The Mystique of Tactical Gear

From padded nylon Combat Gear backpacks with straps for carrying rifles to tactical holsters that can accommodate concealed-carry firearms, products bearing the word “tactical” garner a unique mystique. But does this mystique accurately align with the needs of civilian consumers?

On the one hand, there are countless companies contracted to create products explicitly for military use. On the other are consumer brands that generally avoid military associations yet make versatile and durable gear.

Knives & Multitools

A multi-tool knife combines multiple tools and features into a compact, portable design. They normally have a folding knife blade as their primary component, but some also include pliers, screwdrivers, saws, files, and other useful tools. They can save you time and effort by eliminating the need to carry separate tools for various tasks.

Victorinox’s multi-tool knives feature a variety of useful tools, including pliers with replaceable wire cutter blades, a knife, scissors, a file, an awl, and more. They come in several sizes and shapes, so you can find the perfect one for your needs.

For example, the FREE K4 is a knife-based multitool that includes a large straight, 3-inch 420HC steel blade and a package opener, pry tool, and awl. It’s ideal for anyone who wants more capability than a pocket knife, but doesn’t need the extra functionality of pliers. It’s also lighter than a typical Swiss Army knife. You can also find models that allow you to release the knife blade with a single-handed flip.

Gun Belts

Often referred to as gunfighter belts, battle belts, pistol belts, or combat belts these sturdy and rigid options provide the vertical and horizontal strength necessary to support holsters and guns without buckling or sagging. They are typically thicker than regular department store belts and may contain internal stiffeners such as Kydex or steel.

Gun belts are more useful than simply holding your pants up. They keep your holster and handgun in place, reducing both back and hip pain and improving comfort, concealability, and speed of draw. Most belts designed for carrying a gun have a much thicker construction than typical dress belts which is why they don’t fit as snugly and may stretch over time. The ratcheting system on these durable gun belts provides a few sizing points offering new sizing options every couple of millimeters. This flexibility allows you to gain a pound over Christmas or lose weight for a big fight and still have your gear perfectly adjusted.

Tactical Uniforms

Having the right gear is key to performing any job, but it’s especially useful in combat. A soldier’s army Combat Gear uniform, for instance, provides plenty of protection by allowing them to move quickly and cover themselves in case of gunfire or knife attacks.

A tactical vest, meanwhile, gives soldiers some peace of mind by deflecting bullets and shrapnel. It also protects the head from attacks that would otherwise knock them unconscious.

Tactical apparel is designed with military and first responder needs in mind, but it’s easy to see how civilians might want to co-opt the aesthetic. Seeing police officers in their uniforms, for example, can give civilians a sense of safety and security. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the apparel is designed to protect its wearer in a variety of scenarios, from cold and rainy weather to sweltering heat. It should also be comfortable enough to remain in place during a shift without restricting movement or chafing.

Tactical Backpacks

Tactical backpacks are used by the armed forces, so they’re designed for durability and strength. Look for heavy-duty fabrics and stitching, and buckle and zipper closures that are reinforced to withstand frequent use in rough environments.

Determine how much gear you plan to carry in your tactical backpack, as this will directly impact the capacity and organization features of the pack. Consider features like a laptop sleeve, hydration compartment, and MOLLE webbing for customization options.

Also check for special pockets or dividers to stow equipment intuitively and avoid the need to dig at the bottom of the bag. Pen slots are useful for storing writing utensils without them being lost under bulkier items, and document pouches help to protect identification papers and maps from damage and folding.

Look for packs that have easy access pockets to quickly retrieve equipment during a stressful situation. Also assess the shoulder straps and hip belt for a comfortable, ergonomic fit, and ensure they are well padded.

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