5.11 Tactical Utili-T Shirt: Undershirt Review

The 5.11 Tactical Utili-T shirt I’m about to review is an answer to a lot of the questions I’ve been getting from readers lately.

Many are wondering if I can recommend any crew neck undershirts that have tighter fit collars or don’t stretch very much.

Additionally, I’ll be doing reviews of three kinds of undershirts in the next few days that have such a collar.

If you recall from my initial post on the 5.11 undershirts, I ordered a 3-pack of the large white crew neck undershirts from LA Police Gear.


I ordered them last Tuesday and received timely email notification updates about the status of my shipment.

The shipment arrived a quick two days later. However, that’s likely due to the fact I live relatively close to their fulfillment center.

The company shipped the package in a plain square cardboard box. However, the undershirts themselves were thoughtfully folded and packaged in a clear polybag.

The bag included a color cardboard insert with information about the features of this moisture-wicking undershirt.


I’m a little concerned about all the hype around the marketing term “moisture-wicking”.

Everyone seems to be using it nowadays, even companies offering the standard every day 100% cotton undershirts.


Please be aware of this and keep it in mind when you’re buying undershirts.

If you’re really someone who sweats a lot, just because a shirt is marketed as moisture-wicking does not mean it will protect you any better than some of the undershirts you already have.

5.11 Tactical Utili-T Shirt: Fabric Quality

The 5.11 Tactical is, coincidentally, made out of 100% cotton by a Honduran manufacturer.

Regardless of that, this undershirt is really well made.

The quality and brightness of the white cotton are one of the best I’ve seen recently.

The sewing and stitching throughout the collar, sleeves, and bottom are nearly flawless.

I’m not sure of the exact weight of this fabric, but it feels slightly thicker than a Hanes undershirt.

5.11 Utili-T Shirt full length

The undershirt’s cut is extra long (falling approximately 10″ below my waistline – before washing).

5.11 Utili-T Shirts Fit

The shoulders also fit nicely. They have a strap length of about 7″ (that’s the length from the collar stitching to where the sleeve joins the body).

I think the reason this shirt fits a little better in the shoulders is because of the tighter/closer collar fit and smaller neck opening.

By having that, the strap starts higher on my neck and results in less fabric hanging over my shoulder.

The collar is an impressive 1″ wide to the inside stitching and a full 1.25″ to the collar outer stitching — it’s the widest collar I’ve seen to date.

The shirt fits about average in the rest of the areas including sleeves (7″ long), torso, midsection, and waist.

Right out of the package, this undershirt is pretty soft.

I threw it on today as a standard t-shirt and wore it solo while I was out and about running some errands.

I felt comfortable the entire time.

That being said, it performed well as my t-shirt. However, I wasn’t wearing it as an undershirt.

I can’t say for sure, but because of the thicker fabric, it might be a little warmer to wear than other thinner undershirts.

Since this undershirt is primarily being marketed to law enforcement officers, being a little warmer might be more of a positive than a negative due to the various types of duties they may be assigned to.

For example, it can feel differently for motorcycle officers, tactical, undercover, and patrol.

Folded 5.11 Utili-T shirt

After Washing

After washing the 5.11 Tactical undershirt, per the care instructions, the shirt lost a modest 1″ in length.

It is now 9″ from the waistline to bottom. It shrunk very little everywhere else.

The thing that really bugged me about the Tactical was that after I pulled these shirts from the dryer, they wrinkled terribly.

So much, in fact, that I felt compelled to iron them before wearing them.

I haven’t experienced that same dynamic with undershirts before. Therefore, I’m a little disappointed with this shirt in that area.

I can’t provide any empirical data on whether or not this shirt absorbs moisture any better than other 100% cotton shirts or if it stays tucked in more due to the added length.

In looking at the overall shirt design and wearing it for the day, I don’t see how this shirt would perform any better or worse than any other average undershirt that is cut a little longer.

Overall, if you:

  • Are looking for an undershirt that’s a little thicker and higher quality than the standard retail undershirts, and
  • Don’t mind spending a few extra bucks per shirt

I’d recommend giving the 5.11 Tactical Utili-T shirt a try.

They also have Tight Fit 5.11 Undergear shirts as an alternative.

I’ll give them a try in a couple of weeks and write up my observations here.

3 thoughts on “5.11 Tactical Utili-T Shirt: Undershirt Review”

  1. Hey there! I was wondering if you had a review yet on this guy’s undershirts to wear under police vests? I am finding your blog VERY helpful!!! My husband needs new undershirts as he’s complaining that his shrunk and aren’t long enough anymore. He’s not a big guy though, so the “big and tall” selection has never worked for him. I found the section of your blog specifically on tall/long undershirts super useful!!! Thanks again for doing all this research for undershirts and taking the time to blog about them!

    • hey valeroe! thanks for stopping by and posting your question. are you referring to the undershirt from shane m.? if so, the product launch date has been pushed back some, but if you stay tuned here to the site, as soon as the product is officially launched, i’ll be sure to announce it. you can subscribe to my rss via email (see above) or just stop by from time to time to see if i’ve posted the news!

  2. I just recently developed an undershirt to be worn under police vests, I have a product that has the feel of super soft cotton and anti bacterial technology as well as the moisture wicking technology as the under armor Type tight fit units with out the sticky after sweating feel during wear. I would like to be able to send you a unit for your feedback on your forum. Please get in touch with me via email at [email protected]. For info on the unit. Kind regards, Shane McCardle


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