The Gorka shines when things don't go according to plan. In typical Russian fashion, its designers asked:
Why pack a tent when you can wear one?
The Gorka is made for bad days.
It's made for mud. It's made for grime. It's made for days spent awake in a small trench.
It is a tent for when tents get you killed — and that's exactly why we love it.
Issued widely for decades, the Gorka (Горка) or "little mountain" is a favorite among Russian and ex-Soviet bloc forces.
It is a tough three-season suit which excels at shrugging off brambles, rough terrain, and inclement weather.
Originally designed for Russia's mountain troops, the Gorka spread rapidly. Its full coverage, generous cut, and high mobility won it quick adoption among Russian special forces — eventually landing the Gorka in the hands of the average infantryman.
There is no disputing that the Gorka is old technology. In a world of hyper-light wonder plastics, the cotton-canvas Gorka stands out like a 1998 Toyota Hillux in a lot full of Priuses. Would a Prius get you to work on time?
Yes Would it be lighter and more fuel efficient?
Technically, yes. Would you trust a Prius to get you the hell out of Dodge?
Over the last three months, we've worked closely with our Russian manufacturer to develop a "Goldilocks" Gorka.
Our goal was simple:
We wanted to give the Gorka a quality of life update without overcomplicating the original design.
The Gorka K is the result of this effort.
The core of the 'K' series of modifications is a re-examination of the Gorka trousers.
Almost all of the mobility of the original Gorka stems from its loosely cut pants. For the most part, the original pants are perfectly fine, but there are a few problems.
Specifically, the rise is too high, and the crotch is a single seam. This makes the pants ride and leaves them vulnerable to blowouts.
To address this, we added a diamond-shaped crotch gusset and adjusted the pants so that they sit comfortably below the navel.
We also found areas of the Gorka that needed to fit tighter to the body.
In the trousers, the original design needlessly ballooned fabric in the calf area. This was unsightly, but it was also a potentially disastrous snag hazard when moving quickly.
This line of thought also lead us to replacing nearly every button on the original Gorka suit with a "slotted" or "Canadian style" button — and to incorporating no snag flaps into all external pockets.
Widely used in military applications, slotted buttons are attached using a strip of webbing and bar-tacked directly onto the garment.
This design not only makes slotted buttons inherently stronger, it also allows them to move and flex while buttoned.
On the rare occasion that a slotted button does break, this simple method of attachment makes field repairs expedient.
Last but certainly not least, we made some significant changes to the upper of the Gorka.
Most notably, an "owl neck" full freedom hood, armpit vents, and an additional waist-level drawcord to reduce bulk.
The end result of all these little changes is a dramatically better overall garment.
As far as that Goldilocks Gorka goes, I think we just about made it.
The Gorka K is available now for pre-order and will begin production early September.
I hope you love yours as much as we loved making it.
Gorka K Specs
- Russian green cotton-canvas "tent fabric" body
- Olive drab reinforcement panels in high wear and load bearing areas
- Water resistant, easily made waterproof with wax
- Resists contact with fuels and oils
Mod K Improvements
- Articulated "owl-neck" hood with integrated visor and cinch cord
- Gusseted crotch for increased flexibility and "blowout" prevention
- Mid-rise "American style" trousers
- Extra elastic securing lower-leg area for higher mobility when running
- Liberal use of slotted buttons for durability and ease of repair
- Mesh underarm vents for user comfort
- Improved no-snag pocket design
- Heavily reinforced main zipper
- Adjustable waist drawstring
- Improved fit and range of sizes
- Used by military, special forces, and civilians for decades
- Two bicep pockets
- Two jacket hand pockets
- Two pants hand pockets
- Two thigh cargo pockets
- Internal document pocket
- Adjustable jacket skirt drawstring
- High mobility, high comfort cut
- Low profile suspenders
- Integrated gaiter system
- Wide belt-loops accommodate up to 50mm belts
- Internal elastic bands in wrists, pant cuffs, and beltline.
Gorka Care Instructions
- Machine wash in cold or warm water (up to 40°C / 104°F)
- Use a soft detergent and do not use bleach
- Use low mechanical force and avoid wringing
- Drip or hang dry
- Only iron the outer side at low or medium temperature (150-200°C / 302-572°F)
- Dry clean with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) only