Scott Sonnon on Spartan 2.0

Spartan 2.0 over-delivers yet again. What I appreciate about Spartan as a company and product line resembles what I hold to be of utmost importance in a brand and corporate vision: constant improvement, customized adaptation, community dialogue. Spartan takes the feedback we provide placing their gear in unique, new and ongoing duress, and maintains a state of continual evolution.

As a grappler competitively, and a contact and control specialist for defensive tactics, gear becomes problematic. We grapplers took the rashguard out of beach attire and made it an industry. 😉 We are hard on gear because of snags, tears, and friction.

But Spartan returned from our feedback with an innovative response to the duress we place upon gear.

The elbow forearm guards represented one of the most frequent points of contact and we continually would release attachments, if not be obstructed by them. The new design resembles a padded compression sleeve, allowing maximum mobility and operation of the arm while minimizing if not preventing any friction or possible gear malfunction. Genius.

Groundfighting, standing up from the ground, engaging cover, takedowns and tackles all present problem in multi-piece gear. If you cannot render the actual skills to be performed, then training gear becomes a liability: for the best you can hope for in a fight is the worst you’ve performed in the gym. The interference between upper and lower architecture of training gear has in the past been an obstacle. Certainly, we will overcome any discomforts, but when accessing and deploying tools and techniques, integration of equipment without any obstruction to mobility is paramount. The new low-profile elastic waist and the removal of the previous plastic band no longer interrupts the movement between the vest and the shorts. Ideal.

Any law enforcement personnel knows how to dismantle the closures on their vests. And as instructors we know that under fatigue and stress we do what we’ve conditioned the most. This includes the removal of our gear. In the past we’ve put some serious wear and tear on the gear by not removing as per spec designs… because inadvertently under fatigue and stress of drilling, we started removing the training gear as one would body armor. To address this, Spartan 2.0 developed an ingenious ballistic style front closure which not only increases rib protection and fits better, it prevents us from causing product malfunctions. Thank you.

Previously designed helmets addressed the potential harm of impact, but often neglected to consider how grapplers use the head to control the body. This resulted in releasing the attachment points to other designs. But Spartan 2.0, and I don’t want to give away any corporate secrets, has implemented a design which I cannot yet Hoodini. I’ll keep trying, but I haven’t found a way to release this head gear even under high intensity. Keep your eyes on this helmet. Best on the market.

One last interplay I wanted to address was the relationship of the new elbow sleeve to the shoulder and wrist. As a grappler, I often establish wrist control – which is also a necessity in cuffing and restraint. Without amble opportunity for application of wrist control (and wrist restraints), training gear can interfere with skill practice, especially under stress of high intensity drilling. The new design of the sleeve works optimally in relationship between the gloves and shoulder pieces. Much appreciated.

Again, my kudos to Spartan for remaining the industry leader by engineering evolution. It will take quite a few years for others to catch up to these innovations.

Scott Sonnon

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