My researches often take unexpected paths. While looking up something about Viking tunics I came across this interesting item:
From "British Infantry Equipments 1908–1980 Men at Arms series"
Load carrying vests or jerkins are relatively commonplace. Whether a vest or a more traditional webbing system is the best way to carry gear over body armour is still debated. Adding pouches directly to the armour and making a heavy item even heavier does not seem to be the most prudent option. What is most impressive about the 1942 Battle jerkin is its versatility. Not only will it hold a lot of equipment, but a great variety too. The designer remembered to make provision for “non-standard” items such as machetes and commando knives. Some modern vest designers would be advised to take a good look at the 1942 Battle Jerkin!