Until now, we've been issued a variant (very little variation) of our patrol uniform for SWAT use.  Rain/Cold gear the same.  We're now looking at an opportunity to upgrade to a combat shirt with more practical pants as well as proper, tactical rain suit and cold weather gear. 

I need to be able to articulate the functional improvements the change in uniform will bring.  As well, we have to bring forward specific suggestions for the clothing and weather gear.  There is a budget, but I haven't been given the number.  That said, Crye combat pants and Arc'teryx weather gear ain't happening.  

Any and all input is welcome, this is not an area of expertise for us.   

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"Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift...is a nod from his peers."

Original Post

As much as it might be cringe worthy, when top of the line isn’t an option, 5.11 makes decent stuff. Our team and K9s wear the stryke pants and combat shirts. Patrol wears the strike pants daily and a blauer polo. 

“They were two douchebags who met in the normal course of being two douchebags.” - Sully, Third Watch

I can't speak to the civilian world but we fought the AF for many years to authorize us to wear FR uniforms. 

Officer safety would be the first thing that I would use to try and leverage the change with "mowr tacticool" gear.  Flame Retardant uniforms being the base protective layer for operations that involve flashbangs, breaching explosives, hazardous volatile chemicals (meth lab) etc.  Then I would use evidence from meth labs going "flame on" with officers involved and how many labs your teams encounter along with how much boom boom your teams use.  OSHA rules could also be your friend on this one.  Look for the daddy agency that sets the rules and guidlines. 

 Sell them as protective equipment not just uniforms.  If you want to get grisly do a cost comparison of how much FR uniforms cost versus how much the city would have to pay for burn unit treatment of a burned officer.   Administrators love saving money, how many of the status quo uniforms does your team tear up doing things that they aren't designed for?  Then do a cost comparison for wear life of the new tactical uniform which will last XXX times longer and not get damaged as quickly.  

Please note: not an aspiring inner city "yout" trying to turn my life around...  one "g" two "oo's" like NPH's 80's era TV show.  

 

If you have to ask your buddy if you are on fire, you are four to five seconds behind the "stop, drop and roll" power curve.

If Crye is not a viable answer, then take a look at Vertx and TruSpec.

I ran TruSpec for years before I stuck the Crye needle in my arm. It didn't suck.

5.11 on the other hand was issued, and it did suck. It faded quickly in the water conditions we have, was bulky were it didn't need to be, sizing was random from lot to lot, etc.

If you are on a budget and don't mind foliage or MC, the surplus military ECWS is really hard to beat, especially if this is occasional use stuff. If it is daily use, then the pendulum starts to swing really hard to Arc'teryx, Wild Things and Beyond, budget be damned.

Keep in mind that this is all system stuff. Mixing and matching brands is not optimal. Pick one and get the whole package, whether it is ECWS, Arc, Wild, or Beyond.

If you go ECWS, remember that you can get most of it from 1033/ DRMO for the cost of shipping.

I'm gonna be a dick.  The most important thing for your uniform is being readily identifiable as a police officer.  This is based on issues CA LE agencies and the scumbag attorneys that sue them have faced.  All other considerations are secondary, given that your location says SW, which I assume means South West.  I hate to be a dick, but when one of your guys gets murdered and the defense attorney plays the," He didn't know it was the police," line, well, I'm not such a dick, afterall.

I type this, and I know it's bullshit, but I don't make the rules.

I will say I’ve been happy with Vertx, and their pro deal is very nice. A pair of Vertx pants and a Velocity Boss Rugby shirt makes for a comfortable uniform in the summer while giving a fairly professional appearance. Get them in Ranger Green, department patches on both shoulders and “sheriff” or “police” patches on front and back of armor in gold and you should be good. Between that, a yard full of blue lights, and a dude on the load speaker announcing your presence and dudes gonna have a hard time explaining why he didn’t know you were cops. 

Are you in a urban environment or close by one you have a mutual aid agreement with? 

Since Crye is out, I have some input on trousers.  Awhile back, I got a medical waiver to wear kneepad pants at work in uniform patrol.  I have been using a few different types, including Crye.  One that I really like is the First Tactical line.  I have the V2 tactical pants, and the Defender pants.  For ease of using the kneepads, I prefer the Defender.  They have multiple other features that work well in daily use that you can view on the website.  They are available in OD, midnight navy, and black.  They are well built and durable.  I really like these, and so far have no complaints.

https://www.firsttactical.com/.../mens-defender-pants

They also have a combat type shirt, which I have not used, but it seems to have some good features.

https://www.firsttactical.com/...ens-defender-shirt#0

Prices are reasonable.

- Gene

____ "Fight like you're the third monkey trying to get on Noah's Ark...".

____ "If you can't do something smart, do something right." - Jayne Cobb

____ " Pull your huggies up, shut the fuck up." - gruntpain

 

Joined: 4/28/08   Location:  Seattle

 

runningwolf posted:

What kinda weather are we talking on the cold/ wet weather side of the house? 20s-30s or -10s?

Asking a dude from Dallas about cold wx gear will give you a very different answer than if you ask someone from North Dakota.   There’s rain gear to keep your uniform dry and comfy for a few hours and there’s rain gear to live in for days at a time.   Required op capability for a predicted op environment.   

If you give us a better idea of your environs we can have a better idea of what is requirement vs “cool guy” gear. 

 

runningwolf posted:

What kinda weather are we talking on the cold/ wet weather side of the house? 20s-30s or -10s?

More rain than snow.  Typical winter day here, 35F and drizzle.  We will see temps to 15F or so, but not commonly.  It's the lower midwest, not NoDak, SoDak or God's Country (Montana).

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"Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift...is a nod from his peers."

Blackdog posted:

I'm gonna be a dick.  The most important thing for your uniform is being readily identifiable as a police officer.  This is based on issues CA LE agencies and the scumbag attorneys that sue them have faced.  All other considerations are secondary, given that your location says SW, which I assume means South West.  I hate to be a dick, but when one of your guys gets murdered and the defense attorney plays the," He didn't know it was the police," line, well, I'm not such a dick, afterall.

I type this, and I know it's bullshit, but I don't make the rules.

Not being a dick.  Well founded concern and a critical issue with The Boss, and therefore for us.  That very issue played a major role in the adoption of our current uniform 10 years ago. 

Current plate carriers have a big, white "SHERIFF" on the front; shirt shoulder patches with full color department logo.  Absolute requirement that the shoulder patches and 'readily identifiable as LE' go along with any new ensemble.   

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"Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift...is a nod from his peers."

EODDoogie posted:

I can't speak to the civilian world but we fought the AF for many years to authorize us to wear FR uniforms. 

Officer safety would be the first thing that I would use to try and leverage the change with "mowr tacticool" gear.  Flame Retardant uniforms being the base protective layer for operations that involve flashbangs, breaching explosives, hazardous volatile chemicals (meth lab) etc.  Then I would use evidence from meth labs going "flame on" with officers involved and how many labs your teams encounter along with how much boom boom your teams use.  OSHA rules could also be your friend on this one.  Look for the daddy agency that sets the rules and guidlines. 

 Sell them as protective equipment not just uniforms.  If you want to get grisly do a cost comparison of how much FR uniforms cost versus how much the city would have to pay for burn unit treatment of a burned officer.   Administrators love saving money, how many of the status quo uniforms does your team tear up doing things that they aren't designed for?  Then do a cost comparison for wear life of the new tactical uniform which will last XXX times longer and not get damaged as quickly.  

On the Flame Retardant note, what really constitutes FR (short of Nomex/Kevlar)?  Researching that piece is not providing much clarification and this is a significant consideration in getting us this far in the discussion.   

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"Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift...is a nod from his peers."

Has any thought been given to a flight suit? Before you scoff and say the 90’s want their uniform back hear me out. 

-DRMO likely has tons of these for free, leaving your budget for good cold weather gear or good helmets and kit. 
-The military ones will be nomex which from a safety standpoint is a huge deal especially if deploying NFDD’s, explosive breaching, or if clandestine labs fall in your wheel house. 
-Flight suits go over pretty much anything if you get them big. Call outs are random by nature and assuming you aren’t sitting around the house in kit staring at your phone waiting for the call, you’re going to have guys responding in all kinds of clothing. Ideally they would change before responding but we’ve all been out and about when the call comes. Being able to slip a flight suit on over gym clothes, court attire, patrol uniform or whatever else makes life easy. The media in my AO has taken pics of tactical officers changing on the scenes of calls and complaints from citizens have been generated. 
-Decon is a breeze. Simply take off the flight suit and you’re pretty much there. Few things suck as much as driving home from a SWAT call covered in chemical munitions because you don’t have a change of clothes. I’ve had a few sets of uniforms ruined from blood(not mine) which sucks. 

Are there better and more sexy options? Of course, but at what cost? If you’re a full time team living in these things then find the money and buy the best. If SWAT is a collateral duty buying Crye uniforms for the occasional activation probably isn’t the best. 

By the way I’ve worn Crye, Arc’teryx, First Tactical, Tru Spec, 5.11, and flight suits over several years of K9 work. K9 around here is a part of Tactical so if not running the dog running a rifle. Of those uniforms I never tore a set of Crye or Arc’teryx uniforms in normal use. Turns out nothing is Malinois proof.  First tactical, Tru Spec, and 5.11 had a very short life cycle as the seams and fabric seemed to go pretty fast. Flight suits held up well and would eventually break but there was a closet full of them so I didn’t usually care. By choice I typically ran Crye stuff but always had a couple of flight suits in the car just in case. 

sorry for the long post, just trying to offer a less sexy option that’s not typically thought of.

"Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war" - William Shakespeare 

 

Joined: 11/09/2009.                      Location: Abq. NM

Quite a few of our SWAT and SAR guys wear flight suits for exactly those reasons. I spent an entire day looking for my old OD CVCUs. I wanted to sew some department patches on them for the middle of the night call outs. I never did find them. I can't believe, in light of all of the worthless shit I retained, I turned in my tanker jammies. 

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"One of the nice things about being around other soldiers is they will suffer your bullshit gladly, knowing sooner or later you will shut up and listen to theirs." - Jim Morris, War Story

 

"The military was strange like that. In the middle of the night you run into a major problem that requires you to put your faith in someone you never met before and probably would never see again. But that person knocks himself out to do his job and helps you get on with yours." - Harold W. Coyle, Team Yankee

These seem to be available online for ~$40 to $80‐ish.

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

"He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins.  For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologiae/Second Part of the Second Part/Question 158", c. 1274

We went to Vertx pants a few years ago and while they’re not as nice as Crye they’re not bad and hold up decently. We started getting slightly modified versions of their “combat shirts” this year as well and again, not as nice as the Crye stuff they are significantly more comfortable than our regular uniform shirts under armor and mine have been holding up so far. 

Joined: 13AUG2010        

Location: Southern Arizona 

If you are acquiring a tankers overall to pull over other clothing, how many sizes up would you buy?

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

"He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins.  For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologiae/Second Part of the Second Part/Question 158", c. 1274

https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and...rds/detail?code=2112

You will have to register to get in to the free PDF, NFPA 2112 will help answer your FR questions for ratings. 

Please note: not an aspiring inner city "yout" trying to turn my life around...  one "g" two "oo's" like NPH's 80's era TV show.  

 

If you have to ask your buddy if you are on fire, you are four to five seconds behind the "stop, drop and roll" power curve.

punctum posted:

Outstanding.  Thank you.  

Sorry it took so long, finals had me a bit occupied.  

Please note: not an aspiring inner city "yout" trying to turn my life around...  one "g" two "oo's" like NPH's 80's era TV show.  

 

If you have to ask your buddy if you are on fire, you are four to five seconds behind the "stop, drop and roll" power curve.

Vertx Recon Pants and Combat shirts are a good option in the "midrange".  Midrange being somewhere between 511, TruSpec, Propper, etc and Crye, Patagonia, or Arcteryx.     UF Pro is not a bad option if you can find a deal but IMO their damn pants look like standard issue for some sort of interstellar pilot.  

Getting any uniform in a camouflage pattern from the 1033 program is a no go thanks to the Obama EO regarding milsurp items.  Say it with me "militarization". 

However, you can run to a large surplus store and secure new pairs of the Army's newer combat pant for a very inexpensive rate.  They are MC---ish, FR, and accept the Crye knee inserts.  

We issue Vertx as an operational uniform and the milsurp as training uniforms.   I would have no bones to pick with having nothing but the milsurp pants and combat shirts if money were a problem.  With some shopping you should be able to come up with a set for ~80.00 when buying in bulk on a .gov card. 

I agree with the million other things already said about money on WX gear.  This is where you spend the money at.  I love me some deals on Milsurp but all our milsurp WX gear doesn't hold a candle to the commercially produced stuff bought off the shelf.  Dead bird is an obvious.  Id recommend looking hard into Outdoor Research.  Their pro program is too good to be true and I've had fantastic luck with it. They don't have as much out there in subdued and/or MC as other companies but it is out there. 

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