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Choosing Tactical Gear

From camouflage to body armour, Combat Gear is designed for military-grade wear. It’s designed to withstand harsh impacts and repeated use, so it needs to be tough.

Companies market tactical gear to a wide customer base that spans veterans, CrossFit athletes, bow hunters and dads. The gear often touts a military theme with oblique callbacks to war and survival situations.


Every weapon and piece of armor has a Durability value which determines how much damage it can take before being broken. This is an important statistic to pay attention to when selecting gear, especially for longer missions where a high chance of combat and long periods of time spent wearing the gear may degrade it quickly.

Durability is typically a result of the materials from which the gear is constructed: tactical pants often include gussets to provide mobility, military boots use premium leather or ballistic cordura nylon and gloves are reinforced with thermoplastic rubber. Inspecting the craftsmanship of the equipment can also indicate durability; look for even stitching, well-finished edges and proper alignment of pockets and compartments.

Regularly repairing equipment is also helpful to maintain its durability. Whenever equipped gear takes Durability damage, it is degraded and will need to be repaired (look for NPCs with an anvil icon on the minimap). This can be done at any Blacksmith in exchange for gold.


In the same way, the gear military personnel wear must be lightweight to help them move quickly and maneuver across strategic distances. It must also be designed to withstand a range of environments and conditions, including deserts, jungles and mountains.

Whether they’re trying to find an exit from a firefight or escape an advancing sniper, soldiers can’t afford for their equipment to slow them down. This is why tactical pants have gussets strategically placed to make sure they don’t hinder movement, and backpacks feature load-bearing straps that are as durable as possible.

Some companies – including 5.11 Tactical — are comfortable marketing self-defense and combat-adjacent products to civilians, though they’re still known mostly to members of the military and law enforcement. Other brands such as Carhartt, Ministry of Supply and Outlier have a more mixed customer base, acknowledging that many of their products can be used both for on-duty and off-duty purposes.

Range of Motion

In addition to being designed for comfort, military-grade gear is often built with a full range of motion in mind. Tight clothing that restricts or irritates a soldier can slow him down, making it more difficult to perform his job.

Tactical gear is also designed to accommodate the Army’s diverse body size and shape. The PEO Soldier team conducts human factor evaluations to ensure that equipment fits properly and is comfortable. Soldiers at Fort Drum, for example, tested the ballistic armor components of the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) and the Ballistic Combat Shirt (BCS).

While drawing a line between responsible and detrimental marketing practices in the tactical gear industry is challenging, it is clear that many brands are growing increasingly comfortable framing their products towards civilian populations. This trend could be at least partly attributed to macro social and economic forces that are blurring the lines between on- and off-duty demands for self-defense and combat-related products.


When choosing tactical gear, it’s important to prioritize mobility and comfort. This ensures you have the ability to operate efficiently in high-stress situations. It also helps reduce fatigue during long operations. Additionally, it’s important to practice with your gear regularly and gradually increase the complexity of your training scenarios. This will help you master the equipment and become more confident using it under pressure.

Law enforcement professionals face challenging tasks on a daily basis, and require gear that will allow them to perform their duties with confidence and efficiency. This is why 5.11 Tactical offers cutting-edge solutions that enhance performance and safety for law enforcement personnel.

While the definition of Combat Gear varies across agencies and departments, the core ideas remain the same. From the clothes on officers’ backs to the tools in their hands, there are now a variety of ingenious safety and tactical gear options available that are perfectly tailored to an agency’s needs.

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