Dressed to Kill: 5.11 Tactical’s New Blazer Redefines Carry Style

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Doug Howlett Photo

One thing I have come to recognize over the years is gun owners, and more specifically people who carry guns for self-defense, come in all shapes and sizes and certainly hail from all walks of life. Let’s face it, not all of us care to rock the 80s dad fanny pack nor does every occasion call for donning today’s ever-popular tactical pants with their 27 utility pockets. It’s not necessary to always look like you’re about to teach a firearms class. Sometimes, you need to dress a little nicer, whether it’s dinner at an upscale restaurant with the only potential mate you matched with on Bumble in the past two months or attending your sister’s third wedding.

Enter 5.11 Tactical, who listened to the suggestions of some legit security bad asses; dudes who provide high-level protection for politicians and executives. That means they do it in suits or at the very least dress jackets so as to blend-in with the hobnobbers and not freak-out their refined senses when toting enough hardware below the surface to put down a minor Somali revolt. They wanted something that would move with them, flex as they needed to flex, yet keep equipment covered whether going waistband or shoulder-holster. They also needed quick access beneath the jacket and yes, they still needed some of the pockets found in their tactical pants, just without it looking like they were there. In other words, they still needed to look nice.

In response, at this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, 5.11 Tactical displayed their answer to these requests: a sharp looking, navy blazer.

At first glance, the blazer looks like any key component of a South Carolina tuxedo. It’s navy blue, nicely cut and lightweight. But here’s where the devil always rides in on the details, the thing is made of amazing stretch fabric that would rival the comfort of any athletic warm-up, and the pockets in the jacket have slits that allow you to discreetly grip your sidearm and draw it if necessary, but do it in a way that maintains discretion, until we want to be anything but discreet. And you don’t have to be a Secret Service agent to appreciate the design; it can be worn by and appreciated by anyone who needs to look nice but wants to carry.

Even better, for those of us who attend more formal functions when we travel, but like to pack light, the jacket is made of wrinkle-free material. So, you can fold it up in a carry-on or even backpack, pull it right out of the bag and wear it to speak on the podium at your next political fundraiser or show your next home listing to the young couple still struggling to qualify for their starter house…or virtually whatever it is you actually do.

Unfortunately, the jacket won’t be ready for consumers until later in 2024, but when it does, it should pop up on 5.11 Tactical’s website or in one of their retail shops scattered across the country for around $165. Oh, and when you visit either, they do have plenty of great options when it comes to tactical pants for those occasions when we don’t have to dress so sharp and actually do want to do some cool stuff.

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