Review – Arktis Ltd B110 Smock in PenCott Greenzone
Arktis Ltd went PenCott! For those of you who have been living under a rock, or somehow missed the news: the high profile British company, and one of the hallmarks of the tactical world licensed the PenCott Greenzone pattern and introduced several items to the market last August. It is worth taking a closer look at Arktis Ltd for several reasons. They have not only been producing innovative military gear and clothes since the mid-1980s, making them the British equivalent to Crye Precision, they are also offering a magnitude of camouflage patterns and even produce more urban/streetwear themed products through a sister company.
Coming back to the topic of today: PenCott Greenzone is well known to readers of this blog, since I have often written about the effectiveness of this pattern 3+1 seasons of the year. In this article I have the opportunity to take a closer look at the B110 Smock of Arktis Ltd, in said PenCott pattern – not only looking at the jacket itself, but also at the quality of the print and material. So let’s get started after a quick overview and specs.
The B110 Smock by Arktis Ltd is a classic, unlined smock, with DWR and IR treatment. It features four large pockets on the front, two Napoleon style zippered pockets on the chest, as well as a pocket on the left upper arm.
The hood is fully adjustable with cord, velcro and a wire. Further adjustments at the hem, waist and cuffs are of course available as well. The 50/50 PolyCo material is described as no melt – no drip.
- Fabric: 50/50 PolyCo (DWR and IR treated)
- Hardware: 2M Buttons, Cordlocks
- Sizes: XS – XXXL
The Arktis Ltd B110 Smock
Taking a closer look at the Arktis Ltd B110 Smock itself, one can immediately see the four large boxed pockets on the chest and waist. Following the classic concept of smocks, these are closed by large Canadian style slotted buttons made by 2M.
They feature no internal organization, however, they are lined with a nylon material to protect their content. The pockets fold shut, when closing the flap, securing the stored items from loss. The pockets on the waist are considerably larger than the ones on the chest.
On the chest one will also find two Napoleon style zippered pockets. These are placed behind the above mentioned chest pockets, and their interior goes all the way up to the shoulders. As a result one can store larger documents or flat items there.
The left upper arm features a narrow pocket for notes and a separate pen slot. It is also closed with a Canadian slotted button, but the pocket does not fold shut via tha flap as the other pockets do.
When it comes to adjusting the B110 Smock, the user has several options. On the cuffs you will find velcro adjustments to tighten the sleeve around your hands.
The waist features its own dedicated sleeve with a cord that can be adjusted with two cordlocks on the front. The bottom hem offers the same feature to tighten the B110 Smock at the bottom.
The jacket itself is closed by a sturdy and high quality zipper (I do not recognize the company Logo). This two-way zipper covers 3/4 of the front, the rest is closed by a dedicated storm flap. The latter can be closed by both Canadian slotted buttons as well as velcro.
Depending on the weather conditions, the user of the B110 Smock can close the zipper all the way up to the face. There is no danger of pinching in the beard of skin, as the zipper is placed well behind the fabric and a decent seam tape is covering the rest of the edges.
Last but not least the hood. While it is not big enough to cover a helmet, it is very nicely shaped around the head. The opening for the face can be adjusted by a wire and a cord with two cordlocks. On the back of the hood is also a velcro tab to adjust it even more.
Before coming to other aspects of the jacket I also want to point out that the B110 smock has a loop on the inside of the collar. A rare feature these days! Also the jacket itself is not lined and can be seen as a light, but sturdy, battle jacket for the warmer seasons of the year. In combination with a decent layer (loft or wool) this jacket can also be worn in winter.
What you will also find on the B110 Smock is a tab for rank insignia on the middle of the chest – it is a military jacket after all.
Size and Fit
Personally I always struggle with jackets, since I am in between size Medium and Large. Being 1,80m tall, and 80kg heavy, my physique, shoulders and long arms always make it hard to find a fitting jacket.
However, the Arktis Ltd B110 Smock fits me perfectly in size Medium. It offers enough room at the shoulders, freedom of movement and it is almost as if it was tailored to my needs. Bear in mind, the B110 is unlined. But even over a sweater and loft jacket, the Smock is still fitting very well.
Taking a closer look at the attachment of the sleeves makes the excellent fit apparent. As you can see there is plenty of room and the cut gives maximum freedom of movement.
With that in mind, you can trust the size chart on the official homepage of Arktis Ltd, it is spot on and leaves no room for error if you take the higher number as threshold (e.g. size Medium chest: 101 – 106cm). If you are above that number ( for example 107cm) take the next size.
Level of Manufacture of the B110 Smock
Arktis Ltd is well known for its outstanding quality of manufacture. There is a reason why soldiers and armies from around the world trust the company’s products.
The stitching is remarkable. Not only can you find tight seams with 2mm stitches, there are also twin needle seams and regular reinforcements with bartack seams on stress areas. All of this is complemented with sturdy hardware – high quality zippers and buttons, cord locks. What strikes me as well is the generous use of seam tape, which gives the B110 Smock an extremely clean look. Using Canadian slotted buttons, which are sewn on with tape, increases this high end feel even more.
The Material and the PenCott print
Coming to another highly interesting aspect of this particular B110 Smock – PenCott Greenzone. Licensing the print paid off for Hyde Definition. The parent company of Arktis Ltd – Francis Dinsmore Ltd – did a magnificent job in printing the PenCott pattern and the 50/50 PolyCo features one of the best PenCott prints I had in my hands so far.
Not only are contrasts precise, but also the colours on point. From what I heard from Dom Hyde himself is that the colours are as close as it gets to the intended spectrum. The Dinsmore print features another neat little detail. It is made in a way that you can see the print from the left side of the fabric as well. This means that the user does not have to worry about revealing areas, when rolling up the sleeves or in the neck, when not using the hood – the pattern and colours will always do their job.
From what I can tell, when comparing this to the prints of Duro Ind. and the Helikon-Tex prints of Greenzone and Wildwood, is that the green base colour is darker and resembles more of the bluish green in Wildwood. At the same time, the chocolate brown is much darker, giving the pattern the intended depth and 3D appearance. Long story short: the fabric printed by Dinsmore Ltd for Arktis Ltd is the dream come true of the Greenzone/Wildwood hybrid that I mentioned in the Greenzone vs Wildwood review.
The pictures in the field speak for themselves and I will leave it at that.
Another thing worth mentioning is the material itself. The 50/50 PolyCo has a slightly thinner feel than the everyday 50/50 NyCo. It is however just as wear resistant and features the same fabric treatments, which makes it not only DWR but also IR resistant. Some may cry out about the “no melt – no drip” designation, but if you look into the matter, you will soon find out that NyCo is only “no melt – no drip” because of its 50% Cotton share. As a result 50/50 PolyCo will perform similarly.
It might come to a surprise that Arktis Ltd and PenCott did not join forces earlier, having in mind they are both British companies. But sometimes it is worth the wait. Having the B110 Smock in my hands and using it here in the Central European environment, which most of my readers know by now, I can confidently say that this cooperation is one of my personal highlights of 2021.
The trusted quality by Arktis Ltd in combination with the proven effectiveness of PenCott Greenzone are a perfect fit for everyone who is looking for camouflage and 1st line gear. For those who are not fans of Smocks: Arktis Ltd is also offering other items, ranging from Boonies to Cargo Shorts and Combat pants. From what I have heard, more items are in the works as well, including new designs of Arktis Ltd – it is only a question of demand, if these will be offered in PenCott as well.
The level of quality speaks for itself, be it the print, the material and the manufacture itself. One can only imagine what will come next.
With that being said, I want to thank Arktis Ltd for giving me the opportunity to show you guys the B110 Smock. I actually wanted to write about the C411 Ranger Shorts first… but since it is already November…
In any case – thank you for reading!
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