Words and Pics: Rich Norman
The Crye G3 Combat Shirt is a modern classic.
I like well-designed, ergonomic gear. What that means in practice is that not only must my kit be able to stand up to abuse, it must also work with me – not against me. In terms of athletic or performance apparel, that means freedom of movement, excellent fit and technical attributes like fast wicking, breathability and rapid drying.
The torso of the Combat Shirt is composed of a DRIFIRE synthetic, with a cotton-like hand. This satisfies my technical criteria and is also no-drip. It retains its shape, while exhibiting a degree of stretch; but it is not tight.
The NyCo yoke and arms are composed of a tough 50% polyester, 50% cotton mix. As tough as this stuff is, it’s still superior to 100% cotton for breathability and drying time. Freedom of movement is ensured by raglan sleeves and articulation at the elbows.
Important to note: I went with a medium chest, regular length and the fit comes up as a large.
For frame of reference, I take large in TNF, Arc’teryx (mainline, LEAF and Veilance), Rab and Patagonia. The fit is such that the shirt leaves me some room to layer lightly underneath, when required. This means it’s good for three season use.
On to the feature-set
Articulated reinforced elbows, with pouch for elbow pads (AirFlex or older). Notice the way the rip-stop weave has been aligned at the darted section, to form chevrons. This is precise work, which is surprising in a mass produced item.
The arms feel ergonomically cut and don’t fight against you. Unlike the G3 knee pads, if the elbow pads were fitted, they would not be exposed. I went without pads, so can’t comment on those.
Dirt is were it should be:
There’s a quarter-length zip neck with high, stand-up collar. This is much higher than standard necklines of this type. I haven’t felt chafing from my weapon sling or PC shoulder pads once and the zip is, of course, great for donning and doffing the shirt as well as cooling down.
The raglan sleeves offer great fit and ease of movement. I always look for these in a top. Again, mobility is high and unrestricted.
While the bicep pockets stay flat when not in use, they retain the ability to billow outwards from the base and rear and take a fair load. Note that the Velcro is divided into two. This allows the pockets to remain flexible, but is a PITA for attaching the usual patches.
Stitching throughout the shirt is copious, neat, straight and true. Reinforcement in pockets:
The cuffs are essential to get the shirt’s fit right; a bit like the knee pad adjusters and Velcro tabs are essential to the fit of the G3 Combat Pants. Otherwise, you’re in wizard sleeve territory with the shirt.
No internal fabric labels to chafe or irritate. The label is printed near the hem on the right side, on the outside of the shirt.
My only concern so far is the potential fragility of the T-shirt section. The shirt is designed with plate carriers in mind, however, and these obviously lend some protection.
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