More and more, law enforcement and military members are choosing to supplement their provided equipment with personal tactical gear. They’re not doing it for style points – they’re looking for a better fit, more utility, and customized equipment that better suits their needs.
Vel Tye knows a thing or two about customized tactical gear. Here are three things we want you to consider before purchasing your own tactical vest.
- Your threat level should influence your protection grade.
There are six different ‘threat levels’ to consider when choosing a type of protection vest. Beginning with Level 1, each step is designed to protect the wearer against a different range weapon, caliber bullet, and even knife blades. Knowing what kind of threat you might face most often is critical when determining the number and style of plates your vest will need. Finding yourself on the other end of a handgun requires a different kind of protection than the threat of a wild bear.
- Storage is as important as protection.
A tactical vest performs two primary functions: protecting the wearer and storing gear. Storage is an oft-overlooked but critical purpose of a vest, and having improperly-placed or insufficient storage can render the garment less than useful. Before purchasing a vest, consider what you’ll store: extra ammunition? A walkie-talkie? Survival equipment? Your vest will need to have enough pockets to comfortably manage all your extra equipment and those pockets should be usable. Velcro straps provide the most reliable attachment method, although looking for Velcro that’s been ultrasonically-welded to the vest adds even more strength.
- Measurements matter.
Why buy custom tactical gear if it doesn’t fit you like a glove? The best way to ensure your vest fits properly is to send in an outlined pattern based on the manufacturer’s specifications. If that’s not possible, decide whether you’re going to wear your vest over concealable armor. Once you do, measure your chest (arms at your side/widest part of your chest), your waist (at navel height, do not inhale), and over the shoulder (from the front of your belt to the back of your belt, over your shoulder). If you have questions about how to measure, be sure to ask your vest maker before placing your order.
Buying your own tactical vest is an investment in your safety. Vel Tye appreciates the responsibility our customers place in our hands by allowing us to provide them with tactical gear. It’s why we’ve spent so much time getting it just right.
Questions about your own vest? Give us a call.