Gear REVIEW: Dickies Tactical Apparel Alexander Crown October 30, 2017 Dickies clothing is synonymous with durable threads for hard-working folks and its new line of tactical apparel continues that tradition. TACTICAL RELAXED FIT STRETCH RIPSTOP CARGO PANT The Tactical Relaxed Fit Pant is a standard cargo style pant that fits true to size; 32 x 30-inch in my case. The relaxed fit of the pants is roomier than similar tactical pants designs. The inseam length is appropriate and the leg opening is wide enough to fit over boot-tops. The leg opening measures 18 inches on the size 32 pants. Comparatively, the leg opening on most similar styled, tactical pants measures 16 inches. The pants have a comfort waistband, which is ideal for Turkey Day binge eating and also allows for excellent mobility when jumping, running, or crawling. There's a grabber strip in the waistband that helps keep your shirt tucked, but it wraps all the way around to the front and causes issues with AIWB holsters. The exposed elastic band catches on the Raven Concealment CLAW of my V Development Group Seraph Holster while putting the holster on or taking it off. The good news, it didn't have any effect on the actual draw. The ripstop material is lightweight and breathable. It also dries relatively quickly; a bonus for those that suffer from chronic swamp ass. The pocket layout is familiar- if you already own tactical pants, and each pocket is sized appropriately for common everyday carry items; magazines, tourniquets, notepads, etc., without being obnoxiously large. The hand pockets have a flat, reinforced area along the bottom of the opening that anchors a pocket knife, or other clipped items, and the right side has a cell phone pocket almost large enough to fit an iPhone 7 plus. Both cargo pockets have internal and external pockets for a total of three on each side. On the downside, the cargo pockets sit too low on the leg and too close to the knee for me. But, at 5 feet, 6 inches, I'm shorter than most, so YMMV. In all, the pants have a total of twelve pockets, guaranteeing you can carry whatever you need, with extra room for stuff you don't. TACTICAL PANT INFO: Available in: Black, Desert Sand, Tactical Green, and Midnight Blue Sizes: Waist: 30 up to 48, Inseam: 30, 32, 34, and 39 unhemmed MSRP: $49.99 -$54.99 Link: http://www.dickies.com/pants/tactical-relaxed-fit-stretch-ripstop-cargo-pant/LP704.html?dwvar_LP704_color=GC TACTICAL VENTILATED RIPSTOP SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT My personal preference for shirts is that the sleeve sits at or just above the elbow and this shirt delivered. More importantly, my wife said it “looked nice” on me. I'll take a compliment from her when I can get it. Dickies spent time excising the devils that lie in the details, making it an exceedingly usable piece of your wardrobe. The underarm/side area is ventilated for better cooling and the left sleeve has a spot for two pens. The chest pockets have small pleats allowing them to expand roughly a half-inch. The left side pocket has a tie down spot located externally on the bottom, Dickies says this is for sunglasses. For a little more security a hidden chest pocket is provided with a zipper closure. The designers were forward-thinking enough to incorporate small buttons behind the collar to keep them lying flat. Included with the shirt are sew on epaulets and a badge holder to help make this shirt into a uniform. The shirt is cut five or six inches too long to wear untucked, at least by today's standard. But, the longer length helps keep the shirt tucked in throughout the day. The material of the shirt is stiff and scratchy out of the package but it softened quickly after washing and wear. SHIRT INFO: Available in: Black, Desert Sand, and Midnight Blue Sizes: Small to 5XL MSRP: $38.99 -$42.99 Link: http://www.dickies.com/shirts/tactical-ventilated-ripstop-short-sleeve-shirt/LS953.html?dwvar_LS953_color=DS#start=6 SOFTSHELL JACKET The Dickies Tactical Softshell Jacket is ideal for daily or duty use. It is water resistant but still breathable. The most notable feature of the jacket is the zippered sides that allow your pistol holster to be out and easily accessible. The bottom buttons back together to keep the jacket from flopping around or exposing the wearer to the elements. The jacket also features removable front and back reflective/identification panels. The chest pockets are secured with zippers and the Napoleon-style hidden pocket has Velcro along the bottom edge. The jacket doesn't bind up during movement, but the fit is a big boy cut- so, I would recommend ordering a size smaller than your actual size. The reason the jacket isn't true to size can be due to the fact that it's meant for duty wear and is able to accommodate a duty belt or lightweight kit. JACKET INFO: Available in: Black or Midnight Blue Sizes: Medium to 5XL MSRP: $99.99 -$109.99 Link: http://www.dickies.com/outerwear/tactical-softshell-jacket/LJ540.html Dickies has done consumers a favor by releasing a full line of tactical clothing that provides uniform solutions for all seasons and at a competitive price. Multiple options allow the wearer to choose from a casual look to full-blown duty uniforms. For close to a century, Dickies has made a name for itself as a premier workwear line and that tradition continues with the tactical apparel. It would not surprise me if we see this line expanded on to include women’s clothing as well as more uniform options. 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