Vel Tye Tactical Gear News


5 Things to Know About Purchasing Tactical Gear for 2019

March 12, 2019
By Vel Tye

BeFunky-photo (11)

With unlimited choices in styles and brands of tactical gear and equipment, it is really easy to get lost in all of the options. Most often consumers are swayed by the latest trends or popularity of tactical clothing and accessories on social media. To help you better navigate these decisions, here are several key factors to keep in mind when purchasing gear and equipment.  

Mission Adaptable

Your profession and your daily operational needs will determine what type of protection to purchase. Are you a law enforcement officer, military personnel, emergency services technician, or security officer? Defining your occupational concerns is the first step in searching for the right gear. A few key things to consider are:

  • Durability

  • Flexibility

  • Need

  • Cost

Needs may change from year to year. If you have been wearing an older tactical vest and are in search of a replacement, it is important to consider your current operational and training needs. Whether your mindset, equipment or work environment has changed, it is important to consider these details during your decision making process.

Research, Reassess, and Inspect

How you function in your daily operations will be key to finding the right gear and fit. Belt loop placement, enclosures, fabric and weight are all simple things that hold a great deal of importance. Do you have a strong preference for, or aversion to, anything in particular?  Ask yourself these questions and speak with your teammates to find out what works, and doesn’t work for them. Advice from co-workers, as well as manufacturers, will help you avoid short-lived trends or overpriced gear that doesn’t function properly or provide the promised protection. Here are some things you will need to know before placing an order with a manufacturer:

  • Your precise measurements

  • How you plan to use the gear

  • The amount of equipment your vest needs to accommodate

  • The armor rating required for your specific line of work (NIJ-I, II-A, II, III-A, III, and IV)

Reassess and inspect the state of your current equipment. The average lifespan of a tactical vest is generally 5 years. If you have never replaced or inspected your gear, here are a few things to look for:

  • Creases or tears in the fabric

  • Odor

  • Burns

  • Straps that are starting to stretch

  • Velcro that is not securing properly

  • Faded fabric or sun damage

  • The issue and/or warranty date from manufacturer

During your inspection also check your armor. Like tactical vests, armor has a lifespan . Exposure to extreme temperatures, sunlight, and moisture can break down the ballistic integrity of your armor.

Look at the issue date on your armor panels. Vel Tye can trace your current armor, and then design and construct custom armor for your specific needs, ensuring a lightweight system and NIJ-certified protection.

Ask Questions

A common myth about ballistic gear is that it is bulletproof. Ballistic wear is not bulletproof, it is bullet resistant. Understanding the capabilities of the fabric and armor being used is extremely important when purchasing tactical gear. Remember that this equipment is designed to protect you from harm, and even save your life if needed, so choosing quality-made gear is worth the investment.

Ultimately, it is most cost effective to purchase the correct gear the first time. Manufacturers are happy to answer your questions, and will likely have questions for you to ensure you are fitted with the right gear. Read up on tactical gear that is currently available, contact the manufacturer, ask questions, and watch videos, so that you can make your purchase with confidence. Some questions you may want to ask when speaking with the manufacturer are:

  • Is there a warranty?

  • Can the vest be returned?

  • Are they NIJ( National Institute of Justice) certified?

  • What have their clients said about their gear? Do they have testimonials?


Consider your mission needs, do your research, assess, inspect, and ask questions when preparing to purchase your tactical gear and equipment. The goal is to find gear that is durable, protective, comfortable, and brings you home each day.     

Whether you're looking for a completely custom-fitted piece of equipment or a full range of tactical gear for your professional team, Vel Tye has you covered. We're experts in efficient, effective tactical gear, feel free to contact us and let our team help you. Call us at 757-318-7240 to get started.