Why Does Military Surplus SUCK?!?

Whenever the talk of gear comes up and military surplus is discussed, I have noticed several trends. Current users of the gear sneer and call the gear garbage and they cite a litany of failures with it. This has happened since time began. Soldiers/ Marines are NEVER happy with the gear that they are issued.  The only thing military members hate more than change, it the way things are now. That is not necessarily a negative, but after 8 years in the infantry and 4 years as a police officer, it is a statistic that transcends military branches and career paths. I think it is a human condition.

End users often do not get to see all the highlights and improvements that the current generation of gear makes over the previous generations because the current issue gear is all that they know, they are often not TAUGHT how to even fit the gear properly to themselves, and they overload or otherwise abuse the equipment in a way that it was not designed for then wonder why it breaks or fails.

I saw this so often in my time in the Marines that it wasn’t funny. There is almost ALWAYS a root cause to the failures that does not involve a flaw with the item and instead points directly at actions or usage by the end user. The Marines in general are pretty good about sourcing civilian gear and directly implementing it into service. They utilize top tier designers and manufacturers like Mystery Ranch, Arc’Terex, and many others. I always find it ironic when something like the FILBE is posted for sale and users are only too happy to tell everyone that it is “Trash, Get something GOOD like Mystery Ranch” without realizing that Mystery Ranch DESIGNED that pack and frame.

There are plenty of legitimate examples of ignorant acquisition “specialists” in the military that acquire gear that meets the description of good idea/ poor execution. We do our best to steer away from this gear and bring solid, serviceable items that are useful to market.

With all of that said, our mission here at One Thief Surplus is to get more people outdoors. We are an outdoors company that happens to sell military surplus. We want to break down the barriers that stop people from enjoying the outdoors. We cannot produce more TIME for people to get outside, however, we CAN bring products at a price point that allows them to get outside for less money expended.