So let's look at getting around this economic hitch and taking advantage of the virtues of the Crye pattern without the high costs of its exclusive in-house and officially licensed product designs...
Ghetto Multicam Warrior, Part 1: The Uniform
1) Buy Knock-Offs
Let's face it, starting at around $200 a set for the R6 Field line, buying genuine Crye tactical apparel, where you are paying for the unique design and the atypical fabric content as well as the special camouflage pattern, is not in the cards for budget-conscious 'ballers. You can save some significant expense by buying BDUs made from licensed Crye material from any of several vendors, including Special Ops, SKD, Tru-Spec, and TAD, and you'll save about 25%. You'll get real-deal Multicam printed on nice ny-co fabric, you'll get well-designed BDUs with their own unique features, you'll pocket fifty bucks, and you'll have a clean conscience.
Of course, true ghetto Multicam warriors will buy Asian-made knockoffs on eBay or from Real Action Paintball at $90 a set or less and save over 50%. The RAPs are probably the best of the bunch of copies available, with their generous ACU-style cut and solid poly-cotton BDU cloth construction. Sure, they are not as nice as Crye Field BDUs or liscensed Multicam apparel from Special Ops cut from ny-co, but they'll give you most of the tactical advantages a practical woodsballer needs, pass muster as Multicam on cursory inspection, and let you keep a Benjamin to upgrade your marker. If overlooking things like international copyright laws doesn't offend your sensibilities and/or your budget doesn't allow for genuine Crye BDUs or licensed alternatives, live well with less and get some RAPs.
(For the record, I bought the real-deal Crye and SKD stuff for myself, and I play in some wonderful Special Ops custom Multicam Marauders -- which I LOVE...)
2) The Mask
Everyone's been very excited about the new VForce Grill paintball goggles, available in a particularly interesting two-tone color known as Lizard, an olive and khaki combo that blends in perfectly with Crye Multicam. Sure, the new mask has its detractors, and Profiler diehards rail at the thought of a mask being placed above theirs in the VForce product line, but the Grill is lightweight, of the highest quality, and aggressively styled to turn heads as well as function impeccably. It also retails for $90 to $100, which sucks. To further frustrate 'ballers looking for the ultimate Multicam setup, Lizard Grills are the current Holy Grail of tactical paintball goggles. Pretty much no one has them short of opportunists on eBay auctioning them for three figures, and legitimate vendors are stacked with pre-orders due to VForces short supply of tactical colors.
You can take one step "down" and get the Grill in a similar tactical color that's not quite as "perfect", like Reverse Green (which is more of an olive) or green. Or you can get either of the same colors in a Profiler mask, which remains an excellent set of woodsball goggles.
The true ghetto Multicam warrior will get a green VForce Vantage Pro thermal goggle for only $25. For a quarter of the winning auction price of a Lizard Grill on eBay, the savvy 'baller can be wearing the "Son of Profiler," an affordable, lightweight, bouncy, durable, exceptionally comfortable, and nicely styled unit with the same easy lens changes and thermally cured anti-fog lens technology as VForce's top-end offerings. The green color with black insets works very well with Multicam as well as most other camo patterns. The Vantage Pro is probably the best goggle value out there, dollar for dollar.
3) The Accessories
The hot accessories to round out your genuine Crye Multicam outfit are Oakley SI gloves and boots in Desert tan, the same tactical gear worn by real-world operators. There's no denying how sweet Oakley gear looks -- or its excellent quality -- and there's also no denying that you're going to pay through the nose for it! SI gloves and boots will set you back $250-$300. If you have that kind of dough for gloves and boots, you shouldn't be reading this post!
You can save a little money by picking other real-world tactical gear in appropriate colors to work with your nifty Multicam, like gloves by Wiley or BlackHawk for $50-$80, or tactical boots by Converse, who makes a sweet 8" side-zip model with a safety toe and an excellent high-traction sole in tan rough-out leather for around $90. Together, you can undercut Oakley's pricepoint by 30-50% and still have excellent proven protection for your hands and feet that matches your camo.
The true ghetto Multicam warrior turns his nose up at all of this high-priced gear. He gets by with cheap but good-quality suede leather low hiking boots or trail shoes by companies like Columbia, Hi-Tec, or Nevados (which makes some dirt-cheap trail runners that are perfect for paintball), any of which can be had for $20-$40. For his hands, he hits Wal-Mart and finds tan Carhartt work gloves (the nitrile-dipped ones with the high-traction palm) for six bucks a piece or tan leather/neoprene work gloves for under $10. With these, your hands can maintain their dexterity and get the protection hardcore woodsballers need, while remaining full of your hard-earned cash!
Stay tuned for Ghetto Multicam Warrior, Part II: The Vest...
This post has been edited by Lil' C: 26 March 2007 - 12:05 PM