Steiner Optics is one of the most reputable optics companies on the market; they have been manufacturing some of the finest glasses for decades. With great attention to quality and detail, Steiner stands behind their product with extensive field-testing and quality control.
In many situations, being able to see beyond the human eye capability is key for planning and decision-making. Even if we have great-magnified optics mounted on rifles and carbines it’s not always possible to point them in any direction; especially in urban environments, where a long weapon may not be available and the binocular may be the only vision enhancement available.
Other than in surveillance and navigation, a compact 8 x binocular could be used for many other defensive tasks. From a civilian point of view, items like the Steiner T824 could be easily
carried in a EDC backpack or sling and it could be very helpful in dangerous contingencies. In an active shooter situation occurring in a public location, after having deployed the concealed carry weapon and having assessed the situation (and the distance from the shooter), a compact binocular could be utilized to provide precious intel on suspect to the first responders and the authorities.
The Steiner T824 is one of the most rugged binoculars on the market. The body is entirely covered with a rubber mold for shock absorption, while the N2 filled lenses proved waterproofness and antifogging. Quality of sight and toughness are just mandatory when dealing with companies like Steiner.
The most impressive feature of the T824 was the size of the whole product. Keeping in mind all the features that we have listed above this product is incredibly small; and furthermore easily deployable to many different situations and environments.
In the world of optics you often have to finder a compromise between size (lightweight and compact) and optical performance; the Steiner T824 provides a crystal clear 8x image in one of the smallest and lightest binocular system on the market.
The ruggedness and quality of the T824 is exceptional; after more than six months of hard everyday use it does not show any sign of weakness or failure. The rubberized coating makes this optic is almost indestructible, it has fallen several times from various heights and it did not break or scratch. The N2 filled optics are very effective against fogging, even during high intensity activities (in both freezing winter and humid summer) they keep a crystal clear transparency.
On the range this compact pair of tactical binoculars have showed to be more useful than we thought. When you are working on carbines and handguns on a flat range, you usually tend to leave the spotting scope at home; unless you are focusing on specific long-range shooting sessions. The Steiner T824 are compact and lightweight enough to be always included in your range bag and they can be very useful for some quick check on the target without having the whole range going cold.
The Steiner T824 is the smallest model (in both price and dimensions) of the line of tactical binocular. The Tactical series of Steiner binoculars include optics from 8 x 24 up to 10 x 42, available either with or without reticle.
For more information, please visit the Steiner Optics website
Whether you are an operator overseas or a civilian carrying a concealed handgun at the mall, one of the most important aspects of urban operations is blending in. Camouflage is a interesting subject when it comes to being unnoticed to the human eye. How it works in the wilderness is clear to everybody, and we are not here to discuss that; but as soon as you reach civilization, it becomes a more complicated.
Two of the main aspects of urban “blending in” techniques are:
- Try to move with the crowds and avoid seeking any attention
- Dress casual and stay away from camo gear.
In this article, we will focus on the second category: dressing casual (or in conjunction with the environment).
As of 2016, a good portion of the world shares some common “fashions” or “dress codes”. One color or piece of clothing that is well distributed and utilized throughout the globe is denim; this makes our job at “disappearing” much easier.
In the past years there has been a good variety of jackets, button shirts and even shoes on the market specifically designed for the tactical/performance segment of the market (concealed carry or “covert operations”); but casual pants were missing from this selection.
For a long time there has been a very wide gap between tactical pants and casual denim; the first being versatile and comfortable during high performance activities but with a lack of casual aesthetics, while the second being the exact opposite. Now Triple Aught Design has made the right connection between these two much separated segments of market.
The Intercept PD pants are extremely well crafted and are made in the United States. Triple Aught Design has really focused a lot of attention in quality and design through the development of this product. The Performance Denim comes from America’s oldest working denim mill, from North Carolina, and it is woven with 1% elastane for better comfort during high performance activities.
As far as pocket usability the Intercept PD are basically a pair of Cargo pants that look like jeans; it is as simple as that. The five traditional pockets provide a classic look and feel to the product, while closer to the belt line are placed the 4 concealed pockets, designed with performance and weight bearing in mind. The close proximity of the pockets to the waist allows the user to carry heavier items (spare mags, multi-tools, flashlight, medical kits and much more) without any movement limitation, even while seated.
The Intercept PD are engineered with noise reduction in mind: instead of the classic zipper TAD has implemented a button closure of the groin (to avoid any noise of metallic moving parts) while the 9 pockets are deep and kept close to the user’s body by the elastic fabric, reducing any sort of movement of the content.
The belt loops are large and heavy-duty, which is vital for carrying a tactical belt (especially with a holster, both Inside the Waistband and Outside the Waistband). Triple Aught Design has applied hidden triple needle stitching and bartacks throughout the whole product. Applied on the two front pockets is the TAD diamond reinforcement to protect from premature wear from knives, tools or flashlight clips.
With the Intercept Performance Denim TAD is delivering a product of which the development really revolved around the operator. If you are looking for a way to disappear from the radar in an urban environment you should really add the Intercept Performance Denim to your list, they are worth each and every penny.
For more information please visit Triple Aught Design’s website: store.tripleaughtdesign.com/Intercept-PD-Pant
The Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit NOW! is an emergency access medical kit that can be quickly deployed. It is designed to hold the medical contents of the Armed Forces IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) but it can also be customized by the user to be suited for every environment.
The medical pouch is one of the most important pieces of equipment that an operator can carry. It has to withstand hostile environments, be rugged and easily accessible so high-quality is the first priority.
For many years there have been different types of medical kits on the market but most of them are not, in our opinion, suited for emergency situations. Most of these kits are organized kits designed to be attached to the webbing of backpacks or vests.
The biggest issue with internally organized medical pouches attached with PALS webbing is the difficulty with the application and the handling of the medical components. Usually, when attached on a full kit, the medical pouch tends to be mounted at the 6 o’clock position on the battle belt or on the sides of the plate carrier; sometimes in this position it is hard to look and access directly the content under the stress of an emergency.
The alternative for a long time has been to carry a standard pouch with all the medical content loose inside, which does not ensure success in finding what needed.
This new philosophy of use applied to medical kits seems to have caught the eye of both military personnel and civilians.
Blue Force Gear has decided to utilize the “blowout” system for their Trauma Kit. What sets this product apart from others similar on the market is the ruggedness and the lightweight of the pouch. After the release of a version made of standard 500 denier fabric they have decided to apply their patented Helium Whisper material. The inner supply carriage has been redesigned and constructed out of laser cut ULTRAcomp to reduce the thickness of the fabric while maintaining shape and strength.
One though shared throughout the military and firearms community is that the medical kit should be the first to put on and the last to take off. It is obvious that with this mindset the light weight and the comfort for prolonged use is ideal.
The kit can be quickly and easily deployed with the external pull tab, which contains a small weight. The medical sign color can be changed from red to black within seconds to ensure the perfect requirement for every situation or environment. It is extremely important that the content is secured to the pouch during the deployment, to ensure this Blue Force Gear has applied a very robust high quality elastic keeper.
In the assortment of the medical content we took in consideration both the needs of the standard IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) and those of a Combat Trauma Kit. This specific pouch can be also utilized as an extensive and enhanced EDC medical kit. The internal blowout kit can be closed on itself without using the external MOLLE pouch, making it even more compact and lightweight. In the middle section is applied a panel of loop Velcro, in which we have attached the SWAT-T Tourniquet with a small piece of hook Velcro and some glue.
(1) SWAT-T Tourniquet
(1) Fox Chest Seal
(1) Quick Clot Hemostatic gauze
(30) Band-Aids (4 Sizes)
(10) Band-Aids Backup (Vacuum Sealed)
(25) Vacuum Sealed Gauze Pads
(1) Combat Elastic Bandage
(3) 3M SteriStrips
(2) Pairs of Nitrile Surgical Gloves
(1) 3M Medical Tape
(1) Aluderm Aluminum Gauze Pad (20cmx20cm)
(2) Aluderm Aluminum Gauze Pad (10x 10 cm)
(3) Burn Gel
(2) Antibacterial wipes
(1) Emergency blanket
(1) aLokSak 3″x7″ waterproof bag
(1) Hi intensity 30′ Red ChemLight
(1) Fine Point Surgical Tweezers
(2) Amoxilline (Antibiotics)
The Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit NOW! Is available in Multicam, Tan, Black, Wolf Grey and OD Green.
Eye protection is probably one of the best precautions to take both on the field and on the range. After lots of eye injuries suffered by many during deployment, the DoD has decided to take measures against this big issue. Companies like Oakley have revolutionized the materials and the manufacturing process in order to meet these ballistic requirements. It has been many years since the US Gov. has issued the first Oakley Ballistic protective goggles and since then Oakley has produced different variants for different missions.
The SI Ballistic Det Cord sunglasses are the latest addition in Oakley SI’s line of eye protection. The low-profile design meets the requirements of many covert operations, while still having that “Oakley DNA” for aggressive environments and when things go south.
With the constant presence of threats in high risk environments, asymmetrical warfare seems to be the keyword of this century. In the last few years brands like Oakley SI, who have always equipped armed forces, have found themselves designing and manufacturing more discreet products for the tactical market.
The lens placement on the Det Cord is slightly different from the usual sunglasses (aside from the ballistic protection). The frame design allows the lenses to sit very close to the user’s face, providing a very wide field of view. It also shields sunlight from any direct contact with the eye, above or beneath the lenses.
This design seem interesting also when speed is involved; with the lenses positioned so close to the user’s face the Det Cord appear to give some very good protection also from dust and wind.
Oakley has designed these glasses with the tactical operations in mind. The thin construction of the ear stems allows the glasses to be comms compatible (or ear pro). Not having this feature would lead to the loss of the seal of the muffs, causing them to lose any hearing protection capability. A thinner design of the frame is also very important if an helmet is worn. If you are carrying a ballistic helmet with night vision, lights and accessories attached you will end up with quite some weight; so it is important to have a secured and comfortable fit.
The DetCord are manufactured to conform to the ANSI Z87.1 – 2010 requirements. To meet the ANSI Z87.1-2010 rating the eye protection must exceed specific high mass – high velocity tests and provide continuous lateral coverage. Most competitors on the market don’t provide lateral coverage; the presence of a “+” after Z87 will assure the lateral coverage compliancy.
The DetCords high purity optical-grade polycarbonate also meet the ballistic fragmentation MIL-PRF-32432 required by NATO forces and DoD.
To enhance the performance of the product under stress Oakley has applied a very interesting material for the nose-piece. It’s always annoying when, under stress, sunglasses (or even worse eye pro) slip down on the nose because of the presence of liquids on the skin. To solve this issue Oakley has applied a rubberized material on the nose piece, and even after some pretty hard use it does not seem to come off.
Another issues that, with other optics, appears on similar activities is fogging. This phenomenon is due to the body heat and moisture condensing in small drops on the lens itself. When shooting it’s usually frequent to have fogging in the winter when utilizing a rifle or a carbine; usually after some sort of dynamic action. We have had the opportunity to test this product from late summer until now and, due to the coating applied to the lenses, we haven’t had a sigle issue.
The this version comes with Cerakote applied to the entire frame. This superficial finish enhances the anti-reflection capability of the Det Cord and it also provides longevity to the surface of the frame. When used in conjunction with helmet systems and comms usually eye-pro and sunglasses get scratched a lot, the application of Cerakote prevents this from happening.
What you carry on your person everyday (or at least accessible close to you) may dictate the success or the failure of a difficult situation.
Whether it is a medical, practical or defensive scenario carrying basic or advance equipment is really important.
If you live in an urban environment and you are not always close to your vehicle it’s suggested to build an EDC kit in a backpack or a sling-bag.
In our opinion your self defense tools and equipment should be at all times on your person. We only use our backpack to store extra mags, but not our primary firearm. If the situation does not allow us to reach for our EDC backpack we sill have a concealed-carry handgun with mounted light and extra mag, a folding blade, a smartphone, a wallet, a tactical flashlight and a tourniquet. Keeping our EDC defensive tool in the same location will also provide efficiency and accuracy to the situation.
We like to divide by priority and importance our daily-carry equipment into different levels.
Level 1: the EDC items carried on your belt and pant’s pockets.
Level 2: items in your bag directly accessible from the outside.
Level 3: items organized in pouches and dividers inside the bag.
About the backpack:
One of the key features that we really like of the Blade’s design is its side-access. This allows us to open and extract the content without dropping the bag or revealing what’s inside. Arc’teryx has padded this bag like a tank, it is comfortable, light and extremely protective towards electronics or fragile items.
The Blade has many pockets, some visible and some hidden. On the top, next to the handle, there are two pockets: one specifically designed for eye wear and one for GP items. On the side there are three pockets: the admin pocket (with stitched organizers for admin tools), the main compartment and the laptop (or even ballistic plates) compartment. All the internal parts of the bag are made of hi-viz nylon for better efficiency. The hidden pocket is located on the lower back close to the body, and it is intended for documents, extra cash, copy of conceal carry permit or passport.
Even on the road this backpack is really handy, in case of an accident (especially at night) you can grab it, exit the vehicle and move towards a safe location without keeping any valuables in the car. In the admin pocket we have placed two S&S Precision V-Lites and a Manta strobe to mark our presence to other drivers or the authorities until we have access to roadside flares.
This backpack is efficient and feature-rich without screaming “tactical”. We like the adaptability of PALs webbing and we like Camo but in most urban environments it just stands out too much. The clean design of the Blade 24 allows to be “undetected” or just not to stand out too much.
Bag, Pouches and Cases:
Arc’teryx Blade 24
Maxpedition Fatty Organizer
Maxpedition Mini Organizer
Salewa Med Pouch (With personal kit)
6×6 Pals Multicam Pouch
Thule 13″ Laptop Case
Items directly accessible:
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
Outdoor Research Halberd Sensor Tactical Gloves
Princeton Tec Remix MPLS Headlamp in Multicam
Boker VAT tool
Princeton Tec Switch light
S&S Precision V-lite Green
S&S Precision V-lite Blue
S&S Precision Manta Strobe
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Oakley SI Ballistic DetCord in Cerakote
Surefire E2D Defender Ultra
Pick Lock Kit with Tecnora and Kevlar Strings
Vapur 0.7 Water bottle
Items stored in pouches:
Pelican 1010 Case
Samsung 250gb T1 SDD
Storacell 123 Battery holder
Gerber MP1 Multiplier
Gerber Shard Multitool
Surefire EP-1 C Ear Pro
Steiner T824 Compact Binoculars
Altoids Tin with basic Survival kit
Inforce 6vx backup Flashlight
Rite in the Rain notepad
Cyalume 6″ green
Samsung 13000mAh Battery Bank
Chargers for electronics
1 x QuikClot Combat Gauze
2 x Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x Elastic Bandage
1 x Tourniquet
3 x Pharmaderm Antibiotic wipes
3 x BurnFree Gel
10 x Normal Band Aids
8 x Special Shape Band Aids
3 x 3M Steri-Strips
1 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (8″x 8″)
2 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x 3M Micropore Tape
1 x Surgical Tape
2 x Sterilized Gloves Nitrile
2 x Ketoprofen
10 x Ioperamide
2 x Paracetamole
2 x Amoxilline (antibiotics)
4 x Aspirin
4 x Iburofen
1 x Fine-Point Metal Tweezers
1 x Space Blaket
Inside Altoids Tin:
3 x 3M Steristrips
2 x Bandaids
2 x Iboprufen
4 x Antihistamine
4 x Water tabs
1 x 3M Ear Pro Backup
1 x Pencil w/ 1ft of tape and 20 ft of floss
4 x Stormproof matches
1 x Exotac firestarter
1 x Clip Compass
2 x BurnFree gel
1 x Alchool wipes
The Outdoor Research Helium II is a light-weight waterproof jacket ideal for many outdoor applications. This product was originally designed for climbers and runners to be worn for a short period of time during a storm. The main concept behind this product is to always carry it with you.
Due to the extremely light-weight we have kept the jacket stored in our EDC backpack every single day for the whole season. With an astonishing weight of 180 grams you literally forget about it. The jacket is so compact that can fit even in a small cargo pocket. If you actually compress it with a vacuum machine it reaches the size of an energy bar.
We have already seen some very small and lightweight jackets on the market. What makes the Helium II unique is not just the weight but the waterproofness of the fabric. We have use this jacket in many unpleasant weather conditions and it has always kept us dry. To reach this kind of excellence Outdoor Research has utilized a 30D ripstop fabric with a Pertex Shield+ 2.5L coating. At first we were quite skeptical about the longevity of the waterproof shell due to the way the fabric compresses when the jacket is stored, but even after some pretty rough use it hasn’t showed any sign of weakness.
For example if you compress some other waterproof shells on the market like Gore-Tex the layers of the PU film could break, making the fabric permeable. Gore-Tex works with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane with a hydrophobic PU film; in some cases if the fabric is folded too much there could be a loss of waterproofness.
One of the greatest features of this garment is its breathability. Keep in mind that this product was not actually designed for prolonged use, this is why OR focused more on the weight than on the features. This is a jacket to always have in a backpack or just keep stored in a bag. Even if it does not have armpit zippers (like the bigger brother Helium HD) it still offers enough breathability to get the job done.
If you plan to wear this jacket for a longer period of time please take a look at the Outdoor Research Helium HD, it features a more complete type of hoodie and pockets, for a slightly larger size and weight.
Outdoor Research has done a great job designing the hood. It features a bungee cord that runs from the forehead to the back of the head, and if pulled tight it really secures the hood and the visor, offering a very smooth and “noise-free” motion. The visor is made of a much stiffer material allowing a very comfortable wear during storms. This feature really comes handy when shooting (both handguns and rifles) under bad weather.
We have chosen the black/hydro version of this jacket because it does not scream “tactical” while still offering some decent concealability. The blue OR logo and zipper don’t really stand out too much but are keen to make the user appear as a civilian. On the range this jacket is fantastic, due to the lightweight it can always be packed in a range-bag, and as soon as it starts raining you have backup. The elastic on the wrist allows to keep a clean motion during weapon manipulation, without risking of getting the garment in the way.
The choice between Helium II and Helium HD is only driven by the application of the user. Both offer lightweight, waterproofness and breathability. So because we like to carry this shell 24/7 in our backpacks we decided to go with the more lightweight/small version rather than the feature-richer one.
For more details about the Helium II please visit the Outdoor Research website: OutdoorResearch.com
SureFire is the leader in military-grade illumination tools. One of their most versatile products is the E2D Defender Ultra flashlight. This light is made in the United States and is designed to meet the standards of the military professionals.
The E2D Defender Ultra is a 500 Lumen compact multipurpose light designed both for everyday carry and tactical operations.
Like most other SureFire lights it also feature a lockout tail cap, which prevents accidental activation during storage or transport.
With a maximum output of 500 Lumens, the virtually indestructible high-performance LED and the Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens provide a level of light than can be effectively utilized to overwhelm an aggressor or identify a threat. In an outdoor environment this light can be effective for hundreds of yards. The TIR Lenses are designed to with versatility in mind. The 500 lumens LED combined with the lenses allow this flashlight to be effective both during tactical operations (for example entering a dark room) and for long-range urban/rural tasks or engagements. The light has both a very good throw and spill; the central hot beam has a very good range while still maintaining an optimal peripheral vision. 500 Lumens seem also a very good compromise between close quarters and long range engagements. You really don’t want to have more than that for CQB operations while still maintaining a punch for the great outdoors.
The flashlight has two output levels: 500 lumens high for maximum light and 5 lumens low for extended runtime and for admin tasks. This allows the E2D Ultra to be effective even in everyday outdoor applications. The low output setting is just enough to be able to see in the close proximity without interfering with our night vision.
The light is built with heavy duty in mind. The E2D is made of aircraft grade anodized aluminium which feels solid and tough as soon as you grab it. Because of its aggressive design, the bezel can be used as a striking tool or even to brake glass, in case things go very south. The light is also provided with a built in two-way clip, for easier carry when a sheath is not available.
For the pure tactical application (CQB, even weapon mounted) we prefer to have a momentary only switch. But this product still does a very good job for personal defense scenarios. In all these months that we have been using this product (and we didn’t treat is very well) we have never experienced a failure of any kind. We have accidentally dropped this light for quite some distance and everything was fine, and even underwater it worked magnificently.
We recommend this light for its adaptability, and as soon as the sun goes down this light is in our pockets. The E2D Defender Ultra’s adaptability and versatility make it a tool you must have. The fact that you can utilize this light for personal defense, search and rescue and general outdoor/tactical applications definitely make this flashlight probably the best we have ever owned.
We really think that if you are a professional or an enthusiast of the defense/tactical industry you must own at least one SureFire, and we think this could be the one. In the past years we have owned many SureFire flashlights; they are just the toughest! But even if they break don’t worry they are covered by a lifetime warranty.
This flashlight is made in the USA, MSRP $265. This is probably the best multiple-purpose illumination tool you can find on the market, but if you don’t want to pay this amount for a flashlight Surefire also makes some really interesting less expensive simpler models .
For more information please visit the SureFire website: surefire.com/
The multi-tool is the most versatile and useful piece of equipment that can be carried, whether you’re in a urban area or out in the country you should never leave the house without one. The multiplier is the updated and more complex version of this tool and it’s usually equipped with a set of wire cutters and needle nose pliers.
Sometimes dangerous, and potentially deadly, environments surround us. Whether you are overseas behind enemy lines, lost in the wilderness or a survivor in natural disaster a fixed blade knife is the tool that will always get you home safe and sound. A survival knife can provide the right help for water, shelter, fire, food and protection. It is the most versatile piece of equipment that we can carry. Gerber produces one of the milestones in the mil-spec survival blades: the Gerber LMF II Infantry. The Infantry is the definition of the survival knife, with an overall length of 269 mm, a blade length of 123 mm and a well-balanced weight of 330g this beefy knife can be utilized for tasks of different nature. The Gerber team is well known for providing the user with well-engineered products, and they seem to have reached a very good standard with the LMF II Infantry. They have chosen a 420 high carbon steel for this blade, which makes it very good against corrosion and hard use; in fact the Infantry can be even used as a prying bar in an emergency situation. To meet the compliancy of the aircrews’ standard issue, Gerber had to design the LMF II with two main features:
- It had to be tough (so that it could be used, by the crew, as an escape tool from the aircraft after a crash).
- It had to electrically insulate the user from any live wire he could find while escaping through the fuselage or the cockpit.
To accomplish these two requirements Gerber developed a very interesting design that meets both strength and protection using a combination of 420hc steel and hard composite materials in the body of the handle. The Blade: The use of the 420 High Carbon steel makes this knife incredibly resistant against rust, especially with application of the black non-reflective coating. Even though the Tanto design looks much cooler on a tactical knife, thankfully, the LMF II has a drop point design, which makes it a much stronger knife for any bushcraft or survival use. Due to its design and the 5 mm blade thickness, this knife is a great tool for chopping, prying and digging. The spine of the blade has a 90 degrees angle with no chamfer applied, which allows to light a fire with a Magnesium bar or flint fire starter. The blade has a drop point plain edge with 47 mm of serration closer to the handle. Even though some people believe that a knife has to have a plain edge, we know that a survival/bushcraft knife MUST have a serrated edge. The serration of the blade makes it much easier to cut through harder material, cords, fresh vegetation and it retains much better a sharp edge. Serrations are mandatory on a 420 HC steel survival blade to help maintain sharpness in the field, since this material could lose edge after some use. Sharpening this knife in the field is very easy. The sheath of the knife houses a V-shaped sharpener for the drop-point part of the blade that allows the user to carry an always-sharp blade, no matter what. If you really need to sharpen the serrated edge on the field, Gerber makes a great tool that makes it very easy: the Bear Grylls Field Sharpener. The blade also features two lashing holes to use the knife as a spear; this feature becomes very interesting when you have to find some food in the wilderness. We have used this method in the past to catch fish in a small river and it really can change the situation from a disaster to a memorable moment. One of the basic rules of providing food in the wild is that you do not have to use more energy than the one you’re going to gain from what your catch will give. To accomplish this goal the spear is the perfect tool since it doesn’t always require much running. The spear is very easy to make with very little cordage and it can also be used as a self-defense tool from wild animals. The Handle: Because of the large production scale of these knives, Gerber was able to use an injection molded handle with a diamond texture on its surface. This handle has a rubbery feel and really sticks to the user hand even when the surface of the handle is wet. The large pommel at the end of the grip allows a much more secure and firm grip. It also functions as a striking tool and a hammering surface. When working on bushcraft tasks, quite frequently, we have to grip the knife from the very end of the handle and strike on the back of the blade with a large piece of wood in order to chop down through a log; with this design, it is much easier and faster to do so. The Sheath: We believe that one of the most important parts of a knife is its sheath. For us, good retention, slickness, protection (both of the user and the blade) and different attachment options are key features in a good quality sheath. The sheath is made of ballistic nylon with a fire retardant coating. The retention of the knife is due to a friction lock mechanism that secures the knife in place even if attached tip-up on a plate carrier or a chest rig. The Infantry can be carried both right-handed and left-handed since the knife can be stored in the sheath either ways. The LMF II comes with many different mounting options. The knife can be carried on the belt, on a MOLLE system and, because of the leg straps, also thigh and calf carry. We gave this knife a very hard time, we have used it for a while now and we are very happy with the results. The overall package seems very durable and stiff and even the sheath after many drops seems to retain the knife without any wobbling. At first, we were quite worried for the black coating of the blade but even after hitting some rocks it did not seem to peel off at all. This, for sure, is not an EDC knife: it’s beefy and not light. But when you will need it, you will be glad of its weight especially when chopping wood or cutting down a tree. One of the features that we like the most about this product is its 25 YEARS WARRANTY and the fact that it is MADE in the USA (Portland, Oregon). If you are looking for an excellent-quality versatile survival knife for an affordable price, the Gerber LMF II Infantry is the perfect choice. For more intel please visit Gerber’s website.
Clothing featured in this article:
Vertx Tactical Belt
Swiss Eye is an European producer of optics for the sporting industry. In addition to that they have released a very wide line of product for the tactical user (Full masks, goggles, full-frame glasses and half frame glasses). They sent us two pair of their bungee goggles: the Infantry, both in clear lens and smoke lens. The Swiss Eye Infantry lenses are made of a single piece of poly-carbonate with an anti-fog coating named “ultimo”. Their frame-less design and the insert of a foam liner all around the optic allow the Infantry to be very flexible and to adapt to the user’s face with comfort. The Infantry uses a clever design that allows the operator to use this system both as a stand-alone and attached to an helmet; the bungee cords end with a double-sided Velcro attachment that can either attach to itself or to the hook-and-loop panel of an helmet. To adjust the length of the bungee you just make a new knot at the desired distance. This simple but effective design makes the Infantry the right optic for many uses (parachuting, tactical operations and mountain biking). We have been using these goggles mainly for biking, we have used them a lot in any sort of weather condition. We believe that this is a very interesting product for all those that, like us, like to go with their bikes into deep vegetation and need to have a very good eye-pro. We really like the fact that when not in use the Infantry goggles remain attached to the helmet, not like any normal glasses (that otherwise have to be stored in a secured position). The Infantry follows the NATO STANAG 2920 standard for fragmentation protection, so it is very indicated also for all those activities where eye protection is key. We have been using this optic in conjunction with an OpsCore helmet, S&S Precision Manta Strobe, two S&S Precision V-Lite, Princeton Tec Charge and Princeton Tec Remix Tactical. Between the clear and the smoke lens we used more the clear one, usually with another pair of sunglasses. Using the normal sunglasses that you would wear in any sort of sporting activity will leave you exposed on the eye-protection front, and if any sort of heavy movement of the head is involved there is a chance of loosing the glasses. This is why me liked having our goggle always strapped to the helmet. As you can see there is no need to un-hook the Velcro when you want to take off the helmet, this feature makes all this package very practical in virtually any situation. Whether you are a professional or just an outdoor/tactical enthusiast this is a very affordable and interesting product that can make your life much easier and safer when enjoying the great outdoors.
For more information please visit: SwissEye.com/