Natick Labs developed the T66-2 Lightweight Felt Fragmentation Protective Vest in 1966 in an effort to improve on the standard M1952A / M69 type vest.1 Featuring a filler constructed from nylon felt layers encased in polyethylene, the vest weighed approximately 3-1/2 lbs less than the standard item and offered equal protection to the vital organs.2 The T66-2 also boasted a front Velcro fastener, two cargo pockets and adjustable elastic draw cords on each side.
The Lightweight Felt Flak Vest was tested by the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam between January and May 1967. Unfortunately, it was found to be too hot and uncomfortable to wear for foot mobile troops.3 However, a redesigned version of the vest was used in the development of the Variable Body Armor.
1. Support To United States Army In Vietnam - Clothing & Equipment (United States Army Material Command Feb 1967)
2. The T66-2 weighed approximately 5lbs in medium size vs. 8-1/2lbs for M1952A. It offered equal protection to the vital organs, but slightly less protection to the other covered areas.
3. Final Report - Body Armor - ACL-24/671 (Army Concept Team In Vietnam, 12 June 1967