Kit Badger is going to make fun of me for being that guy spending extra on tactical stuff that’s made to not look tactical, but frankly he carries a gun around that’s named after a famously insane Badger so I don’t care.
I make no bones about it, I have no interest in general fashion, I just want clothes that will last really well and present at the very least a smart appearance suitable for a man over 30. I’ve been wearing plain-looking jackets from ERA3 Apparel & Hardgoods, Beyond Clothing, KÜHL and Massif for years now, alongside other items like my SSD edition Altama Boots OTB Mids and more recently some items from the unfortunately short-lived Magpul clothing line. For me, if the quality is high, the look is smart and there are no huge logos representing tactical companies or stupid spartan helmets on the garment then I will take a look at the very least. It gives me more to post about here on the blog with some added variety by contrast to all the camo and I can support the companies I like.
Atlas Standard was first unveiled by Soldier Systems Daily some time ago now (SHOT 18 iirc) when their prototypes were shown to a select few. For those who’ve never heard of Atlas before they are an off shoot of Crye Precision and the tagline is ‘travel clothing’, except built to an equivalent standard of quality you would expect in Crye’s combat uniforms and armour systems. For me personally, that appeals because as I say I want that quality that’s going to last me years, that way I don’t have to even bother going out clothes shopping for a long, long time. Also when I travel to expos like SHOT I want good, practical clothing I’ll be comfortable wearing that carries what I need (sometimes concealed for security when it comes to cash and documents) but still present the clean image that I do want to give off when talking to various people.
The website went live with sales just this morning and only part of the line is available, but once everything is released you should expect to see shirts, jackets, trousers, belts and some extremely low profile pouches that can adapt to some of the above.
Should you spend Crye combat clothing prices for your urban, everyday attire? That’s up to you, for most of us the answer is no. Am I going to buy the entire line? Goodness no, I am interested in maybe 1 pair of trousers and a jacket, but they will likely be the cheapest items in each category and I emphasise the word maybe. I have no association with either Crye or Atlas and I’m not trying to sell the brand, but this is a blog about quality gear, primarily for men and this is a story I wanted to write as I do really enjoy the Aesthetics of everything I’ve seen from Atlas thus far.
The questions in my head have been about which other brands in this sphere already offer similar items and what comparisons could perhaps be drawn. The closest equivalent has perhaps been the Private Reserve line from Beyond, which similar to some of the Atlas offerings included jackets made from fabrics like the softshell you see in US SOCOM issued PCU, except with a smart civilian styling. That line unfortunately didn’t really last, however Beyond do still offer both civilian/mountaineering and military/duty variants of their technical apparel, much like Arc’teryx, Patagonia and a few other names that are highly popular amongst folks in the general tactical realm. The Magpul clothing line would be another example in terms of overall looks and style, but sadly even though lots of people buy ridiculous looking 5.11 clothing and RealTree all the time the Magpul stuff didn’t quite take off either in terms of sales figures.
At the opposite end of the price spectrum to 5.11 – any time you go to an event like SHOT or DSEI you will be guaranteed to see more and more dead bird logos on shirts and Atom jackets the closer you get to the venue. That’s no bad thing as I really can’t put in to words how well my Atom LT has done for me over many years of wear, however Arc’teryx is getting highly recognisable now as ‘the tactical guy’ brand and the contrasting white logos on most of the apparel exacerbates that issue. Also a lot of people seem to be wearing it in a ‘look at me’ pretentious manner which is a real turn-off and has pushed me to look around at other manufacturers, Atlas being one of them.
Lastly, yes, their video channel is on Vimeo at the moment. Maybe that will change, but considering YouTube’s strong anti-gun stance and left-leaning politics in direct opposition to Crye’s, it may actually be a good call in the long term.