Today I want you to introduce you to a quite new Company called VSO (витязь спецоснащение // Vityaz Special Purpose) which is a Belarusian Company with their distribution Office located in Warsaw, Poland. They produce different Apparel like Gorkas, Maskhalats, Hats, Helmet Covers and Equipment like Harnishes and Assault Backpacks in a huge variation of camouflage Patterns. Actually Greg, from the UK office of VSO, told us that you can order anything they offer in the desired camouflage Pattern, even Western Camo like Marpat/Cadpat.
But now to the review and the object of desire. The VSO Anorak Medusa.
The Fabric of the Anorak Medusa is made out of 35% cotton and 65% polyester material and got a weight of 180g/m².
First of all, VSO got 2 kind of Maskhalat Suits – The Anorak and the Partizan models. The main difference is that the Partizan are more thicker in terms of fabric and therefore intended for Autumn and Winter use. Logically then the Anorak models are suited for Spring and Summer use, due to their thinner fabric. None the less, you still can use the Anorak ones for the colder days, since you can wear plenty of warm clothes underneath it.
What makes the Anorak Medusa so special? Well that I’ll tell you….. The Anorak (and Partizan) Medusa is a reversible Maskhalat Suit!
As the names already depict are they intended for using in the Springtime (more juicier green then the Summer variant) and in the Autumn (brown colors, like dry and dead leafs on the ground during that Season of the year).
Now into the details! Like always from the Top down.
An extra lace has been worked in to cord up the opening against windy and/or rainy weather Conditions. Also there is a Lace in the back of the Hood, with which you can fasten the Hood to fit tighter on your head or even on your Helmet.
What I really find neat and useful are those Mesh like parts in the Hood on the height of your Ears. Those does not only helps to circulate the Air inside the Hood under warm weather conditions, but also helps in terms of hearing, since your ears are not completed shielded. The other great detail are those little camouflage Loops sewn into the Hood. You can weave Grass and other plants from the Vegetation around you to enhance your camouflage-ability and to blend more in with the enviroment. There are a Total of 3 pairs with each 3 loops located on the Hood: One on Top, One on the Left and one on the Right (just above the ear height).
As the name of the Maskhalat suit already suggest, this is an Anorak style Jacket and has no full opening. To put it on you will need to pull it over your head like a sweatshirt. Also there are only 4 Canadian style slotted medium sized buttons to close it.
The collar does not provide the same amount of cover like on the Gorka, but since this is no Gorka and is intended to use in rather warm conditions it doesn’t matter. There are 2 Buttons on the collar with around 2 cm space from each other. The lower 2 ones have more space between them (around 10 cm from each other). This is not just for saving the cost for an extra button, but to give you the option to open only the lower buttons for extra ventilation, but also keeping the suit in place, so the vegetation you fitted into your camo loops does not slip around too much. Simple, but very effective.
Well since this is a reversible Maskhalat suit it got 2 rows of Canadian style slotted buttons. One row for the Spring side and one for the Autumn side. The neat thing about this, is that you can actually close the buttons from the not “active” side to get a double layer of cloth for the colder or windier days. Not sure if so Intended, but It works.
Due to the fact that this is the Anorak Variant of the Medusa Suit from the VSO repertoire, it only got 2 chest pockets.
If you want to reverse your Suit, you only need to pull the pocket “bag” from the inside of the jacket and flip the canadian style button trough his little slot – and ready you are!
Also there is a little label hidden with the VSO Logo (right Pocket, on Autumn side/Inside the Autmn pocket).
A worked in rubber band at the end of the sleeve prevents it from rolling up – also the sleeve end is a little longer so it covers the palm of your hand. This helps to close that little gap between your gloves lower end and the beginning of the sleeve.
On this picture you can see the several camouflage loops alongside the sleeve – on the spring and the autumn side. There are a total of 3 pairs with 3 Loops, located on the shoulder till the forearm. Also there is one extra pair consisting of 3 Camouflage Loops locate directly on your neck.
For the extra perfect, wobble free fit, there has been a Lace worked into the waist area. You can tighten the Lace with the help of a cord lock, which is on the spring Camo side. Here is now the first visible difference between both sides of the Anorak Medusa with its reversible feature. On the autumn Camo side the cord lock is not visible and can only be tighten from the inside. But that’s OK, since you probably will tighten it only once when you put it on.
The bottom opening of the Jacket got another cord lock with a lace worked inside the jackets opening, located on the right side. Interesting is, that the Lace got a round metal ring instead of the classic and simple knot to prevent the cord lock to slip out. Also the cord lock is again on the spring Camo side.
Now the Pants!
The Waistband is quite large with a width of around 8cm. This does not only help to keep the Trouser from slipping around, but also helps it to be more comfortable on your waist. This gives you more freedom of movement, since the pressure of the elastic band is better distributed due to the larger size. VSO somehow prefered the spring Camo side, since the lace to tighten the waist is again on that juicy green side. Alongside the Waist you got several generously large Belt loops (around 2,5cm in width). As you can see, on the back you got in the height of the Backbone an even larger Belt loop with a width of 10cm. This definitely will prevent the Trouser from wobbling around while running, sprinting or climbing, if you use an extra belt.
The Fly is the only part which I am not so fond of. First of all, it got only one Canadian style button in the middle. There should be at least 2 in my opinion. Secondly If you reverse the Suit to the autumn Camo side, you can only open the fly from inside the Trouser or fiddle around from the outside. Actually this is not a huuuuge thing, but It somehow still annoys me and I want to be honest with our readers and not just promote stuff.
There are also only 2 Pockets on each side with a Flap, like the Chest Pockets of the Jacket got. They work in the same manner as the Chest pockets and are also 100% reversible, including the Button. Another little detail is, that most of the slot holes for the Canadian style buttons are still closed and need to be cut open with a scalpel like knife – I don’t feel annoyed by that, since I first inspect the suit before I use it and within 5 minutes you have opened all the 4 slot holes.
Like the Gorka and Maskhalat “Tracksuits”, the Medusa got a rubber band worked into the sleeve end, so it does not go up while running or doing any kind of sporty activity.
All in all I am very pleased with the reversible Anorak Medusa from VSO – To be fair, it is even better then I expected! It is a very good alternative to all the other brands out there and with a Price of around 97 Euro (excluding shipping cost) It is also quite affordable. Not to forget that you actually get 2 Maskhalats in 1 Suit, which is also made out of a top notch fabric and is well made. I would definitely buy this Maskhalat again – I am also very pleased with the UK contact named Greg! Cheers to you!
To order your own Anorak Medusa or browse their catalogue or even Order a special variant in your desired Camo, visit VSO UK at their official Facebook Page here:
NOTE! Since VSO is a quite new enterprise, there are probably no real Units using the VSO Anorak Medusa, but for your entertainment and how it could possible look, We made some Pictures by ourself. Hope you like them anyways 🙂
15.05.2013 – by Logisticz for Gruppa L