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April 26, 2011
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Lindsey J. Bertomen Police Products
with Lindsey J. Bertomen

Product Review: TRU-SPEC 24-7 Series shorts, pants, and polo

The TRU-SPEC 24-7 line of clothing is perfect for special unit personnel who routinely keep a lower profile but need maneuverable and durable wear

I recently tested the TRU-SPEC 24-7 9” Shorts, 24-7 Polyester Cotton Zip Off Pants, and the 24-7 Series Short-Sleeve Polo. These products were among the best, most mobile and quietest tactical wear I have tested. Considering the fact that they are lower priced than several other brands, they are easy to recommend.

What we now know as TRU-SPEC evolved from the original ATLANCO company, a leading supplier of personal equipment to troops and purchasers of military-style equipment that has been around since 1950. TRU-SPEC has been around for over a decade, since the company recognized the need for innovative professional wear.

The 24-7 Polyester cotton zip off pant is a trouser which converts to nine-inch shorts just by unzipping the legs. It comes in black or khaki. The shorts come in six colors.

I generally don’t like pants that convert to shorts because the zipper area has a tendency to chafe right at the junction of the knee. TRU-SPEC has resolved this issue with two distinct features. First, the zipper is hidden inside the hem of the bottom cuff on both sides of the garment. That is, the zipper is recessed behind an inside and outside cuff, completely hidden when the leg bottoms are detached. Really, they were almost indistinguishable from the TRU-SPEC 24-7 9” Shorts.

Durable & Easy to Clean
The cotton polyester material, which has a slight sheen to it, is soft against the skin. It is treated with Teflon fabric protector, which I tested with a hot cup of coffee. I would like to say that I did this on purpose, but this is a skill for which I am well known.

The 24-7 material launders well. It doesn’t shrink and the stain resistance and texture remained after several washings. Oh, yeah, the coffee came out of the pants even before I washed them.

I had to break out my old “Class C” duty uniform — which was my favorite style of police wear — to confirm that I used the same cotton/poly blend ripstop for duty. Like my old foul weather BDU’s, the 24-7 Polyester Cotton Zip-Off pants has excellent breathability. I was never hesitant to make that traffic stop in a downpour.

I wasn’t keen for the “comfort fit slider waistband” until I had a chance to wear these pants for a while. After all, this is a feature commonly found on people with “comfort fit waists,” not serious operators. I don’t have a “comfort fit waist,” nor do I fit into the “serious operator” category. I did, however, find that this particular construction kept the entire waistband from binding, which is essential when one wears a gun belt in the generous belt loops. It also increased comfort when wearing an IWB holster, even with my Glock 22. This feature made these pants practical for a special unit “uniform” simply because I could carry five magazines in the internal magazine compartments and knife/accessory pockets. Do the math here: With a Glock 22, I could carry 75 additional rounds discreetly, without clunking.

Tru Spec uses a proprietary snap closure that is rather tenacious. The seams are heavily stitched with reinforcing stitches on garment edges. Some areas are double sewn and inside seams are flat. I would prefer taped seams, but material ends are stitched closed to prevent unraveling.

Storage Space & Maneuverability
Maneuverability is an important aspect for tactical pants. Some manufacturers add a gusseted crotch, others add a little length. A gusseted crotch adds extra seams where few wearers want them. A longer crotch looks less form fitting and is floppy. The 24-7 cut is tapered enough to allow freedom of movement without sagging in the rear. It looked great on a variety of wearers and gave a full range of leg movement.

Obviously, the expandable cargo pockets are an important feature on these pants. First, they have a tapered hook and loop closure flap, with the smallest part of the flap pointing forward. Instead of popping them straight up like most cargo pockets, one hooks the fingers from the front and slides them toward the rear, allowing for reliable one handed opening.

Second, the flaps are attached at the front and open at the rear, which is the widest part of the flap. I found that they tended to close themselves if I forgot to flip them down. The pocket setup is symmetrical for officers who shoot with the other hand.

Third — and perhaps foremost — they are not bellows pockets, which are generally wasted space. They are sewn flat on the leg. The inside magazine pockets and the small flap covered utility (cell phone)pockets keep things from banging around, enough to keep my full key ring from jingling.

The front slash pockets are heavy breathable cotton, deep enough to swallow my J frame and a little small for my Glock 22. The front pocket is sturdy enough for either, but stick to XD9 Sub Compact size. The good news is the fact that this design does not print like most casual pants.

How would I improve the TRU-SPEC 24-7 Pants? First, I wouldn’t exactly change any of the models I tested. I would, however, simply add a model that takes knee pad inserts for range use.

The Short Sleeve Polo is the kind with the non rolling collar and plenty of attention to detail like sleeve pockets and a polyester/cotton micro knit. It was warm enough during my testing period to test the breathability. It did a pretty good job, even when using a day pack. It looks just as good tucked in as it did out.

The TRU-SPEC 24-7 line of clothing is perfect for special unit personnel who routinely keep a lower profile but need maneuverable and durable wear. The quality in construction and well executed design is obvious. They have the most usable pockets I have seen in this style of garment. The name TRU-SPEC 24-7 accurately describes their law enforcement relationship.

About the author

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Online Teaching and Learning. Lindsey has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. His articles on firearms tactics have appeared in print for over a decade. Lindsey enjoys competing in shooting sports, running, and cycling events.

Contact Lindsey Bertomen

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