David, the prices are compairable to modern outdoor clothing as they are made by non-profit companies (Sekri and Steps are both Voc-rehab programs. Im not 100% up to speed on Orc but I think they are voc-rehab as well) as for example, the Level 7 jacket is an Epic Primaloft combo material, and costs $190. Compair that to GoLites Belay Jacket (Epic/Polarguard) with an MSRP of $200. However as you pointed out, they are COTS (civilian over the shelf) variants, and not specific to sport purposes.... but being SOCOM items, they were undoubtedly designed to handle situations such as climbing if need be, as Mountain Warfare is most definatly in the mission profiles of SOF units.
Frank, I find your comments to be very insulting and, quite frankly, I find your attitude to be so condesending and immature as to not be worth wasting any time on. However, since your references to the Korean War are so simplistic as to be laughable, I will offer up this little comment... The PCU suit was developed directly from MODERN CIVILIAN ITEMS. Except for military specific design requirements (like color for example, velcro patching for unit/blood/rank patches, or pass through zippers to reach BDU arm pockets), they are functionally identical to what you would buy in top end outfitting supply stores. Reference the above mention on the GoLite Belay, or compair it with the Integral Designs Dolomitti... surely it is not your position that these items are of equal merit in the backcountry as Korean War era uniform items? I dont remember seeing a GoLite Belay in my local WalMart, if they have it in yours let me know so I can move there. Based on your comments its quite apparent that your have little to no experience with the PCU and your comments should be taken for the agendized, un-informed tripe that they are (you did of course make the absolutly idiotic statement "Probably they are comparing to a system based on cotton flannel" when talking about Americas "ignorant" soldiers (Dont you know we ARE all born and raised under rocks?) showing how utterly devoid of knowledge you are in reference to modern US military issue items, the development of new items, and the general procurement process)
"Whats the gear then for over 0 degrees celcius and up for all conditions ie, desert,jungle, high mountains etc.Lots of mosquitoes bugs sun etc.I'm trying to refine my gear to take the minimum but not get too cold or over exposed.Thanks"
The lower numbered levels are for warm weather... as the temperature drops or weather becomes more inclement you add layers. Your bare bones basic PCU layer is the short sleeve/boxer combo... but in the really hot stuff, expect to see guys wearing UnderArmour or the current general issue hot weather underwear items made from CoolMax. The system was designed to be be paired with a BDU (battle dress uniform - - theres an oxymoron for ya - - which IIRC is technically classed as "level 8" for arguments sake) at all levels... sometimes under the PCU (like under the level 6 rainsuit) or over, if need be for camoflauge purposes (however, Arc'teryx has procured some Epic in a new camouflage called Multicam... but thats not really the point).
So, for hot weather, youd likely see someone *issued* the PCU wearing only level 1-short, under their BDUs. If they chose to wear that at all. The BDU providing general insect and sun protection with Deet and Coppertone providing the rest.... since you wouldnt need to wear a BDU, you would get the same overall benefit from the system by dropping "level 8" and replacing it with, say, a Rail Rider long sleeve shirt and long pants.
The PCU is intended to work as a system, but its not, as some people seem to think, set in stone in the manner of use. As a SOF item, its not intended to be used by your average grunt... its developed for special operations units. Units who are quite free to pick and choose what they want to wear... soooo, dont like an item, dont use it. I personally dislike the Rainsuit, guess what I wont use? I dont like Polartec Power Dry very much, but I like Smartwool... so take a guess as to what my base layer is? Yes, the items are Speced to work together, but we are not talking about a car engine where every part needs to fit the same from one engine to another... you pick what works, and if you find something you dont like... dont use it.
And lastly, I was going to put up some contact/research info... Since its apparent that MOST of you would prefer to actually KNOW what your talking about before spouting off non-sense
Here is an excellent site with indepth reviews and numerous pictures (for pictures use the user name and password "MM")
And if your interested in what the US Army has been up to since the 50s, and would rather not look like a jackass when talking about what our soldiers have for compairing and contrasting new technologies with, heres a site with NON SOF (General issue) items that you would see on your average infantryman, along with a whole host of general and specialized items https://peosoldier.army.mil/index.php?section=programs
and for giggle purposes, heres what the SOF units found to be lacking for their current missions - the ECWCS (Extended Cold Weather Clothing System), also rated to function at -60. This 3layer Gore-Tex and Polyester Fleece ensemble is the "cotton flannel" we had to compair with... https://peosoldier.army.mil/program.php?id=47