The 4 Best Combat Shirts – Tactical Reviews 2021

custom combat shirt, 6 color desert combat shirt, 3 color desert combat shirt, three color desert combat shirt, best combat shirt, desert camo combat shirt, inclement weather combat shirt, tactical pocket t-shirt

Photo by Pacific Air Forces / CC BY

The combat shirt is likely the biggest fad to come out of the entire Global War on Terrorism. These shirts have given soldiers and Marines a comfortable, under body armor option for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. These shirts are also designed to be worn with armor and to provide the user with something more comfortable than a heavy camouflage uniform.

A good combat shirt should be made to work and made to last. It should leave the user feeling cooler and more comfortable, and take the abuse body armor throws at it. These shirts should provide superior mobility and comfort to the end user, and best of all, they come in all shapes and shades, from desert camo (3 to 6 colors) to inclement weather shirts to whatever.

Here are our recommendations for the 4 best combat shirts on the market:

5.11 Tactical Rapid Assault Long Sleeve Combat Shirt

5.11 Tactical is one of the leading tactical companies in the United States. They manufacture everything from boots to body armor. One of their most popular items is the Rapid Assault Combat shirts. Designed with military and law enforcement operators in mind, the Rapid Assault Combat shirts are designed to protect and comfort the end user. As someone who’s worn body armor for hours on end just to stand around, I can appreciate every little comfort I can get.

The sleeves are made from a tough poly cotton hybrid with ripstop built into the sleeves (see full specs). Each sleeve has an easy access pocket large enough to store vital mission gear. The sleeves are camouflaged and there are a variety of different camo options available. The body is made from a poly/cotton/spandex combination to provide a soft, mission adaptable base.

The body is made from an ultra light material that wicks away sweat and dries quickly. With armor, you will sweat, lots of sweat. To help even more with body temp you have side mesh panels to increase the flow of air to the body. The 5.11 Tactical Rapid Assault Long Sleeve Shirt is designed to be worn under body armor day in and day out. It will resist the common tears body armor often drills into clothes, which easily makes it one of the best combat shirts period.

5.11 MultiCam® TDU® Rapid Assault Shirt

Tru Spec Tactical Response Combat Shirt

Tru Spec is criminally underrated. They make mostly uniform items for police and military units, but they haven’t really been fully embraced by the civilian side of the tactical industry. Tru Spec makes high-quality products, and the Tactical Response Shirt is no different. These shirts are growing in popularity among MilSim and paintball shooters. They are available in a massive variety of different camo patterns, like desert (3, 6, whatever colors). You also have plain colors like black and navy blue.

The Tru Spec sleeves are outfitted with pockets that are coated in hook and loop materials for identification patches. The sleeves are reinforced at the elbow and feature closing collars at the cuffs. You can adjust and close the sleeves to protect the inside of your arms. The base layer is made from No Melt, No Drip cordura material. This gives you a flame-retardant option that protects you from flash fires and can reduce the severity of burns.

The shirt also features a full collar and a quarter zip to keep things cool when possible. The soft base layer is cool to the skin and really helps keep the operator feeling good. The lightweight material dries fast and helps wick moisture away from the body. Comfort and durability were the primary goals of this shirt, and I’d say mission accomplished. These are among the best combat shirts for the money.

Truspec T.R.U. Combat Shirt - Review

Condor Outdoor Combat Shirt

Condor made their name with plate carriers, load bearing vests, holsters, and other tactical gear. It’s not too big of a leap to get into combat shirts. If you already making the armor why not make the shirts to wear under it? Condor’s Combat Shirt comes in two varieties, long sleeve, and short sleeve and tons of colors (tan, navy blue, green, etc.). Yes, short sleeve exists. Today, I want to specifically talk about short sleeve combat shirts.

Condor’s short sleeve combat shirt is more or less aimed at law enforcement and civilians who aren’t running into explosions on the daily. The short sleeve shirt is obviously more comfortable in the heat, and does provide a wider range of movement to the end user. The sleeves still feature bicep pockets that are outfitted with the always awesome YKK zippers. The pockets have ample hook and loop space for patches and identification badges.

The shirts are ¼ zip, and feature a mesh lined collar for improved range of motion. The underarms are fantastic and feature a mesh lining that opens it up to air, and also provides a comfortable extended range of motion. The shirt is lightweight, comfortable and the perfect option for hot weather environments. No more rolling the sleeves up and restricting motion. The Condor Short sleeve shirt is in a league of its own.

Condor Combat Shirt Gen 2 at SHOT Show 2016

Under Armour Tactical Combat Shirt

If one company has profited from the idea of the tactical athlete, it’s Under Armour. They are a smart company and when they saw service men and women using their gear, they adapted it to fit them. Their Combat Shirt is proof they have a finger on the pulse of the tactical community. This shirt is designed to function with armor but looks great on its own as well. The shirt is made from a water-resistant ripstop fabric (see full specs).

The material is likely the most conductive to movement I have ever seen from a combat shirt. It flexes and gives, allowing you to move in any odd way you need to. It feels like the shirt is part of your body and is made to conform and comfort. The UA Combat Shirt uses a moisture transport system that wicks away sweat and helps prevent chafing.

The shirt is designed to deal with the daily wear of body armor and is tough enough to do so. This shirt blends the benefits of the tactical shirt and the modern athletes gear to give you one of the best combat shirts around. Under Armour is changing the tactical clothing game.

Tac-ed Out

The tactical world is one that walks a fine line between ridiculous and useful. Combat shirts are one of the most useful pieces of gear out there. Why? Because they increase operator comfort and mobility. It may seem like a small thing, but after 36 hours of wearing armor you’ll be happy to be wearing a combat shirt over a pair of cammies or a plain t shirt. Trust me, as someone whose done just that a time or two. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

Share the Post and Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *