It's hardly surprising that terms such as tactical equipment or tactical gear make people think about things like multicam tactical vests with ammunition pouches worn by soldiers and SWAT team members. But just because something was designed with these users in mind doesn't mean those products are not of interest to people in other categories. In fact, going for 'tactical' products may well be a good choice for those looking for rugged and hard-wearing clothes and equipment for other use as well. While not always the case, going the 'tactical' route can often be the best way to get value for money. Let's take a look at some of these products.
- Clothes. Many people wouldn't think of looking to tactical suppliers for quality clothes, put off by the thought of these clothes looking too 'military'. Not true. A personal favorite of mine for example, is the 'tactical pants' made by 5.11 Tactical. These are basically your typical cargo pants; simple cotton pants with lots of useful pockets. The difference from your regular, 'civilian' manufacturer is that these pants are extremely hard-wearing. They come in a range of different colors, so you're not stuck with an olive drab 'military' design.
- Footwear. Not much to say on this one. Military and law enforcement personnel spend a lot of time walking and standing, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that companies supplying these categories can only get away with being best in class, or they'll find themselves losing market-shares quickly. As for the look being too 'military' - well a boot is a boot, and now most come in khaki which looks more civilian than black leather.
- Bags. Tactical suppliers make everything from laptop bags to large rucksacks, and as is the case with footwear, these products simply have to be of high quality and be comfortable even when carrying heavy loads in order to impress the intended users. And again, many of these products are made in discreet colors such as khaki or black, which won't stand out as 'tactical'.
- Belts and pouches. Police and military personnel carry a lot of stuff with them. Flashlights, handcuffs, radio, etc. These items are usually put in pouches that attach to a tactical vest, a chest-rig or some form of load-carrying duty belt. While few people would probably go around wearing a chest rig, attaching a number of pouches in various sizes to a sturdy nylon belt makes sense for a lot of people who carry tools around with them for work. Again, particularly with products aimed at the law enforcement segment, these often come in black and won't stand out.