The title is accurate. Our only consolation is that he doesn’t like Affliction or TapOut shirts. Mad Duo
UPDATE [Originally Published Jan 15, 2017] This post is over two years old, and this shirt is still being used. Through today, Sunday 2/26/17 get 30% off everything from Vertx with the coupon code MadDuo1 when you checkout. Visit them online here.
The Vertx Phantom LT
I almost hear “Gawdammit, he’s wearing that shirt again,” from inside the empty heads of my training buddies. New day, new range, same shirt. Okay, maybe not the same shirt, but certainly a limited rotation. What can I say? I find something that’s comfortable, durable, offers some sun protection, and looks good – it’s going to get used again and again. This latest shirt that made it into the micro-rotation is the long sleeved Vertx Phantom LT, and let me tell you why:
Let’s start out by covering what it does not have: terrible seams, shoddy construction, MOLLE webbing, large Velcro panels, hypalon attachments or Kryptek (so like, the opposite of anything you buy on eBay). I tend to stick to collared, ‘sport’ shirts on the range. The collar keeps the sling from rubbing my neck raw and it can be popped for extra sun protection if needed.
I know what you’re thinking: Why doesn’t Dave just wear a combat shirt? Quality combat shirts can be good, especially when wearing a plate carrier. But a combat shirt makes you look like a die-hard try-hard pretty much anywhere other than a range. Scoff all you want, but there is no downside to a shirt one can wear both on the range and on a date. Functional and aesthetically appealing? Sign me up.
Looks pretty basic, right? That’s part of the reason I like it, but there’s more going on than meets the eye. There are the two reinforced gusseted front flap pockets. Those buttons? Just for show. The flaps are held in place by small pieces of Velcro on the corners. No more ripping the buttons off from use, and they’re faster to access too. The left breast pocket also has a pen slot, which I almost never use.
[Range time, wearing the VertX. Again.]
Directly behind those seemingly standard pockets are a set of vertical map pockets that run the width of the shirt. While you aren’t going to put a handgun or howitzer in there without adding considerable bulk, a passport or money clip (or, I guess, a map) fits perfectly.
[Ideal for flatter items.]
The Velcro runs down the entire map pocket, except for a finger sized hole in the middle. Why? Ever try to open pocket that’s completely sealed with Velcro? You have to pull and stretch until it finally gives. With these, just stick your finger in and go [insert your own joke about prom or your too friendly uncle]. This is the kind of detail I’m looking for, and have come to expect from VertX.
[Mom never allowed the background lasers in school pictures]
Sleeves are pretty standard. You can roll em’ up all oohrah-Marine Corps (or just Gunny roll them like I’m liable to do). The left side has a double pen sleeve. The Phantom LT is constructed from mini-ripstop with a 65/35 poly-cotton blend. A feature that goes largely unnoticed is that the shirt, from the underarms and down the sides, is constructed of a stretchy and breathable material.
One doesn’t see the stretch material right away because they’ve made it the same color as the rest of the shirt. The stretch allows for a lot of mobility without pulling your shirt out of your pants or ripping anything apart. The yolk on the back of the shirt is vented and there’s an airmesh running along the inside to help dump excessive heat. It’s also very comfortable.
This shirt is awesome. I only have one complaint: I definitely bought the wrong color. The Vertx Phantom LT comes in five colors (tan, OD, navy, black, and smoke). I ended up with Navy because it was in-stock and in my size. While it’s certainly better than black, which would be really good for role-playing as a 1990s SWAT cop, it does give it a sort of auto-mechanic-rockabilly-shirt feel. Since I already have tattoos, add a pompadour and people would think I was Jamie Wehmeyer. Obviously, that hasn’t stopped me from trying to wear this shirt out (I haven’t).
The Vertx Phantom LT can be purchased here and has an MSRP of $59.95
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
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About the Author: A combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Dave “Mad Duo Merrill” is a former urban warfare and foreign weapons instructor for Coalition fighting men. An occasional competitive shooter, he has a strange Kalashnikov fetish the rest of the minions try to ignore. Merrill, who has superb taste in hats, has been published in a number of places, the most awesome of which is, of course, here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He loves tacos, is kind of a dick and married way, way above his pay grade. You can contact him at Merrill(at)BreachBangClear.com and follow him on Instagram here (@dave_fm).