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Review Smock
Combat, Windproof, Woodland DPM Cotton
©NR 2011(updated Aug2013)

After finally being happy with the modifications I made to my Mountain Warehouse 200 G fleece then not being overly chuffed to find out that about the same time loads of companies were launching tactical fleeces, I sought out a suitable top coat for foul weather tactical usage and EDC use.

I’ve tried Gore-tex hiking coats but never got away with them, tried other systems of coats and always found them wanting, and still not being able to afford top notch mountaineering kit I turning my attention back to my roots IE the British army. I need a tough, COMFORTABLE, well fitting, adjustable, easy clean, rugged, very functional and affordable jacket to carry my EDC kit and it’s got to be utterly reliable.

30 years ago on and off duty I only ever wore a DPM or Black SAS smock by Radar of Redcar, or a standard issue 1980s pattern DPM combat jacket, it was to this family of clothes I returned to investigate again.

So for the last 8 weeks I have been EDCing a current issue Disruptive Pattern Smock in Woodland colours (no desire to look like a modern desert warrior) and have to say I’m absolutely delighted with this jacket. It is the LEAST modified coat I have ever owned, I normally spend hours cutting, sewing trimming or altering coats I use as a Prepper.

The Smock Itself. (Smock, DPM windproof NSN 8415-99-573-5262)

It’s a treated close weave cotton smock with full length double ended very tough two way nylon zip, it has a rolled up hood secured by a cord loop over a button. The zip is covered by a windproof flap secured by Velcro tabs


1 x very small pocket on LH sleeve secured by Velcro tab
2 x upper chest pockets
2 x lower pockets
The pockets are of the pleated bellows type
All of the front pockets have fold over tops secured by Canadian pattern slotted buttons
The upper front has also got 2 x internal pockets accessed by zips on the outside of the jacket
A chest mounted rank slide is also fitted.

On the inside the jacket has a waist adjuster cord and an elasticated bottom hem cord

Water resistant
The jacket itself is treated with both IR reducing agents and water proofing agents that leave it VERY water resistant but NOT water proof, being natural fibres it breathes a bit so you don’t get sweaty when working hard with it on.

Don’t dry clean
If you dry clean this jacket you will ruin the IR reducing coating and remove much of the water proofing, 60 degree wash, warm steam iron dry, Can be tumble dried.
Re-waterproof after every 3rd wash with in-wash waterproofing treatment.

The only bit I’m not overly pleased about is the modern smock no longer has a pen pocket on the sleeve like the early versions,

Every bit as good as Cold War era DPM smocks made from good quality cloth, thread and fittings, VASTLY superior to the bloody awful poor quality early 90s issue smocks.

I have only fitted so far a press stud popper on the hem of the smock to help keep it closed when worn in the tucked under blouson style so beloved of old ex-squaddies like me, I may sew on an extra piece of cloth or two to fasten microphones to or to run earpiece cables through.

IF I was still a Rifleman and facing the Russian hoards in Germany I would almost certainly cut off all the noisy damn Velcro and fit buttons or press studs to the jacket, The noise Velcro makes when being opened is hellishly noisy at night when trying to hide in a battlefield.


I Love this jacket, and wish I could find one in a plain colour.

Update August 2013

I’ve now had this jacket for EDC use for over two years it’s been rotated in use with a soft shell and fleece jacket in that time. I am absolutely delighted with the function and form of this jacket, its comfy as old slippers, useful as a 3 season jacket (4 over a fleece), tough, reliable, easy to look after and its pockets are cavernous. I did not fix the extra cloth loops for a hand mike as the modern PMR UV5R Baofeng radios live comfortably in almost all of the pockets. It’s softer to the touch now after a few washes, I see no signs of wear, I expect the washing has reduced the water repellence of the cloth but I don’t really mind (it would be easy to use an in wash reproofer). Boy I wish these jackets had been on issue back in 72, I highly recommend these garments to anyone who has a current need for a working jacket.
OP kindly donated one of these DPM jackets to me last year, when I was trying to identify the ancient British Army Jacket that I had been using as a "Chore coat" as our friend MB would put it.

Since then I've identified that my old and much beloved jacket ( somewhat worn-out) is a 68 field DPM model. Its made of a cotton duck type canvass and is fully lined in cotton. Its snug fitting and length, kind of mid-bum length.

The newer version described in this OP is made of Polyester-cotton mix. It has turned out to be a surprisingly good bit of kit, and one that has seen it become the first choice jacket for dog-walking, whenever conditions are windy, wet, or cold. I've never been a fan of camo gear as daily wear, but this thing has proven so good that its overridden the old view.

It turns out that there are a couple of variations of the 95 model

Original Poly-Cotton, which comes in several versions: Removable hood, fixed hood, also with and without rank slide holder on the front, and with or without small (Knife?) pocket on the left shoulder.

Updated Rip-stop version, again coming in several versions: Removable hood, fixed hood, also with and without rank slide holder on the front, and with or without small (Knife?) pocket on the left shoulder.

There is also another version that I have yet to lay my hands upon. This one is often described as Special forces version in the adverts ( probably untrue) and sells for a premium price of more than 3x the normal versions. Its principal differences are reinforcement to shoulders and elbows, and the addition of what I can best describe as a button-down poacher's pocket across the bum. It certainly looks a good bit of kit, but I cannot justify the extra cost.

We now have a collection of these jackets for all of the family. We feel that the Poly-cotton is superior to the rip-stop versions and this was bit of a surprise.

Hoods: The built-in hood is very effective, coming with a wire snow peak and an internal draw-string to create a close fit around the face. The press to release toggle stops have a useful clip on their ends that clips the hood against the upturned collar below the chin. This arrangement has tested to be very effective at keeping out cold, wind and driven rain/snow. The down-side to the hood is that when stowed, it is quite cumbersome to rucksack straps, dog leads etc.

Removable hood: I've just ordered a button-on removable hood. It hasn't arrived yet, but I'll update this review once we've played with it a little.

Shell only: These jackets are un-lined shells. For cold conditions its necessary to wear base layers with them. They are generously cot so no size adjustment is needed. I've been using the thermal liner of a German Flackentarn (sp?) field jacket and its proven toasty in everything I've ventured out into since last spring.

Conclusion: For our use, the best one to go for is the Poly-cotton hooded version with shoulder pocket and rank slide (useful for clipping stuff against the chest) At around £20 for a completely pristine unissued one, its something of a must have.

If you read this NR, thankyou for opening my eyes to this amazing bit of kit.
BTW the old 68 model is still available on e-bay in previously issued condition. Its an entirely different beast to the 95 model, and considerably down in quality. Prices seem to be unexpectedly high ( £65ish)
Ha! That was quicker than expected.....

The post just arrived delivering the detachable hood.

The only hood I could find of the correct size was Rip-Stop DPM.

It fits both the rip stop and Poly-Cotton jackets, and does not look out of place on either.

Its mounts by 5 buttons under the collar. The centre one of which can be reversed to hold the hood in roll-folded configuration behind the collar.

Like the built in version, this hood retains the wired snow peak, draw-string adjustment to face, and the neat clip together adjuster fasteners to keep the elements at bay.

It appears that the fit is every bit as good as the built-in hood variants, and I expect it will prove equal to in utility.

Cost of the hood is currently £5.99 delivered.
I bought a load of 95 pattern stocks in varying sizes when Dpm was phased out for as little as £3.50 each unissued,they are not a patch on 68 pattern smocks , the difference is like a Rolls Royce to a Kia , not dissapointed with my 95 pattern smocks as it means I can kit everyone out in camouflage should we ever need it , but I wish they were 68 pattern (i wore these all my service) the difference in quality is reflected in the price.
As an after thought the modern goretex over suits in DPM are superb , I have been using them for years as motorcycle rain gear and will continue to do so until I can no longer get them.
Hi Midnight,

The 68 pattern jacket that I have is very tough and comfortable, but buttons and zippers are both fiddly and prone to failing. Also my jacket matches criticism that I've read on the net about the pocket stitching failing and the whole pocket falling off.

For tight crawl spaces and around the garden utility, I use the 68 pattern every time.

My response to NR's OP was because of how impressed I am at the quality of the 95 variant. Do you really think the 68 version is superior? Is that an objective point of view or based on nostalgia? My view is that the 95 is a more usable cut for out in the elements, trekking type activity, and being longer keeps more of me warm and dry. The material its made of has superior in waterproofing/drying, better closures fasteners, has a proper all weather collar and Velcro adjustable cuffs. Its lighter in weight. Pockets are sturdier, of greater capacity and of greater number, again with better closures. It has an excellent fitted of button-on-able hood. Its weakness is that it requires proofing to maintain its waterproofing, and its longevity and abrasion resistance is an unknown at this stage.

I saw the over-suits that you mentioned being advertised on e-bay and thought they looked a bit flimsy. Obviously from your description, I was mistaken :-)
There may be an element of rose tinted specs about it but i'll try to be objective , they both have good points and bad , I love the build of the 68 , it is very sturdy , there are numerous pockets and they really are cargo pockets , I have carried many and varied loads in these pockets and they are all still fully attached without repair on my well used late 70's personal smock , I have crawled through many a bush and bramble thicket in it with absolutely no tears or rips , I've actually fallen of a motorcycle wearing it with little damage(small friction burn hole on right hip , now patched) the lining is warm and comfy , poacher pocket is a boon for carrying odds & ends discretely , the bum flap is surprisingly effective at keeping a chill of your kidneys if a little fiddly to deploy now the main criticisms , can get a tad warm in the summer , is a little on the heavy side , more than doubles in weight when you get it wet and takes forever to dry , the 95 smock by comparison is lighter , dry's quickly , and cooler to wear in summer but it is flimsy, very very flimsy , I have trashed 3 of them whilst out hunting in the past(elbows worn through,pockets ripped off on barbed wire fencing , numerous holes caused by hedges and gorse bushes) whilst I'm still on my original 68 pattern , cuffs are frayed there's that patch from the bike crash and it's now very faded but still going strong
I used to have a 68 pattern jacket, loved it. Problem was as soon as the son was big enough to ware it i never saw it again.
I use the 68 September to May and the 95's the other part of the year , big button,s are good on the 95's as are the way they are attached , Velcro on cuff's are good too but not a long life option , horses for courses I guess , the real daddy of the smocks were the gaberdine windproof smocks that we all bought privately in the 80's
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