Recently there is a gold rush over AOR (Area of Responsibility) 1 / AOR2 uniforms and gears! And it has been going on for almost 3 years now!
With the NWU (Navy Working Uniform) Type 2 and Type 3 being issued to all sailor, we thought the price gonna be more sensible.
Apparently not the case, with New Balance (Famous Running Shoes Manufacturer) & Patagonia (Almighty PCU Manufacturer) putting their hands in making the NWU III and AOR2 Combat Uniform respectively, all collectors and airsofters are selling all their valuables and started clicking on eBay or other forums.
As the price being pushed up so irrationally, different manufacturers see the opportunity for replica AOR1 / AOR2 uniform and gears.
Namely TMC (China), Flash Force Industries (China / HK), A-Two Tactical (Taiwan). At the same time there are a lot of other gear making companies imported authentic AOR1 / AOR2 / NWU fabric, ToySoldier / Ferro Concept / US Sewing / OPS, just to name a few!
We are not to discuss the function of AOR1 / AOR2, nor how great those fabric they use matches the Eagle / LBT or even the original Crye materials.
We are just trying to gather what we have seen so far and may be to assist you in purchasing / finish up your collection with the most reasonable (may be less pricey) decision!
Let’s start by getting ourselves familiar with AOR2 pattern. Followings are AOR2 / AOR1 comparison and MARPAT Woodland / AOR2 comparison
Horizontal or vertical, you can see AOR2 stands out quite obviously.
Now here comes the NWU Type II / III
Some suggested the orientation of printing of the camouflage is different from the AOR2. They claimed AOR2 seems to have printed horizontally, ie. from left to right; while NWU camouflage printed vertically, ie. from top to bottom.
The official answer from the US Navy is “The differences between the uniform is the embedded Anchor, Constitution and Eagle (ACE) emblem which is only found in the NWU Type II/III”
Enough said, what is available in the market?
For authentic materials, Toysoldier & OPS are using NWU III fabric to make Caps / Combat Uniforms, the stitching are all superb, the down side are the Navy Emblem and the Price Tag. NWU III fabric costs about double of what Multicam is, fair enough.
Same situation applies to nylon gear, AOR2 / NWU III webbing are not available to the public, so the best they could offer is either Green webbing or stripes of Cordura, even authentic 330D / 500D Cordura is being used in the main body of the pouches / vest.
For replica combat uniforms, Allwin & Emerson from China are making AOR1 Combat Uniforms; while A-Two Tactical & Flash Force Industries are making AOR2 Combat Uniforms.
The title of this article suggested, we are going to focus energy on AOR2 / NWU III for now.
Size / Price
Flash Force Industries offering size XS - XL (which XS are sold out at the time of writing) selling at US$127 (Hong Kong pick up) ~ US$178 (eBay - shipping included).
A-Two Tactical offering XS - XL (All sizes available) selling at US$110 (Taiwan pick up) ~ US$185 (eBay - shipping excluded).
(Click to see clearer!)
Unfortunately we could not afford US$1,000 to get an authentic AOR2 combat uniform, still we could offer what we have found so far around the web and our budget allows!
These are captures from an online forum, with the permission of the author "snakedoctor" from Belfast, United Kingdom (Thanks bro!)
Toysoldier (Left) Flash Force Industries (Right)
We happened to have a set of Toysoldier made AOR2 as well, and we also tried the same indoor lighting~
Toysoldier (Left) A-Two Tactical (Right)
The Navy Emblem is visible on TS Combat Shirt, and the ripstop grid pattern is visible on A2 Combat Shirt.
The brown colour on A2 camouflage is slightly darker, the rest of the pattern looks quite close!
Further testing, especially washing is required, standby for further!
TMC does offer Replica AOR2 gear
They are cheap, literally, US$135 for the plate carrier + pouches! But further examination on the camouflage is not required for obvious reason.
A-Two Tactical offers a wide range of magazine pouches, P226 / MP5 / MP7 / M4 / SCAR-L / HK416 / SCAR-H / HK417 / M249, just to name a few
A-Two Tactical also provides purpose built pouches, e.g. Admin Pouches / Medical Pouches
Last but not least, Chest Rigs (1961 / 2586 series), Plate Carriers are also being made.
For further information, check out A-Two Tactical Catalog
Official Navy Working Uniform Website