Nature's Secret Larder - 5.11 Tactical Shirt - Review


Bushcraft Blog

5.11 Tactical Shirt - Review
8th April 2011

For an authorised dealer of the genuine 5.11 product please visit

5.11 Tactical Shirt

Built on a foundation of durability, quality and value, 5.11 lead the industry in delivering functionally innovative gear to the law enforcement and outdoor market.  It’s recently become famed because Ray Mears usually wears their clothing in many of his shows and I too have been wearing this brand for a good few years, before everyone else jumped on the band wagon I might add ;)

In this review I’m going to briefly touch on the 5.11tactical shirt, which is my favourite garment from the line up that they offer.

As usual, I’m not going to touch on many of the technical aspects of the materials, life’s too short to worry about such things! And let’s be honest, very few of us ever require the technical advantages of certain fabrics and such.

I like the green and the khaki colours for casual and outdoor wear. The shirts are quite generous with sizing which is good if you’re on the large size, such as me.  In particular the XL, XXL and XXXL shirts use more material in the arms, back and shoulder, which is where most other shirts never seem to fit me.  Other than the fit, the other bonus is the amount of pockets on them, which although large, are very well concealed.

So, on with some technical info as supplied by 5.11.

• Comfortable, durable and functional
• Superior fit
• Triple-stitch construction
• 26 bartacks in high stress areas
• Tough melamine buttons
• Patented hidden document pockets  (These are very handy)
• Reinforced pen pockets
• Cape-back with moisture-wicking mesh
• Hidden button down collar
• 6 pockets
• Tough 5.4-oz. cotton canvas
• Long sleeves  (these are also handy as they have a roll-up button clip to convert to short sleeves)
• Tall sizes adds 2 inches to length


The Tactical Shirts have hidden button-down collar stays and a handsome, functional design offering a professional appearance that is also appropriate for casual environments. With versatility like this, you can swiftly transition between work, play and travel without changing clothes.


Stash airline tickets, maps, your cell phone or a small backup in 5.11’s patented hidden document pockets located on the front chest of the 5.11 Tactical Shirts. Discreetly designed with a Velcro® closure and one-handed access, the strong, roomy pockets work in tandem with 5.11®. Overlaying the hidden document pockets are large, pleated patch pockets finished with Velcro®. The left pocket incorporates a dual pass-through slot for pens, chem-lights and tire gauges. Two narrow pen pockets are placed on the left sleeve, for six pockets in all.


Made of tough, 5.4-oz. cotton canvas, the 5.11 Tactical Shirts lets you work, play and travel in comfort and style. Triple needle construction, 26 bartacks in high-stress areas and reinforced anti-crack, anti-chip melamine buttons result in an amazingly hard-wearing shirt.


In addition to its breathable fabrics and strategic construction, the 5.11 Tactical Shirts employ a 5.11’s unique heat management system. A large cape-back with a tacked center point covers moisture-wicking Drilex® material to efficiently vent and evaporate moisture around the clock. Stitched eyelets at each gusseted underarm further dispel heat and moisture to keep you cool.


There’s a high-performance 5.11 Tactical Shirts for every mission and activity. With two easy-care fabrics and several colors from which to choose, you can wear the shirt that best fits your daily plans and climate. Both short and long sleeved versions are available.


Accept no imitations or look-alikes. No other tactical shirts compare to the authentic 5.11 Tactical Shirts – the global choice of true professionals.

So that’s what 5.11 say about the shirts, and I have to agree with most of their spec. I’ve found these shirts to be pretty much near perfect for anyone wanting a hardwearing shirt that is flexible and has plenty of pockets space, ideal for those of us who like to carry a wildlife ID book or a map, etc.

The heat management system does work, but for me it’s not perfect, especially if wearing an outer-shell, but this isn’t really to be expected.  However for the price, I have never found a shirt to be quite as good as this one, and I’ve worn quite a lot of high-end outdoor wear over the years.

PRICE 10/10

CONCLUSION – I would recommend this shirt to anyone who wants a hardwearing shirt that looks good, both in natural environments and equally as good as general casual wear.  The price point is currently very good, but this garment really comes into its own when used for outdoor activities, where quality is of the utmost importance. For me though, the real selling points are the good fit, and the generous amount of pockets, which really do come in handy, especially when teaching outdoor skills, I don’t know about you, but keeping things in my trouser pockets really starts to grate on me when they keep moving about or getting in the way when having to kneel down a lot to make fires etc.  The 5.11 shirt is a great purchase and a must for any bushcrafter or outdoors person.

For an authorised dealer of the genuine 5.11 product please visit

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