There’s a huge difference between tactical gear and high quality tactical gear; that difference could stand between you and serious injury or death. If you’re in the market for quality tactical equipment to supplement your duty kit, how can you know you’re purchasing top-of-the-line gear? It’s particularly tough when you’re buying online, unable to touch and see the items before you order.
Here are a few ways to identify high-quality tactical gear when searching online.
Look for Build Quality
What does that mean, exactly? The way your gear is made determines how well it will hold up in a dangerous combat situation. There are miles of difference between gear that’s been churned out by a machine and handmade gear produced by skilled, experienced workers. If a tactical gear company makes a point to tell you about their exemplary employees and production process online, listen. The companies that don’t mention it? They’re the ones that may be taking shortcuts for cost-savings.
Notice the Clientele
A gear brand speaks directly to its customer base online. If a company’s gear is aimed towards military and law enforcement personnel, you can bet it’s high quality. Remember that professionals literally depend on their gear for their lives, and tactical companies won’t last long if they’re manufacturing sub-par gear. Look for terms like “veteran-owned,” “military-grade,” and “duty-tested.”
Pay Attention to Materials
Tactical gear is only as good as the materials its constructed from. Reputable gear providers use field-tested materials such as CORDURA® fabric. Weight-for-weight, CORDURA® is a best-in-class fabric that’s suitable for a variety of technical applications, but its presence alone isn’t enough to ensure durability. High-use items such as tactical vests should be made of 1000D CORDURA® or stronger; smaller items such as utility pouches should be made of 400D CORDURA® or better. Lower-quality products might rely on the brand recognition of 100-200D CORDURA® fabric or other nylon materials, but these products will inevitably fall apart with heavy use.
Research & Development
Great tactical gear companies aren’t in it for the money. They’re out to create reliable, comfortable products that can make the hard jobs of America’s bravest tacticians easier. To that end, these companies are often the ones spending the most on research and development in the never-ending quest for improvement. If a company consistently puts out new products, upgrades versions of existing products, or produces special order equipment, they’re paying attention to the consumer, not the bottom line.
What is the Goal?
Does the online brand speak to the user experience of its products? Words like “comfort” and “fit” and “protection level” are a great indicator that a company cares about the quality of its gear. At the end of the day, tactical experts don’t buy more than once from a company that makes sub-standard gear. If a company has been in business for years and has solid testimonials you can bet its reputation has been well-earned.