The Approach Jacket from 5.11

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The Approach Jacket from 5.11 in black

I grew up on the Pacific Coast of Washington state. Rain has always been a part of my life. As a kid, I never really worried about rain gear. We went camping knowing we were going to get wet, we just brought extra clothes. I thought I was being prepared when packing included rubber boots or a heavy vinyl, yellow rain slicker. As I grew up and joined the Army (stationed back in Washington at Joint Base Lewis-McChord), I thought we were just supposed to be wet and cold. Yes, I was issued a Gore-tex jacket and a vinyl poncho. How much work do you think I was allowed to do in those? Only if it required standing still or sleeping. Even then, I don’t remember either one of those staying dry for more than an hour or so. After leaving the Army and making the promise that I would never be cold or wet again (yes, I broke that promise again and again), I discovered updated versions of rain gear that actually worked.

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5.11 EDC PL 2AAA Flashlight

Pocket Dump

As the name states, this is an Every Day Carry flashlight. I have been carrying 5.11 EDC PL 2AAA flashlight for the last several months now, both at work and off duty. More importantly, I have not lost this light in the last several months. I have carried it in the front and “knife” pockets of everything from jeans to uniform pants to outdoor recreation pants. I believe the size and shape of this light is what has kept it in my pocket. The light comes in at 5” long, machined from aerospace grade aluminum with knurling on the body and around the endcap. The knurling on the body assists the user with grip and retention but also is designed in a way that would keep it from rolling away if dropped. It comes with a removable belt clip for retention in your pockets or even in MOLLE straps on your kit. The belt clip in conjunction with the knurling help to prevent it from lifting out of your pockets, even while climbing in and out of the driver seat. Of note is the placement of the belt clip, it is near the endcap, keeping the flashlight oriented in your pocket for quick access and instant index with the endcap. It keeps the lens buried in your pocket; in the off chance you accidently bump the endcap.

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The Packable Operator Jacket from 5.11

unpakcing the jacket
5.11 Packable Operator Jacket

The Packable Operator Jacket has been riding in my Jeep for the last couple months, tucked behind a roll bar behind the driver’s seat. I pulled it out on more than a couple occasions when the wind picked up and the temperatures dropped. It easily fit over my Spotter Up Gunfighter Hoody and kept me warm. I tried it out the few times it rained and wasn’t in the 40s or colder. The water would bead up for the first 30 minutes or so in the heavy rain and much longer in lighter rain. After that, it would start to slowly seep through across the shoulders. Keep in mind this jacket is only water resistant (Passes the AATCC35 rain test), which means it is a coated polyester microfiber fabric and not water proof. It was comfortable to wear, while moving around the range or training venues coaching students.

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