There’s very few quality full-pattern combat shirts out there on the market, so I scoured around for one of these Patagucci.. er.. Patagonias. Not tried it out yet so I’ll not pass any judgement, but if you want to rock a chest rig and still have the thinner torso fabric, while retaining all the camo rather than run the classic T-Shirt/Field shirt combo, this is the best option I know of that’s actually in production in multicam (possibly). A few find their way on to eBay.
There’s the Propper TAC.U which I’ve reviewed on YouTube a while back and is economically priced but made of really rather poor materials and I found totally impractical for hot weather. I’ve also got an older version of the Arc’ LEAF combat shirt offering here which is fully patterned (unlike the current production), but it has exposed pit zips which are just terrible in a base layer. The only other option I know of good quality in genuine multicam is the ur-tactical.com offering, those guys are THE place to go if having a full patterned combat shirt for warm weather is the goal.
I find it surprising that a lot of the ‘swag’ and other random stuff that gear companies make is often amongst the highest quality clothing you might find in general. You do have to be careful what you pick or you risk ending up looking like the guy with the Ferrari jacket and cap who drives a Ford. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a Ford or a VW or whatever, far from it, but you possibly shouldn’t be a walking advert for a company that you’ve got no link to.
My ideal criteria for this sort of thing are simple:
-High quality in design and materials
-Actually own a flagship product from the company in question or have some other association
-If at all possible, the design should be something original, not just the normal logo plastered in huge font
I have a couple of standard logo t-shirts for manufacturers that I’m particularly interested in, but those are reserved for filming videos, maybe attending expos or going to games (driving not public transport), rather than general wear out and about. Some I’ve bought, mostly I’ve been given them at the last couple of Shot Shows.
I presume FirstSpear buys these t-shirts raw and print them, because looking at American Apparel’s website I don’t think they’re aimed at the shooting and outdoor market. More the man bun, organically-sourced-wool male romper and gluten free douche-frappelatte kinda market. Not that I understand social dynamics in America all that well I just get all my information from Mat Best MBest11x.
The whole ‘EDC’ trend isn’t something I’ve massively been in to when it comes to little pocket tools/widgets, knives, carbon fibre wallets etc etc. If concealed carry were a thing in this country I’d jump on that in a heartbeat but that’s not a discussion for this moment.
A friend of mine within Magpul’s apparel/equipment division kindly supplied me one of these Daka wallets to take a look at and I’d say it’s an option worth considering if it fits your needs. I’m sort of on the fence on this type of wallet, having tried it I have found that I really don’t need a lot of the junk I carry around in my normal wallet, but I also do need coins sometimes (as I’d imagine many people do) and personally I can’t stand just having a pocket full of loose change. People who just shove bank notes in to a pocket make me feel a bit sick; those are to be neatly stored with no dog-ears and looked after to my mind, but I digress.
The Daka pouches are made of an all synthetic fabric that I’m a fan of and this wallet makes good use of that with the same sort of construction methods. The pouches are still overkill price wise to replace sandwich/freezer bags when waterproofing lots of gear in a bergan, but if you get a couple for organising random bits when travelling or doing outdoor stuff they make sense. This wallet holds on to what you put in it due to the high friction nature of the material and if you’re only really using a few cards on a daily basis it’s a strong option. Feather light, as simply constructed as it could possibly be and resilient to hanging about in your sweaty pocket for years on end.
So, at my previous posting we had a job that would come up now and again where someone would take a turn for a week just manning the entry point to the explosive storage area. You were in a nice building for the most part with a TV and a DVD player, so pretty easy job. But sitting there all day for a week I got through a lot of films, got to that point some of you may have also experienced at different times in your life where you end up watching literally just anything you can get hold of.
The film I saw during such a stint that I enjoyed the most was Tropic Thunder. But the film that just totally blew my mind was a little gem calledOzombie. Rather than trying to explain it, I’ve uploaded the trailer below. I cannot encourage you all enough to watch the full thing.
So, at my previous posting we had a job that would come up now and again where someone would take a turn for a week just manning the entry point to the explosive storage area. You were in a nice building for the most part with a TV and a DVD player, so pretty easy job. But sitting there all day for a week I got through a lot of films, got to that point some of you may have also experienced at different times in your life where you end up watching literally just anything you can get hold of.The film I saw during such a stint that I enjoyed the most was Tropic Thunder. But the film that just totally blew my mind was a little gem called Ozombie. Rather than trying to explain it, I've uploaded the trailer below. I cannot encourage you all enough to watch the full thing.
I’ve talked about softshell a lot, let’s talk very briefly about hardshell (Gore-tex/level 6/waterproofs). Since I’ve got these US issue ECWCS outer waterproof trousers from back in the 90s here to look at, seems appropriate.
The first thing to know when you’re shopping is that companies claiming their softshell jackets are waterproof are full of shit. I only tend to see this with the cheaper brands and it’s annoying; the higher end companies use the phrase water resistant but that’s what applies and is correct. Everything is a compromise between breathability (letting the sweat out from inside) and keeping the rain on your outside from getting in. Some fabrics do better than others but there’s no miracle solution yet.
You won’t get much of that greenhouse feeling with a softshell so you can run around comfortably, but it also won’t keep the rain out for very long. A hardshell layer will create a personal amazon jungle climate for you if you run around in it too much, which is actually a technique in mega cold temperatures, but not good for weather ~5C or above.
In cooler temperatures when you’re not going to be fully exerting yourself for long periods, then a hardshell can come in to play if the heavens really open up. Ideally they’re actually best used when you’re stationary, be that guarding or laid up waiting and hiding. Even gore-tex won’t keep all water out indefinitely though, especially if pressure is applied. Get your trousers wet and sit down, guess what?
The unfortunate thing from a general outdoor usage perspective is that decent hardshells cost a bomb. From an airsoft perspective however you can get US Woodland/DCU or DPM/DDPM on your local version of eBay for a tiny fraction of what any other Gore-Tex type apparel would cost.
Tactical Distributors had (at the time of publishing) an everyday t-shirt line that’s actually not horrendous at all. I have one of their designs here and it doesn’t have a huge picture of an AR-15 on it or anything. You can wear it anywhere. Sadly their latest releases have the word TACTICAL in massive letters emblazoned across the front which is a bad move, but oh well. Their trousers still look pretty good.
If you’re in the US anywhere it gets cold or rains and you need camo gear to fit the bill, you can’t beat the value of some army surplus ECWCS Level 5 gear. They buy stuff in such bulk that to get better quality or features on the commercial market you’re likely going to spend a ton more money. I’ve compared this set to my PCU equivalents and didn’t find any noticeable difference in comfort or performance; if you’re an average human being I’d wager you’ll find the same thing.
Folks have this thing that softshell is only for jacket and by comparison the lowers go for way less on ebay. But as I’ve talked about before, softshell isn’t a foul weather uniform, it’s designed to work great in just about anywhere other than the real hot and arid places. Even then the wind blocking properties would be incredibly handy in the cold desert night.
If you’re expecting generally kinda shit weather, I’d go for the shell trousers every time. You can throw a hardshell gore-tex jacket over anything on your top half if it’s really hammering, then not have to worry about your lower half staying soaked for hours and hours once the downpour stops (or doing the goretex trouser dance). The softshell will soak through after a few minutes in a deluge yes, but it won’t stick to you as much, soak up a ton of water to bog you down or go as cold against the skin as cotton blends do; then it’ll dry super fast by comparison later on.