It seems more and more shooters both male and female are taking fitness more seriously. Unfortunately athletic apparel is not built to wear on the range or to endure the rigors of training for competitive shooting, especially 3-gun and “tactical” events. While BDU/cargo pants will survive the rigors of training, they are not as comfortable as athletic/yoga style pants. When enough people speak companies listen, especially 5.11 Tactical.
5.11 has been working with female shooters for several years to design clothing that meets their competitive, casual and training needs. A few years back 5.11 introduced their Range Tights and Capri pants. These were a big hit but the heavier weave gets hot working out indoors or on hot days.
To give ladies another option that worked well for yoga or casual wear, 5.11 introduced the Natasha Tight and the Recon Jolie Tight. These tights do not have belt loops and are a lighter weave than the Range Tights. This makes them much better for workouts and casual wear.
I asked my friend Nicole Lynn (on Instagram @moparmodel_offical) to T&E some of the 5.11 pieces. She is a fitness model, yoga instructor, mom, wife, outdoor addict, so she would tell me how they perform. We exchanged a few emails and set up a time to shoot some photos. Since these items were not standard range apparel, she suggested we do photos that fit their purpose, exercise and casual wear.
The first item we looked was the Recon Jolie ($79.99). These tights come in a variety of patterns; Star Spangled (red, white, blue), Razzle Dazzle (Black, White, Grey) and Camp Rose (White, OD, Black). Below the calf and a stripe up the leg are contrasting colors. Unlike many athletic pants, they come in sizes 0-12 and run true to size. What sets these apart from designer pants is the material, they are 88% nylon and12% 8.6 ounce elastane. This material is abrasion resistant while it is soft and comfortable like those made from Lycra blends. The blend also is far more odor resistant than other blends and moisture wicking.
5.11 Tactical also builds features into their pants not seen in yoga pants, pockets. There are slash pockets on each thigh to carry your phone, money, etc. If you prefer a more secure spot for money, there is a hidden pocket in the right side waist band. These pants were comfortable enough Nicole Lynn climbed up on her Jeep, Scarlet and got comfortable. She said they would be ideal for the active lifestyle.
If you are looking for a bit more subdued pair of tights, the Natasha ($59.99) might be more what you are looking for. They are sized S-XL in black and flint. The material is again 88% nylon and 12% elastane but it is single jersey so it has a leather-like sheen. This material also incorporates Enduro-Flex properties so it is anti-microbial and moisture wicking. Like the Jolie, the Natasha has thigh pockets. These have flat coil zippers to secure items like your phone. If you are looking for a dressier pair of tights, the Natasha would be hard to beat. However as you can see from the photos, these tights are ready for the most active of activities.
With most of the country having temperatures in the 80s plus it’s hard to think of needing the next item, 5.11’s Kinetic Full Zip jacket ($89.99). It is available in sizes XS-XL and Black, Peacoat, Grenade and Lunar. This jacket is uses to different blends. The body is constructed of 94% polyester, 6% spandex blend; contrast constructed of 87% polyester, 13% spandex. Using two different fabric blends ensures the jacket washes well, endures the rigors of the range and looks good doing it.
Aside from the material used in the Kinetic, it has a few unique features. First is the cowl neck and off center zipper to keep hot shells from being ejected down the jacket. Second to help keep the chill off, the drop hemline prevents the tail from riding up. Third are the sleeve thumbholes to keep your hands warm. Fourth, you will find pen slots on each sleeve. The next to last item is a zipper key pocket on the left cuff. Last is the back pocket for extra shells for the range or other items if you are out hiking. 5.11 packs the Kinetic Full Zip Jacket with loads of features to give you the best bang for your buck.
While 5.11 Tactical offers many serious use clothing items, it also offers fun t-shirts and tanks for working out and casual wear. We looked at a couple of these to give you an idea of what 5.11 offers.
First up was the white Sunday Gunday t-shirt ($18.39). This is a fitted shirt sized S-XL, made from 50/50 cotton polyester, 4.3 ounce ringspun jersey. Using this blend ensures the shirt will keep its shape wash after wash. For comfort and to prevent it from losing shape, the neck tape runs from shoulder to shoulder. Lastly all of the seams are double stitched to prevent them from coming lose.
Our next-to-last item is the fitted Barbell BAE Tank ($24.99). Available in grey sized XS- XL, this 50/50 modal, cotton blend was designed with working out in mind. Unlike many tank tops, the neckline and arm holes are cut to prevent too much of you from showing when working out. Nicole told me both shirts run true to size. She likes her clothing tighter and wore a small in the Sunday Gunday Tee. For a looser fit, the medium in the Barbell BAE was ideal.
The last item we looked at is the Multicam Flag Bearer Hat ($19.99). With its six panel 100% cotton canvas, high brim construction, will not lose its shape. The moisture wicking sweatband is foam lined for comfort and it fit is adjusted with hook/loop closure. On front of the Flag Bearer is a block of loop material to attach a patch. If you wear this as a duty hat there is another square on the crown for a reflective tape. 5.11’s Flag Bearer is built keep the sun out of your eyes for years to come.
This piece barely touches on workout clothing from 5.11 Tactical, but it is a good overview. Keep an out for more items to be added to the 2021 catalog, 5.11 understands ladies are an important part of the outdoor/shooting industry.