For an overview of combat armor variants in all games, as well as background information, see combat armor.
“The distinctive black ranger combat armor consists of the Desert Rangers' traditional trench coat worn with pre-War riot armor. Ranger patrol armor is hand-manufactured in the NCR.”— Fallout: New Vegas loading screen
Modeled after the human silhouette, combat armors were designed to provide balanced protection without limiting user mobility. They are a diverse family of personal body armor with varying degrees of sophistication, ranging from the earliest iterations developed by the United States Army to the cutting-edge riot gears that came into use prior to the Great War.
This armor provides the same level of protection as combat armor, but has a higher item HP, meaning it will degrade slower. It can typically be found earlier in the game than combat armor but repairs will be an issue without Jury Rigging or actively killing NCR Rangers and looting their armor. Alternatively, due to the armor's very low value, merchant repair is a viable choice.
If the player is in good enough standing with the NCR, they will receive an NCR emergency radio and be able to call in an NCR Ranger to aid them in combat. If this Ranger dies, their armor may be looted without impacting the player's relationship with the NCR.
It can also be repaired by non-player characters, and is substantially cheaper to repair than normal combat armor. The armor also has a black ceramic combat knife holstered on the left chest plate which is unusable by both the player and non-player characters. As stated in the concept art picture, there is a 'water backpack' in the back of the armor, obviously to protect and store water. This is only a cosmetic feature and cannot be used. The ranger patrol armor is hand-manufactured in the NCR.
Can be found at Ranger station Charliewhen checking it out for Ranger Andy in Novac. When you enter the outpost building, go through the broken door to the left. Use caution, because the door, like almost everything else in the outpost, is booby-trapped. The armor is in the inventory of a body, but is not equipped, making it seem as if there is no armor on the body.
During the quest You'll Know It When It Happens, a Ranger gets pushed off the tower that the Legion sniper gets on to kill President Kimball. You can loot his body for fully repaired Ranger patrol armor and a Ranger hat.
During the quest Still in the Dark, you can let Ranger Dobson disarm and remove your explosive collar. Seconds after the conversation, 3 Brotherhood troops will attack. The collar will explode soon afterwards, most likely killing the ranger and giving you a free set of armor. Alternatively you can rig his radio to explode, killing him when he uses it without failing the quest.
PCXbox 360 When equipping the Ranger Patrol Armor your characters idle animation will permanently change to a different stance, and back-holstered weapons will switch from an overhand equip action to an underhand one, as well as causing all similar varieties of weapon to clip further away from the back of your character, making the weapon appear to hover several inches in mid-air behind your character. Fast travel, reequipping or unequipping the weapon/armor and changing areas do not fix the bug. The idle animation this armor triggers is that of a power armor. Being much bulkier that regular apparel, power armor requires characters to stand like this to avoid clipping. [verified]
This issue can be fixed by equipping a different set of armor, saving the game, then reloading the save. Without using this workaround, the issue will persist between save-games.
↑The Army helmet is presented in the game as an older type of helmet, issued to uniformed troops who do not use the standard set of combat armor: Clearly visible in the tutorial segment and later on countless dead bodies throughout the Commonwealth.