Since in Europe/ Germany it is quite difficult to get your hands on a Gorka E, it took me a while to finally get one myself. I bought this particular one second hand on http://www.red-alliance.net from a guy from Croatia (Puno hvala!). As I already reviewed and wrote about the Gorka-1, also known as Soviet Gorka. I recommend you to read this review first, to get to know the origins of the Gorka Suit itself and the main difference to its modernized and perfected descendant.
This Gorka E set me back around 95 Euro (excluding shipping), which is quite a good price for todays Gorka E prices. Not to forget that the old owner wore it only once and it is like new. A brand new Gorka E in “Leto” Camouflage (which means “Summer” in Russian) cost around 110 to 160 Euro (depending where you buy and of course if is “on stock”, which is the main issue of “trying to buy one”) excluding shipping and Custom fee.
Quick recap of “what a Gorka is, and why was it invented?” – The Gorka is a 2 part Suit (Jacket and Trousers), which was invented for Russian Special Forces in the Afghanistan War back in the 80s – It is also meant as an windproof oversuit in cold conditions, which is wide tailored (helps distort the human silhouette). Due to its reliablilty and ruggedness it became very popular by Russian Speznas (FSB, MVD, VDV and GRU) and is used nearly in any current military conflict. There are some different Manufacturers which make Gorkas today. Just to name a few known: Kondor, ANA, Modoks, SPLAV and SPOSN. This Gorka named model “E” was made by SPOSN, which is considered the “Premium brand” when it comes to Russian Military Gear.
The first visible difference from a Gorka 1 (Soviet Gorka) and Gorka E are the Camouflage parts. Those are not only meant to reinforce the fast worn-out parts of the Suit, but in fact to distort the human silhouette in a distance between 100-200 metres. There are alot of different Camouflage patterns available – If you have enough funds, you can even write SPOSN an email and order your Camo of your liking (This is no joke, SPOSN/SSO really offers custom Gorka E!) The base is made from strong woven cotton with A+ quality. Just like the Gorka 1. The Base color of the Gorka E should resemble a dirt and earth like color. You also should not forget that the Gorka E was never intended to be a camouflage suit for near distances!
Another big difference is the Hood – not only is it completley covered in the extra Camouflage fabric, but it has also Sunshield, extra collar to cover the throat/neck area (when closed with 3 Buttons), a lace to cord up the opening when need (rainy/windy condition for e.g.) and another lace to fasten the hood on the head (it is located in the back of the hood and fastens from left to right).
The Gorka E has on each Arm an extra Pocket for a few Pens and a small notebook or a package of handkerchief. Both Pockets have 2 extremly tough velcro parts for closing it.
What I really dig is the extra elastic band in the end of the sleeve end and in the wrist section. This prevents the Sleeve from rolling up.
The Jacket has 5 big button and 3 sligthly smaller (last 3 from the top) on the right side and 1 small button on the left side to close the jacket. Just like the Gorka-1, the Gorka E has an extra layer on top of the 5 big buttons to protect the buttons (which are made out of an durable polymer) and to cut off the wind draft. The 3 smaller onese are to close the collar to protect the throar/neck from all sorts of cold weather conditions.
The small button on the left side is to double secure the lower closing part of the jacket – good thinking!
There is another layer inside, which can be closed with 3 similar buttons to cut the draft even more and protect your body heat from the vicous cold wind. Of course you have to close first the inner layer of draft protection before closing the jacket.
Speaking of inner layer – The Jacket has on the left side an inside pocket. This pocket is just like the one that the Gorka-1 has. it consits of only a cotton sewed bag (pretty good sewed!) which can be closed with one single button. Good to have, but I won’t store my Handphone or something important in there while out on the battlefield.
The elastic band in the back (to be precise, above the kidneys) and the lace in the lower end section of the Jacket helps also to keep the lower part from rolling up and letting the wind/snow getting in.
Another pair of pockets can be found on the left and right side of the jacket – just like the pockets nearly every jacket has. Impressive though is the foldable flap in combinaition with the closing big button. This prevents anything from getting in or out by all means! Not to forget that the Flaps are covered in camouflage pattern.
If you read the Gorka-1 review, you should’ve noticed one thing that it is missing and which dissappoint me a little bit. Yes, you’re right! The extra cotton square and the spare button are missing! Quite a setback (not really). Maybe they forget it to add or they made sure that you would never have to sew holes or re-attach a buttons. Maybe the pre-owner lost the button? (since there is a short lace inside which has no use). I don’t know it, but to be honest, it doesn’t really matter and effect the brillant function and comfort of the SSO Gorka E.
The trousers got one tough elastic waistband and an additional lace to tighten it. To open the fly you need to “unstick” the velcro and the clasp, then you get another 3 “small” buttons.
What I really like is the extra layer behind the first fly flap, so your best part is also draft protected. It got only 1 small button on top – but that is more then enough. Since the Fly is probably also very often in use, it got a double sheet of fabric with camouflage on it. It seems that SSO changed over the time the main opening, since I have a metal clasp and velcro, net’split got on his Gorka E Osen (Autumn) a single (big) button. Not sure if it is because of the Camouflage or if it was made during another time period.
On the left picture you can see the above mentioned button for the draft protection. The other pictures shows the extra loops, on which you can attach an additional suspenders. Those you will need to by separatly – SSO offers some kind of X-Suspenders which are affordable with a price around 12 Euro and fit perfectly..
On the left and right side, where you would actullay expect a pocket, is a opening. It can be closed with a single button. This opening eases the acces to the pockets of your pants, which you are wearing underneath the Gorka E (since the Gorka E is meant to wear over your “regular” clothing). Intresting enough, net’split got on his Gorka E Osen a regular pair of pockets.
Of course this tough “working” suit got a nice pair of classical Cargo pockets on each leg (side). Also here there is an extended flap, which prevents dirt or other unwanted thing to get in the pocket and vice versa when closed. For closing is a single “big” button there – just like the side pockets of the Jacket.
I really like this addition: SSO put an extra extended layer on the trousers legs, which goes inside your boots. You can also tighten it up with the lace, so it fits even better and prevents it from getting loose so fast. This extra extension is intended to prevent ticks, dirt, snow and other unwanted material or insects to get inside your shoe. The outer trouser leg, which is camouflaged got a elastic band around the ankles.
You get 2 butt pockets on the back. Thats one more then the Gorka-1 got. Not to forget that both can be closed with a single “big” button. Not like the cargo and jacket pockets, this pair of pockets got only a single loop to close it. But I don’t think that anybody want to put something in those pockets anyway, since in any battle situation, it will probably annoy you.
Over all I can say, that the SSO made Gorka E is one of the best all around suit you can get. Not only for engaging in a Firefight, but for everything you need some tough rugged suit. I surely will use it for hiking, fishing and hunting and for Paintball and Airsoft Skirmish. It is really comfortable and often I catch myself wearing it even at home.
A big benefit of this suit is also that you can wear it at any weather condition (well when it gets real hot, it could get “a bit warm” with it). If cold weather condition like Snow and strong Winds or sunny skies, the Gorka E is always a good choice in clothing. Especially the trousers. When it comes ot Rain, I can;t say anything yet. But my guess is, that it will repell the rain for a period of time and then start soaking it up like kitchen paper towel, since it is made out mainly of Cotton. I will impregnate it with a water repellent solution and make the Test at some point later.
Thats me with the Gorka E Leto, at a little hiking excursion last Weekend.
I can ensure you that this is not my last Gorka E, since I want another one in Osen (Autumn) Camouflage and that it was worth every penny. For the Russian gear lover definitley a “must have” to complete the collection of Suits and Uniform.
MVD with Gorka E in Leto Camouflage at a Training Facility.
Not sure about this Origin of this Picture, probably Airsoft Reenactment. But for sure they are wearing the Gorka E in Flectar-D Camouflage.
Bunch of Speznas wearing the infamous SSO Gorka E in Leto Camouflage.
For Reference: SSO Gorka R used by a russian Speznas. Only difference from the Gorka R to the model “E” is the non-existing Camouflage patterns.
10.02.2013 – by Logisticz for Gruppa L