I’ve previously covered the importance of FR (flame resistant) clothing in hazardous environments. The protection provided is paramount, and to date has saved countless lives on the battlefield. Massif is a continuous industry leader in the field of FR clothing for soldiers, independent contractors, LE, and wildland firefighters. The evolution of the combat shirt has been long and often controversial since its early distribution to SMU (special mission units).
The early designs provided flame resistance and added breathability, but lacked certain comfort features and durability. The early shirts were “more” breathable, but still left a sweaty and smelly mess reminiscent of old style Nomex clothing. The new Massif Advanced 1/4 Zip Combat Shirt takes some steps in the right direction to fix previous issues and gripes from the soldiers wearing the uniform. I’ve worn this new FR shirt for about a month and coupled with the abnormally warm weather on the west coast, it’s given me a good look at the Combat Shirt’s hot weather performance.
Although different compositions throughout, the entire shirt has a four-way stretch that improves maneuverability compared to previous combat shirts I’ve worn. The 1/4 zip adds extra ventilation, but doesn’t go down so far that it gets stuck between body armor and the sternum. The material on the torso is extremely thin and stretchy. This is very helpful in keeping body temperature regulated while wearing body armor. I have yet to see any issues with durability of this fabric and will give updates if there are any future issues.
The Massif Advanced 1/4 Zip Combat Shirt still has the standard set of features found on the ACS (Army Combat Shirt) – Zip shoulder pockets with outer attachment points for call sign and unit patches, left forearm pen pocket, and Velcro wrist closures.
Flame resistance aside, for me, the standout features of the Combat Shirt is the lack of shoulder seams and elbow reinforcements. While wearing armor or a pack, the lack of seams has really cut down on any possible chaffing. The elbow portion is made from SuperFabric and has small textured dots to add durability and friction. When laying in the prone on a slick surface, the fabric grips the ground and allows for a better and more stable shooting platform. As well, the elbows have an inner pockets for the placement of padding.
The shoulder, side, collar, and sleeves are a thicker material, but add increased FR to areas that lack the protection of body armor.
- Sizes: xs – xxxl
- Colors: Black, OD Green, MultiCam
- MSRP — $199.99
- Made in the USA
- Berry Compliant
- Fabric passes the stringent ASTM D6413/F2302 performance specification for flame resistance
- Zip ventilation
- Seamless shoulders
- Pen pocket (personal preference, but think it’s completely unnecessary)
- Color options (explain below)
- Circumference of the collar seems a bit large. If feels like the size is better suited for someone with a very large neck.
After chatting with a LEO friend who works for the State Police, they’ve started to transition from under the shirt vests to over the shirt. He stated his interest in the shirt and is hoping they will offer it in navy as well to expand the range of option for LEOs in the field.
Overall, the Massif Advance 1/4 Zip Combat Shirt has performed very well in hot weather. Even after hours of range time in the direct sunlight the shirt wicked moisture as advertised. In the winter, the Combat Shirt could easily be paired with the Massif Base-layer collection for added warmth, protection, and breathability in the event of “high exertion” activities. The price it up there, but inline with other FR clothing on the market. If you are looking for a new, top of the line, breathable, and versatile FR combat shirt, this is worth checking out.
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