The New type CWU-36/P - a review

269sqnhudson

Active Member
Hi All,

Just a quick review of the CWU-36/P in the new Nomex introduced with the 2010 contracts and just making it into the ebay/surplus market. there's not much info available about these so thought it would be helpful. I did find reference on the DoD website to a call for contractors to submit new fabric for these jackets dating to 2011 so I imagine the company making them (Valley Apparel) changed fabric mid-contract. Examples of the same contract can indeed be found in both the new and old fabrics.

In a word...Superb (I bought two)

In my opinion these new jackets have rectified some of the problems I personally found with the pre-2010 type, notably the stain-magnet fabric, baggy fit and unbelievably weak stitching.

Materials:
The new fabric is thicker and heavier with a matte appearance and in a slightly greener green than the first type.
It's a hefty twill and there is some slubbing (where little bumps appear in the weave, often found in heavy twills). I've always found this appealing in twills though some may not be partial to it. The photo shows this a bit too much due to the bright sun/camera combination, in reality it's more subtle.
The fabric is far less prone to staining than the shiny Nomex. I always found the dirty mottled look after a bit of rain utterly irritating in the older jackets.

Stitching:
Noticeably better in the new models. I have had 6 of the pre-2010 ones across different years of manufacture and all exhibit the same slightly poor stitching, both in thread quality and execution. Often the seams exhibited problems of low tension and low stitch count making seams a bit loose. Also the thread itself was fluffy and wore through quickly in areas of friction.
The new CWUs seem to have much tighter stitching and a higher stitch count. I'm not 100% sure if the thread has changed as there's colour variation in my two (one with lighter green thread) but the seems just seem much better executed and stronger.

Fit:
This is a personal and subjective issue but for me the new ones are WAY better in an XL than the older ones.
(It appears that they are made exclusively by Valley Apparel so it's possibly more consistent too). The older ones in an XL varied a bit but the Propper International ones were really baggy with wide sleeves and would fit a big 48. The size Large ones were, in my opinion, like a trim 44 - annoying as I fell in between.
The new XL is perfect for me with trimmer sleeves and a really nice cut overall.

That's it for now but happy to answer questions!

Tom

IMG_1606[1].jpg
IMG_1608[1].jpg
IMG_1607[2].jpg
IMG_1609[1].jpg
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

Just a quick review of the CWU-36/P in the new Nomex introduced with the 2010 contracts and just making it into the ebay/surplus market. there's not much info available about these so thought it would be helpful. I did find reference on the DoD website to a call for contractors to submit new fabric for these jackets dating to 2011 so I imagine the company making them (Valley Apparel) changed fabric mid-contract. Examples of the same contract can indeed be found in both the new and old fabrics.

In a word...Superb (I bought two)

In my opinion these new jackets have rectified some of the problems I personally found with the pre-2010 type, notably the stain-magnet fabric, baggy fit and unbelievably weak stitching.

Materials:
The new fabric is thicker and heavier with a matte appearance and in a slightly greener green than the first type.
It's a hefty twill and there is some slubbing (where little bumps appear in the weave, often found in heavy twills). I've always found this appealing in twills though some may not be partial to it. The photo shows this a bit too much due to the bright sun/camera combination, in reality it's more subtle.
The fabric is far less prone to staining than the shiny Nomex. I always found the dirty mottled look after a bit of rain utterly irritating in the older jackets.

Stitching:
Noticeably better in the new models. I have had 6 of the pre-2010 ones across different years of manufacture and all exhibit the same slightly poor stitching, both in thread quality and execution. Often the seams exhibited problems of low tension and low stitch count making seams a bit loose. Also the thread itself was fluffy and wore through quickly in areas of friction.
The new CWUs seem to have much tighter stitching and a higher stitch count. I'm not 100% sure if the thread has changed as there's colour variation in my two (one with lighter green thread) but the seems just seem much better executed and stronger.

Fit:
This is a personal and subjective issue but for me the new ones are WAY better in an XL than the older ones.
(It appears that they are made exclusively by Valley Apparel so it's possibly more consistent too). The older ones in an XL varied a bit but the Propper International ones were really baggy with wide sleeves and would fit a big 48. The size Large ones were, in my opinion, like a trim 44 - annoying as I fell in between.
The new XL is perfect for me with trimmer sleeves and a really nice cut overall.

That's it for now but happy to answer questions!

Tom

View attachment 8935 View attachment 8936 View attachment 8937 View attachment 8938
Nice review...bravo! and thx. for sharing.
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
i have a pre 1980 od cwu-36, as well as a mid 80s version in od [actually grey-green]. both are heafty weaves, and the pre 80s jacket has the feature i really appreciate, the bi-swing pleated back. also, i have a sand colored one from about 3 years ago, which feels like it is of a lighter weight fabric. imo, the cwu-36 jackets are under most guys radar, but are practical wearers in most weather conditions, as well as being spring, summer, and fall jackets. yeah, they are loose fitting, but that works out well for maneuverability, and light layering. thanx for the cwu-36 update, tom.
 

269sqnhudson

Active Member
i have a pre 1980 od cwu-36, as well as a mid 80s version in od [actually grey-green]. both are heafty weaves, and the pre 80s jacket has the feature i really appreciate, the bi-swing pleated back. also, i have a sand colored one from about 3 years ago, which feels like it is of a lighter weight fabric. imo, the cwu-36 jackets are under most guys radar, but are practical wearers in most weather conditions, as well as being spring, summer, and fall jackets. yeah, they are loose fitting, but that works out well for maneuverability, and light layering. thanx for the cwu-36 update, tom.
I've had late 70s ones (CWU-45/P) and the new fabric is in a different realm of weight and thickness even to those, totally different.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting. The comparison is really useful. Funny but the vast majority of pilots on my three fighter sqn base that wear the CWU wear the old ones. Though i suppose you only get a new one when your current one is worn out. About 70% are wearing the greener flight coveralls. All are mostly preferring the new nomex softshell though which is sweeeet.
Must be the same material maker doing the RAF flight suits as they are much more vibrant green and the Typhoon ones are really lightweight.

Only one question Tom: where can i get an xl ?!
 
Last edited:

Jorgeenriqueaguilera

Well-Known Member
Hi Tom, is there a big difference between the standard shiny ones and the matte one ? I like the shiny and I’m afraid to be disappointed with the matte. Also i’m Very curious about the new fit because i’m an XL size...
Yes, there is a difference between them, I’ve had the matte version and you can see the difference when u get close, in my case I prefer the shiny one... the matte looks like a mix between CWU and a field jacket! :rolleyes:
 

anthonyhie

New Member
Thanks for the answer, I finally received as a gift an Alpha Industries xl one like new but it’s matte and difficult to see on the pics, could you confirm it’s a new contract ??
See the pics please.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

269sqnhudson

Active Member
Sorry for the delay! That's a 1996 jacket and the tender went out for the improved fabric in 2010/11? (I found the docs online but didn't save them.) that is very matte though....interesting indeed. Perhaps a variation but not the newer run. The newer matte ones are seemingly only made by Valley Apparel who may have the only contract.
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

Just a quick review of the CWU-36/P in the new Nomex introduced with the 2010 contracts and just making it into the ebay/surplus market. there's not much info available about these so thought it would be helpful. I did find reference on the DoD website to a call for contractors to submit new fabric for these jackets dating to 2011 so I imagine the company making them (Valley Apparel) changed fabric mid-contract. Examples of the same contract can indeed be found in both the new and old fabrics.

In a word...Superb (I bought two)

In my opinion these new jackets have rectified some of the problems I personally found with the pre-2010 type, notably the stain-magnet fabric, baggy fit and unbelievably weak stitching.

Materials:
The new fabric is thicker and heavier with a matte appearance and in a slightly greener green than the first type.
It's a hefty twill and there is some slubbing (where little bumps appear in the weave, often found in heavy twills). I've always found this appealing in twills though some may not be partial to it. The photo shows this a bit too much due to the bright sun/camera combination, in reality it's more subtle.
The fabric is far less prone to staining than the shiny Nomex. I always found the dirty mottled look after a bit of rain utterly irritating in the older jackets.

Stitching:
Noticeably better in the new models. I have had 6 of the pre-2010 ones across different years of manufacture and all exhibit the same slightly poor stitching, both in thread quality and execution. Often the seams exhibited problems of low tension and low stitch count making seams a bit loose. Also the thread itself was fluffy and wore through quickly in areas of friction.
The new CWUs seem to have much tighter stitching and a higher stitch count. I'm not 100% sure if the thread has changed as there's colour variation in my two (one with lighter green thread) but the seems just seem much better executed and stronger.

Fit:
This is a personal and subjective issue but for me the new ones are WAY better in an XL than the older ones.
(It appears that they are made exclusively by Valley Apparel so it's possibly more consistent too). The older ones in an XL varied a bit but the Propper International ones were really baggy with wide sleeves and would fit a big 48. The size Large ones were, in my opinion, like a trim 44 - annoying as I fell in between.
The new XL is perfect for me with trimmer sleeves and a really nice cut overall.

That's it for now but happy to answer questions!

Tom

View attachment 8935 View attachment 8936 View attachment 8937 View attachment 8938
Impressive work. Thanks much.
 

269sqnhudson

Active Member
My major gripes with the shiny ones are that they stain badly with just rain water - even after dry cleaning it does it again. I washed one on a delicate wash once, came out fine but still water-stained after rain.
Secondly the stitching frays very quickly. It's awfully weak and fuzzy.
The matte ones so far have not had these problems and the stitching is in fact tighter on my two as well.
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
All questions? OK, wanna sell one? :)
Crapola-Bay is offering a few rare military issued ones ...but a lot of Crapola-ones as well ( cheapies by all meaning) ..fraying all over, some are Disco shiny and easy to get stained...Military original issued ones would never be nor would any inspection accept those...Issued ones are labeled differently than the Crapola ones.
Alpha has no more military contract since the 60/70ies...After these years, their entire production is based on repro and pure (Alpha) inventions politics.
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Crapola-Bay is offering a few rare military issued ones ...but a lot of Crapola-ones as well ( cheapies by all meaning) ..fraying all over, some are Disco shiny and easy to get stained...Military original issued ones would never be nor would any inspection accept those...Issued ones are labeled differently than the Crapola ones.
Alpha has no more military contract since the 60/70ies...After these years, their entire production is based on repro and pure (Alpha) inventions politics.
100% agree with you, Brice. If believe the Alpha website and their publications, which was made to attract new customers, they will soon claim that they not only invented all possible flight jackets, but the Wright brothers also worked with them and consulted with Alpha management when they built Flyer :)
 

ButteMT61

Well-Known Member
Crapola-Bay is offering a few rare military issued ones ...but a lot of Crapola-ones as well ( cheapies by all meaning) ..fraying all over, some are Disco shiny and easy to get stained...Military original issued ones would never be nor would any inspection accept those...Issued ones are labeled differently than the Crapola ones.
Alpha has no more military contract since the 60/70ies...After these years, their entire production is based on repro and pure (Alpha) inventions politics.
Can you advise me on telling reals from fakes? I really like my CWU 45/P and would like to get more of similar build. Cheers!
 
Top