Be the Grey Man with Operator Grade Discreet Clothing from EOTAC
Be the Grey Man with Operator Grade Discreet Clothing from EOTAC
Update: It appears that EOTAC is no longer in business and their website is offline. As a result, links in this post to EOTAC products may not work.
After right at a year of putting EOTAC clothing through the ringer at various training courses, the range and every day use; I’d like to share my opinions on their Operator Grade Discreet Clothing and how everything has held up.
What I’ll be reviewing today are two of their shirts and two pairs of pants. The Mechanic Short-Sleeve Shirt, Tropical Short-Sleeve Shirt, Discreet Pants and Discreet Denim Pants.
Let me start off by saying the durability of this clothing has truly impressed me. As with abusing any article of clothing, there’s bound to be wear. The great thing about these items from EOTAC is how we’ll they’re still performing on a daily basis.
Blending in with your environment is just as important in an urban setting as it is in the deserts of Afghanistan. It’s all about the appropriate camouflage. This doesn’t mean the urban black, white and grey camouflage you find at the army navy store; it means aligning yourself with the baseline, whatever that may be where you are.
The EOTAC Discreet line of clothing does a great job of being tactically functional while providing you with a look that doesn’t draw attention. They do this by eliminating cargo pockets, visible Velcro or other significant tell-tale signs that would lead someone to know you’re packing or may know what you’re doing.
Of course, clothing isn’t everything; you have to “walk the walk” and always remember your Cover for Action and Cover for Status. You’re definitely not going to disappear by wearing EOTAC’s Discreet clothing, but depending on your baseline, it can’t hurt your chances.
What I found to be the best features of the Discreet line of pants were the Action Waist, gusseted Crotch, and zippered security pocket. These features all helped to provide greater functionality, range of mobility, ease of drawing a concealed weapon and concealing it.
The Action Waist is a feature on both the Discreet Pants and the Discreet Denim Pants which allows the pants to flex, through the use of elastic panels, in order to draw from an in the waistband holster. The pants also feature large 1″ wide belt loops that will accommodate up to a 1 3/4″ belt.
Having a gusseted crotch definitely helps when you’re on the move or throwing a drop kick towards a threat. A gusset is simply a triangular-shaped piece of fabric that enables more flexibility in a certain area of a garment; in this case, the crotch. Both pairs of pants were extremely flexible and provided fantastic range of motion.
Zippered Security Pocket
Each pair of Discreet Pants features a zippered pocket built right into the seam line on both the left and right sides. This pocket is fairly concealed to the onlooker and able to hold things like a flashlight or ID.
It’s depth is just slightly lower than the front pocket, which means that you won’t have a something in that pocket rattling against your knee or getting in the way while you’re running.
The specific features the reviewed shirts provided that I found the most useful were the hidden Velcro behind the shirt buttons, generously-cut widths and name tapes on the mechanic shirt. First and foremost, these features helped to provide easier access to a concealed weapon in a waist band. The name tapes were definitely an added bonus though.
On the Mechanic Short-Sleeve Shirt, the bottom two buttons feature hook and loop behind them to “break-away” and avoid interference while reaching your weapon. The Tropical Short-Sleeve Shirt not only has buttons down the front, but also up the sides of the shirt on the vents. On the front buttons, just the last bottom button features the “break-away” design. On each side vent of the shirt, for righties or lefties, there’s a single button “break-away.” To access this feature, the bottom button must be undone first.
Something I really liked about these shirts is how generously their cut. I feel this really aided in the concealment of a weapon and something that most shirts don’t take into account that are designed for concealed carry. Despite being pre-shrunk, I did feel the shirts were a bit short on me, but I’ll discuss that below in the notes.
As a true testament to EOTAC’s attention to detail, they included four embroidered name tapes with the Mechanic shirt; three with business names on them already and even a blank one to embroider yourself. These business include Speedy Quik Lube, Mario’s Pizza and Lou’s Plumbing – 24 hr service.
Material and Makeup
Mechanic Short-Sleeve Shirt – Made from 5.5 oz. all-cotton poplin, the Mechanic Short-Sleeve Shirt is fade resistant, pre-shrunk and coated with a DuPont Teflon ® Fabric Protector to provide a breathable, durable barrier that repels water and oil based spills. It’s available in traditional mechanic shirt colors like grey, black and navy.
Tropical Short-Sleeve Shirt – Made from a soft and lightweight 4.25 oz. lino cotton, the Tropical Short-Sleeve Shirt is fade resistant, pre-shrunk & washed; featuring a anti-wrinkle finish. I found it to be very comfortable even when dripping wet with sweat.
Discreet Pants – Made from a Bomb-Proof 8.5 oz. all-cotton canvas the Discreet Pants are fade resistant, pre-shrunk and coated with a DuPont Teflon ® Fabric Protector to provide a breathable, durable barrier that repels water and oil based spills.
Discreet Denim Pants – Made from a 12.5 oz. all-cotton denim and stone washed, the Discreet Denim Pants are sure to blend into the baseline.
All items reviewed list the country of manufacture as imported.
All these items I’m reviewing from EOTAC today have held up wonderfully over the past year, the more I seem to wash the shirts the more I feel they blend in. Everyone can spot a new shirt. There has been some pilling on the crotch area of the Discreet Pants, but nothing to where it feels like the material is becoming worn or broken down.
The DuPont Teflon ® Fabric Protector has not only done a good job in terms of durability, but has also been extremely stain-resistant. This was an unexpected surprise from the Discreet Pants, as I thought for sure that khaki colored pants would show staining for sure. This is not to say that after a year there’s not any staining, but I’ve run the pants hard through some classes where I was all over gravel, mud and grass. Despite this, you really have to look hard at these pants to notice any staining.
One thing I would have liked on the shirts is a slightly longer cut. While the width definitely helps to conceal a weapon, there were times that the length was a concern. When bending down to pick up items, even ensuring not to bend at the waist, the shirt would still ride up; exposing my weapon. In fact, you can see this in one of the photos of me climbing up a drain pipe.
This may have been a sizing issue, but I’m a pretty medium build and most of my clothes are medium. The shirts were both mediums and EOTAC’s sizing chart shows that my chest size (44″) makes me a large, but my waist, neck and sleeve size shows I’m a medium. Just something to consider when purchasing.
The other thing that I thought was functional, but a personal dislike were the scalloped back pockets. It’s nice to drop things down into the second larger pocket, but I didn’t care to tuck in a shirt because I’m not a fan of the half-moon shape that’s created between the front and larger rear pocket. This also makes a horizontal line on the back of the pants legs that is more visible on the Denim Pants. The khaki Discreet Pants seem to hide that line better.
It’s not so much the looks that bother me about the scalloped pockets and line that’s created. It’s the fact that those two things make these pants visibly different than most pants and takes away from the discreet nature they have.
My wife actually told me the Discreet Denim Pants looked like “grandpa pants,” but I don’t quite agree with that statement, nor feel that fashion is a number one priority when choosing clothing for concealment. Of course that all depends on the baseline, right?