5.11 Tactical Blazer
Doug Howlett Photo
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One thing I have come to recognize over the years is gun owners, and more specifically people who carry guns for self-defense, come in all shapes and sizes and certainly hail from all walks of life. Let’s face it, not all of us care to rock the 80s dad fanny pack nor does every occasion call for donning today’s ever-popular tactical pants with their 27 utility pockets. It’s not necessary to always look like you’re about to teach a firearms class. Sometimes, you need to dress a little nicer, whether it’s dinner at an upscale restaurant with the only potential mate you matched with on Bumble in the past two months or attending your sister’s third wedding.

Enter 5.11 Tactical, who listened to the suggestions of some legit security bad asses; dudes who provide high-level protection for politicians and executives. That means they do it in suits or at the very least dress jackets so as to blend-in with the hobnobbers and not freak-out their refined senses when toting enough hardware below the surface to put down a minor Somali revolt. They wanted something that would move with them, flex as they needed to flex, yet keep equipment covered whether going waistband or shoulder-holster. They also needed quick access beneath the jacket and yes, they still needed some of the pockets found in their tactical pants, just without it looking like they were there. In other words, they still needed to look nice.

In response, at this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, 5.11 Tactical displayed their answer to these requests: a sharp looking, navy blazer.

At first glance, the blazer looks like any key component of a South Carolina tuxedo. It’s navy blue, nicely cut and lightweight. But here’s where the devil always rides in on the details, the thing is made of amazing stretch fabric that would rival the comfort of any athletic warm-up, and the pockets in the jacket have slits that allow you to discreetly grip your sidearm and draw it if necessary, but do it in a way that maintains discretion, until we want to be anything but discreet. And you don’t have to be a Secret Service agent to appreciate the design; it can be worn by and appreciated by anyone who needs to look nice but wants to carry.

Even better, for those of us who attend more formal functions when we travel, but like to pack light, the jacket is made of wrinkle-free material. So, you can fold it up in a carry-on or even backpack, pull it right out of the bag and wear it to speak on the podium at your next political fundraiser or show your next home listing to the young couple still struggling to qualify for their starter house…or virtually whatever it is you actually do.

Unfortunately, the jacket won’t be ready for consumers until later in 2024, but when it does, it should pop up on 5.11 Tactical’s website or in one of their retail shops scattered across the country for around $165. Oh, and when you visit either, they do have plenty of great options when it comes to tactical pants for those occasions when we don’t have to dress so sharp and actually do want to do some cool stuff.

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  1. I have been looking for a sports jacket. But I tend to avoid the first version of almost everything. I can wait, but probably will not purchase until I can see it in person. There are a few ‘Premium’ 511 dealers here in the Lehigh Valley.

  2. “the pockets in the jacket have slits that allow you to discreetly grip your sidearm and draw it if necessary”
    I thought that’s what the slit in my drawers is for!

  3. I got a high-dollar EDC jacket for Christmas (not from Mrs Haz, but someone else). I learned within the first 24 hrs the jacket – while made with quality materials – wasn’t worth a spit for carrying a gun + mags. Very poor pocket placements and stretch strap design. I continue to carry in my gun belt.

    • I had a similar experience with the 5.11 carry t-shirt. Anything larger than a S&W .380 Bodyguard would sag or print against over-shirt.

  4. That looks cheap, its pulling weird and the pockets are just wonky in exchange for that feature. This stands out like a sore thumb to me and I wear blazers 4-5 times a year. Honestly they should have doubled the budget and made it actually look nice.

    • I agree. I wear a blazer at least once a week during winter, and occasionally during other seasons. Would not wear this though. Too bad, I was excited when I saw the article title.

      • I dunno, it says they aren’t releasing it for a while so they’re probably refining the design. I’ll reserve judgement until I can try one on in-person. YMMV.

  5. I have learned you have to dress around your gun. And I have learned I have had to acquire new clothing items to cover my weapon.

    I have found the sleeveless or vest type jackets make great cover garments.

    This is certainly an area where the “gun industry” can really move into. The major clothing manufacturers are probably not interested in making gun friendly clothing accessories.

    • “I have found the sleeveless or vest type jackets make great cover garments.”

      If you are a gun owner, carry a gun on your person, and associate with like-minded people wearing such distinguishing garb, you may soon find you are also a felon, a member of a militia.

      • A vest is great for OWB carry. But you don’t need one for pocket carry in your pants or your shirt.

        • “A vest is great for OWB carry. But you don’t need one for pocket carry in your pants or your shirt. big(smile)”

          I would be more interested if the lining of the blazer was soft body armour.

        • Ballistic liner can be done but cheaper and far less work to do a higher end thin vest and a custom fitted suit. Generally more reliable at stopping the rated threats as well.

        •  “would be more interested if the lining of the blazer was soft body armour.”

          In John Wick 2 that armored dress suit was effective. But being shot was still quite painful.

  6. I wear a blazer(or suit coat)occasionally. And only at the church we attend. The majority of men wear a suit there. Carrying a gat is not prohibited. I had one in my jacket yesterday.I think the head pastor carries. As far as fanny packs they’re making a comeback with the old timer “don’t give a dam” about your opinion🙄

  7. A nice sport coat cut to accommodate my pistol for a reasonable price is something I could use, and I like the 5.11 stuff I have.

  8. Needs work. A lot of work. “Sharp looking” it isn’t.
    I do hope they get it right, though. I could be a customer.

  9. Here’s how it really works….

    There’s these people called ‘tailors’ and they are very specially trained to make a garment fit you and what you need to do. It’s their job and most are excellent. So if you need a suit that does these things you go to them and say “Here’s what I need.”

    They will make it happen.

    HOWEVER! It’s not going to be as simple as grabbing one from a rack and paying less than $200. So if I ever need a suit jacket to conceal a gun, I’m going to a tailor to make it happen.

    • Can’t argue any of that as formal attire almost always needs fitting to look right and additional fitting for carry to look right(ish) for any given body shape past mannequin standard. With that said could be an improvement over the more typical sized up jacket to conceal vest and various equipment at the expense of looking like a odd shaped human brick

  10. It just isn’t realistic to expect an off the rack $200 blazer to fit you and your little brother like an eight hundred tailored blazer. Just to make it look presentable is going to require some skilled tailoring.

  11. A pocket gun will fit very nicely in a 511 rapid access outer shirt. And yes, you need to practice your draw from a shirt holster as well.

    And it’s very nice being able to draw a firearm, from my shirt, while sitting at a table.
    I have five of these 511 shirts.

    Nobody talks about the alternative of shirt carry. Because the “gun industry” does not want you to buy a pocket gun, and the 32acp ammo that goes with it.

    • Yes – the Gun Industry hates 32 caliber so much that Beretta released three new 3032 Tomcats and Smith and Wesson paired with Lipsey’s to create the 32 caliber “Ultimate Carry” revolver.

      • I worry that is more a function of 30sc not taking off quickly and excess .312 bullets need to go somewhere. Still nice to see 32 anything around again.

      • They are finally catching up with a consumer demand. Also, maybe some of them are looking at their own history of manufacturing guns???
        From over a hundred years ago.

        When pocket guns were the primary guns being sold to the general public. Because that’s what consumers wanted back then.

        These compact and subcompact 9mm guns. Are just an attempt to try to replicate something that was done a hundred years ago. But with a 9mm caliber. Too much recoil!!!

        That pocket gun series, on YouTube, that was done several years ago by the people at Lucky Gunner. That explains why the 32 caliber series is the best for concealed carry.

        Gun weight. If it’s too heavy you’re not gonna carry it all day. it’ll be uncomfortable.

        Small size firearm. A small gun is easy to conceal. In practically anything you might wear summer or winter.

        And Smith and Wesson is now coming out with a brand new 327 caliber snubby. And with 32 S&W ammo. That will be one really easy shooting, sweet shooting handgun.

  12. You’re better off getting a custom tailored suit than this which will be ill fitting and look cheap.

    Not to mention 5.11 is just pure cringe.

  13. @Chris T in KY
    “In John Wick 2 that armored dress suit was effective. But being shot was still quite painful.”

    IRL, blunt force pain/injury would likely be an acceptable trade-off.

    • Strong mental health can overcome physical pain. It’s how wounded soldiers and wounded cops survive and beat their opponents.

      And it’s how professional fighters also with stand the pain.

      • “Strong mental health can overcome physical pain.”

        People like John Wick, and the Transporter seem to easily shake-off their injuries; they seem to be masters of mind bending.

  14. @Chris T in KY
    “I love the Transporter film series!!!”

    Yes, indeed….but, “Wild Card” was more compelling (i.e. better fights).

  15. People ask: “What kind of gun does John Wick shoot?”…

    Answer: Blank guns, the expensive kind. With blanks. Same with prop body armor.

    Buy a real gun and a real ballistc vest, Short Pants Pony Tail Dude, it’s the movies..


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