Athlon Outdoors contributor Alex Landeen breaks down six different pieces of everyday carry gear that you should check out in Spring 2017.
SCOTTeVEST Enforcer Jacket for Everyday Carry
I have been known to be a self- proclaimed “bag nerd.” I have closets full of sling packs, backpacks, waist packs, hard-sided cases, soft-sided waterproof totes—all acquired in the name of efficiently carrying the things I need. I feel that there is a perfect vessel for every item and every situation. For this same reason I love pockets; they may be empty, but they are always full of potential. Cargo pants, for example, are a great thing, as are cargo shorts, even if some recent trends have labeled them as unfashionable. When traveling and working outdoors, having the right pocket for your gear is important. These aforementioned interests of mine are the reason I was drawn to the new SCOTTeVEST Enforcer Jacket.
This jacket is basically a sling pack’s worth of storage stuffed inside a stylish, waterproof softshell with CCW carry options front and center. Boasting 30 pockets, the designers of the Enforcer Jacket have taken into account almost every conceivable need for everyday carry, or EDC. The two front-positioned Rapid Access panels (aka front zipper pockets) have built-in straps for holstering and sub-pockets for extra magazines, as well as a set of webbing that I found handy for clipping a flashlight and/or a knife onto.
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Inside are two upper phone pockets that have a clear front, allowing you to operate the screen without removing the phone. The collar has what SCOTTeVEST calls a “Personal Area Network,” meaning you can run headphone wires inside the collar, and there are small pockets to store your earbuds when you’re not using them. Inside of the jacket you’ll find a sunglasses pocket with a built-in chamois, an RFID-blocking pocket for credit cards and other important documents, a digital camera pocket with memory card storage and a larger pocket that is capable of securing your large-screened devices, like an iPad. People have bug-out bags—why not a bug-out jacket?
And the Enforcer Jacket is still a vest: The sleeves are easy to remove via zippers when the weather warms up, or when you are just feeling like a vest is more appropriate style-wise with your daily choice of cargo shorts. (scottevest.com; 866-909-8378)
Dillon Optics REED Active Gold NIR Sunglasses
First introduced in 2008, Dillon Optics sunglasses definitely have a unique look due to their Non-Image Reflecting (NIR) technology. With a look best described as “matte” or “satin,” this technology reduces the internal reflections within the lens to improve clarity, especially in low-light situations. The lenses—Active Gold for these particular sunglasses—have oleophobic coatings on the front and back to resist oil and moisture and make cleaning much easier. Dillon Optics lenses block 100 percent of UV light and meet the optical and impact resistance requirements of ANSI Z80.3. In short, they are light, durable, super-clear, easy to clean and, most importantly, they look damn cool. (dillonoptics.com; 855-647-8324)
RattlerStrap Titan Series Paracord Belt
Occasionally you just really need some rope, and if you happen to be wearing a RattlerStrap paracord belt, you are in luck. Manufactured using braided 550 paracord capable of holding up to 550 pounds, these infinitely adjustable belts come with a titanium buckle and contain between 80 and 110 feet of cordage for those situations when you need it most. And if you do find yourself in one of these situations, just return the buckle to RattlerStrap and the company will remake it for you free of charge. How awesome is that?
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As a side note, if you have occasion to disassemble your belt for emergency purposes, you can still use a leftover piece to keep your pants up; I recommend two wraps around your waist with a loop knot on one end, and a trucker’s hitch-style knot to finish and tighten it. If you are unfamiliar with the trucker’s hitch to use a piece of cord or rope as a tie-down, this is definitely something you should familiarize yourself with. (rattlerstrap.com)
First Tactical Men’s Tactix Tactical Pants
The Men’s Tactix Tactical Pants from First Tactical are the most comfortable “tactical” pants I have worn. Feeling both soft and strong, the ease of movement afforded by the Flex Action waist and 7-ounce, two-way-stretch, double-rip-stop fabric is great when squatting, bending and crawling around. Combined with fortified belt loops and enhanced pockets, these pants are a winner. The exterior of the pants also has a thin Teflon coating to resist moisture, stains and dirt. Also, the internal dividers in the cargo pockets are handy and don’t get in the way. Also, the rear accessory pockets are really deep. If you put coins or a tube of ChapStick in one of these pockets, you may never get them back.
First Tactical Men’s Specialist Long Sleeve Tactical Shirt
The Men’s Specialist Long Sleeve Tactical Shirt is also built to take some serious abuse. Made of a rip-stop polyester/cotton blend, this shirt has an active ventilation system and a stain-repellent Teflon finish.
First Tactical Canyon Digital Compass Watch
The Canyon Digital Compass Watch is the first of three watches to be released by the company. You can tell this timepiece is built to be durable enough to stand up to the toughest jobs yet stylish enough to wear off duty. Notable features include an oversized display, a digital second hand, a digital compass, a utility strap and three alarms. The unit is also waterproof to 300 meters in case you’re planning a deep-sea dive. (firsttactical.com; 855-665-3410)
This article was originally published in ‘Ballistic’ Spring 2017. To subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.