TO BE YOUR BEST, HERE’S THE BEST IN CUTTING- EDGE CLOTHES
We strategically made our way through the crowded hall and headed for the back of floor one. Some insisted that the SHOT Show was a little less crowded this year. On this particular trek, however, it would have been difficult to convince us.
We arrived at the Vertx booth, and Dave Rhoden greeted us warmly. He led us to their small supply room, where Gator was munching on some “fuel” to get himself through the rest of the day. After a brief conversation, we reminded Dave that we wanted to see the new shirts we had heard so much about. His eyes lit up, as he led us to the Weapon Guard shirts by Vertx.
Rhoden grew up in Florida, where the mugginess was part of everyday life. Eventually, life took him to a Southern California beach community, where the humidity was rare, except when Mexico’s tropical storms invaded the Southland in the summer. Living just a few miles from the Pacific, Rhoden grew accustomed to the cool ocean breeze that popped up virtually every afternoon. But that all changed. When he moved to Tennessee in 2015, he found himself immersed in overpowering humidity again.
“On hot summer days, nobody wants to wear extra layers,” he said. “Pistols can have aggressive stippling. If you’re not wearing an undershirt, the grip rubs your skin and you’ll get a raspberry. Plus, you don't want to transfer your sweat to the firearm. That's just not a good mix.” That got his wheels turning. When 2016 rolled around, he walked into Vertx with prototypes for the new shirts.
The internal weapon guard has several benefits; It reduces layers while providing 360-degree protection for your skin, regardless of the gear you're wearing. It also features 37.5 Technology, said Rhoden, which is a permanent application to the fabric that helps manage your temperature, keeping you cool in hot weather while preventing odor from building up. An added benefit is it also controls the fabric interaction, preventing that static-cling effect you sometimes get wearing multiple layers.
“Your skin is protected,” said Rhoden. “There is no chafing, and the shirts keep you cool.”
On top of everything else, the shirts stretch, so there is no restriction of movement. At all. The shirts are also “wired,” so you can wear comms for surveillance, and the button-up shirts appear to have buttons, but they are actually snaps for quick access to your firearm. The shirts are also missing the branding, which is normally a “dead giveaway” that someone is carrying. Therefore, you won’t see any branding on the external portion of any of the shirts.
When Rhoden pitched the concepts to Vertx, they were in. After some end-user vetting and a little refinement, they went way in.
Now you know why Rhoden’s eyes lit up.