I am looking at getting a set of softies. I wondered if anyone could recommend either the PCS ones or the OG/Sand ones. If the PCS one, do they come up small (like my pcs ‘buffalo’).


PCS softies are true to size.

Not sure on how good the old compared to the new is. But the new one is very toastie.

Big fan.

It’s got an epaulette on the front too. So it is and appropriate form of outer wear… Despite what some people may say.


There are 2 types that are PCS compatible, the over the head one and the cold weather.

Over the head one is okay but a bit thin, best one is the cold weather one which is thicker, full zip and has a rank slide.

If you want Gucci then keela belay jacket is nice.


Yeah I’ve got the buffalo-style one. Nice and windproof!

I’d say true to size to large

I have the buffalo in large and the softie jacket in medium as the large was just too big.

Decent bit t if kit but doesn’t pack down as well as civvie/non issue gear.

If I was starting over or had the money I’d probably get the Snugpak Sleeka.

Or get a soft shell and a fleece. At the risk of identifying myself I wholly recommend the Helikon Trooper as an outer or under the smock layer. It’s nice and thin so packs down well, combined with a Norwegian shirt kept me plenty warm on the range over the winter.

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Best off saving up then? Unless a real bargain pops up of course…

I’d say so, the Sleeka comes in a coyote and black version as well as green and sand / multicam so gives the option of wearing it with civvies. Anything that’s dual function is a win in my book.

Always good to have the best kit you can have.
I’m terrible for advice for dets / operations as I double pack.

If it fits and it might be useful, I’ll take it. Hell, I took my memory foam pillow to Shader “just in case” (worth it).

But the issued softie is absolutely adequate for cadet usage. Gucci kit, whilst Ally (which as we all know, saves lives) is also very expensive. The issued softie is actually very good, and when layered correctly, underneath a smock, is pretty toastie.


I agree with this, I often wear the issue one over the Gucci options I have as I can put my rank slide on it to appease the stick wavers and it is actually really good.

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Nothing wrong with being a kitpest :smiley:


I’d echo that issued gear is easily good enough for what cadets, and CFAV’s do - it’s also about the opportunity cost of Gucci.

The extra money you’d spend on this or that smock, or this or that softie, would be far better spent on the best boots you can buy, or the best rucksack you can buy, or the best sleeping bag you can buy.

Personally I favour the full zip softies rather than the buffalo clone - the clone isn’t great, and it’s not as versatile as the jacket designs.


I’d agree with this too. Probably in that order, although others may have different priorities.

The Buffalo definitely runs tight and the softies are more generous. There’s also a Keela style full zip microfleece, which I find not as warm as the buffalo clone (although this could just be that mine is a looser fit than my half zip) but I find uses for it where it’s more practical.

The lighter jackets serve me well enough 90% of the time, paired with a sweatshirt under my smock. But I tend to be a little more active or flitting from indoors to outdoors. Thicker stuff comes out if I’m spending a particularly cold day sat or stood around with no access to a building.

I have an older Sleeka Elite in OG and Black, which is the toastiest item of clothing I own and would definitely be interested in a newer version for updated colours. But I don’t currently use it for cadets. I’d be looking at a more modern sleeping system first. Boots were my priority and I’m happy with my options.

There’s a balance to strike between cost, gucci factor, and benefit.
Less Gucci for a lot less money with 70-90% of the benefits is adequate enough for me.


Depends on what you are doing.

If I am bivvying with the CCF(A) on a Training Area in November, my Keela Belay is chefs kiss - but only a mug pays full price. Amazing what you can find on fleabay.

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Considering my softie will be a 6th layer, I think the PCS one will suffice, considering the cost.

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I love my PCS thermal jacket. One of the best purchases I’ve made as a CFAV (£50 new). I usually wear it instead of my smock. No one has said anything, so…

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Because it’s absolutely kosher to do.

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Is this covered in Dress Regs or is it just a done thing even if not written down?

Strictly, not for RAFAC:

ACP 1358c, Chapter 2

0227 g. Thermal Smock. Cold conditions undergarment, or suitable mid layer, not to be worn as outer layer.

(Not that I’d stop anyone)

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Pffft. Why read the rules when you can do what you want?

And I think it’s more of an -ism than it actually being written down. I think our regs amsay the same to be honest. But I’ve cut around in front of our SWO before and not been pulled up for it.


To each their own ofc! Picked mine up for £65 used, couldn’t complain.

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