During a photo shoot, I snapped a few infrared images and noticed that one of the slings brought by a friend doesn’t look camouflaged anymore. It looks bright white. Through an night vision device, it would actually glow like a PT belt. That’s kind of visibility can be very bad for the person using it in case of a firefight.
I compared it to a better sling and found that it retained the same camo pattern through NVG. I have seen some Czechoslovak camo actually showing a different, also effective pattern in IR as a deliberate part of the design. So that’s one answer to what “better” gear does: it performs against observation by better equipped foes. The SOC sling is also wider, more supportive, and its hardware is much quieter.