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5.11 Sabre Jacket

This entry was posted by on Sunday, 11 April, 2010 at

The guys at 5.11 Tactical have done it again – deliver some valuable piece of equipment that, once you have it, you’ll never leave home without. The Sabre Jacket is windproof, waterproof and all in all durable.

This jacket has many pockets. Let’s start with the two on the belly, lined with a soft fleece they can be used to keep your hands warm or carry stuff. They can be closed with a durable YKK zipper, a small flap prevents water from entering the zippers.

Then there’s two pockets on the chest (outside) and one on each sleeve. These pockets have waterproof YKK zippers. The sleeve pockets easily hold items like a mobile phone or a couple of energy bars in case you may get hungry.

On the inside there is a zippered pocket on the left and a pocket with velcro to the right. They can easily hold a wallet, documents, mags and the like.

There are two flaps on the front and one on the back which are stored internal but can be taken out to show any label on them – being ‘security’, FBI or whatever. The flaps are black and a label can be sewn on, they are attached with velcro and can easily be removed (like I have done in my setup).

As a matter of fact, the pockets in which these flaps are stored are themselves quite handy pockets. The two on the chest are just above (and behind) the outside chest pockets and can easily fit gloves (I use them for my SOLAGs when I’m not using them, here‘s a review on those). The large pocket on the back opens up into the lining of the jacket and may be used for carrying documents, though since it is inside the lining it is quite large and whatever you put into it can slide any way.

The sides (under the arms) open up all the way either from the bottom or top. The former is handy when you need access to whatever gear you carry on your belt, the latter is nice for ventilation.

The jacket is so warm that I wear it all winter (yes, with a sweater as added insulation) and whenever it rains. No more sticky raincoats, this thing works. The collar comes up high enough to keep out the wind and a hood can be fitted. Though I hardly use the hood (prefer a boonie hat instead, review can be found here). I did use the hood during a winter rally in the Belgian Ardennes. It performs well even with plenty of rain and wind, and even on the highway it stays put (driving an open car).

The fabric of this jacket is wind- and waterproof, yet still breathable. I use it a lot when I’m on my bike and I found out the pockets are not just to store stuff – when you open a zipper you also get extra ventilation! I have a special bicycle jacket which – supposedly – has excellent ventilation but performance is nowhere near the Sabre.

The only drawbacks are the velcro wrist straps, they don’t stay closed and are cumbersome in any environment. I have glued them together and now they are less of a hassle. The cuffs also have elastic bands, these are enough to keep the wind out, and close tightly around your gloves to keep foreign objects out.


  1. 5.11 Sabre 2.0 – numerous improvements! @ Freeminded.org

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