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Product Review: 5.11 covert/CCW shirt

Good off-duty/CCW, plain clothes stuff is not easy to find. I hear people complain all the time how hard it is to find clothing that makes CCW easier and more comfortable. The 5.11 Covert/CCW Shirt achieves that basic goal. It is comfortable, well designed, and reasonably priced.

Maybe it’s just me and my type AAA personality, but it seems comfortable well designed clothes that work well for CCW is a never ending quest, at least for me. At the end of the day, it also has to look like actual casual wear, versus “shoot me first” clothing that is “tacti-cool” and draws attention to itself. The shirt is made from a lightweight rayon fabric, has a mesh lining (which tends to smooth out sharp edges and such), has various well placed internal pockets and a breakaway bottom side vents for sidearm access.

Personally, I particularly like the cut of this shirt. I’m a short stocky guy (a tad under 200 lbs. and under 5’7” with high humidity) and often have a tough time finding such shirts that fit my shape and hide my gear that don’t break the bank.

Considering the cost (suggested retail of $39, give or take) it’s a damn good product which makes CCW and/or plain-clothes work a lot easier. The 5.11 company spiel goes like so:

“Designed for concealed carry, the Covert Casual Shirt meets all of your needs for immediate access to a handgun without giving away the fact that you are armed and ready for duty. Our RapidDraw center placket with false exterior buttons and easy open metal snaps give you immediate access to a shoulder holster or 5.11’s own Holster Shirt. If you carry your handgun on your waist, the Covert Casual Shirt is cut a bit longer to maintain your anonymity. We’ve included breakaway bottom side vents for quick access to your sidearm when you need it. We’ve given you two concealed chest pockets, made the shirt with a moisture wicking polynosic rayon fabric and included an internal CovertMesh lining causing the shirt to drape casually over your concealed gear. This shirt truly reflects the mission of 5.11 Tactical Series. It has been designed for law enforcement professionals by law enforcement professionals.”

Does this shirt live up to it’s claims and promise? Yup. I’m ordering several more in different colors as we speak...

Will Brink is owner of, a site dedicated to improving the performance, health, and fitness, of the LE tactical community, and, a site dedicated to all things performance/fitness/health.

Previously, Will has been an adjunct trainer for Smith & Wesson and developed two courses for them: Applied Stress Training I and II. He developed the Practical Applied Stress Training (P.A.S.T) program for tactical LE, which focuses on improving performance under stress.

He is been writer and industry consultant for over two decades having been published in a wide variety of publications, relating to performance, nutrition, health and fitness, bodybuilding, and other topics, including Tactical Response, Muscle Media, MuscleMag International, Lets Live, Muscle n Fitness, Life Extension magazine, Townsend Letter for Doctors, IronMan, Muscular Development, Inside Karate, Exercise for Men Only, Physical, Power, Body International, Oxygen, Penthouse, Fitness RX, Big, as well as others over the years and in many different languages, as well as a monthly column in MuscleMag International called “The Intake Update.” His articles focusing on performance, health, fitness, etc, can also be found on various websites from to and many others.

In his spare time, he likes to review shooting related gadgets...

He can be contacted via or

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