Tactical gear is an investment in your safety. You’ve spent time and money building a foundation of supportive, resilient gear, but if you’re not taking care of it properly, it won’t last as long as it could. At Vel Tye, we specialize in VELCRO-enabled tactical gear and body armor, and we’ve seen far too many customers inadvertently ruin their own equipment.
Here are three tips to live by for maintaining your VELCRO tactical gear.
- Check and follow the temperature guidelines on your gear.
Every element of tactical gear comes with guidelines for temperature limits. These exist for a reason. Most of Vel Tye’s tactical elements are made using military-grade VELCRO which is extremely heat and cold tolerant, but it’s important to check which range your hook-and-loop fasteners are graded for. Storing your gear at a temperature that’s too hot can cause the polyethylene and/or polypropylene in the materials to warp, reducing its fastening strength over time. VELCRO that gets too cold can become brittle and its hooks and loops can actually break off upon separating.
- Minimize overuse and exposure to light.
Like any material, VELCRO will eventually wear out over time no matter its grade. Hook-and-loop fasteners typically last for somewhere around 20,000 uses, but certain elements of your gear – the adjustment straps, the front closure – are bound to be used more than others. When possible, avoid fastening and then re-fastening your VELCRO pieces to extend your gear’s life. Likewise, wearing your gear (or storing it) in the sun can degrade its efficacy over time. UV light can cause the hooks and loops to become brittle and break off, so avoid storing your gear outdoors or in your vehicle where sunlight can hit it.
- Clean your gear regularly.
You should be regularly cleaning your VELCRO gear to extend its lifespan just as you would clean your firearm, your shoes, and your cuffs. Over time, debris, hair, and dirt will build up in both the hook and loop sides of VELCRO. This is normal. Clean at least once a month to ensure the strips still stick securely, first by pulling larger pieces of refuse out with your fingers or tweezers. If the grime is deeply embedded, use a clean toothbrush to “massage” each side of the VELCRO and loosen the unwanted debris. Never expose your VELCRO fasteners to any chemical cleaning solvents as these may weaken the adhesive bond.
Questions about the longevity of your VELCRO gear? Vel Tye is your tactical gear expert and we’re ready to talk to you today. Give us call at 757-318-7240.