One of the things with ranges and safe zones is that you do spend a fair amount of time in a cold, static position; you might be attending the safety briefing first thing in the morning or breaking for lunch, but it’s a rarity to find a heated outdoor safe zone, right? For years many of us have always had a Snugpak “Softie” jacket in the back of the car for just such times, for when you want a bit of instant warmth!

Snugpak have really upped the ante though, taking things to an entirely new level, and one insulated smock we’ve had in test for a considerable time is the MML6, and it’s proved its worth on many occasions both at home and abroad.

Developed by Snugpak with input from professional navigators, mountain leaders, climbing instructors, meteorological staff, and military personnel, the Military Mountain Leader Smock has been created to support the user in a diverse range of operational environments, especially when exposed to extreme cold weather.

As a part of Snugpak’s “VENTURE” range the MML6 Softie Smock is the flagship garment. It’s a tri-layer smock and uses both Paratex Micro as a face fabric, and an internal Softie Premier fill, encapsulated with a Paratex Light lining. Designed to provide excellent thermal protection against the cold the MML6 is rated -5C to -10C; it also provides a high degree of wind protection.

The MML Smock is lighter than normal expedition style jackets, and uses water resistant YKK zips, making it ideal when size and weight need to be kept to an absolute minimum. It is ideally worn with a variety of base layers, such as the Snugpak 2nd Skinz Coolmax base layer, to move moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and regulating core temperature in extremes of cold.

The quick drying, Paratex Micro 100% nylon material has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. Water repellency can be maintained with a cool tumble dry after washing and periodic re-treatment with suitable after care products, such as Nikwax and Grangers. The MML Softie Smock will keep you dry in a short, light shower, giving you time to find a safe place to stop and put on more effective waterproof layers. The MML Softie Smock can also be worn under waterproof membrane hard shells in severe weather, still allowing easy access to your essential equipment.

The MML Softie Smock allows essential equipment to be carried centrally, with easy access when wearing a day sack, bergen, plate carriers and webbing systems and maintains its core functionality with other operational equipment, such as body armour.

Whilst not exactly cheap at around the UK£180 mark at the moment the MML6 Softie Smock should be viewed as a long term investment, especially if you act as a marshal; whilst players can easily head back inside to warm up a marshal needs to be out on the site at all times a game is in progress. The MML6 easily lets you do this so in our mind is an invaluable addition to your kit locker!