Helikon-Tex SFU Next

In Review by Jawor | Leave a Comment

Helikon-Tex SFU Next is a new version of popular SFU (Special Forces Uniform) trousers produced by Polish Helikon. Thanks to the combination of proven solutions and several new ideas, end result should be of interest to any user of combat pants.

Design

The cut of the SFU NEXT is loose, although it is more close-fitting than in the BDU or CPU pants. At first it may be a bit uncomfortable, but after a short while you’ll get used to it.

The NEXT pants are made of a 50/50 poly-cotton ripstop, they are also available in a thicker version made of twill. The material has no signs of wear other than abrasions at the ends of the legs, which are a normal effect of use.

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Pockets

SFU NEXT have a set of 9 pockets:

Front

Two classic open pockets at the front, with a reinforced edge suitable for carrying folders, flashlights and other equipment with pocket clips. The pockets are directed upwards, what prevents their content from falling out (on the other hand, it also slightly limits the access). The belt loops located above each pocket have an additional D-ring that allows you to secure additional equipment.

Lower front pockets

Two smaller pockets that make it possible to hide flat objects. Compared to similar pockets in other models of army pants (SFU, CPU), the pockets in SFU NEXT have a small flap made of fabric which prevents contents from falling out.

Back

Two flat pockets at the back, which are also secured with small flaps. Thanks to such solution (instead of classic buttons), the back pockets have finally become easily accessible and user-friendly.

Cargo

Two cargo pockets can be closed with a button and two strips of velcro, thanks to which the items inside are easily accessible and properly secured. Thanks to the clever design, the pockets are spacious and at the same time stay close to body when empty.

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Inside the cargo pockets there are two compartments with elastic bands allowing to store items with a size of +/- a pack of tissue. Interestingly, the size of the compartments varies depending on the pair of trousers – in the olive SFU NEXT I am able to fit my smartphone inside, but in the coyote ones it isn’t possible.

Calf

The last of the pockets is located on the right calf, it allows to carry individual wound dressing.

Adjustment

Helikon-Tex’s pants feature a waist adjustment system based on a velcro strip, what results in holding the given size very well.

Reinforcements

Knees feature additional reinforcements, which make it also possible to use protective foam inserts.

Our thoughts

During almost a year of use the trousers have worked well, but in both copies (coyote and olive) I had to sew the buttons in the fly again (3 out of 4 fell out). Additionally, in olive trousers, a small hole with a diameter of +/- a pen appeared on the seam in the right cargo pocket. Nothing dangerous provided it is stitched before gets bigger.

Helikon-Tex SFU NEXT give some freshness to the construction known from the Helikon SFU trousers. The slightly refreshed configuration of pockets makes it possible to comfortably order the carried equipment. Moreover, thanks to the new closures (velcro and buttons in the cargo pockets, and fabric flaps in the back and front ones) the gear is now more available and secure. On the other hand, the open front pockets could be a bit more accessible

Conclusions

The biggest advantages of Helikon-Tex SFU NEXT pants are their pocket configuration (which makes it possible to conveniently organize the carried equipment) and use of several solutions not appearing so far in the Helikon’s products. Velcro-based waist adjustment system, compartments in cargo pockets or open back pockets make the pants are very user-friendly and partially compensate for the loss of buttons or differences in the size of the compartments.

~Jawor

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About the Author

Jawor

Hikes since he learnt to walk. Happy to spend hours discussing jackets, backpacks and other gear. Caver, diver and a leader of the Gear Insider project.

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