Timber Marking Cruiser Vest
The purpose of this paper is to provide information that may be useful to field personnel. It is not intended to endorse a specific vendor, require use, or even recommend use of a specific product. Users of cruiser's vests should select the product that best suits their individual needs. Presented here is information about a cruiser's vest that is available and deemed a desirable product by some Forest Service users.
Cruising vests are designed to accommodate a variety of equipment. Many styles of vests are available that suit the many types of work that are being done. Vest pockets are designed to fit the various pieces of equipment used for a variety of tasks. Timber markers usually wear a cruiser's vest. Most cruiser's vests have a large survey pocket in the back that can be used for carrying larger somewhat flat items such as maps. Other vests include an additional pack for bulky items such as tree marking paint. Many of the vests with the additional pack are fine for carrying a couple of cans of paint and a lunch but are not well suited to heavy loads. Sometimes the marking job is a fair distance from the vehicle and it is desirable to carry up to a case of paint to the field. Most vests are not designed to be very stable with this type of weight.
Lance Portlock, Blackhills NF, Region 2, uses a cruiser's vest that meets this need.
Figure 1. Vinatronics model 9127. This vest
has a permanently attached backpack.
The vest can be purchased from Vinatronics, Seattle, WA. The model he uses is #9127 which is on page 19 of their current (2005) catalogue: http://www.vinatronics.com/vinatronics/
According to Vinatronics the model 9127 was developed with input from Forest Service field personnel. It is designed to carry up to 60 lbs of gear. Lance reports that he has comfortably carried up to 12 cans of paint in the vest. The vest has four zippered pockets in the front and a zippered survey pocket in the back. There are several other pockets in the front, some of which are secured with Velcro. The vest is closed at the front using two heavy duty snaps. The body of the vest is a water resistant mesh. It has padded shoulders to provide comfort when carrying more weight.
The model 9127 is similar to a vest that Vinatronics used to produce for the Forest Service several years ago. That vest had a detachable pack that could be attached at the padded shoulders.
Figure 2. A previously produced vest. It differs from the
model 9127. Backpack is attachable to supports at the
shoulders. It lacks the two pockets at the upper
Though this pack is no longer a catalogue item, Vinatronics will custom make this pack if desired. It may be feasible to attach other specialty packs with only minor modifications such as the addition of two attachment straps. When arriving at the marking unit (or other work site) the pack can be left at a convenient location which avoids carrying it all day. For this purpose a detachable pack may be useful.
The Beefy Backpack paint sprayer, made available through San Dimas Technology and Development Center, attaches to a harness by two straps at the shoulders. It would be relatively easy to mate the beefy backpack and the older version of the vest. Custom ordering a vest with the correct spacing for the shoulder straps may be a good combination for the field user. An alternative (if field units already have these vests) would be to attach two straps to the pack for the beefy sprayer. These would be placed at a slightly wider spacing than the current clips.
It may be worth additional development to field test the combination of the custom vest with the beefy backpack to compare with the existing beefy backpack system.
Figure 3. These pictures show a temporary attachment
(for illustration only) of the beefy backpack to the custom vest.