Arc’teryx: Area 51 of Outdoor Performance Apparel

arc teryx combat shirt
January 20, 2016  
Categories: Musings

Usually when we spend this much money on something we expect a blowjob out of it…but sometimes it’s worth the money all by itself. This is one of those times. Mad Duo


More so than many years previously 2015 brought us many new “innovative” outdoor performance apparel solutions. It seemed like everyone was jabbering about their new “game changing” duty or field uniform coming out. Then entered the 2015 uniform jabber killer; the Arc’teryx LEAF Enhanced Combat Uniform: Assault Shirt AR and Assault Pant AR, a free moving and technologically advanced combat uniform.

As a hard skills teacher I use and go through a number of uniforms each year. This year I decided to restock with a uniform I thought might very well save me some money and time in the long term. Like with boots, I learned a hard lesson to not skimp on cost. My ASOLO fugitives lasted me 6 years, saving me hundreds of dollars in boot money. Before I was accustomed to buying new boots each year, so I decided to use the same same logic with regard to uniforms.

My Review: Arc’teryx is the Area 51 of Outdoor Performance Apparel

BLUF: I loved doing this review. Now I know why these are so expensive.

My initial assessment of the Arc’teryx Enhanced Combat Uniform was that I was looking at someone’s very hard work. The Assault Shirt AR seams are double stitched with nylon thread, which is very important for strength and integrity. Material of no melt/ no drip 60/40 cotton/nylon Cordura on the torso, and 50/50 cotton/nylon Cordura on shoulder sleeve; are an excellent balance of strength and comfort. The features on this shirt are wonderful. My favorite feature on the shirt is the dummy corded zippered shoulder pockets which sit very flat and face my work space. There must have been a massive thinktank hired to explore where and when a button, a zipper or Velcro would be best used because the shirt utilizes all three in very common sense locations.


• Low profile hybrid collar with button and Velcro® closure shields neck or can be worn open

• Mesh vents underarms allow air flow under personal protective equipment

• Removable, articulated, soft elbow pads fit into integrated pockets

• Cuff button closures allow for rolled up sleeves in warm conditions

• Two secure upper arm pockets with daisy chain hard points

• 4×4.5 Velcro® identification patches with V-LITE™ retention ring

Osuna - Arcteryx - Enhanced Combat Uniform Review 7

Osuna arcteryx 3 (3)

Osuna - Arcteryx - Enhanced Combat Uniform Review 9

Osuna arcteryx 4 (2)

A good broken in pair of trousers is hard to part with. The number one killer of my pants has been cattle fences. This is usually due to a lack of flexibility in the crotch region, causing that last second ventilating snag as I’m hopping wire. Number two on my list of reasons for trouser demise is torn knees. I spend much time in the kneeling position during my tracking classes and reinforced knees are a must. So the first 2 things I looked at on any pants are the crotch and the knees: these pants won me over immediately. Again, a tough and comfortable material was chosen as on the shirt a no melt/no drip 50/50 cotton/nylon Cordura. The features of articulated knees and seat plus a gusseted crotch have me welcoming the next cattle fence that wants to get in my way. The pants are comfortable and spacious for additional layering with the look of a relax fit. The knees feature a mil-spec Cordura webbing reinforcement seen on high end armor plate carriers and web gear; very nice. the knee has an Arc’teryx knee cap insert pocket. Plus, plus, plus! Here’s some more on features.

Osuna - Arcteryx - Enhanced Combat Uniform Review 8

Osuna - Arcteryx - Enhanced Combat Uniform Review 6


• Adjustable waist adds sizing flexibility of 2.5″/6cm

• Belt loops fit H-150 Rigger’s Belt or E-220 Rigger’s Harness

• Internal knee cap sleeve fit removable soft knee pads or LEAF knee caps

• Two hand pockets with internal knife pocket; two seat pockets; two thigh dump cargo pockets with daisy chain hard points

• Velcro® ankle cuff closure seals over boots

The pants have a great feel and so does the shirt. The only negative I can mention is the large arms. They’re wide, and like one of my friends friend said they “…have me feeling like I’m wearing a pirate shirt.” Definitely not a big deal though in the context of the many advantages; I’ll just have to get bigger guns. There’s a reason for them; are large for layering, mobility, and folding purposes. Overall I am very satisfied with this uniform.


November 2016 will mark the end of a full year of tracking classe,s which will test the true durability of this uniform. Until then I’d say save yourself some money and time by getting a set yourself. These are on the high end of the uniform price range but definitely a great investment.

More to follow.

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About the Author: Perhaps the Mad Duo’s most advertent minion (and certainly their duskiest), Breach Bang Freddy is a warrior philosopher who has been a tracker pretty much his whole life. Sometimes he smiles.

Grunt: advertent.

Though he has studied and trained under many great teachers over the years, his overall mentor is none other than the storied Jim Grasky of the “Border Breed.” He is a former Marine Scout Sniper and Chief Scout who hails originally from Arizona. A combat veteran of OIF 1, he was an infantryman, then an infantry squad leader, a Scout Sniper, a Scout Sniper Team Leader and finally Staff NCOIC of the Marksmanship Training Unit at the 1st Marine Regiment (which is where he earned his second NAM for excellence in innovative training techniques). Freddy teaches via Greenside Training full time (when he’s not volunteering his time assisting local LEO and ESAR teams).

Freddy Osuna - Tracking - Firelance Media

He continues to instruct for the Counter-Explosives Hazard Center and other places. Sometimes he walks in single file to conceal his numbers. He is the author of Index Tracking: Essential Guide to Trailing Man and Beast.

Freddy Faces

Freddy Osuna 1

Freddy Osuna

Freddy Osuna

About the Author

1 Comment

  1. Wilson

    I’ve never had any disappointment with anything I’ve bought from these guys. Arc’teryx doesn’t fuck around.

    They just bend my wallet over and fuck that instead.


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