Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor

Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor

Smock is essentially a “soft shell” of previous days, key element of an old-school layering system. Just windproof, not warm. Rainproof a little, very temporarily and depending of the condition of waterproof treatment. Sometimes smocka are made fully waterproof, but it is an aberration from original concept.

It serves as protection from harsh environment – thorns, gravel, and so.

It serves as camouflage layer and frequently has a loops for camo attchments.

Under the smock are worn:
– base layers (next-to-skin and warm underclothes)
– mid-insulation layer (fleece and even softshell anorak “PCS Lightweight Thermal Smock”)
– lightweight rainproof gear (as “stealth suit”)
– heavyweight rainproof gear (sometimes)

Over the smock are worn:
– heavyweight rainproof gear
– heavy insulation layer

Smock is not only a clothing item, it also features a load-bearing capability. Not full battle-rattle, but a number of belongings:

  • writing instruments
  • first aid kit
  • pocket knife
  • ear plugs
  • flashlight
  • survival kit, whistle, firestarter, compass, signaling panel
  • hygiene items
  • a length of cord
  • gloves, tube scarf, beanie hat, bandanna
  • snacks, rations

Depending on pockets’ size and placement, compact load-bearing chest rig could be worn over smock keeping pockets usable (or at least some of them), photos below.

smock load bearing chest rig

For year I had used a smock-like clothing items, various windproof jackets. Because here in (not Soviet already) Russia we have two winters, white and green. For the green winter windproofs are a must-have layers.

Recently I’ve got a common British “Smock, Combat, Windproof, Woodland DP” 50% polyester, 50% cotton. In used condition, to keep the price low, just to try it. Why lie, I like it. But some pieces need to be modified.

Look at the huge hood:

british smock hood mod modification

Then the front piece with inner wire is folded, it looks like that:

british smock hood mod modification

Work in progress:

british smock hood mod modification

Final look:

british smock hood mod modification

Recommended reading (read comments too):

9 thoughts on “Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor

  1. Greetings from New England, USA.

    The regional military surplus store chain, Army Barracks, still has British DPM Smocks for around $30. Predominant sizes are Small and Medium. Occasionally you find a Large. Great piece of clothing if you can find one that fits you.

    Acquired a Fjallraven Smock #1 a few years back in preparation for a trip into the Wind River Range. While I can’t complain of the quality, the price is another matter and I wouldn’t have gotten it if there wasn’t a generous employee discount involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi from KO93 🙂 Sure, issue Brit smocks are a good start in the smock world. MTP pattern even have armpit zippers, but I dislike their similiarity to multicam. I plan one more (at least) modification – moving pockets from chest to, e-hm, a$$ area 🙂


      • MTP, much like Multicam, is a little light for the Northeastern USA. I try to go with hippy earth tones such as OG-107, but with milsurp you get what was just discontinued from the military.


        • Agree, camouflage is a drawback with surplus equipment (in terms of greyman concept and such), but affordability beats that card.
          Faded DPM (my smock was in “fair” condition) is much better camo than brand new dark pattern. But perhaps the best solution will be buying DDPM (available here in not-Soviet Russia) and dye-ing it into something.


          • For what its worth, in Connecticut one sees enough camouflage pattern clothing being worn as fashion by both rural and urban residents that it elicits no comment from observers.

            US Army surplus ACU pattern clothing takes dye very well, but I recall hearing somewhere that it was designed to pick up the coloration from the local terrain when being worn. Examples I’ve seen done by hobbyists look like a darker version of USMC Marpat. Considering how cheap and unwanted this stuff is here in the states, it may be an option for people on a budget. And there is still plenty of 1980s and 1990s vintage Woodland pattern available, although I suspect the collectors will start buying it all up like they did with all the old Vietnam War gear.


  2. Pingback: Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor — Ironbound Concepts – Ticom – The Dystonaut

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