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5.11 Tactical Long Sleeve Shirt

5.11 Shirt

The 5.11 Tactical Long Sleeve shirt is your average button up uniform shirt, overclocked for the more demanding user. There’s nothing to scream “shoot me first”, but one can rest assured that some measure of toughness was put into its construction, and some thought into its design.

There are two breast pockets, roughly 5.5” x 5”, which close with two velcro squares. Behind the breast pocket on either side are one of the shirt’s best features: hidden document pockets. These open vertically in the “Napoleon style” with two velcro rectangles and measure in at about 6.5” x 10”. They’re great for carrying tickets, notebooks, passports (yes, plural; you know you have more than one, you double agent you), or, if you’re one of the 5.11 models, a small firearm.

The shirt also features a vented back (one of the few areas where the observant onlooker may notice something odd about the shirt) with mesh lining, rolled-up-sleeve-holder-thingies, and two small underarm vents (read: holes) for warmer weather.

The left sleeve sports two pen slots near the top, one of which I can just squeeze a kubotan into, though it’s a little awkward.

The shirt’s elbows are reinforced and, best of all, almost every seam is triple stitched. I don’t know why practices like that aren’t more common on clothing.

Additionally, 5.11 includes two epaulets and a badge holder to be optionally sewn on the shirt.

Two logos are placed on the shirt, in addition to the neck tag: one on the bottom and one on the left cuff, both of which can be easily cut off for sanitation.

I’ve only had this black cotton shirt now for a few weeks, but have no complaints so far. It’s a well made piece of clothing that blends right in at most locations (or would blend in, had I not sewn the jolly roger on the right sleeve), but I’m not afraid to roll around in the dirt in. A perfect example of a dual use garment.

The ripstop nylon version of the shirt I’ve had since last March and have been extremely pleased. It’s slid down more than a couple cliffs and has stayed together and presentable through situations where other synthetic shirts from REI, Mountain Hardwear, and Cabelas have not. I’ve worn it comfortably up to 100F (or at least as comfortable as I was in that temperature with just a t-shirt) and often will wear it in colder temperatures over a fleece or merino mid-layer to protect those undergarments from ripping.

LAPoliceGear was kind enough to send me this shirt for review. They maintain a large stock of 5.11 products for fast shipping, all at some of the best prices on the net. (Actually, I don’t think I own a 5.11 product that I haven’t purchased from LAPoliceGear— shirts, pants, or boots.)

3-11-08 Update:

I lost a button off the cuff today.

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