Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Utilikilt


I've covered a pocket-covered vest before, but also wanted to give some time to one of my favorite pieces of clothing. I've worn kilts since i was about 7 and my folks had one made for me when we lived in the UK, in our family tartan. When I "came of age" and they said I should get a formal suit made up, I instead chose to get my dad's kilt, and Prince Charlie vest and tail-coat made. Years passed, and I came across the wonder of the Utilikilt, and was in love! These hardy and ready to rumble kilts are made in Seattle and what they lack in traditional styling, they make up for in spades with utility! Five or six years ago for my birthday I was gifted one of their most option-laden models, so here it is, the Survival Utilikilt .
What is consists of is a heavy duty press-stud closure kilt, made of a pretty hefty 9 oz 100% cotton twill. The press-studs affix the two ends in a very secure 'V' in the front, giving ample security to the front, and even takes into account belt loops, which are doubled at the closure point, a great feature. Twin deep internal slanting pockets give a "pants-like" place to stuff your hands and gear. A pair of elastic-gusseted side-saddle cargo pockets. There are in fact two pockets, one shallow, the other deeper, (these are also detachable, and each comes with its own closure flap and belt loops.) The back of the kilt features two standard sew-on pockets, but are just as awesome. Pockets on a kilt, brilliant! A key clasp on the front gives an attachment point for keys and lanyards, which I use to sling a lanyard from my multitool .


One feature that really stands out and puts this back in the realm of survival-wear is the addition of a "modesty" closure system. A simple toggle and loop setup affixes the two front flaps at the middle, and keeps the two fold from opening under any weather circumstance. No risk of wind lifting up one side to flash the civilians. There is even a button hole on the back side of the kilt, so that in a pinch you can bind the front and back together to give a loose-shorts effect for those times you -really- don't want your undercarriage exposed, like assaulting a barricade, climbing over burnt-out cars or vaulting fences.


Utilikilts have several other awesome models, and the orange one above is one of them, this is the Workmans Utilikilt which is made from a beefier 12 oz. 100% cotton Duck cloth. This kilt was designed with construction workers in mind and as such features places for tape-measures to clip,and two riveted-on multi-chamber saddle pockets with pouches for kids of items. “The Grip” adjustable side hammer loop, which fixes with internal press-studs and provides a really good attachment point for hammers, tools, holsters and the like. My FUBAR fits really nicely on it. Again, this kilt features twin pockets at the back and also comes with a "modesty" closure system of a couple of internal press-studs to close up the pleats and make a set of quasi-shorts when the need arises.

Both these kilts are rough and ready, rugged and hard-wearing. The black Survival has faded slightly, but gets a lot of wear. The orange Workman is quite stiff, but that comes from being such a heavy fabric. I feel I can depend on them to take whatever I dish out to them, have worn them whilst camping and adventuring, and will wear one of them to the Tough Mudder at the end of this month.

Here's one last pic of me in my -other- Utilikilt, a more refined office-wear version, the  Mocker Utilikilt in olive green,after a week in the office, going to see the Sisters of Mercy play, sporting my Zombie-Tools t-shirt.

4 comments:

  1. Kiiiiiiiiiilt! *fans self*

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  2. As a Scottish gent myself (Clan MacLeod), I have a couple of kilts for gatherings and formal events, but the idea of the 'casual kilt' intrigues me. I usually wear leather shoes or ghillie brogues with my kilt, but what shoes would you wear in a more casual setting? Also, what do you wear under it, other than undergarments? Long socks? Or do you go bare-legged?

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    1. Thanks Fury McCloud, When I wear my formal kilt ( Clan Ferguson) I too wear long socks and ghillie briughes, but the rest of the time, pants or kilt, I wear combat boots, ore bare feet. I tend to wear tall socks anyway, calf length explorer socks, for protection and ruggedness anyway but also have a couple of sets of knee highs of those too, for when I war to really step out in one of my "casual" kilts. I don't wear underwear at all these days but the only time in recent times I have were at Tough Mudder, so I wouldn't damage my under carriage whilst in my kilt. When ( frequently ) asked what I wear under my kilt, I reply "boots". Hope that helped!

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    2. Thanks Josh. I'm more of a jeans, t-shirt and sneakers kinda guy - I wonder if I'd get away with a kilt and some Converse sneakers?

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