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What To Look For When Purchasing Tactical Clothing and Gear

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At first sight, tactical gear may appear to be simple, cargo-storing clothing. However if you take a closer look you will find there is a lot of strategy put into the creation of quality tactical equipment. Today, tactical apparel is worn by protective services such as the military and police and it is crucial that the gear meets the needs of the wearer at all times. The primary purpose of U.S. made tactical gear is protection, mobility and efficiency, with rapid access to tools, ammunition and first aid supplies via perfectly placed and designed storage.

Tactical clothing should be ultra-durable and reinforced with bar-tacks (a group of closely sewn back-and-forth stitches) and gussets (a bit of fabric sewn into a seam-line to provide depth to the sewn product). Mobility is a huge factor in choosing the proper tactical gear as tactical operations usually involve stealth and speed. If you are going to be crawling, swimming, climbing, running, or otherwise, take this into consideration regarding the fabric and construction of your gear. Gusseted crotch pants are a smart choice for very active users as they reduce chafing when crouching, marching and jumping. Reinforced patches on high wear areas like knees and elbows to stop are a good preventative decision. Look for gear made of modern nylon materials and ripstop fabric that prevents tearing. Consider the temperature you will be in. If you are in a hot place you can choose lightweight, breathable, synthetic gear to stay cool or if you are in a cold locale you can wear a thicker, heavier cloth. As always a layered approach is best in cold weather and best accomplished using a variety of fabric types.

If you engage in a variety of tactical scenarios that require different equipment load-outs, modularity is something to consider. Tactical training obviously needs rugged support gear with lots of pockets with easy access for tools, weapons and supplies. Think about the type of gear you plan to carry and buy the right pouches and pockets for your needs. MOLLE style tactical equipment is popular and allows you to rearrange things as your needs and equipment change. There is a MOLLE pouch for anything and everything, even a tactical coffee cup holder! Look for gear constructed to military specifications (Mil-Spec) and you won’t go wrong.

Good tactics dictate that the gear should match the surrounding environment. Don’t pick clothing and or camouflage patterns that stick out like a sore thumb in a scenario where you need to blend in. Someone walking down a city street in full on MultiCam will garner a lot of unwanted attention compared to the guy wearing blue jeans and a heavy black jacket that conceals a lightweight chest rig containing a basic mission oriented load. New innovations in U.S. made tactical gear are producing gear that looks just like regular clothing and are being adopted by the value-oriented non-tactical crowd for their versatility and ruggedness.

With tactical gear in a lot of cases, you get what you pay for. The more the gear costs the more likely it is made with quality durable components like strong zippers, coated and densely woven cloth, weather proofing and sturdier threads. Foreign made gear designed for the Airsoft-value oriented buyers will not stand the test of time with hard usage. Buckles break, cloth frays and stitches unravel. Many people trying to save a buck by purchasing cheap unrepairable tactical apparel often end up buying replacement gear. Like grandpa always said, “buy once and cry once.” In this case, your life may depend on it.