Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

Combat Flip Flops – The Amputee Retrofit Strap

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

The Amputee Retrofit Strap (ARS) is a new product from Combat Flip Flops, an accessory strap which secures their new Floperator model flip flop to a prosthetic leg. It was manufactured in association with Tactical Tailor, and is intended to give Veteran amputees the ability to wear the Floperator model flip flops.


Currently, the Amptee Retrofit Strap is available as a free accessory with the Floperator. No word yet on whether the ARS will be offered as a stand-alone product, but stay tuned for further news.


Warrior East – 5.11 XPRT Uniform

Friday, July 15th, 2016

There was a sneak peek of 5.11 Tactical’s new XPRT uniform at SHOT Show but the actual public debut at IWA in Germany earlier this year. It only seems fitting as the features were hammered out in conjunction with a European national police CT unit. I got to check it out the but the only sample was in Dark Navy, making it difficult to discern details, and the booth was swamped with customers.

The uniform’s first American appearance was during SOFIC, but 5.11 asked me not to show it yet.

Finally, at Warrior East, I’m able to show you this new three-piece uniform. It includes Tactical and Rapid shirts as well as Tactical Pant.

5.11 has put a lot of innovation into the XPRT uniform. For example, they are the first adopters of the new NYCO Tactical fabric from Invista which also offers Cordura fabric. It still features a rip-stop weave but  it’s lighter than the standard 50/50 NYCO we are now used to, and has a more comfortable hand.  

And then, there’s the whole design. It’s unlike anything else 5.11 has ever offered.

Black and Dark Navy have landed in the US and should be on 5.11 Tactical’s website shortly. MultiCam will be available around SHOT Show 2017.

Warrior East – Beyond Level A9E

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The level A9E (E=Equatorial) is Beyond’s Hot Wet uniform. Made from the USSOCOM-validated jungle fabric from Burlington, Beyond has kept the design simple, with a few specialized features.

For example, the Jungle Blouse has a mesh lined, rear vented yoke.

One feature that I haven’t seen in a jungle uniform before is the mesh underwear liner. It’s much like you’ll find in swimwear. There are also mesh gaiters sewn into the legs of the pants.


USAF Security Forces Select Massif For Non-FR Combat Shirt

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Earlier this week, the USAF’s Security Forces Center awarded Samtech dba Massif $6,659,305.01 to provide non-FR Combat Shirts for all SF. It’s a Digital Tigerstripe variant of a combat shirt but non-FR for home station wear with body armor.

This photo is of a version procured under an earlier contract.

UPDATED – This is a photo of the actual Massif design.

Kitanica – LightWeight Vented Shirts

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Offered in Long and Short sleeved versions, the LWV is available in Black or Khaki sizes Small – XXLarge. It incorporates a lot of popular features such as angled front pockets as well as both underarm and back yoke venting.  

-Lightweight 4.5 oz Poly/Cotton Ripstop
-Antimicrobial moisture managing A.M.Y®/Sorbtek® Mesh
-Mesh vent behind the arm and gussetted back
-Left and right angled and pleated front chest pockets
-Pen tubes on the left pocket
-Double layer reinforced in elbows
-Gussetted back for full range mortion
-Bar-tacked at the stress points and has double needle top-stiching
-Made in USA!


Prometheus Design Werx – JAAC Hoodie

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

All Season Weight Polartec Pullover Hoodie Crafted in the USA

San Francisco based specialty outdoor products company Prometheus Design Werx debuts their JAAC Hoodie this 2016 Summer season. A simple spartan design, with a streamlined fit, this hoodie is versatile piece that can be worn alone over a base layer or layered under an outerwear piece. Made with US Spec Polartec Micro Series polyester fleece, and features PDW’s sculpted MLH hood design with mini sun brim, full length side panels for unrestricted arm movement, thumbhole cuffs, and a front kangaroo style pocket. Flatlock “wetsuit” style seam construction ensures maximum comfort and a length that doesn’t ride up when seated on a mountain bike or when under a 1st line belt. An all season weight for maximum usability, the JAAC Hoodie is designed, crafted, cut and sewn in CA, USA.

The JAAC Hoodie will be an evergreen seasonal style for Prometheus Design Werx.

The Design and R&D Team at PDW states:

“Our JAAC Hoodie is a perfect example of designing a functional apparel style that follows Leonardo DaVinici’s belief that ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’ Often times the clean, spartan spirit underlying a particular design can be the most versatile. It suits multiple use cases and becomes goto staple for the user. This hoodie is inspired from some of our Founder’s favorite pullovers from the rock climbing and mountaineering set, where many of the most useful designs were the least specialized allowing for a great latitude of applications. This pullover style and cut is a favorite amongst the PDW staff. The clean front without zippers or other clutter is ideal when worn under a shell and as comfortable as one can get under a plate carrier or chest rig. Our hood is sculpted in a unique pattern and seaming, patterned after the classic American baseball. The JAAC Hoodie will quickly become a familiar friend in your wardrobe and a goto piece for those early morning surf checks, settling down at camp after a Sierra 10 miler, to adding that extra bit of warmth under your motorcycle leathers or a day at your favorite range.”

The PDW JAAC Hoodie will be available for $89.00 on Thursday, July 07, 2016 via their website, prometheusdesignwerx.com.

Arktis Smock Sizing Guide

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Speaking of Smocks…


Blast From The Past – The Smock

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Enjoy this story from November, 2011 (slight updated) on one of my favorite clothing items; the Smock.

Finally, the smock is beginning to gain some traction here in the US. We’ve written about them in the past, mentioning smocks from Drop Zone, the now defunct EOTAC, SOD Gear, Level Peaks, SORD as well as the (then) upcoming Vertx smock. But, we’ve never really talked about them and explained what they are all about.

The smock is literally a concept unlike anything we have in the US. I’ve heard them compared to the M65 field jacket but that idea is simply uniformed. A smock isn’t just a coat.

Rather, the smock is much more than a simple jacket. In addition to use as clothing, the smock is also intended to carry much, if not all of the wearer’s fighting load. They were originally envisioned to carry several days of combat equipment including rations, ammunition, and radios.

Primarily, the smock is a European concept and in particular, used by Commonwealth nations. I got my first SAS smock in 1989 in a trade for a poncho liner during an exercise in Belgium. Its use as an issue garment has traditionally been restricted to Special Forces, yet several nations have adopted it for general issue in one form or another. One example of a much watered down smock on general issue is the Canadian Army’s combat jacket. When this design was initially adopted in the 1960s it was envisioned that the Soldier would carry his ammunition and other fighting load components in the jacket’s pockets. What’s more, the British military now issues a Smock as a general purpose item.

There is very limited use of Smocks by US forces. During the early 1990s, an experimental clothing system called Battle Dress System (BDS) was developed by the US Army Special Operations Command. It was a layered clothing system that eventually became the Lightweight Environmental Protection sub-system of SPEAR. The outermost layer, called the SOF BDU, was a solid grey combat jacket and over trouser. With its solid grey color the item was rejected due to institutional prejudice. When LEP was adopted by SOF years later, it was without the SOF BDU. Interestingly, LEP was even later adopted wholesale for issue to General Purpose Forces Soldiers by the Rapid Equipping Force during the early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Issue items like the SAS Smock are pretty good, but commercial interests have taken them to a whole new level. Britain’s Special Air Sea Services has been manufacturing specialized variants of the smock since the 1980s. Other companies like Canada’s now defunct Drop Zone picked up the torch in the 90s and now, commercial items are more prevalent than the issue garment.

Smocks have made a lot of sense in Northern Europe where the cold, wet climate requires layering. You see, as smocks are coat-like garments they are generally worn layered over shirts. In many climates the US military finds itself in, this would be too warm as a daily wear item. The US issue Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System in all three of its incarnations has offered various technical parka-style shells. It seems as if the US skipped the smock altogether for a time. But, with the advent of the most modern smocks, new fabrics have been introduced into the design essentially making them softshells. Conversely, Australian Mission Pac has developed a MultiCam ripstop 100% Cotton Smock for use in warm climates. Aside from that and a developmental Crye Precision Desert smock, hot weather models are few and far between.

Other interesting concepts have been developed such as the Arktis SF Sleeveless Smock which looks like a hybrid between a smock and a 5.11 shooting vest.

Oftentimes, those with no experience with smocks will criticize the design. They don’t understand that use of a fully featured smock allows the reconfiguration of the load. For example, armor can be worn under the smock. Perhaps a chest rig may be required and perhaps not, but much of the items normally carried on the armor or in a pack can be carried in pockets, readily available.

With even more products hitting the market soon, smocks look to be making an indelible mark on the US market and as they become more and more prevalent, we will begin to see more widespread use, including on the battlefield. Think of the smock as yet another tool in the toolbox and use accordingly. Remember, it’s a tool, not the tool, and you’ll be ok.