Our top 8 tactical gear list includes all those pieces of clothing, equipment, tools and accessories that help you prepare for everything from light emergencies to complete disasters.
What ties them together is their durable construction and their unique safety, self-defense and security properties.
Examples of top 8 tactical gear include clothing items like heavy duty boots, multi-pocket vests, binoculars, night vision goggles, fire starter products and so many more.
Some items may be military surplus or military inspired. Others are made solely for civilians.
Benefits of Top 8 Tactical Gear
If you’re a hunter, self-defense enthusiast, paintball participant or just an average citizen, tactical gear can help you up your game in multiple ways.
Imagine how ineffective a hunter would be if, at the instant he spots his prey, he had to fumble around for binoculars or extra rounds. Or the hapless camper who couldn’t find his flashlight to aid in setting up his tent in complete darkness.
Tactical gear can make you more efficient and effective when it matters most.
Choosing Your Gear:
So which tactical gear should you own? That depends what you’re going to be using it for, the problem you’re trying to solve, and how that item can help you solve it.
If you’re creating a list—and we hope you are—you’ll soon notice there are lots of different opinions.
So what would our list look like? We did a deep dive into our past. What did we need, what was unnecessary, and what did us the most good in the long haul. There were so many choices, so we decided to think like a complete stranger to anything tactical.
You may or may not agree with us, but here’s what we came up with:
1: Tough, Durable Boots
Let’s begin from the ground up, OK? In any kind of tactical situation where you need to walk or run over challenging terrain, equipping yourself with a pair of suitable boots is a no-brainer.
Start your tactical gear collection by finding a boot with excellent ankle support. It should be a boot that’s lightweight, durable and quiet. Spend a little extra to get a boot that stands up for years under diverse conditions
A boot we like is the Bates Men’s GX-8, 8 inch Ultra Lite GTX Waterproof Boot
It comes with a waterproof GORE-TEX liner, slip resistant rubber sole, and leather upper, priced from $178 to $199. Great for any season, it offers toe protection and a cushioned insert for extra comfort.
2. Versatile Tactical Jacket
Unless you live in the tropics (and by that I mean, near the equator!), you’ll need a warm jacket.
The coldest I’ve ever been was doing night patrols years ago deep in the jungle during a pouring winter’s rain. I would have given anything for a nice warm jacket and a hot cuppa. (I got neither, btw.)
So here’s a great jacket for you to look at: The 5.11 Men’s 5-in-1 Tactical Jacket.
This model features a warm fleece liner with zip-off sleeves on the inner fleece liner and detachable hood, giving you 5 ways to configure the jacket according to differing weather conditions. Prices begin at $125 and increase according to size.
3. A Reliable, Powerful Tactical Flashlight
Don’t waste your money on those cheap flashlights that always seem to malfunction when you need them most. You’re going to need a really good flashlight.
The one we often recommend is the Klarus Improved XT115 Super Bundle with Rechargeable LED Flashlight. With a max output of 1100 lumens, it has the brightness you need. It offers features like Strobe, Instant Turbo, Instant Low-Light, Smart Temperature Control, and much more.
Need a more powerful alternative? Try this GearLight S2000 LED Flashlight, priced at around $22.
Features we like include a tactical tail switch, an ultra-wide beam option, very high lumen output, and water resistant. Even more powerful: The Nite IZE INOVA T10R 3500 Lumens Rechargeable Tactical LED Flashlight. That’s a mouthful, but that 3500 lumens feature makes it one you need to check out and compare.
4. A Great Tactical Knife
We’ll get arguments over this: everyone has their favorite knife. Our bottomline advice: if you’re just
starting out, don’t waste your money on a cheaply-made knife that will break down when you need it most.
One of our favorites is the Cold Steel 27TLT Recon I Tanto Point by Cold Steel. With a perfectly sized 4 inch blade, the unfolded knife stretches out to just under ten inches, at 5.3 ounces. If you take care of it, this knife will last you longer than 10 cheaper knives.
Another option is the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1 in. S.S. Folding Knife. It’s a great outdoor tactical, survival and EDC knife at a very reasonable price.
5. A Comfortable, Concealable Holster
My biggest complaint with concealable holsters has always been comfort. Then one day I was introduced to the Cloak Tuck 3.5 Holster from Alien Gear. Now it’s high up on my list of the best tactical equipment I own.
This is an inside-the-waistband holster designed to accommodate nearly 600 handgun models. It’s super comfortable with a great retention system. I especially like that it adjusts to your tightness comfort fit.
Also, it hides equally well on your side or backside, with 3 different carry weights (deep, middle or high).
6. Gun Belt
If you carry a heavy gun in a waist holster, you’ll want to get yourself a dependable gun belt. I’ve tried these in the past, but many times was disappointed because, over time, my waist band still sagged. Eventually I solved my problem when I came across the heavy duty Steel Core Leather Gun Belt by Bigfoot, nicely priced at around $65. If you want to carry your full sized sidearm without any sagging, this is the belt for you.
Bigfoot cuts your belt to your specifications, so you should get a good fit out of the box. I have never had problems with stretching or sagging with this belt (thanks to a built-in steel core).
Looks like a nice dress belt, but it’s a gun belt!
7. Utility Belt
I actually prefer a good utility belt to a vest. That’s because, when I carry, I don’t want to stand out due to the vest. With a versatile utility belt, I can modify it for discrete, low profile carry, and I’m comfortable with that.
My personal fav is the ARCS Tactical Gun Belt with Holster.
The ARCS is a complete holster system, battle belt and additional mag pouch that evenly distributes the weight around your waist. Molle system lets you add gear like flashlight, first aid or blowout kit, addition mag pouches, etc.
With a modest price of under $69.99, it’s a multi-featured belt that is so well made it comes with a lifetime guarantee—nice!
8. Laser Sight for Handgun
I consider this a backup to all the training and practice we should be doing at the shooting range.
And we never seem to do enough, do we?
Laser sights on handguns can give you a leg up in a close combat situation where you’re out of practice, or simply not ready to participate. Something about that bright green or red light appearing on your assailant’s body makes them stop and think—and that may be all the advantage you need.
From an accuracy standpoint, it surely cannot hurt your odds of hitting your target.
I like the Crimsom Trace Lasergrips. They have different models to fit different guns, and using them is as easy as wrapping your hand around the grip. No fumbling around for laser switches. Just grab the gun and you’re ready to go.
Prices range from about $189 to $339.
Tactical Gear: Today’s a Good Day to Begin.
This was just our initial list. Look for similar best of tactical gear lists to come.
If you haven’t already started building your collection of tactical gear, there’s no better time to begin than right now.
Whether your interests are in the survival arts, hunting, home protection or similar, a well-planned tactical gear collection can make you better prepared, more efficient and more effective.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments in the section below.