- Created: Thursday, 21 July 2011 14:57
As another part of the Magnum RD (Rapid Deployment) line, they also offer Tac shirts. I'll be showing the long sleeve version here, however the short sleeve version is available and even a female variant. Still using the 5.4 oz. 100% cotton ripstop in combination with some serious ventilation efforts, these shirts are made with hot weather in mind. This is a good setup for me as being a white boy I gotta cover up in the sun pretty much no matter how hot it gets. The SilencerShoot 2011 ended up being a good starter testing ground for the shirt as it must have been 100+. Many appeared shocked that I was in a long sleeve, so I just had to inform them this white boy has to cover or burn baby.
Anyway, of course naked is going to be cooler, but when you are getting your tac on, the protection of a long sleeve is highly appreciated. First impressions were that I overall liked the fit; not too baggy with good freedom of movement. The length is also about right to be able to tuck in pants and have them stay while not being too long causing bunching and heat issues. Rather than traditional buttons, low profile snaps are used for the main closures which helps keep things things comfortable while wearing armor. When it comes to long term durability, the snaps may not be as easy to field repair, but they are quicker and easier to operate in general. Snaps are even used on the cuff area which has its own pluses and minus compared to another method such as velcro. The adjustability isn't as vast, but with snaps you don't have to worry about hook snagging on loop and other stuff. As a nice touch there is an extra female snap higher up on the arm to allow securing of rolled sleeves.
Pockets are minimal starting with the lower front pockets. They are on the smaller side so are about right to fit items such as pistol mags, medium flashlights, and smart phones. Overlapping small flaps are used for security rather than a more classic full flap to cut down on material keeping with the hot weather wear concept. For these pockets I wish the rotation angle was greater to make them easier to get hands in. Since smaller and pointing near straight up, access ease suffers a bit. A zipper pocket is on the left chest zone that feels more natural to access. A possible down side is some may feel the zipper slider while wearing armor. Normally I'd bitch about there being no pocket on the other side, but they snuck in a pocket in the vent area of the right chest zone. I'm torn with this seemingly hidden pocket concept as both these zipper pockets use mesh on the interior so the contents are visible if the shirt is open. That aside, I suppose this right chest pocket offers some flexibility where the zipper part can be left open and the user can have quicker access at the loss of only a little bit of security.
On the subject of ventilation, the zones on the chest have velcro closures, I suppose to allow one to have a more clean look while sealed or open up to try and get improved airflow. I classify this as "suppose" since if operating opened up it is fairly easy to accidentally re-seal these vents with typical body movement. To clarify, these areas will always help with ventilation if sealed or not since the velcro is only in the middle. Done in a similar fashion there are vents on the upper back, however these have no velcro. Keeping up with the vent party, there are even vents on the lower arm pit zones which offer 3 slots of air access each, accompanied by 3 small vent holes in the upper arm pit area. Now I know you might be thinking "Jeez just make the whole area mesh then", however I think the vent system does a good job at helping airflow while giving an overall "traditional" shirt appearance. A good portion of the interior uses mesh which certainly helps with the heat, yet do keep in mind mesh doesn't work out so great when holding some items as they can snag or stab through the mesh.
The collar has a nice shape and some reinforcement to offer comfort with slings and pack straps. For a little treat there is a tuck pocket in the collar where one can hide their favorite small E&E items. As stated with the pants, the 5.4 oz cotton won't last as long as nylon blends, however these shirts also offer solid consistent color matching and a 6 month no fade guarantee. I didn't bust out an iron, but I think worth noting the fabric wrinkles fairly easily in comparison to other tops like the ACU jacket that use anti wrinkle fabric. When it comes to results I did find the Magnum RD Long Sleeve Shirt to be a solid performer in the heat offering me the general top protection I look for while not making me sweat my ass off. As a preference thing I'd like to see some shoulder pockets rather than zippered chest pockets as I'm less worried about low profile looks. I certainly hope Magnum will put these cool guy vent concepts into other tops in the future, I think they are onto a good thing.