What is Russian Gorka Suit?
Gorka suit is a Russian military uniform designed for special forces (spetsnaz) and regular troops for use in mountains and other windy and hard weather conditions. It is also very popular among civilian use for fishing, hunting, hiking, tourism and other outdoor activities. The Russian word “Gorka” (Горка) originates from word “mountain”. The full name of Gorka is actually “костюм горный ветрозащитный” - mountain windproof suit.
History of Creation of Gorka Suit.
One of the legends says that the costumes of German Chasseurs of the World War II were taken as the basis. Those models were made of canvas fabric and consisted of trousers and anorak. Military men liked the suit and after a small revision they began to deliver it to the troops. According to another version, they were specially developed for mountain rifle subdivisions to replace the usual field uniform - easily blown and quickly wet in the wind.
With the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, the command of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union received the task of providing the contingent with a suit suitable for use in mountainous terrain. The military uniform of that time did not protect from the difficult weather conditions of Afghanistan and besides, new colors were needed, appropriate for mountainous area. A suit that was called “Experimental” went to the troops. Later it was improved – added suspenders, additional pockets, the suit was made more comfortable and went to the troops under the name "Windproof Mountain Suit." Then it was widely used during Chechen wars and other conflicts. It is mainly used by special forces (spetsnaz) of MVD, FSB, VDV (airborne), GRU.
Gorka suit that was made in the USSR is a part of history. Now it is produced with various modifications.
Modern Gorkas are made of a dense tent cotton fabric, which has the same properties as tarpaulin, but has a smaller thickness. The ripstop (cotton and polyester mixture) fabric is used to enhance the critical areas for wear and blotting. The tent cloth gets wet badly, especially if it is additionally treated with water-repellent spray. It keeps the rain well, without absorbing water, the drops flow down the surface of the fabric without seeping inside.
The Gorka clothing consists of a jacket and trousers with suspenders. For a better fit and to avoid sailing in the wind, it has a screed system based on a rubber-fabric braid on the sides of the jacket, on the sleeves, under the knees and below the trousers.
Jacket with a hood and with a central clasp on the loops and buttons, with two slit pockets with flaps closed, and tapered drawstring at the waist. Sleeve set-in, with reinforcing elbow and patch pockets with flaps.
Trousers with belt loops for a wide belt, with reinforcing pads on the knees, in the back in the knee area, are tightened with an elastic band.
Gorka is used to solve a variety of tasks. These suits are in great demand thanks to the increased wear resistance.
Gorka suit features and purpose:
In addition to its main purpose - as a military uniform - fell in love the Gorka suit: anglers and hunters, as well as lovers of outdoor activities.
Gorka provides several basic functional features:
Protection from wind and rain;
Thanks to the tent cotton fabric, it is breathable;
Coloring – olive and brown earth color is a great universal camouflage. Helps to become inconspicuous;
The free cut allows you to feel comfortable and does not restrain movements;
Large number of pockets to hold everything you need;
The suit is adjustable and tailored to fit the user in the most necessary places: pants, hood, at the waist, sleeves, suspenders;
Jacket and pants are reinforced in the most problematic areas that are subject to faster wear.
After so many years, the Gorka began to be produced even more, they were also used in other areas of life. Popularity is not falling, but constantly growing. There are more manufacturers, and materials are being improved.
What are the main (the most popular) Gorka suit varieties?
The main characteristics are common to all models of the Gorka mountain suits. But there ae some differences in each model. In addition to the difference in seasonality (suits are sewn summer, winter and demi-season), there are some other differences.
Bars Gorka-3 suit: Material of manufacture - tarpaulin, protects against wind, regulates temperature, very durable, jacket with buttons, large number of pockets on the jacket and pants.
Bars Gorka-4 suit: Made of the same tent fabric, provides protective and thermostatic functions, the strength of the suit is high, the jacket without a fastener of the anorak type.
Some people ask about the difference between Gorka-3 and Gorka-4 suits. Gorka-4 is not a newer or more modern uniform. They both appeared almost simultaneously. The only difference is that Gorka3 has jacket with buttons and Gorka4 has anorak jacket without buttons, that is put on like a sweater. Better wind protection and a convenient chest pocket. But unfortunately anorak becomes a real challenge in the heat. Loads lead to increased perspiration, the inner clothing and underwear literally soak under a tight-fitting assault vest or under the straps of a backpack. Both uniforms are in use and it's just a matter of choice - which one you like more.
Gorka-R (Gorka-3 from SSO company) tent fabric is used, reinforced with a blended fabric, in places subject to greater friction, trousers are reinforced with additional layers of fabric.
Gorka-S (Gorka-4 from SSO company). Protects against temperature changes, wind, pants have six pockets, hip, with a button closure.
SSO Gorkas are considered to be of slightly better quality than Bars ones. The price is also a bit higher. But still Gorka suits from Bars are the most popular.
Splav Gorka suits are the most expensive and somewhat better quality. Another advantage – Splav Gorka Jacket and Pants are sold separately – you can buy any sizes. Unlike Gorka suits from other manufacturers that are sold as suits – jacket and pants together in one size.
These are the main Gorka suit variations, which can be narrowed actually, to just two main types: Gorka-3 and Gorka-4. Everything else is just a copy of these two minor changes.
Classic Gorka 3 or Gorka 4 is made in two “earth” colors – olive and brown - and is a great “camo” pattern. But there are many varieties of Gorka costumes that use camo fabric for the pads (instead of plain brown in classic version). This includes official Russian military camouflage pattern – digital flora, A-Tacs camo (also called Moh or Moss in Russia), Partizan, Berezka and other camo patterns. Even Multicam Gorkas are available.
The combination of camouflage pads with the main tent fabric of olive/khaki color, provides a splitting of the silhouette of a person at remote distances.
So, I'd like to ephasise again: Gorkas are very good as a camo suit. Earth colors with the silhouette splitting feature works very good!
There are also Gorka versions with fleece insulation for cold weather.
And some private companies manufacture Gorka suits for Children also.
Major manufacturers of Gorka suits.
SoyuzSpetsOsnaschenie (SSO or SPOSN) - the enterprise of tailoring of overalls since the times of the Soviet Union. Use the fitted silhouette in the models, which facilitates the wearing of a bulletproof vest. Models are distinguished by letter symbols, which denote features of each. For example, the Gorka-P suit is gray-earthen in color, and Gorka-E will hide a person in the woods. Gorka-D has a special hood structure for more comfortable wear, and Gorka-M is equipped with reinforced inserts in the shoulder area and on the knees. Gorka-S is completed with an anorak jacket. Custom size from this manufacturer can not be found.
The company SPLAV is popular because all the costumes of Gorka are completed with removable elbow pads and knee pads, the material of which is neoprene. Different models have special properties. So Gorka-3 is a classic version of the costume, the tarpaulin is thin, there are 6 pockets on the pants and 5 on the jacket. The anorak jacket is distinguished by the Gorka-4 model, and Gorka-5 is made of rip-stop fabric.
Bars is also one of the popular manufacturers of Gorkas. The difference between the products of this brand in reinforced linings on the shoulders, the hood. The jacket is sewn without a shoulder seam, which provides additional protection against rain. Pockets are made in a triangular shape, it helps to keep their edges, they are not subjected to bending. Bars Gorkas are the lowest price but still very good quality. Bars Gorkas are officially and unofficially used in many military operations. Actually Bars Gorka suits are the most popular.
Other factories often try to copy models of leading manufacturers, which is not always good at work (but still there are good copies also). Actually many factories that are somehow trying to sew the Gorka costumes, but not all of them will correspond to the stated properties. Of course, all these indicators affect the price of costumes. The use of a cheaper material, non-compliance with the technology of sewing costumes leads to rapid wear of clothing, weakness of seams and fabric, loss of thermostatic, waterproof and windproof properties. Therefore, when buying, you should pay attention to the quality of the seams, the fabric from which the Hill is sewn, how convenient the location of the pockets and fasteners are. Or better buy original Bars, SSO or Splav suits to be sure in the quality.