Ideal Patrol Uniform & Gear Setup

ggammell

Regular Member
#21
So in the event rifle and rifle armor need to be worn, outer carrier comes off along with almost all your day in day out gear and a plate carrier is thrown on, rifle grabbed and go find work?
If you get the right carrier, you can wear plates in the vest while maintaining a uniform style (i.e. non assaulter) look so there is no need to change gear. Thats sort of the most recent evolution in armor carriers. It was either one style or the other. Now you are seeing more styles that accommodate both.
 
#22
your not going to find rifle armor that has the same weight/comfort and small arms coverage as soft armor. it doesn't exists. having worn rifle armor for years in the army both IBA and concealable, i would hate to wear rifle armor every day for a 8-16 hour shift on patrol.

Functionality is important, comfort is important, but looks can be just as important. you need to look approachable but authoritarian. If you look tacticool or like your patrolling ramadi thats going to hinder your job greatly. Your not going to be approached by people or able to build as good of repor with people. In fact i can see it exacerbating situations and escalating certen people causing more confrontations.

I am lucky to be in a department where the the unwritten rule is "if you look like a cop you can wear it". Being the geardo i am i have done a bunch of experimenting and basically found a very comfortable set up that looks good and works for me.

Pants-
5'11 Apex pants (https://www.511tactical.com/apex-pant.html)
they are great, stretchy, water resistant, breathable. i love these pants. they dont look tactical but the cargo pockets work great. on a few i have had small slit pockets sown in on the front.

Shirt-
Blauer Armor Skin (https://www.blauer.com/ss-polyester-armorskin-base-shirt-8372.html)
they are as good as a combat shirt and look professional. I have a badge sewn on so when i work the desk or a detail i can still wear it.

Armor-
outer vest carrier, i switch between 5'11 and elbeco. this is the only thing im ehh on. i like them and they are reason i started to wear vests again after a few years of not. they are comfortable. i do sew my badge onto them, so im not dealing with a metal one. i am looking at going with outer vest with pockets for my radio and maybe a few small things to try and get the weight off my belt. But im not a fan of molle vests or tactical looking ones for the reasons i stated above.

I have a sepret rifle threat vest i keep in my cruiser its a PIG Brigadine (https://www.skdtac.com/PIG-Brig-Plate-Carrier-All-Molle-Rear-SYSTEMA-p/pig.401.htm) in ranger green. Thing is small, light and slick. i have a few rifle mags and shotgun shells on it, with a heavy duty ifak. if i need a PC ill toss that on.

Belt-
i use a 5'11 belt, with velcro inner. It works great and nice and stiff. it has a nice slide buckle, altho i do like cobra better. I have the 5'11 zero G plates on it, and all i can say is holy shit they are nice. worth every penny, saves your back and hips. (https://www.511tactical.com/zero-g-plate.html)


i have a molle duty belt i use in the military and in shooting competitions, and i just dont see a beniffet of it over a regular duty belt. yes you can add molle pouches, but lets be real here, every type of pouch you would add to a duty belt already comes in a belt attachment form. I am a huge fan of a hard kydex style pouch for the radios. iv seen to many radios fall out during chases on cloth or leather cases.

As far as cell based comms, i compleatly disagree. there are to many places that i get shit cellphone reception that our radios work great. then you got to worry about mutual aid. if you go to cell comms everyone in your area has to also. id hate to have an indecent like an active shooter and not be able to communicate to the other agencies coming in. or something as simple as being able to have scan on in ur cruiser so you know whats going on in the neighboring town, especially when they are trying to move along or dump their issues into your town.

I am a fan of baseball style hats. i hate the officer style hats and only wear mine when its raining and i have the rain condom on it.
 

PM07

Regular Member
#23
You are on the right-ish track. My current duty uniform is-
5.11 Taclite PDU's or Propper lightweight tact. pants(They feel like pajama's )
Blauer SS Armorskin polo shirt
Salomon's
Mayflower LPAC in black w/ placard holding X2 and admin pouch, radio in wing pouch and use FS tubes as the closure system.
Gunbelt with everything else.

Im slowly getting my patrol offices away from the Second chance carriers and into LPAC's. A couple have just ordered the Bothells to try also.
Rifle plates ride in the gunbox in the back. I don't worry about throwing them in for a active shooter but I will throw them in before a warrant service.
 
#24
I like utility and durability in my uniforms. Think more Dickies and Riggs than Crye. More of my job is dirty, rather than "tactical". There are times for that, but for the most part it's being in dirty/gross places, doing dirty/gross things. I want pants that won't get wear holes in the outside of the pockets from keys or pocket knives. I want usable pockets in my shirts and pants for all my little accoutrements that I carry day to day. I want the uniform to be wash and wear.
 

Joe _K

Regular Member
Network Support II
#25
I like utility and durability in my uniforms. Think more Dickies and Riggs than Crye. More of my job is dirty, rather than "tactical". There are times for that, but for the most part it's being in dirty/gross places, doing dirty/gross things. I want pants that won't get wear holes in the outside of the pockets from keys or pocket knives. I want usable pockets in my shirts and pants for all my little accoutrements that I carry day to day. I want the uniform to be wash and wear.
The biggest advantage from Crye type pants is the increased range of motion and comfort provided by articulated and gusseted seams. If both durability, and comfort could be balanced out that would be the ticket.
 

MrMurphy

Regular Member
#26
I wear Blauer, old school class B. Leather gunbelt, concealed vest. Only major changes I'd make is add cargo pants (optional for guys with external carriers so far) and embrace nylon or laminate type gunbelt and gear. I have ICW plates in a carrier, all i have to do is unbelt, throw on the PC, and grab my rifle. All up front. Given time, i rewire my radio handset to the PC.
 
#27
Increased range and mobility are desirable. My point was, however, that I want longevity and durability. Also, it's easier to toss $65-$80 pants when you get blood on your clothes or some chemical agent, heavy grease stains, etc., than it is with a $400 pair of pants.

People have already covered it, but price is a huge concern. When you get hired, the department equips you, gives you reimburse toward your pistol and buys you uniforms. You then you I get $1350 a year to maintain and purchase equipment. Everything from duty guns, to my boots, uniforms...everything personal to me for my use at work. I always end up having to go into my own pocket. A set (shirt and pants) of 5.11 Taclite A/B uniforms is roughly $110. Add another $15 for bars, patches and pants piping being put on. You get flare holes, snags, abrasion scuffs. I don't feel as bad about throwing out a $65 pair of pants.

If I can get tough pants, at an affordable price point. I'm all about it. But, for our needs, Crye is a Mercedes, when a Taurus will do the same job.
 

PM07

Regular Member
#28
Modern cut uniform from 5.11, Blauer, Propper come with articulated and gusseted crotch as long as whomever is in charge of uniforms orders the correct style etc. Fabric has come along way also with those companies with more durable fabrics being used. Don't get me wrong, like my Crye but I could never sell them to my Chief at the current cost.
 

hile

Newbie
Network Support III
#29
I wear Blauer, old school class B. Leather gunbelt, concealed vest. Only major changes I'd make is add cargo pants (optional for guys with external carriers so far) and embrace nylon or laminate type gunbelt and gear. I have ICW plates in a carrier, all i have to do is unbelt, throw on the PC, and grab my rifle. All up front. Given time, i rewire my radio handset to the PC.
Would you use an external soft armor carrier given the option? I'm just in the peanut gallery, but one of my (purely academic) reasons to prefer a concealed carrier is so that it's easier to toss rifle plates over top. I guess one could accomplish the same thing of one mandated only "slick" external carriers.
 

MrMurphy

Regular Member
#30
I have the option, i passed. Theyre the "shirt" carrier, no extra pockets, often look like shit, bulkier with a PC over it. Plus, my BUG is in a Mika vest holster, I'd have to move it.
 
#31
If you've seen photos or video out of the Northwest, mostly WA, you've likely seen our jumpsuits. It is basically a tactical onesie and they are awesome. I've worn Class B's by 5.11 and they aren't even in the same league. The sleeves zip off and boom!, short sleeves for warmer weather and under arm vents. They are durable, last for years and have great pockets, built in mic loops, reflective lettering on the back and machine washable. Some places wear concealable armor underneath, some use outer carriers, the Safariland OCC or Bothell 2 are the most popular. The one I bought for myself in 2014 cost $650, they are custom measured and fit to the individual. My department wears all black, some wear blue and some wear green. Seriously, best uniform ever and we are easily identifiable as law enforcement.

I've been wearing my Safariland Bothell 2 now for five days. No one has told me It's too militarized, scary etc. The kids at one of our elementary schools this week thought it looked cool. Most people ask me if it's comfortable for work, it is. I feel bad for guys who have to wear Class As or Bs year round. If I couldn't wear my jumpsuit anymore I'd want to keep my outer carrier, go to 5.11 Strykes or Apex pants, Blauer Armorskin short or long sleeve polos and my Salomon boots. I have a PC with Level IV plates, 3 AR mags and 2 G17 mags on it. The outer carrier comes off, plate carrier goes on if I know I'm heading into a special threat environment.

Tradition is hard to break in law enforcement, but we need to focus not on keeping the old school for the sake of keeping the old school stuff around. Like with our cars, weapons, and other gear the uniforms we wear need to be ergonomic and user friendly. It's past time to move into the modern age for our uniforms.
 

952melvin

Newbie
Network Support I
#32
My formula, comfortable shirt made to wear under external vest (Blauer Armorskin is insanely comfortable), quality outer carrier that sits well against the body and comfortable pants, preferably 5.11 but I'm currently stuck with Flying Cross which aren't horrible. I wear all Bianchi Accumold Elite on my belt, very durable from what I've found and very light weight.

Pants its nice to have compartments sewn into the cargo pockets to hold tq's and other gear upright and separate, the new Flying Cross pants fit that requirement.