Last year we looked at the olive green early pattern PLCE water bottle carrier. Experience with the PLCE set led to many components of webbing being updated and improved. Whilst there is an interim version of the water bottle carrier that features the upgrades on olive green webbing, this was quickly superceeded by webbing produced in DPM camouflage and it is this version we are looking at tonight:
The water bottle carrier is very similar to its earlier iteration, retaining many of the same features. The pouch secured with a ‘Spanish’ loop and staple fastener:
Opening the pouch reveals the main compartment which is generously sized to carry an Osprey water bottle and cup:
Although it seems to have been rarely used in practice, this version of the pouch retains the folding inner flap to allow the easy carriage of mess tins and hexamine cooker in the pouch:
The pouch also retains the extra velcro fastner for the top lid, covered by a removable blanking panel:
The base of the pouch has the typical metal eyelet that serves as a drainage hole:
The label for the pouch is on the underside of the lid and indicates that this particular example was produced in 1994:
So far then, the pouch is identical to the earlier example (bar the colour it is produced in). It is on the rear that the updates become more obvious:
It had been discovered that the first pattern of belt fixing was not strong enough to hold a pouch securely in place on the belt when it was fully loaded. This updated version replaced the combination of a velcroed flap secured with lift the dot fasteners and one brass c hook with a new system that used plastic T-Bars covered by a fabric flap that fastens with press studs:
These T-Bars provided extra security for loaded pouches and prevented the belt from rolling vertically which had been a problem on the earlier pattern.
PLCE is one of the easiest web sets for the collector to find today and mint condition pouches can be found for as little as a pound each at shows so it is an ideal area for the younger collector to focus on as a fascinating collection can be built up very cheaply- there are at least four distinct variations to look out for: prototype, first pattern olive green, revised olive green and DPM.