A few weeks ago I was contacted by a company named Kakadu and was asked if I would review a few of their products. They are an Australian based company that has been around for a while making outdoors adventure and work/casual type clothes. They make a variety of products that are all meant for what I think of as the adventurer type market. If you look at their website you will see coats, vests, pants, and general purpose bags and satchels.
I was sent two of the company’s vests for CCW they refer to as “GUNN-WORN”. One for hot weather outdoorsy type use and another one for colder outdoor casual wear.
The first vest is the hot weather vest with a mesh back. It is in the “GUNN-WORN” branding and has, if memory serves, about 19 pockets. It has internal panels that set under the arms at the bottom of the ribs. It has one pocket on each side made from heavy duty elastic to hold a handgun and 1 pocket for a double stack mag and one pocket for a single stack mag. This set up is on the right and left side. The hidden pouch is held together by a small velcro closure.
It does hold the 1911 pretty snug, but the double stack mag holder can not hold a single stack mag tight. A flashlight can fill the space if you need it filled, though. I found the gun came out pretty easy without hanging up or causing a fumble. Once the gun is in place and the vest closed I was afraid it would drag down one side and stick out like a sore thumb. But it was not bad at all.
As you can see in the picture the gun does not print in any easy to see way when it is in the inside holster. I wore it around and asked several people if they could spot a gun and asked them to look hard. They had to guess where it was at and always guessed wrong.
The vest has a multitude of pockets and pouches to hold almost anything you could want. The bad news is the two pockets that look like they will hold two USGI 30 round mags will not. It’s close, but the flap will not completely close with the velcro secured. I talked to the manufacturer about this and they assured me the vest is always in R&D so I am hoping this will change. It would only need maybe a 1/4 inch added to the length of these two pockets to make them ideal mag pouches.
One thing I do like is that all the pocket openings had the elastic ring that stretches open but will help hold anything inside. It is not super tight but its enough to help. I found a use for most of the pockets. Some are perfect for surefire battery holders, a compass, a small survival kit or an EE kit.
The material it is made from is tough but soft and very comfortable and the stitching is well done. I used it pretty hard for about 3 days with guns and other gear rubbing against it and abrading it with no sign of fraying or the threads coming loose under weight.
The vest zips closed and has the typical little tap with snap closure in case you want to leave it open but prevent it from flopping around. One thing I really appreciate is they size of the vest runs true. So if you wear a medium , order a M and it will fit perfect. My favorite thing about it is the mesh back. The mesh is strong and not the typical cheap plastic crap. The openings in it are wide enough to keep you cool and very comfortable in hot weather. I wore it for 6 hours in the hottest part of the day while it was 92 and humid and stayed pretty cool. The bad thing is if you wear a gun belt everyone will see it. I think it would be nice to have the best of both worlds. Mesh back but a 5 inch strip of solid fabric at the waist line to hide anything on the belt. But thats just me.
Apparently this vest was a big hit among some vets at a recent trade show was was labeled the “afghan fishing vest” and you can see why.
The next vest is intended for colder weather. The material reminded me of the same stuff carhart brand is made from. It was tough and can take some abuse, but it is still soft and comfortable with a supple leather lined collar.
Authors ugly friend models the Kakadu Kelly vest:
The vest has two breast pockets and two side lower hip pockets. it has a zip front and tow take up tabs on the side and to the rear. Like the hot weather vest it has two inside CCW pockets with mag pouches on the left and right side. This vest, however, comes with a backer that the company calls an anti-print pad and it works great. I wish other CCW clothing had something like it as well.
The inside lining is very comfortable and you can tell it would keep you comfortable on a cool, late autumn night. It has a inside extra zippered pocket as well as the ccw holster. The pockets for the CCW pouches closes the same was as the other vest using a velcro tab.
My friend is a pretty hard core outdoorsman that is really picky about his clothing when it comes to wearing stuff for his outdoor activities, and he fell in love with this vest. He even offered his wife in trade. Luckily I know about her inability to cook.
Kakadu has more then just this two styles of vest of course and offers pants as well. All of the “GUNN-WORN” line have a pocket or pouch in them or the same style of these vests to hide a handgun inside them. They have worked hard and listened to a lot of advice about what the buyer wants in a ccw vest trying to please their customers.
The thing that is important to remember for some is that this line of clothing from them is NOT for the full time pure duty use. This stuff is meant for the outdoorsman and sometime casual wear. I was told it was mainly for people out side a lot to be able to carry a gun. It is not “operator” type stuff. But if you are fishing and that kinda stuff, but still want to carry a gun, this is the niche it fills. I would not buy it and use it the same way a woolrich or 5.11 ccw vest is meant to be used. You can, but its just not ideal.
They are an Australian company so you can imagine what the clothes are intended to hold up to. I have not been there but I have seen Crocodile Dundee parts 1-3 enough times to know that it’s pretty dangerous and is like Jurrassic Park with more kangaroos and snakes. So you can bet the clothes made for the brave soul who would dare to live there is pretty tough. If you stay outside on vacation a lot and want your slayer they make some good solutions for that. At the same time they make some good tough working clothes that will also hold your gun. Take a look: