This shirt is excellent. It works so well, you forget you’re wearing it…while still remaining fully clothed.
If you don’t wish to stop at the executive briefing, read on…there are no prizes for completion, but there are plenty of pics.
After seeing just how good Crye’s G3 Combat Pants were, I rushed out to buy the matching combat shirt. Tactical-Kit did the business with their usual no bullshit customer service and turnaround time. They are my go to kit retailer.
I don’t pussy around with gear. If I don’t play hard I disappoint myself. Playing hard means that not only must my kit be able to stand up to the abuse, it also has to really work for me. In terms of performance apparel, that means freedom of movement, excellent fit and technical attributes like rapid wicking, breathability and fast drying.
The shirt’s T-shirt style body and NyCo arms, yoke and collar are a design classic which Crye claims to have originated. One thing is for sure: Crye excels in everything it does and this shirt is no exception.
As can be seen in the pics, the T-shirt section is a solid light to mid-brown colour. The NyCo segments are Multicam. The T-shirt section is a light, airy DRIFIRE synthetic which is breathable, wicking, fast drying and flame-resistant. It retains its shape while exhibiting a degree of stretch; but it is not tight. The 50/50 NyCo arms, yoke and collar 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.
Fit is awesome. The torso feels just like a T-shirt. Freedom of movement is ensured by raglan sleeves and articulation at the elbows. When you first put it on, it feels good. You then realise you have to secure the Velcro adjusters at the cuffs. At that point it feels great. The adjusters optimise the fit and you’re good to go.
I went with medium chest, regular length and the fit comes up on the large size of medium. This is perfect for me. For frame of reference, I take medium in TNF, most Arc’teryx tops, Rab and Patagonia. The fit is such that this shirt leaves me some room to layer underneath, if required. This means it’s likely going to be good for three season use. In fact, first time out I wore a medium Patagonia Capilene 3 base underneath.
On to the details…
Articulated reinforced elbow, with pouch for elbow pad (AirFlex or older). Notice the way the rip-stop weave has been aligned at the darted section, to form chevrons.
Arms feel ergonomic 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:
Quarter length zip neck with high, stand-up collar. This is much higher than standard necklines of this type. I didn’t feel my weapon sling once and the zip is, of course, great for donning and doffing the shirt.
Raglan sleeves for great fit and ease of movement. I always look for these on a top. Again, mobility is high and unrestricted.
Right bicep pocket, with Multicam label. While the pockets stay flat when not in use, they billow outwards from the bottom and rear and take a fair load. Note that the patch Velcro is divided into two. This is presumably to make sure the pocket remains flexible.
Left bicep pocket with pen holder and Crye tape.
Note the internal dividers, Velcro fastening and pen holder. The holder is open at one end (top).
iPhone, TM XL speed loader and Oakley anti-fog are easily accommodated in the pocket. Sunglasses are latched inside the pen holder. I wrongly thought this was a sunglasses holder, but I was lucky enough to be put right by a kind reader. See the foot of this article for details.
Stitching throughout the shirt is neat, straight and true. Reinforcement in pockets:
Velcro cuff. 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, which lend some protection. The shirt works equally well with a chest rig or belt, but is less protected. Time will tell on durability.
More feedback as the top gets more abuse.
As mentioned earlier in the review, when I first published it I wrongly assumed the pen holder was for sunglasses. @garrettlassitter on Instagram set me straight – many thanks dude!