After wearing the H.E.V. for a few months, I can say that it is a very functional piece of equipment. It is made from 1,000-denier Cordura Nylon with an air mesh lining. It has webbing on all of the useable areas to attach MOLLE/PALS-style equipment, and its internal pockets accommodate standard size plates as well as soft armor from most ballistic vests.
Features include a dual cummerbund system for proper vest fit and positioning on the body and a pull-over front flap for quick wear and removal. The pull-over front flap was new to me, and I initially did not like it. However, after I shifted my pouches around a bit from where I normally wear them, I found the pull-over front flap to be an excellent system for keeping the attached pouches from sagging or flapping around.
The H.E.V. also features removable side closures with elastic to help you fine-tune the fit and nicely padded shoulder straps that are not too large or bulky with integrated microphone epaulets to route those pesky radio wires. There is also a heavy-duty drag handle that I tested with a weighted dummy; it actually held the weight of the dummy while it was dragged without tearing or popping stitches.
I was also able to use and evaluate several modular pouches with the H.E.V. All of them attach to any MOLLE/PALS-style webbing using one of the best inventions ever, the Malice Clip. This self-locking piece of plastic webbing replaces the snap fastening nylon strap found on most MOLLE/PALS gear. The Malice Clip is much easier to use and provides a rock-solid attachment between pieces of gear.
I really like the H.E.V. and its modular pouch accessories. I strongly recommend the H.E.V. to anyone in need of a robust, functional, comfortable armor carrier.—Thad Benton
Tru-Spec: TRU Xtreme Apparel
Tru-Spec's latest apparel offering is the TRU Xtreme. This system of clothing consists of the Xtreme Shirt, Pants, Combat Shirt, and Vest.
At first glance, the Xtreme Shirt and Pants appear to be very much like ACUs. Yet while they have many of the same features, such as 50/50 NYCO ripstop construction and hook-and-loop patch areas on the sleeves, the Xtreme line's improvements make it an entirely new creature.
Most noticeably, Super Fabric covers the elbows on the shirt and the knees on the pants. This material injected with polymer nubs increases the durability of these stress areas. Each elbow and knee area is also closed with hook-and-loop so you can insert and secure a knee/elbow pad inside. Another notable addition is the handily removable pen/ID pocket on the left sleeve of the shirt.
Xtreme pants are vast improvements over ACU pants for several reasons. First, an elasticized and expandable waist means these pants are more comfortable. They're also much more functional. Each cargo pocket is actually two pockets in one: the main hook-and-loop-closed front, and the zipper-accessed rear pocket. And the small leg pockets are moved to just behind the knee where you can access them. You will also find built-in leg blousers.
Similarly styled for function, the Combat Shirt and Vest are designed to give you a uniform look when worn together, but the Combat Shirt wears more comfortably alone under tactical body armor. There are no zippers to rub your centerline or pockets to hang up on the back of your gear.
With the Tru Xtreme clothing system Tru-Spec has done a good job building a uniform for tactical or duty use.—Scott Smith
Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs who currently serves as a reserve officer and is a contributing editor to POLICE.
Thad Benton worked full time in law enforcement for 11 years and has served in the Army for 18 years. He is currently deployed to the Middle East as a first sergeant.