>This is a review of the Danner Explorer, style #45200.
I bought these boots for myself in lieu of the Danner Mountain Light as it was out of stock at the time. The boots I ordered were a 11D (standard width). When I received them, they were of course very well manufactured as is any Danner boot. I had previously only bought US made military boots from Danner, so I was slightly concerned about the boots being made overseas. These boots are made in China. I am happy to report that they are extremely well made and there were no manufacturing issues at all with the boot. Danner’s quality assurance team in Portland does and excellent job of only releasing the best.
I put the boots on and found them to be stiff at first. In particular, they were very stiff at the top of the boot around the Achilles tendon. The boot fit very well however. I wear a size 11D dress shoe and these fit very well initially. After wearing the boots for several days, they leather became very soft and supple and I was able to comfortably wear the boots .
After owning the boots for a few weeks, I spent a long weekend outdoors in January for an annual winter camp with friends. The boots worked great, they were warm even though I spent the entire weekend in snow and standing water in 8 degree weather. I also took along several pair of the Danner heavyweight wool socks. Specifically, style #H50118, the Merino Wool Pronghorn sock. These are awesome heavy weigh wool socks and kept my feet toasty warm and dry. The only issue I ran into was wearing these socks with the boots. The extra thickness made the boots incredibly tight and the leather wasn’t stretching to accomodate me! So, I ended up switching boots to my size 11.5D Pronghorn boots, style #42216 to accomodate the thicker socks. The combination of the Pronghorn and the socks was perfect and all I needed in 8 degree farenheit weather!
After the trip, I noticed the leather on the Explorer boots tightened up a bit from the moisture. To alleviate that, I simply rubbed the boots down with Danner’s clear boot dressing. In my youth, I would have called this stuff mink oil paste. It is very similar. It is perfect for conditioning your boots whether old or new. It is what I used during the break in period to get the boot leather supple around the Achilles tendon area. I highly recommend it for keeping the boots new looking and preserving the leather for years to come.
So, my closing rating of the Danner Explorer boots:
Style appeal: Excellent. Perfect boot with jeans in the winter.
Break in period: Longer than expected. Use the clear boot dressing
Overall on a scale of 1-10: 9
>The Tru-Spec Combat Shirt available from Patriot Surplus is Tru Spec’s ‘Combat Shirt’ -style garment which was pioneered by Crye Precision’s Combat Shirt. The shirt has ACU-fabric sleeves combined with a lighter-weight moisture wicking torso baselayer. The shirt is specifically designed for use under gear or body armour. It has been designed around the Army’s new Combat Shirt made by Massif and the USMC’s FROG2 Combat Shirt manufactured by Crye Precision.
The Combat Shirt concept addresses the main issues that personnel encounter when integrating body armour with their uniforms. First, the uniform chest and lower pockets cannot be reached when body armour is worn, rendering them practically useless. Not only is the weight unnecessary if they cannot be used, but they also add folds and bulk under the armour. Pockets are located on the sleeves/shoulders instead, where they can be readily accessed. The second issue is comfort. In hot weather, a standard BDU top under armour is hot and uncomfortable, as it’s usually worn over an additional base layer, and doesn’t breathe well. By having a torso made of a lightweight wicking, breathable baselayer fabric without any pockets, the Combat Shirt eliminates excess material and bulk under gear while increasing comfort when worn under body armour or gear.
The TRU Combat Shirt is made up of two main fabrics – the shoulders/sleeves are either 50/50 NYCO rip-stop (ACU Universal Pattern and MultiCam) or 65/35 poly/cotton (black, khaki and olive drab), and the torso baselayer is 60/40 cotton nylon no melt, no drip Cordura® Baselayer fabric. Cordura® Baselayer – Baselayer is Invista/Cordura’s new next-to-skin fabric that claims exceptional moisture management, comfort and durability while offering no melt/no drip thermal properties. It’s not advertised as fire-resistant nor retardant, but just that it will not melt or drip onto the skin like polyester when exposed to high temperatures. It will act like most other natural fibers like cotton or wool and provide limited insulation against flame/flash fires.
- 50/50 nyco rip-stop sleeves with 60/40 cotton nylon no melt, no drip Cordura® brand Baselayer (ACUPAT/Foliage and MULTICAM®/Sand)
- 65/35 polyester cotton rip-stop sleeves with 60/40 cotton nylon no melt, no drip Cordura® brand Baselayer (Black/Black, Khaki/Khaki and Olive Drab/Olive Drab)
- Moisture wicking, lightweight and breathable torso – The Cordura® brand Baselayer fabric is thin and very lightweight.
- It’s smooth and very comfortable.
- No shoulder seams to minimize rubbing and chaffing
- Mock turtle neck for comfort – this protects the neck from armour rubbing on it, while being more low profile than a Mandarin stand-up collar.
- Zippered sleeve storage pockets – Each shoulder has an 8″ x 8″ pocket sewn to it with top zipper access.
- Anti-abrasion padded elbow patch – An oval, very lightly padded elbow patch protects the elbow from light knocks and scrapes.
- Gusseted sleeves – underarm gussets for increased comfort and range of motion when lifting arms.
- Glint tape holder for IR tape on left shoulder – A tab conceals and protects an IR square and can be secured to expose it.
- Loop on right sleeve pockets for attaching name tape, rank square and flag patch.
- Hook-and-loop cuff closures