5:11 Tactical Ripstop TDU trousers and cotton long sleeve shirt
- By John Fenna
- 2 Comments
- Last updated: 25/01/2017
Made from a 65% polyester/35% cotton ripstop weave and Teflon treated for stain resistance, the trousers feature triple stitching and over 40 bar tacks in high stress areas, as well as double thickness knees and seat for wear resistance. The real difference between the TDU and other combats is to be found in the TDU waist. Instead of the normal adjusters, the TDUs have a “self-adjusting” waist where the front of the trousers “floats” on a strong elastic waistband and the expanding pleats of fabric are hidden in the shape of the front pockets. This ingenious system is very smart to look at and comfortable to wear.
The waistband has seven wide belt loops and is closed with a strong press-stud, while the fly is closed with a metal YKK zip and the flap behind the fly secures with a button.
The front pockets have deep bags, the right one divided at the bottom to secure small items, the lower edges of the pocket openings are reinforced to take the wear from knife clips and similar bits of kit, while the shallower back pockets have Velcro-closed pocket flaps.
Not only do the legs have double knees, but these come with shaped, removable neoprene knee pads. The hems have fitted drawcords and there are the standard looking pleated and bellows “BDU” style thigh pockets, with velcro-closed pocket flaps.
So although the TDUs look like ‘ordinary’ combats, they take this style of trousers to a new level of comfort, toughness and practicality and are the best combat trousers I have ever tried!
Coming in sizes XS-6XL in colours Black, Grey, Brown, TDU Khaki, TDU Green, Navy and Digi Woodland, the 5:11 Tactical Ripstop TDU Trousers cost around £39.99 a pair. A cotton twill version is also available, as well as matching TDU shirts.
Tactical Shirts Too
The 5:11 Tactical series clothing and equipment is a well-established brand, but I still think that their Cotton Tactical Shirt Long Sleeve is worth a detailed review as it is a classic, go-anywhere, do-anything, tough, practical, comfortable, discreet and good looking shirt, suitable for use as outdoor sports wear or for smart casual use. The hem is gently curved and looks good worn inside or outside trousers.
Made from a 5.4oz 100% cotton canvas, the shirt is constructed to a very high standard with triple stitching and 26 bar tacks on stress points for strength and durability, and has reinforced elbows for wear resistance.
With a generous cut, the shirt gives plenty of freedom of movement without looking baggy, while a deep “cape” cut yoke gives good ventilation and is lined with a moisture wicking mesh to keep nasties out and your back comfortable. The underarm features reinforced ventilation eyelets and, as well as reinforced elbows, the sleeves have twin position buttoning cuffs, a deep button-closed placket that makes rolling your sleeve up comfortable and button tabs to hold them tidy once rolled. The left sleeve also has a reinforced twin pen pocket.
The collar is a classic “stand and fall” style with concealed buttons that can be used for a smart look (even with a tie if you want!) or left undone (without looking odd) for that casual look. The front closing is a strongly made button stand with 7 melamine buttons, more closely spaced than on many shirts, which allows more ventilation control.
The pockets on the front of the shirt are twin inverted pleat pockets with Velcro-closed pocket flaps, the left chest pocket flap incorporating a “pen slot” and behind these “standard” pockets are patented hidden document pockets.
These pockets – almost invisible at first glance - have vertical openings which are closed with twin Velcro tabs, they cover the whole of the chest area and can hold a lot more than just a few documents!
I have found the 5:11 Cotton Tactical Shirt Long Sleeve to be almost my ideal shirt for work, play and travel, and although a little warm in the heat of the summer, it still makes a good overshirt for the cool evenings, while spring, autumn and winter it is ideal for many uses.
For those who like or need a “military” look, the shirts come with epaulets and a badge holder for you to sew on yourself, plus spare buttons.
Available in sizes XS-6XL in 10 colours, Black, Denim, Khaki, OD Green, Fire Navy, Coyote, Tundra, Grey, Charcoal and Sage, this modern classic has something for everyone, and costs around £39.99. I really do rate these shirts very highly.