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The Future of Load-Bearing Vests

Since our founding in 1985, Arktis has remained dedicated to designing engineering equipment that is superior to the standard issue available to frontline professionals, with higher-quality materials, features, and functionality.The E9 Molle Vest is the latest example of our commitment to this goal—engineering equipment with the needs of the frontline professional foremost in mind.Developed and tested in collaboration with the scientists and bio-mechanics at Lincoln University Labs and with actively serving police officers, the design of the E9 works to improve posture and reduce vest movement to minimise the muscular-skeletal injuries associated with load-bearing equipment.

Design variations

Starting in 2020, the E9 Molle Vest underwent three main prototyping phases. The Prototype design used two of our existing vests, the P9MPS and P1100. Using these as templates, we first focused on improving sizing and fit across a wide range of body types and sizes.The second phase involved harness trials. This phase was the project's core as the harness system secures the E9 vest to the user and reduces the unwanted movement that leads to injuries.The final prototype was our lab trial version. This version underwent extensive testing at Lincoln University's labs, including motion capture, gait analysis, and VO2 Max assessments. This trial phase and its testing led to a final design that drastically reduced the head acceleration caused by wearing loaded vests. This is directly attributable to the muscular-skeletal injuries wearers suffer. With the lab work completed, development moved on to the long-term wearer trials.

User trials

The E9's development benefited from extensive consultation and feedback from the Lincolnshire police's law enforcement operators. It has already shown its impact by helping Lincolnshire Police win the Oscar Kilo Absence Management Award by minimising the muscular-skeletal impact on officers.Since then, the trail has expanded further. Greater Manchester Police and Nottingham Police also participate in the long-term wear trials. In total, 38 officers, including 14 female officers, participated in the trial.The culmination of nearly three years of intensive research and development, the research results for the Ergo Vest speak for themselves. Our proprietary harness system has proven highly effective. Based on the data from the lab trials and the feedback from the long-term wearer trials.We just recently returned from the latest round of mo-cap wearer assessments. The results continue to show significant success with the project, including assessments on our updated version and integrated plate carrier armour variant.

The Future

The development journey has been a great experience, and we're excited to start integrating our proprietary harness system into future products.

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