5.11 Tactical: “Tactical Duty Uniform” (TDU)

The 5.11 Tactical Duty Uniform series is intended to meet the demanding high performance, practicality and comfort requirements of real-deal security and law enforcement personnel – with certain key features built-in directly from user feedback. 


I have been using the Digital Woodland version of the shirt and trousers for some time and I have been very impressed.  The quality of the cloth is extremely good – it’s more comfortable on warm days than the 50/50 NYCO of US BDUs, but also much more durable than cotton rip-stop Jungle Fatigue material or the lightweight cloth used for ACUs.  The Teflon® coating also really does seem to work at keeping it free from stains.


At first I wasn’t too sure about the camouflage pattern – it uses colours and shapes similar to MARPAT, but in different proportions, and in a different, more-omni-directional pattern.  Having seen the pattern in action in spring, summer and autumn woodland settings, I have become a believer.  Take a prone position on a dry, leafy forest floor in this stuff, and you virtually disappear – even from within a few feet!  And I’ve no doubt that it would also work amazingly well in semi-arid environments too.


Shirt Features:

·     65% Polyester/ 35% Cotton Twill (6.14 ounce weight)

·     Treated with Teflon® fabric protector

·     2 Document pockets on front chest – fastened with Velcro

·     2 Chest pockets – fastened with Velcro™

·     Double pens/light sticks pocket on left forearm

·     Covered front placket with Melamine (durable thermoset plastic) buttons

·     Triple-stitching and 28 bar-tacks for strength

·     Bi-swing shoulder

·     Double fabric at elbows – with removable ¼ inch neoprene pads

·     Straight-cut hem


Trousers Features:

·      65% Polyester/ 35% Cotton Twill (7.5 ounce weight)

·     Treated with Teflon fabric protector

·     Double fabric at knees – with removable ¼ inch neoprene pads

·     Reinforced, expandable, elasticised comfort-tunnel waistband

·     Back-up Belt System™ (BBS™) cargo pockets – fastened with Velcro

·     Double fabric on seat

·     YKK® zipper, Prym® snap

·     2 Rear utility pockets – fastened with Velcro

·     Triple-stitching and 45 bar-tacks for strength

·     Removable twill blousing straps


As for wearability – I found the neoprene knee and elbow pads to be most excellent!  They are an ideal compromise between thickness and flexibility, and far more comfortable and effective than the ubiquitous external, strap-on knee and elbow pads (they don’t cut off your circulation for one thing!).  In fact, I now use 5.11’s removable knee and elbow pads in every uniform I use that has this option.


I have also been impressed by the elasticised “comfort-tunnel” waistband, the inner pockets in the cargo pockets – and especially by the overall excellent quality of the materials, construction, fit and functionality of the uniform. 


The only features I’m not so happy with is the style of collar and cuffs of the shirt – I prefer a Mandarin collar and Velcro tab-adjusted cuffs. 


The manufacturer’s List Price is $44.99 each for the shirt and trousers, which is a bit more than you’d pay for basic BDUs, but you can usually find them from numerous internet retailers for less.


ratings info – I give from 1 to 5 * based on the principle that Crye’s Combat series is a 5* and cheap commercial BDUs are a 1*.


Comfort  ****

Features  ****

Performance  ****

Quality of Materials  ****

Quality of Construction ****

Cost  ****







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