The Ultimate Breakdown Of Tactical Gear
Everything from pants to plate carriers is driven by a mission and purpose. In this context, we are talking about the tools and workwear of our military and law enforcement agencies.
While you may wear a shirt to accentuate your demeanor, tactical gear is worn to store extra ammo and magazines, or to provide some level of fire protection, or to facilitate the use of a hip-carried firearm.
Tactical Gear: Purpose and mission-driven gear for the military, law enforcement, and first responders.
A very long time ago, tactical gear was carried by those who actually needed it. Of course times have changed and now we see tactical gear on everyone who just wants to wear it and can afford it.
History Of Tactical Equipment
When Did The Term “tactical Equipment” First Appear?
The term “tactical gear” was coined as a marketing ploy to circulate surplus military gear without labeling it military. This made the gear more attractive to more people, which helped marketers sell even more of it.
Over time, the equipment gained popularity. Top brand suppliers – including the company 5.11 – took advantage of the opportunities presented by this growing demand. Meanwhile, special forces, such as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, expressed specific wants and needs for tactical equipment.
Variations on products developed for the FBI and others were soon used by regular police forces. From there, tactical gear made its way to first responders and eventually to civilians. In fact, today, police officers, first responders, and civilians account for a large portion of the revenue generated from tactical gear.
The Development Of Tactical Equipment
Tactical gear has evolved over the decades along with warfare and technology. The expansion of tactical gear into the civilian market is the latest turning point in the evolution of this product category.
The desire for further innovation of tactical equipment and the robust competitiveness of the market will keep the development of these products moving forward.
When Did The Term Tactical Pants First Appear?
Dan Costa is considered the godfather of tactical pants. He and his business partner Francisco Morales founded 5.11, a company that takes its name from mountaineering jargon. In 1992, they were invited to a meeting at the FBI’s 1,200-acre training academy on a sprawling Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.
The FBI asked Costa and Morales to visit Quantico so they could talk about 5.11’s cargo-style pants.
So it was that numerous FBI instructors and trainees used these pants and fell in love with them. As a result, the FBI wanted to make them standard equipment throughout the agency.
The 5.11 team was commissioned to create an FBI-specific, feature-rich version of the pants – and so the tactical pants were born as a new product category.
The cargo and tactical pants are the same in that both have deep pockets. But that’s where their similarities end. Tactical pants have deep pockets and are designed with reinforced stitching to withstand the weight of a carried weapon and a heavy weapon belt. They are also usually made of ripstop material and contain padded knees.
In the early 1990s, 5.11 pants were considered revolutionary. Since then, however, tactical pants have evolved dramatically. Beyond the requirement to provide essential features such as pocket capacity, knee protection and durability, today’s tactical pants must above all provide excellent comfort.
It was in 2012 that tactical gear made an enormous leap. That year, UF PRO introduced its P-40 tactical pants. Now considered a true classic, the extraordinary P-40 ditched the then-conventional bagginess of tactical pants and replaced it with a special hybrid cut.
In 2012, tactical gear made a huge leap. This year, UF PRO introduced its P-40 tactical pants. The extraordinary P-40, which is still considered a real classic today, has left behind the bagginess of tactical pants that was common at the time and replaced it with a special hybrid cut.
This innovation retained the functionality that bagginess offers, while giving the pants superior mobility.
The hybrid fit was made possible by incorporating one of the leading brands of stretch fabric into the seat of the pant. This fabric from the Swiss manufacturer Schoeller is known for its extreme robustness and excellent stretch properties.
Now in 2020, the fabric and hybrid fit – along with the pant’s unique anatomical cut, functional pocket configuration and modular knee protection system – have helped position the P-40 as an industry standout, a benchmark to beat is applicable.
Coining Of The Term “combat Shirt”
Immediately after 9/11, the US once again prepared for war in the deserts of the Middle East. This time, however, American forces would fight in novel clothing and redesigned camouflage.
Desert Multicam and Nomex fireproof combat shirts became an integral part of US Army uniforms in January 2007.
Looking to the future, the next generation of combat shirt fabrics could be ballistic resistant. Researchers use combinations of fibers and filaments to create fabrics strong enough to prevent penetration by low-velocity projectiles.
From Cargo To Combat Pants
Cargo pants were popularized by the entertainment and music industries. Bands like Pantera and even hip-hop artists wore them on stage. These pants were popular for their functionality but also for their ability to make a fashion statement.
However, combat pants are not about making fashion statements. It’s about the success of the mission
The combat pant revolution began with a soldier modernization program called Objective Force Warrior, one of many similar initiatives in the 1990s.
Objective Force Warrior gave Crye Precision the opportunity to embark on a journey of building high quality combat clothing – specifically combat pants – in collaboration with the Juggernaut Defense and Artisent.
It was this work with combat attire, carry capability and armor components that opened the door for Crye to develop the Modern Soldier System and inspired elements such as the integrated knee pads (which are still used in the manufacturer’s G3 and G4 combat trousers to this day) .
Crye has long dominated the combat pants market and has become a favorite choice of the Special Ops community. For many years it seemed that the market consisted entirely of Crye combat pants and competitor imitations.
That all changed around 2015 when predominantly European law enforcement agencies switched to UF PRO’s Striker combat pants.
What Is The Future Of Tactical Equipment?
With the explosive growth of the EDC crowd, tactical gear manufacturers – new and old – will be scrambling to create what they hope will be the most talked about product innovation on the market.
Accordingly, they now regularly present their latest products at major trade fairs and exhibitions.
Tactical Gear Most Commonly Used By Professionals
Mobility is crucial for professionals. In order to be mobile, boots are among the most important equipment for professionals.
A well designed and intelligently engineered pair of tactical boots will allow their wearer to traverse many types of terrain with minimal strain and risk of injury. From attack to retreat, a good pair of boots will always get you in the right direction.
Characteristics of neat boots include:
- Lightweight design
We can credit the increasing and global television coverage of active shooter situations for everyone recognizing the vital role protective vests play in saving lives.
The modern armor vest can be worn in a plate carrier or placed in special pockets of tactical shirts and vests. She’s become so versatile.
A body armor is rated on its ability to stop certain types of projectiles. The ratings are provided by the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ). There are five levels of NIJ assessment.
Capable of stopping low-velocity 9mm and .40 caliber pistol bullets.
Provides protection from higher caliber, high-velocity projectiles from 9mm to .357 Magnum.
Stops bullets up to .44 magnum size. This is a thicker and heavier level of body armor that feels durable. Level IIIA armor is also used in Kevlar vests and other non-wearable bulletproof elements.
Can stop rifle rounds, including 7.62 caliber bullets from an AK-47. Typically made of hard plates, Tier III armor is significantly bulkier and heavier.
Prevents penetration of armor-piercing rounds up to .30 caliber. This performance is usually achieved through the use of thick hardboards designed to be attached to a beam. Intended for war or heated gunfights, Tier IV armor is so heavy that only professionals with sufficient strength and endurance can use it.
In recent years there has been a market expansion of tactical backpacks for professionals and civilians.
Regardless of who they’re marketed to, these bags share certain commonalities – from the MOLLE webbing to the morale patch Velcro.
For example, almost all tactical backpacks have straps for carrying guns. They are also commonly fitted with hidden zippered pockets for unobtrusively carrying firearms.
These bags also have a profound organizational capacity – namely the ability to carry a lot of gear. They also sometimes feature expandability and space for water pouches, as well as body armor plates.
Wearing things that shoot bullets is just as important as wearing things that stop them. That’s why holsters are another key component of tactical gear.
The best holsters give you an edge by giving you quick and easy access to your gun. Holsters can be designed for either overt or concealed carry and can be constructed to attach to your waistband (inside or outside), your shoulder or your lower legs.
The design and purpose of a tactical belt is to support the weight of whatever items you attach to it – holsters, guns, pouches, cases, and just about anything else you’d rather not have to carry in your hands all the time.
Remember what we said earlier about purposeful clothing? Purposeful clothing is what you wear to blend in with your environment and to perform at your best in that environment.
That means the clothes are designed to keep you warm (or cool), comfortable and chafe-free – even if you have to wear them for days without a chance to wash them.
We’re thinking camouflage shirts to blend in with your surroundings and cargo pants to carry gear.
Rocky walls, climbing ropes, or even just digging holes can cause serious damage to your hands over time. For this reason, gloves are an important part of tactical equipment.
The sturdier they are made, the better job they do to protect your hands. (The equivalent of a good pair of gloves are good tactical socks to protect your feet).
Some tactical gloves come with padded knuckles for close-range combat.
You need to be on time if you’re a purpose-driven professional. So it stands to reason that you must wear a high-quality tactical wristwatch.
Tactical watches are built to last. The latest models can even monitor biometric data, telling you everything about heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature and other useful information about the current state of your body.
What Does “tacticool” Stand For?
The term “tactical cool” describes the fusion between the tactical community and the fast-growing EDC crowd – people who want to blur the line between willingness and sociability.
In other words, Tacticool is an expression that evokes a desire to forgo fully stealth BDUs in favor of wearing khaki tactical pants that look just as good in the office as they do on the field.
People who are tacticool see tactical gear as everyday and stylish attire without making it look like survivalists or freshly discharged veterans.
However, please keep in mind that there may actually be high fashion items in tactical gear. This could be a nice hat with a tactical themed logo. Or it could just be any piece of gear that tells the world about your tactical readiness.
Born out of military necessity, tactical gear has since become a popular choice for those looking to play the EDC card or just want to look it up.
From backpacks to boots, tactical equipment has been modified for civilian use – and the quality is constantly improving.
It can be expected that the popularity of tactical equipment will continue to increase, not only because the products are getting better and more diverse.
It’s also due to the reality of the threats in our modern world – the fact is that people have a growing desire to be equipped to protect themselves and their families during these trying times.
What else can be said about the tactical equipment? Well, it’s built to last. It is also designed for weapon-carrying, which is ultimately its core function (civilians attuned to stealthy item-carrying and self-defense benefit from this particular trait of tactical gear).
Throughout history, civilizations have adopted clothing that mimicked the fighters and the fittest in their society. Today is no different. As a result, you can rely on the trends surrounding tactical gear and the market that has emerged to keep them happy and not going away anytime soon.