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New TRU XTREME Tactical Response Uniform

Written by Eugene Nielsen

The new TRU XTREME™ from TRU-SPEC® by ATLANCO® is the latest evolution of the company’s popular Tactical Response Uniform® (TRU). The TRU XTREME incorporates new technologically advanced features that are designed to take the TRU to a new level.

The original TRU is essentially an improved version of the U.S. Army Combat Uniform (ACU), which was unveiled by the Army with much fanfare in 2004. The ACU is the successor to the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Combat Uniform (DCU) used by the Army during the 1980s and 1990s. The new TRU XTREME is an evolution of the TRU. It is purposely designed and built for tactical law enforcement officers. As with the original TRU, the TRU XTREME is the result of a product made with input from tactical operators.

The TRU incorporated proprietary improvements that were aimed at improving functionality, durability and comfort in the field. In developing the TRU, TRU-SPEC looked at the issues that have arisen with the official-issue ACU. They also solicited input from several tactical officers around the country, including members of the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE SRT team in San Diego, which also helped test the prototypes of the TRU. The ICE SRT team was the first tactical team to adopt the TRU when the final version went into production in 2006.

The TRU XTREME consists of four integrated components: the TRU XTREME Uniform Shirt and Uniform Pant; the TRU XTREME Combat Shirt; and the TRU XTREME Vest. Each of the components is designed with state-of-the art features and can be worn separately or together. All of the components are designed to provide superior comfort and maximum utility. The four-component tactical uniform system was originally introduced by TRU-SPEC with its TRU.

The TRU XTREME Combat Shirt is designed as a more comfortable option than a traditional uniform shirt or jacket when wearing a ballistic vest. The TRU XTREME Vest is designed as a companion piece to the combat shirt. The vest is designed to be worn over the combat shirt for a traditional appearance when the ballistic vest is removed or for additional warmth and protection.

The TRU XTREME Uniform Shirt, Pant and Vest are constructed of rugged, lightweight, U.S.-made 6.4-ounce CORDURA® 50/50 nylon cotton (NYCO) blend rip-stop. The standard for the U.S. military, 50/50 NYCO was selected for its lightness, strength and comfort. Although suitable for all-season wear, it provides greater comfort in hot and/or humid weather.

The 50/50 NYCO combines 50 percent nylon-66 fiber with 50 percent combed, type IV cotton poplin. Nylon-66 has no melt, no drip thermal preferences with superior moisture management and quick drying capability. Other advantages include higher durability, abrasion resistance and comparable bursting strength. The fabric is treated with a wrinkle-free finish.

The TRU XTREME Combat Shirt features a no melt, no drip 60/40 cotton nylon CORDURA Baselayer body and 50/50 CORDURA nylon cotton rip-stop sleeves. CORDURA Baselayer is a super soft, jersey knit, breathable fabric that wicks away moisture. It also helps to protect against flash fires and reduce burn injuries from charring.

The knees and elbows on the TRU XTREME have external pockets made from SuperFabric®. SuperFabric is an exceptionally tough and durable material from HDM that offers superior abrasion and slash resistance. The elbow and knee pockets feature an external opening for pads secured with hook and loop closures.

The YKK Powerhook® hook and loop material used on the TRU XTREME is very secure. It’s a substantial improvement over the hook and loop used on the ACU. With the YKK Powerhook, operators don’t have to worry about the material failing or pockets accidentally opening, which can be an issue with the ACU hook and loop, especially on the calf pockets.

The TRU XTREME features zigzag stitching on the hook and loop of both the sleeve cuffs and the mandarin collar, felled trouser inseams and felled jacket shoulder seams, and a reinforced bar tack crotch seam. A bar tack is a series of stitches for reinforcing areas in the garment. A felled seam is a stress-resistant seam formed by joining overlapped garment part edges with two or more rows of stitches. What this all adds up to is enhanced durability.

All of the features on the TRU XTREME have been well thought out and based on the input of operators. TRU SPEC took the TRU and enhanced it with modified and new features that are designed to improve its comfort and utility even more. The TRU XTREME is a purpose-designed uniform for tactical law enforcement officers.

Features of the TRU XTREME Uniform Shirt include: adjustable hook and loop mandarin collar, which can be worn either up or down to keep out debris; locker loop inside collar; back cage with hook and loop closure with the option of attachment flap, with mesh closure. It has a zippered hook and loop closure placket. The zippers open from the top and bottom for increased comfort when armor is worn.

It uses loop faced upper sleeve pockets instead of bottom pockets, with hook and loop closure and hidden zippered pockets. The shoulder sleeve pockets allow access when armor is worn, unlike the bottom pockets on BDUs. Patches and tabs are affixed to the uniform with hook and loop for greater flexibility and to allow them to be removed prior to laundering for a greater patch life cycle. Articulated elbows allow ease of movement.

The shirt has SuperFabric external elbow pockets with an external opening for elbow pads secured with a hook and loop. Accessory pads are available from TRU-SPEC. Bellowed chest pockets feature an inverted pleat, a hook and loop closure and a hidden front zipper front pocket. The chest pockets on the TRU XTREME Uniform Shirt are tilted forward for easier access; however, the chest pockets are now more like those of old Vietnam-era jungle fatigues and lack the more extreme slant of the chest pockets on the original TRU, which are patterned on the ACU.

The shirt includes a tri-pocket with document windows under the flap with hook and loop closure and three exterior pen/pencil slots. It has a tunnel system for alternating the tri-pocket with the document window from left to right for personal comfort, an adjustable hook and loop cuff, and an angled cuff for additional hand/wrist protection.
When worn together, the TRU XTREME Combat Shirt and TRU XTREME Combat Vest incorporate all of the features of the TRU Uniform Shirt and provide a similar appearance. The TRU XTREME vest is identical in features to the TRU XTREME Uniform Shirt except for the lack of sleeves. The TRU XTREME Combat Shirt differs from the TRU XTREME Uniform Shirt in that the body of the Combat Shirt is constructed of CORDURA Baselayer fabric and it lacks chest pockets. The TRU XTREME Combat Shirt also differs in that it features a pullover design with zipper front closure, zipper front cover hood and CORDURA Baselayer interior collar for added comfort.

Features of the TRU XTREME Uniform Pant include a custom fit adjustable slider waistband. The slider waistband enhances comfort and eliminates the need for gather elastic or adjustable side tabs. The pant has the TRU-SPEC original Prym® snap with hook and loop waistband closure, a hidden internal handcuff key pocket in the waistband, and an expanded reinforced seat with reinforced hook and loop closure pockets. The slash pockets include hidden cell phone or accessory pockets on both sides and reinforced openings.

The pant has two knife/accessory pockets with stiff fused inner lining on both sides. There are also two cargo pockets with inverted pleat and angled opposing pleats, mitered flaps with a hook and loop closure, and an internal hidden zippered pocket on both cargo pockets. The pant has SuperFabric external knee pockets with an external opening for knee pads secured with a hook and loop, and two bellowed lower leg cargo pockets with inverted pleat and mitered flaps with a hook and loop closure.

The TRU XTREME is available in five color choices to meet the needs of practically every agency: black, khaki, olive drab, navy and MultiCam. Coordinated accessory items are also available from TRU-SPEC, including boonie hats and patrol caps, helmet covers, T-shirts, shoulder conversion kits and name tape kits.

MultiCam is a patented combination of seven different shades that “takes in surrounding colors.” Developed jointly by Crye Precision in conjunction with U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center, MultiCam is designed to work in multiple environments, including woodland, desert and urban.

MultiCam was designed to allow real-world concealment in different environments with one kit. Numerous tests show MultiCam to be the best universal camouflage pattern presently available. The MultiCam fabric used by TRU-SPEC is the genuine MultiCam from Crye Precision.
Genuine MultiCam employs Near Infrared (NIR) Signature Management Technology and is NIR compliant for military operations. MultiCam is designed to match the IR signature of natural vegetation to allow operators to appear at the same radiation level as surrounding terrain.

To preserve NIR compliance, it is important to never wash uniforms with detergents that contain optical brighteners. Optical brighteners are chemicals that absorb the ultraviolet and violet region of colors in a fabric. From a tactical perspective, this makes the uniform more detectable by night-vision equipment and more visible in a low-light environment of any kind. One-time use of these detergents permanently changes the NIR properties of the uniform.

The workmanship on the sample TRU XTREME provided to me was excellent, and I found the TRU XTREME to be both comfortable and practical. The TRU XTREME Combat Shirt has made a real difference in comfort when a ballistic vest is worn. The TRU XTREME should hold up well in tactical use.

The design of the TRU XTREME has been well thought out with an attention to detail and the specific needs of law enforcement operators. The TRU XTREME Tactical Response Uniform is an outstanding and exceptionally versatile tactical uniform for law enforcement purposes. Just as the original TRU improved upon the ACU, the TRU XTREME improves upon the TRU.

Eugene Nielsen provides investigative and tactical consulting services and is a former officer. He may be reached at eugene.nielsen@live.com.

Published in Law and Order, May 2011

Rating : 10.0


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