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Forums > Tutorials / How To / Where To

Battle vest/jacket modifications

Samppa666
Wed, 13/03/2024 - 19:11

What kind of hacks, upgrades or modifications you have done to your battle vests/jackets? Not talking about cool spikes, the placement of patches or anything basic stuff like that but how have you modified the vest itself.

Share your mods with stories and pictures, please.

Ive added zippers to the pockets, that are not pockets, inside the vest. Having zippers are very practical wether youre in the pit and worried about losing your wallet or just worried that your phone will drop in the toilet when having to take a whiz.


MorticiA's picture

Here, I can throw a few mods I did (I have yet to up load my newest vest, I got a ton to write about it BECAUSE of my modifications.) Bear in mind that all Pockets are symmetrical totaling to 8 pockets:

1) I took the breast pockets off and put them inside my jacket at an angle so it's easy to take things in/out (I learned that from some other vest years back, but also Military Shirts.) I put 3 Snaps in a row for each pocket (plus their top-flap/cover) so they can still be secure even with 1-2 snaps in place.

2) I'm gonna take off the buttons that close the jacket cause I'll tired of tearing out my Hair, so at some point I too will switch to Zippers.

3) I've got large internal pockets so I can put paperwork/letters; one on each side at the bottom of jacket near the Hem.

4) Because I'm tall AND lean, finding a jacket that DIDN'T get WIDE as you got taller is difficult and even more difficult finding one that isn't full of fillers/Elastines (just wanted 100% Denim.) So, I ended up finding a jacket that had the MOST necessities and modded it from there. This included using the Sleeves as extensions for the Length of the Jacket. This however gave me several unforeseen issues when it came to Exterior-Side pockets, the Length-Extension that got sewn into the Hem became a pocket but during "field testing" (wearing it with no patches) showed me that my wrists would be kinked at a 90 degree angle if i were to rest them in there... Which sucks... So, I cut a few pieces of leftover Denim to be the exterior of the new Pockets that would be at the correct angle, and kept the old exterior pockets as a secret pocket. Lastly, I put a Nylon chord inside these main-external/side pockets to rest my thumbs in.

Now, my side pockets are deep, at a comfortable (proper) angle, each one has a deep secret internal-pocket that I can put large valuables in without worry about them falling out or getting stolen. And yes, all these pockets within the last 3 months have been VERY useful. The hidden internal pockets have been great too, and the internal breast-pockets are great for storing cash and Cards.

5) I added my own Coat hook, and made it wide enough to accommodate large hooks or weird ones.

These are one of the biggest mods I've done for this jacket. There is more, but this is the Steak and Potatoes; aside from Dying the jacket from Blue to Black. Otherwise, future modifications will be widening the Arm-pit hole, and putting a front zipper in.

Samppa666's picture

I am almost speechless. Thanks for all of the info and ideas!

MorticiA's picture

Glad to help, (and sorry for all the typos they're been corrected). Yea, People don't realize how super useful extra internal pockets are until you need them in that moment.

MorticiA's picture

Like, 1000% honest: I thought that the secret internal pockets (P2) would be redundant, maybe even useless but I was wrong. It's so handy keeping valuables in there and I don't have to worry a bout it falling out easily, or being pick-pocketed easily either. Phone, or knife, or flashlight, you name it -> it fits securely. Hehe, I can hang upside down and nothing will fall out!

In fact, I'm totally smitten with the pockets themselves, I practically WANT an excuse to put letters and paperwork in the P4/pockets! But, I can tell ya this, putting it all together took for-EEEEEVVVER. At times I felt like I wasn't making any progress!

My Jacket: OCD considered, ADD approved. Or is it the other way around?...

gunslingermonk's picture

Dude this may sound OTT but I know for one that I would watch a tutorial on how to do the pockets efficiently or if you could post pics on how youve done it I would be so grateful. Awesome info though!

MorticiA's picture

Certainly. Sorry for the wait, I've been really busy IRL. 'Hope this helps; sorry for any inconsistencies.

So, what we have here is some heavy modding to my jacket. This is also before I dyed my jacket black cause it came only in Blue. All Pockets are FULLY functional, there's no stitching that migrates from a pocket from the "opposite"-side that hinders the pocket on the "other"-side.

pic #1: I cut off the arms, removed the bottom Hem of the Jacket (red is where the extension would be, and Purple is where the pocket/P2 would be. Lastly I removed the breast pockets and their flaps.

#2: I sized+cut the arms to the proper symmetrical length, and they wrap around to the backside; I added a Dove-Tail in the backside too.)Then I created my own pocket/inner-lining from materials I got at a fabric store, and sewn it into the Hem and along the inside of the extension; pocket/P4 would be sewn over it. So the old Hem is now a pocket mouth.

#3: The Breast pockets are sewn directly under the buxom (bicep for the fellas) and angled so that they can be access easily. I also shortened to closing flap and added 3 Metal-Snaps (that way even with 2 snaps locked nothing will fall out.)

P4 Is sewn over the pocket/P2 but is wider and deeper than P2, so it doesn't effect it in anyway. P4 is really simple, it's just flat piece of denim with an internal liner sewn on it's flip-side.

#4:Pocket/P1 is created very much like P4, it's a simple flat piece of denim with a sewn liner and it's sewn over pocket/P2 (which is now a hidden/security pocket.) P1 does not effect P4 in anyway, nor P2.

orange: these are braided-nylon thumb rests which are strategically anchored to the hem of the jacket to maximize strength when fully resting my arms. This way the weight is properly distributed throughout the entire shoulder of the jacket without distorting the fabric or weakening it over time.

Red: I removed a fastener button from the jacket. These are actually really easy to remove and the holes they leave in the denim are surprisingly negligible.

shown but not highlighted: oversized nylon Coat-Hook-Loop.

gunslingermonk's picture

Thanks dude really comprehensive. For P4 what kind of liner did you use for the pocket?

MorticiA's picture

P4 and P1 share the same inner lining. As for what it is, I got the liner-fabric from a fabric store and it's either cotton or some synthetic fabric (not polyester, too it's too coarse,) but it's very thin and I think I doubled/folded it over before sewing to the Denim/pocket-extension. It's not the ultra expensive type, it's actually a very common textile in the fabric industry, but it's not soft either. The idea behind the liner is that it adds longevity to the denim on the internal-side; your hands are gonna be there a lot,it's gonna get dirty, maybe messed up, so in a way it's sacrificial side at worst; yes that means taking the patches off and the Pocket to replace/repair it. But, between the patches, denim and that liner it helps insulate against wind/cold!

In general, anything can be used as a liner, even a section of old T-Shirt, which is great cause they're common fabrics that are REALLY rugged and cheap [think $5-6 thrift store T-shirt affordable.] Plus the fabric is really soft. In my gut, I'd say the thicker the Cotton-Tee the better, durability is choice.

Like, let me make this SUPER frigg'n clear to ALL. Thrift stores are a GOLD MINE for CHEAP FABRICS, whether it's T-Shirts, Denim, Camo & Animal print (all fake usually,). it's NO PROB. If you need a TON of cheap denim, look in the jeans section for the XXL-XXXXL pants, I'm NOT joking the fabric is cheap and there are times the Denim is MUCH higher in quality/thicker than common Jeans. T-Shirts are GREAT for DYI patches and last damn near a lifetime; ie: I got patches I made back in 2001 that are still in use today.

a chicken's picture

I've had a mini bottle opener and carabiner dangling off of almost every jacket I've made in the past 10 years, they've been there when I need em^^

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