This Gorka-1 from Kondor (кондор) resembles the original Soviet Gorka, which was used during the Afghan War in the 80’s. Today it is still used by modern Russian Special Forces because of its comfortable fit and robustness.
Gorka means “Hill” or “Mountain” and exactly for that matter this 100% Cotton Suit is meant for. Since the Afghani Desert has hot day and freezing cold nighttime conditions, the need of an all around rugged Suit was obvious. Not to forget that the manufacturing cost are really low for a Gorka!
Speznas, VDV, GRU and other special purpose units used mainly the Gorka during the Afghan War. Today there are a lot of different modernized Gorka variants with different looks, pocket locations and so on, which I will sooner or later review one by one.
The original Gorka-1 (Soviet Gorka) has only 2 sewed on square pockets on the front of the trousers, 2 pockets on the jacket and one pocket on the left inside of jacket.
On the left photo you can see the inside pocket – it is a plain cotton sewed bag, which you can close with a single button. The other photo shows the square pockets on the trousers at the height of the thighs, also with one single button close-able. If you noticed the 2 buttons on each side of the pants and asked yourself what those are for, I can enlighten you. Those buttons are used for the suspenders – on the backside in the middle is another pair for buttons.
The 2 pockets on the jacket are simple jacket pockets – the nifty thing about those are the overlapping flaps which helps avoiding the items inside to fall easily out and also helps that no dirt or moisture gets in. They are not that big, but to warm your hands on a cold autumn day they are perfect.
Here a picture of the label, which shows the brand and the size. Russian sizing consist of 2 pair of numbers. In this case it is the 52/182 or 54/188. The first number indicates the circumference of your chest and waist and the second number is plainly your total height in centimeters.
Here is a good example of rugged design and construction of the Gorka-1. The back of the pants has some reinforced part in the buttocks section and the before mentioned pair of buttons for the suspenders are also visible. The lower end of the trousers has a pair of elastic bands in the ankle height worked in and 2 additional elastics to step on. Those help the trouser to stay in the desired position in firefight incidents and while running.
Speaking of rubber and elastic bands. The jacket has a integrated elastic at hip height, which, same as those on the pants, helps to keep the jacket at its place.
Neat little, typical simple Russian style, addition. The Gorka has (as seen on the left) a little spare square worked into the inside of the jacket (same is in the trousers), which is a “ready-to-use” patch for holes which you may get after abusive use. Also the spare button hidden in the hood of the jacket is another example of the forward-thinking Russians. Pretty neat, isn’t it?
The jacket has 6 front buttons to close it. There is a double sheet of fabric – with the inner sheet you close the jacket, since it is the only one which has the fitting holes for the buttons. The other sheet is for guarding the buttons and make the opening of the jacket draft proof. Again – Simple and effective.
This is and was my first Gorka – actually this was a impulsive buy, since the price was a hell of a deal. I got 2 identically Gorka-1 for around 80$ off ebay from the same guy I bought my yellow Berezka Maskalat from. I use this Gorka quite often when I leave the house and know I have to do some “dirty work” (No, I am not a Hitman 😛 ) Thanks to it non-camouflaged look, you can used it without any weird looks out on the streets.
The Gorka offers what it promises – its rugged, its comfortable, its warm and practical in every situation. On the battlefield or at home.
Soviet VDV and other Special Purpose Units in the Afghan War using the original Soviet Gorka, also known as Gorka-1.
Russia’s Elite Unit “ALFA Antiterror” in Gorka-1 Suits.
08.10.2012 – by Logisticz for Gruppa L