and their size reduced right down for storage in a rucksack when not needed, sadly my example is missing this, but they are a fairly cheap and common thing to come across so I am sure one will turn up soon enough (I have already gotten lucky and found one for the jacket for £1!).
Softie jackets and trousers seem to be very popular with the troops, as one soldier explains:
Softie! All day, worth spending money on a good one, especially if you’re static for a decent while, packs smaller , keeps you drier , keeps you warmer, and you can use it as a pillow in its stuff sack if you are that way inclined.
The only criticism of the issue softie seems to be that it gets worn very quickly and even with its compression sack it is bulkier than the latest commercial designs. Many troops do buy Snugpak or North Face softies in preference to the issue examples, but equally many really like the standard army pattern.