One feature will be attractive to any perspective customer: the back of the shirt appears to be one piece. It actually opens up to a mesh panel, allowing the upper back to be ventilated. For cooler temperatures, the wearer is protected. In the heat, the wearer is relieved.
The shirt also has a hidden key pocket. There are four pen pockets on the right and left shoulders. Our testers found them to be useful and unobtrusive. The two breast pockets have rounded corners and VELCRO closures. The bellows around the edge allowed real-world items in these pockets, not just index cards. The bellows caused the bottom edge of the pockets to curl up a little when used, but wearers easily folded the edges down, and they stayed down. The inside collar has taping with the Magnum logo. This type of taping would look good on all seams, including the pants.
The Magnum Stealth Spec shirt gave the same amount of freedom of movement as a karate uniform without the bagginess. The material is embedded with Arkofix Non-Iron Treatment, which really worked, even after weeks of washing.
The 8.5-ounce fabric of the Magnum Stealth Spec pants is tightly woven cotton and feels similar to coarse denim but is more pliable. The shirt is 6.5-ounce fabric of similar design. The fabric is quiet and the dye is deeply embedded in the threads, making it fade resistant.
We experimented with some of the embedded qualities of the material. First, we attempted to "sun tattoo" the shirt by placing a Spyderco flat on the back of the shirt and leaving it out in the sun for a day. The shirt was unaffected by the sun.
The material also has an antibacterial treatment. We wore them a while without washing, which should be accompanied by "don't try this at home." This quality will be especially critical for officers who don a tac vest over the shirt on call outs, then end up on overtime.
Ready for duty
Our testers worked hard to push the envelope with the Magnum Stealth Spec clothing. One tester spent several days on the range at Gunsite while another went hiking. We put the clothing on duty and took notes. For the working tactical officer, Magnum provided two generous sections of comfort elastic in the pants waistband. Both the shirt and pants proved to be stain resistant and easily washable. They were amenable to full gear, including a vest under the shirt, and were holster friendly.
Magnum Stealth Spec clothing comes with a six-month, no-fade guarantee. After dozens of cycles, neither shirt nor pant showed any color change. They still exhibited their wash-and-wear and wrinkle-resistant attributes.
We expect to see this clothing on tactical teams and special units such as gang intervention officers. The Magnum Stealth Spec line has proven to be a cut above.
Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer who teaches Administration of Justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. In addition to freelance writing, Bertomen teaches military small arms and law enforcement firearms.