In the past we have covered both the trials version of the 58 Pattern poncho roll here and the second issue version of the roll here. Between these two patterns however is a subtly different variation that was the initial production version of the roll, or more correctly the ‘cape carrier’. At first glance the initial production of the cape carrier closely resembles the more common second pattern:
When the roll is laid out, however, it can be seen that there are only two sets of staples on the fastening, rather than the later three:
The early date of this example can also be seen by the fittings on the cape carrier which are a bronzed finish, rather than the slightly later green anodised fittings. Here the finish has badly worn to reveal the aluminium beneath:
The other feature of these earlier rolls are the use of crimped metal tips to the straps rather than riveted as on later production:
This example has seen heavy wear and several of the straps have been repaired with a set of metal rivets where the stitching has broken over the years:
This first issue cape carrier was found to lack the flexibility that soldiers needed and a third set of staples was added to allow a greater range of contents to be accommodated securely, whilst the tips had rivets added, presumably because they were found to come off after extensive use.