Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: TruSpec Combat Shirt

 I snapped up this shirt from eBay, and have gotten a lot of utility from it. Not surprising considering its design origins.

This is the TruSpec Combat Shirt from Atlanco.

The key thing about this kind of shirt, and the reason I wanted one, was that it combines a 60/40 cotton/nylon blend t-shirt material body with a rugged 65/35 polyester/cotton ripstop blend arms and shoulders. Cool and comfortable torso, tough and rugged arms and shoulders for hard wear and outdoorsy adventure.

Basically I wanted a work shirt that would be good to wear in the long hot Australian summer, in or out of my gear. I always look first to military gear, because i know that it is often built extra hardy, and, essentially, for badassness.

The TruSpec shirts however, have added functionality that is well worth covering. As well as being a breathable, wicking and fast drying ,aterial, the "No Melt, No Drip" Cordura Baselayer fabric is reported to reduce the severity of burn injuries and helps protect against flash fires.

Considering my proclivity for being too close to fires, both controlled, wild and just being stupid, I thought this was a great additional feature that whilst I didn't intend to test to stringently, would come in handy.  As well as what it is made of, the folks at Atlanco gave some thought to those who might be wearing it, and what other utility they would look for. Both biceps house a zippered storage pocket, angled for ease of use.

They also feature loop-fields for attachment of patches, here i've got one from Strike Industries, who make the Simple Plate Carrier pack and Tactical Sling Catch i'm so fond of

I've also got a double sided call-sign panel from PatchPanel and one of their IR IFF squares in the built in tape-covered area. Very clever way of making this a "need-only" system of ID.

The other arm features flag, rank and nametape fields, as well as the zippered pocket.

You can also see here the padded elbow patch, with its double stitching and placement to really add to the build.

It was also great to not e that there were no shoulder seams, and all the seams were flat, which really minimizes chafing and pinch-spots, especially noticeable when carrying a pack, or doing repetitive work like chopping wood or digging in a field.

I also liked the cuffs, which also featured hook-and loop closures, to keep nature out, but also the gusseting that kept the fit true.

They offer these in several different sizes, in a variety of colour schemes. I opted for Large/Long in order to accommodate my super long arms, but could have done with a "medium" body fit, i think. The Khaki/Sand option sat nicely for me. You can see here how the tough shirt sleeves poke out of my First Spear OAGRE vest, whilst my torso has the softer wicking cotton/nylon t-shirt.

All in all a very comfortable, rugged and practical shirt, and one that I expect to get a lot of hard wear out of, no matter what I throw at it, or myself into.

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