CPU uniform can be shortly described as a rip-off of Polish wz.2010 uniform with slight changes inspired by ACU. It is a 3rd generation of Helikon’s uniform and for sure their most advanced design so far (not to mention UTP and SFU Next which have quite a simple jacket); better than SFU or TCU. Add a very good camouflage like PenCott GreenZone or Badlands and you end up with a really attractive mix. Especially considering there is not many uniforms in PenCott on market (in Poland we have only Leo Kohler from those widely available).

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Noble knight in PenCott BadLands and his squires in GreenZone 😀


CONSTRUCTION

JACKET

CPU is a project designed directly for people using body armour but of course it is worse than typical combat shirts. When using SCARAB which is an integrated vest I could still reach to most of pockets. Of course it is better with TPC, LBT6094 and similar plate carriers but those are obviously smaller. Jacket is a mix of ACU/TCU and wz.2010 (mostly the last one) – it fits well although it’s still quite loose and baggy, and has 4 main and 2 smaller pockets.

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CPU in its full splendor.

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PenCott eastern style.

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Plate carrier 94 from Rasputin – we can reach pockets very easily.

Pockets:

– one on each arm (16x12cm), with a Velcro (10x10cm), closed with a zipper at the side. Such construction allows a very easy access to the pocket especially when we tie a longer part of paracord to the zipper pull instead of normal bands. On the opposite side we have loops where we can hold pens, lightsticks (bottom “loop” is sewn so nothing will go through) as well as attach wire from comms. Cuffs are regulated with Velcro.

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Arm pockets – on the upper one we can see loops mentioned above.

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You can easily see an opened arm pocket.

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And here are close but we can still see a zipper with a good access to inner part. As you can see, you can have a lot of morale patches on Velcro 😀

– 2 angled pockets on the torso (18x14cm), closed with a Velcro flap on the top and with zipper on sides. Again, very good solution – even while wearing an integrated vest we have a good access to the pocket.

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In opposite to some vests, while wearing a chest rig we have a full access to all pockets.

– one pocket on each lower sleeve (forearm), closed with Velcro flap. The left one is 15x7cm, the right one – 11x7cm. Jacket is closed with a two-way zipper, additionally covered with Velcro flap. CPU also has a stand-up collar with a small part of Velcro outside to keep it closed and up. The inside of the collar is lined with fleece which is very soft and comfortable.

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Collar has a quite big circumference but when we will use some kind of shemagh or underneath layer with thicker collar we will not close it.

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Of course it is not a problem at all. Stand up collar is big enough that it doesn’t strangle the user like UBACS does. Photo by Fredzia/Can(n)on Fodder.

There are loop Velcro panels above both chest pockets to attach nametags or unit name. CPU has zippers under both armpits as a ventilation points. These are quite big: about 30cm long. Good solution when it gets warmer.

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Zippers under the armpits are long but to be honest – they won’t replace combat shirt.

Similar to SFU, we have a double layer of material on elbows and additionally we can place there some pads. These pockets are closed with Velcro and are better profiled than in SFU, with wider access and rectangle shape (not oval as in SFU).

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Pocket for pad on the elbow.

TROUSERS

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Insert pads are good but nothing is better than standalone kneepads or integrated with trousers.

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CPU pants are not combat pants, these are typical uniform trousers without elastic parts – still the usage of them is good and they are not limiting your moves.

CPU pants are the mix of ACU and SFU – typical battle pants with lot of pockets and double layer on butt and knees 🙂 Just as it should be.

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Front side of CPU pants…

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… and back 🙂

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CPU vs combat pants Striker XT (UF Pro) – as you can see, pants by Helikon have classical, baggy cut with characteristic cargo pockets.

Belt loops are 5cm wide so they can hold most of belts like Comfort from Orkan or Thirdline from Bayonet; of course with proper width of the band. Four front loops have additional little loops at the bottom to attach a piton, paracord, etc.

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Comfort type belt from Orkan – Krawiectwo Taktyczne.

CPU trousers feature 10 pockets which is a lot. 6 of them have closures and as you can see, flaps have cut corners so they won’t catch on anything, draw up, etc. we can carry our stuff in:

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2 thigh open top pockets, quite deep.

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2 on the butt closed with buttons and flap. You can see strengthening of this part of trousers.

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Two cargo pockets closed with a Velcro flap and additional loop and button which prevent pockets from wide opening. There is also a shockcord like in ACU pants.

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2 little ones, size of smaller (older) phones, open top – similar from those in SFU but not big enough to fi a M4 magazine.

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2 calf pockets closed with a Velcro flap.

Both legs ends feature bands to tighten them up if necessary. There are also double layers of material on both knees which create pockets for protection pads. These come with Velcro closure at the bottom.

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Pockets are rectangular and wide, providing good access to place a protective pad inside.


QUALITY

There is no shitty material this time. PenCott fabric comes directly from its original manufacturer and not licensed ones. It’s genuine, high quality material with stable colour palette (not like for example with MultiCam and its copies). There are however some minor differences in colour but mostly in Cordura. We’ve noticed some minor differences in NyCo between Le Kohler and Helikon but still not big enough to stop it being one of the most effective camouflages.

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PenCott Greenzone & Badlands.

However the stitches and the rest is Helikon’s job and of course it isn’t as good as we would want it to be. Still we have fly buttons which holds at most month or two… Over the years Helikon has improved its sewing and quality, especially when they released CPU, but they still have problems with buttons. So far I haven’t ripped off anything (apart from the first, paper-like rip-stop SFU pants few years ago) but the buttons still fly away. Pity!

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Not even 2 months and i had to sew it back. As always 😛

Despite this the overall quality is very good – from the very beginning CPU was characterised by a quality higher than earlier Helikon’s products. Of course we have some poking out threads but only a few. And those are only over plus threads so pulling them won’t rip anything. In proper places, where the risk of ripping is the biggest we have bolt stitches.

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CPU are mostly done well and has a good quality, also inside the pockets. Most sticking out stitches we can find near the belt loops and only there.

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Almost perfect – just one small thread next to the flap.

All Velcro are good quality ones and well cut – nothing is unravelling and they have circled corners too.

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COMBAT – ID patches on the arm pockets.

Different issue is the price of the PenCott material which is quite high so the Helikon products are even more expensive than those in genuine MultiCam or A-TACS. We pay for full uniform (jacket + trousers) about 600zł and a combat shirt is another 300zł. So much money for Helikon? Sorry to say no one will sell an expensive camouflage cheap. Another option is to buy Leo Kohler’s uniform: Explorer version is cheaper, goes for about 120zł in total, with the KSK version being more expensive. However the CPU has a better design when we talk about the jacket (trousers are comparable).

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Noticeable difference in colour of PenCott on Cordura and NyCo – vest from Rasputin and battle belt from Templars Gear.

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Zoom: CPU uniform, Rasputin plate carrier, Templars Gear battle belt, Direct Action backpack (you can see the harness).


USAGE (PERSONAL OPINION)

If someone doesn’t like spandex, integrated knee pads and other combat-type uniforms, the CPU is for him. You can call it a ‘classic’ uniform but it’s well adapted for use with any type of field gear. I am thinking particularly about the jacket which pockets thanks to side zippers are still easy reachable even when worn under most vests. What is more the jacket is good because of the under armpits ventilation zippers. Note that there are no bottom pockets – those would be useless when using a field gear.a

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CPU – modern but still “classical” uniform.

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There are never too many pockets for stuff and even those on chest are still useful under the fieldgear.

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Arm pockets with zippers offer easy access too but we recommend replacing bands with something bigger, like paracord, for better grip 😉

Stand-up collar is well made, Velcro closure gives a wide regulation option and inside we have a soft fleece which is very comfortable. And trousers? These are great: not be too loose or baggy, with wide loops that can hold even big belts from Bayonet and very capacious cargo pockets. In fact these are just upgraded ACU trousers but I don’t mind that. There is one thing tho: little thigh pockets are too narrow. These could be wider to hold a M4 magazine like those in SFU pants.

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CPU, TCU, ACU… trousers are trousers 😉

We write so much about how useful CPU is with field gear but what about breathability? It is rip-stop NyCo 50/50 and even with the zippers under the armpits it is still not a thermo-active material. Just a regular jacket with ventilation zippers. We will sweat wearing body armour as always. Someone has asked us on our Facebook page about the noise level of the material. To be frank if someone didn’t ask I wouldn’t even notice that. Material is made of nylon in 50% so it has a right to whish. Of course we cannot forget about the camouflage properties of the both camo patterns. In short – photos show everything and we did not make any comparison with other camouflages. GreenZone is the perfect camouflage for coniferous and deciduous forests and grasses (spring/summer and partially autumn) and swamps. Badlands is great for late spring, autumn and snowless winter. In autumn it is slightly worse than MC and MTP because of its brightness. It was designed mostly for grasslands.

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Green man – Greenzone.

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Together with Gear Addicts – Greenzone.

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And with Viperhood from SCG – Greenzone.

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Much Greenzone!

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Ghillie hat SCG + Badlands.

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As above and Badlands.

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And again BadLands

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Baldlands.


SUMMARY

DEV: CPU is a uniform with quite a lot of good solutions yet reasonable and useful. It’s a decent piece of clothing. Helikon has improved almost everything in that design so wearing it is only a pleasure. Pockets are finally reachable under the body armour, stand-up collar can be “closed” and used without any feel of discomfort. Material is good and even without thermo active parts it works very well. Of course you can have some objections about stitching quality but it doesn’t affect the overall usage. It’s only small visual disadvantage. Helikon decided to make it as practical as it could be, not to look like LV clothes.

Hell: Helikon haven’t discovered anything new. During my service I had been using wz.2010 uniform so I have some experience and comparison. What is really good and I appreciate that is the side access to the chest pockets closed with zippers – in wz.2010 we have side access but under the pocket and it is always open, no zipper or Velcro. Moreover Helikon has slightly improved arm pockets by adding flaps that cover the zippers which wz.2010 lacks. And now the disadvantages. Stand-up collar is total mistake for me; nothing has improved here since the TCU. When it is closed it sticks out in the front which personally annoys me. The wz.2010 uniform offers a much better solution: collar is higher, reaching almost to your chin. If you ask me also the fleece inside the collar is useless. I have been using uniforms without such a feature and I didn’t get any abrasions. Mostly neck gaiters or balaclavas are in use. And the most frustrating thing in CPU – the front zipper. There is no chance to zip it up quickly because it always blocks and jams. Wz. 2010 is far better. Why? There are simple buttons: faster, quieter and easy to sew them back if ripped off. Which is better? It is hard to say, both of them has it’s owns advantages and disadvantages.

ThePesH: Cooperation between Helikon and Hyde Definition (PenCott Camouflage) has resulted in increased quality control which means that CPU made in PenCott are the best products of Helikon in terms of quality. I didn’t have any problem with buttons – none of them fell off. Material quality is indisputable, sewing at a high level. CPU design itself is very comfortable and useful – no objections here from me. Keep in mind that both PenCott GreenZone and Badlands are perfect for the environment where we were testing them – central part of Europe, precisely Poland and in the UK (where the Hyde Definition was set up).

TommY: As Hell wrote above – Helikon copied once again. I have no objections towards the overall quality – material is first class, not plastic one but NyCo 50/50. I was really impressed after opening the package. One big disadvantage – fly buttons 😀 Uniform is very well sewed and very comfortable – proper layers and we will neither freeze nor get too hot. Cargo pockets with double closure work very well. Badlands is perfect for the dry terrains without green. So much that ThePesh lost me from his sight when he was changing settings in the camera and I was laying just 20m far from him. This camouflage is good for short and long distances.

Many thanks for the Military 1st and Helikon-Tex for giving us these uniforms for testing (and Direct Action stuff from the Military1st 😉 )


GREENZONE GALLERY

Gear used:
Helikon-Tex / Military 1st: CPU uniform, smock PCS, softshell Trooper and baseball cap,
UF PRO combat pants Striker XT,
 Sprinter Custom Ghillie: boonie hat, ghillie hat, Viperhood Pro MC,
Templars Gear:plate carrier TPC with pouches and IFAK,
Stronghold Group chest rig,
 Direct Action / Military 1st: “Dragon Egg” backpack,
Bayonet Belts Thirdline belt,
– patches COMBAT ID,
 Orkan – Krawiectwo Taktyczne: slings LRT-50 and ALFA,
– Air Frame cover Spearpoint – Indywidualne Rozwiązania Projektowe,
dump pouch Specops,
– gloves Armored Claw “Smart Tac”,
kydex holster for Sig Sauer P226 Crazy Lumberjack.

BADLANDS GALLERY

Gear used:
Helikon-Tex / Military 1st: CPU uniform,
Rasputin/Gunfire plate carrier 94k (ver. MP7 i M4),
VSO:Falanga fieldgear system,
Templars Gear:plate carrier TPC and battle belt TG-PT1,
Direct Action / Military 1st: Foxtrot bag,
Sprinter Custom Ghillie: boonie hat, ghillie hat, Viperhood Pro MC,
– patches COMBAT ID,
 Orkan – Krawiectwo Taktyczne: slings LRT-50 and ALFA, flat cargo pouch,
– gloves Armored Claw “Smart Tac”,
– kydex holster for Sig Sauer P226 Crazy Lumberjack,
– pouches and safety lanyard from Spearpoint – Indywidualne Rozwiązania Projektowe.

Uniforms were given by:

Helikon-Tex: https://helikon-tex.com

Military 1st shop:  www.military1st.co.uk

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Title photo: Alpha One Airsoft

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