The SFU uniform line is an undeniable Helikon-Tex hit product. They have refreshed it this year, both shirt and trousers, and recalled it „NEXT”. We’ve reviewed the trousers a few months ago, which were available earlier than the shirt, but it’s finally time for the shirt’s review! Just to remind you, SFU is based on a R6 Crye Precision uniform, but NEXT is much more advanced than that, and can’t be called a R6 copy.
STRUCTURE AND QUALITY
Classic on steroids- that pretty much sums it up. Every one who has seen a typical American BDU shirt knows, that it wasn’t designed to we worn with vests and plate carriers. It has four pockets- two smaller on the chest and two bigger on the hips. SFU is just like that, just with two additional pockets on the shoulders.
Six pockets give us quite a lot of space to carry some small stuff. At the first look SFU NEXT isn’t much different from the old version, unlike the trousers. The collar stays the same, as well as a waist adjustment with a strap and button. It’s closed with 5 buttons, no Velcro or zippers. It’s much more classic than for example CPU.
So let’s start from the top- shoulder pockets look really flat, but they have folds on the back side, which gave them some more capability.
Unlike the older version, shoulder pockets does have Velcro panels, both on the flap and the outside of a pocket. That means that there is a lot of space for the flags, morale patches or team patches.
Both top and bottom pockets are closed with Velcro. They have folds, which means that they stay flat when empty, but has a huge capacity.
Over the top pockets there are Velcro straps for nametags etc. Wrists size is adjusted with Velcro.
The fabric is 60/40 cotton/poliester ripstop, available in US Woodland, wz.93, olive, shadow grey and black. It costs around £35.
USAGE (PERSONAL OPINION)
At the first glance we notice that it hasn’t really change that much compared to the old version, even more considering the amount of changes in the pants. But what did you expect? There’s not really much to add, SFU is still something for those looking for a bit more advanced BDU, but not too much. If you are looking for something to wear with a vest, better get yourself a CPU.
It’s not like SFU is completely useless- it’s just meant for different tasks. Isn’t it better to wear it with something designed for that, like a beltkit or a chest rig? That way we can still use all of it’s pockets.
With the chest rigs it’s even better without the top panel- makes accessing the pockets easier. There shouldn’t be any problem with the bottom ones, but keep in mind that it’s not a Smock.
It should be mentioned, that there is a small problem with shoulder pockets, when there is something inside them. When empty, they are flat, but can get bulky. It gets in your way, when you are taking off your backpack- you can forget about doing it quickly, unless you have a quick release system. Accessing them can also be difficult- the angle is too small. Biggest problem is with taking out smaller things, but getting out your phone isn’t easier at all.
Compared to the CPU, SFU has better pockets and collar- if you don’t like the high collar, and it makes for a better every-day wear because it can carry more stuff, and stands out less if you use a non-camo version. The cut is loose enough to let you move freely, and sleeves are wide enough to be rolled up.
ThePesh: I’ve used the Shadow Grey set and really liked it- it’s not so „agressive” and great for the city- doesn’t stand out as much as Coyote Brown. It blends in perfectly. I’ve used it for quite a while now, mainly for hiking and every-day wear. It’s sewed really well- i haven’t los tany buttons ( and i don’t get, why so many people hace issues with them?). it won’t work too well with a plate carrier, but is great for a beltkit. To sum up, i really like the NEXT line- i’ve got three pairs of those trousers- and i use the grey ones the most often.
Dev: If you’re looking for a BDU on steroids, SFU NEXT is just the stuff for you! It didn’t change too much, compared to the old one, but it’s still a great shirt, just mor for use with beltkits and chest rigs than vests. CPU is better for vests. Of couerse, it’s quite good for every-day wear, despite a small choice of colors and camos, since the first generation. It has a huge capacity, ans has alots of space for patches, so you can show off every day!