Monday, 23 April 2012

Tactical Shirts

These days Tactical Shirts come in many different forms using many different technical fabrics and clever design ideas.  The traditional tactical shirt is still a button down collared shirt, with a few enhancements like epaulets for a "security" badge, company logo or rank insignia, concealed pistol holder pockets or an access flap to a covert pistol harness is not un common in a tactical shirt, collar stays to prevent curling after prolonged use (or even abuse) in harsh environments, radio loops for an earpiece to be fed through and kept secure, and normally a few extra pockets as well for ID, money/card stash/maps or other documents.

The traditional style tactical shirt is normally available in a heavy duty cotton version, or a light weight "rip-stop" poly cotton blend.  Personally I prefer the cotton the majority of the time, despite some of the technical advantages of the poly cotton (faster drying, supposedly more breathable, and as the name implies "rip stop") purley from a comfort perspective as I don't really get on with synthetic fibres so well.  This problem with a synthetic tactical shirt is often worsened when worn under body armour, or a backpack when the rubbing and sweat buildup is worst, especially on the nipples and under the arms.  Cotton is just more comfortable for me.

There are more modern "polo shirt" styles which are becoming popular in the tactical arena, from your basic black security polo shirt....a black polo with "Security" in big white letters on the back shoulders and left breast, to the more Gucci "professional" polos from brands Blackhawk or 5.11 which retail at about 3 times the price!!!  The more up market tactical polo shirts offer some of the features of their traditional shirt counterparts, extra pen pockets, collar stays, radio and sun-glass loops etc. and also a better build quality; heavier weight material and re enforced stitching.  These styles of shirts have become very popular with maritime security tactical users and are normally available in a cotton or synthetic moisture wicking material.  Again, personally I prefer the cotton tactical shirts as I find the moisture wicking versions tend to suffer from odour build-up, though a colleague has suggest that this doesn't happen if you use a detergent without any fabric softener component.....I have yet to test this theory tho!

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