Tactical gear is never intended for lifetime use. All top-quality tactical gear like body armor should list an expiration date on the label. This is usually clearly marked to avoid any misunderstandings.
What should you do if your gear is expired?
The following steps will help:
Do Research on Tactical Gear Companies
Once you realize you need new gear, you'll likely turn to Google to find a store with the best discounts. It's true that quality tactical gear isn't always cheap. Yet, you can still find good deals through reputable dealers.
What's most important is not choosing a store at random. Always look at a company’s About Us page to determine if they're reputable. Here are a few things to consider:
- Find out if the company offers National Institute of Justice-certified products. The NIJ is the official source for quality tactical gear, and any store with this certification is guaranteed top quality.
- Ask them if they have real-world experience in the world of military or law enforcement. Avoid companies who are only out to sell products without understanding how tactical gear works in the field.
- Research and make sure their products are Berry compliant. The Berry Amendment is a federal standard that has been around since 1941. All tactical gear products should be compliant to this amendment.
Check the Warranty on the Products
Warranties on tactical gear should be taken seriously. What kind of warranties does the company offer?
When buying gear like ballistic armor, warranties will give you a heads up as to when you may need to replace these products again.
Consider Obtaining a Tactical Gear Grant
Budget concerns might make you feel like you want to wait to buy new tactical gear, despite expiration dates, however continuing to use gear past the expiration date means you may be putting your own safety at risk. What can you do if your budget doesn’t allow for you to purchase the gear you need?
There are several grant opportunities to help you obtain funds for new gear. Each grantor is different, though, so you'll need to shape your grant request based on your own personal needs.
The basic form of a grant request involves a cover letter/summary, your problem statement, your objectives, product descriptions, your budget, and evaluation of future funding.
Adhering to this basic outline will help you make the most compelling statement to avoid any funding rejections.
Work Out the Details to Find the Right Products
Take some time to list the qualifications you need to make sure you find the right type of gear. Doing so will ensure that your grant money is being put to good use.
You'll want to consider things like the weight of the product, and how it affects your mobility during rescue missions or other dangerous situations. Knowing what kind of threats you'll likely be dealing with, or the conditions you'll be working in, will help you determine what kind of gear you will need.
A few other things to consider:
- The types of threats you might face in your career. Analyzing your line of work will do a lot toward narrowing down what kind of gear you need.
- Your physical attributes and the physical attributes of your team. Final decisions about your gear may come down to how tall or short you are compared to the average person in your field.
- How much money you're willing to pay based on the grant money you received.
It pays to ask the tactical gear store you're buying from about their pricing and whether they can provide alternatives to the list price. A well-known trade secret involves calling the manufacturer where they often sell their products at a hidden discount.
Contact us at Vel Tye so we can help you take the next step toward your tactical gear purchase. We'll help you find exactly what you need at a fair price.