Military Tactical Vests

Our military service men and women depend on the protection of tactical vests on a daily basis. The military vests vary in design, color, and weight, as well as by different levels of protection for the upper body. The material and design of a tactical vest protects the torso region of the body. After the head, the chest is the most exposed area of a person’s body. The purpose of a military tactical vest is to protect an individual from unseen objects and ammunition, but still allow the wearer to move about freely and swiftly.

The style of tactical vest used depends on the type of terrain and climate where the vest is used. A forest situation calls for the use of green camouflage, while desert combat needs brown camouflage. Those stationed in a hot, humid climate fare better using a thin, lightweight vest. While protection remains nearly the same as a heavier vest, the lighter one is more appropriate in the hot weather conditions.

Military personnel who serve in colder climates use a heavier, insulated vest. Not only does the vest protect one from flying objects, it keeps a person as warm as possible when exposed to inclement weather. Most vests are waterproof which adds to its defensive protection.

Military vests made of high quality materials, such as nylon, aramid fibers, or ballistic material offers the best safeguard, and allows the least amount of trauma to the upper body if unexpectedly hit by an object. The flexible vests will go underneath or on top of other clothing, although most individuals prefer to wear them on top. Like regular clothing, vests come in different sizes to afford the most comfort and protection, while allowing the wearer to remain mobile.

Nearly all vests contain pockets and pouches to hold indispensable equipment needed on the battlefield. Different manufacturers design tactical vests in different ways, so storage space will vary from vest to vest. Spare magazines, ammunition, radios, flashlights, trauma kits, water bottles, tactical knives, and grenades are some of the items that can be stored in the pouches of a military vest.

 

Military Tactical Vests for Sale

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The Evolution of the MOLLE Backpack

One would think that a country’s soldiers would be afforded the very best equipment that could be provided them. Up until the gulf war, the fighting men of America had the best training in the world, some of the most advanced weaponry, but the worst backpacks. In the field, the warriors packs are their home and everything for their comfort, survival and efficiency must be carried on their backs.

Throughout World War 1 and World War 2, the packs carried by the soldiers were nothing more than bags with straps sewn into them. They were made from cotton, they became saturated in the rain and their carrying capacity was limited. The evolution of the army’s backpacks was slow and in the early 1980s, the ALICE pack was developed. Although an improvement over the preceding models, the full packs on long marches became uncomfortable and chafing. Uncomfortable soldiers are inefficient soldiers and being miserable is a good road to failure.

Finding a Better Solution

After the assault on the United States on September 11, 2001, the army started the Rapid Fielding Initiative to equip our fighting forces with the best state of the art equipment to enhance their mobility, lethality and survivability in the fields of Afghanistan and Iraq. As part of this initiative, the MOLLE pack was developed.

M.O.L.L.E. stands for ‘modular lightweight load carrying equipment’. It is constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura, it has an external pack frame, a shoulder strap assembly, waist belt and a quick release.

The main rucksack is 3000 cu in. and houses the Gortex sleeping system, night vision goggles, gps, personal items and body armour. There are pouches for grenades, a hydration bladder that eliminates canteens and there is a separate assault pack to carry extra ammunition.

The US soldiers give this pack a five star rating; it is comfortable, efficient and with the addition of separate snap on accessories, the pack can be just the ticket for backpackers, hunters and hikers.

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Gerber Epic (30-000176)

The Gerber Epic is a great little, snub nosed knife. It’s light, but has a very sturdy feel to it. The front finger grove sits nicely in the hand, with your pinky finger sitting over the bottle opener at the end of the knife.  While you might get a better grip with a longer handle, for a small fixed blade knife, it has enough grip to feel like you have a good

The sheath has a reversible pocket clip, so it can be switched to work for carrying it on the right or left.  The sheath has drawn some criticism in some reviews.  The knife snaps into the sheath with the ridges at the top of the blade.  But this does require a bit of force to get it in and out.  Personally, I like that (I own one of these).  The Gerber Epic is well seated and it stays in without falling out.  But you defiantly don’t just ‘drop it in’.

The other point of criticism was over the blade scoring the sheath after extended use, while sliding in and out.  I’ll have to watch it and see how much of a problem this becomes.  So far, I don’t think this will be a huge problem.

Features:

  • Blade Material: Hard chrome-molybdenum stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Textured, glass-filled nylon
  • Blade Style: Drop-point
  • Handle Length: 3.85in (9.8cm)
  • Blade Length: 3.45in (8.8cm)
  • Total Length: 3.45in (8.8cm)
  • Weight: 5.12oz (145g)

 

What’s in the Box

  • Gerber (30-000176) Epic Knife with Serrated Edge
  • Rigid Sheath

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The Battle Dress Uniform (BDU)

The Battle Dress Uniform was the uniform used by the United States military while engaging in combat, as opposed to what’s known as, the ‘Dress Uniform’, which is used in parades or other formal situations the Dress Uniform would be utilized. In combat, the Battle Dress Uniform or BDU.

The BDU was standard issue for all branches of the United States Military from September 1981 until April 2005.  The appearance was that of the woodland camouflage pattern. The colors would imitate the Northern European woodlands. It had two shades of green, black, and a shade of brown. This pattern would be printed onto a cotton-nylon blend twill. In 1989 a lightweight version of the BDU was approved using a rip-stop poplin cloth.

By 1989 the camouflaged pattern BDU would be the uniform that was used in all wooded, jungle, and tropical environments, completely replacing the olive drab standard uniforms that were used since 1952. But along with the primary woodland camouflage pattern, both the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps found that what was needed were more refined environment-specific uniforms. There was the six-color ‘chocolate chip camouflage, also called the Desert Battle Dress BDU in 1962 (NCDBDU). There was also the ‘nighttime desert grid’. These were both used during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. There was the three-color desert camo, the Desert Combat Uniform (DCU) in 1992. The DCU saw use in Somalia in 1993 and also at the start of hostilities in Afghanistan and Irag. A three-color BDU replaced the six-color patterns of the 1990’s.

But the development of the modern camouflage patterns began with the Marine Corps replacing their BDU’s with a computer-generated MARPAT pattern ( the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform). The change started in 2001 and was completed in 2004. A United States Army program that ran from 2005 to 2007 saw them replacing the BDU with the new Army Combat Uniform (ACU). This uniform uses a digital pattern like MARPAT, but with less saturated colors. As with the ever changing and evolving battlefield, we can be sure that the BDU of the future will evolve and change right along with it.

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How to Choose a Tactical Knife

For all intents and purposes, a tactical knife is what is commonly known as a combat knife. It is also called a fighting knife. The military perfected the use of the tactical knife for soldiers to use when they are engaging in close or hand to hand combat. The tactical knife is often called a combat knife. The tactical knife has a long history, and was the weapon of choice to use in combat situations. Tactical knives are of course still used for fighting, but they have been reinvented to meet the needs of the solider, outdoors person, or something to use around the house.

Why Choose a Tactical Knife?

The main reason is for working outdoors. A soldier stationed in a jungle or wooded area would need a tactical knife to do things such as cutting branches, cutting through or trimming brush. The knife can also be used to hunt for food, and of course to protect oneself. The tactical knife can be used in any of these situations.

Perhaps you are not the outdoors type person hunting in the woods. A tactical knife is still a good thing to have if you for instance live on a farm. You could be someone who makes their living working outside. The tactical knife is great for completing simple chores such as cutting wires, ropes, or lines.

There are a variety of different tactical knives available and different models for people to choose from. When looking for a tactical make sure you are getting a good quality knife. Look for a good steel blade, and all the safety standards you feel you will need with your tactical knife. If you choose a knife which folds make the sure the knife has a very good locking mechanism. If you choose one which is non-folding, you will need to get a good holster to keep your knife in.

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S.W.A.T. Tactical Vests

Described as the best tactical protection used by law enforcement and military, the swat tactical vests is what protects the brave men and women in uniform when facing dangerous situations. Each vest provides a perfect fit with adjustable velcro patches and tie downs. Included are adjustable sides for easy fitting when in need of extra comfort or tightening. A ballistic groin protection can be added and provides the extra security needed for the cautious minded. It detaches easily, much like the bicep protection sleeve. With both of these to guard you, you’ll feel that much more protected when in dangerous circumstances.

A typical swat tactical vest usually has a number of pouches available for all kinds of gear, making the one in uniform ready at all times. The vest has plenty of compartments for things like the storage of ammunition, small weaponry and even survival gear and first aid. When the swat tactical vest is fully equipped, it can save ones life either in combat or in survival. With its snug fit and gear in place, a vest like this will protect those in uniform who deal with deadly combatants on a daily basis.

This well-equipped vest can hold anything from small items to larger ones. The pistol holster securely holds the pistol in place and is usually found on the front side of the vest. The swat tactical vest can hold flashlights, ammo as well as a samurai sword! Imagine that! A fully equipped vest is the wearers best friend when in combat or fighting for survival. Emergency supplies can easily and comfortably be stored away for emergency use. Everything one would need to survive and fight with can be carried on this vest making the task simpler and safer. A swat tactical vest should be worn by all those in the line of duty.

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What are Bulletproof Vests?

Bulletproof tactical vests, or “bullet-proof” vests are used across millitary and police patrols as well as by civilians, as a life-saving device. Bulletproof vests are used for body armor. This particular type of armor is designed to absorb the impact when released from projectiles such as fire-arms and/or expolsives, explosive debree, or from lacinating injuries.

What are they Made From?

Bulletproof vests are made from tightly woven fibers that are intricately layered (soft vests) to serve the purpose of protecting the human body from serious injury, that could otherwise lead to death. These woven vest can be inhanced for protection by including metal or ceramic plates, commonly refered to as “hard plate reinforced vest”, which are more commonly worn by soldiers, police tactical units, and hostage rescue teams. Metallic components, which are tightly woven and layered into soft vests are also employed to provide resistance from sharp stabbing weapons, such as knives.

How They’ve Evolved and Improved

The US implemented tactical bulletproof vests for soldiers in WWII, but they were not successful. This the heavy and restrictive moblity, in addition to the already required equipment to be worn. Instead focus was diverted from these vests to the creation of flap jackets. However flap jackets were limitted to shrapnal rather than bullet proofing.

The Korean War new, more advanced bulletproof vests were introduced for US millitary. These vests were designed to be lighter than previously failed armor in WWII. They consisted of plastic or aluminium bits weaved into a nylon vest. This had also proven failure, due to the ineffectiveness of plastic and aluminium successfully resisting bullet fragments, and other shrapnel.

With the introduction of several new methods of construction paired with other fibers, proved successful at being more resistant, thinner, andlight-weight , made tactical vest a success for infantrymen. Although, accommodating to the needs of soldiers, these materials were a bit pricey.

Civilian Uses for Bulletproof Vests

Although tactical vests are intended for those in the line of fire, civilians may find the life saving body armor useful. Body-guards, security personel, hunters, etc. wear the soft tactical vests for protection, in these fields they prove to be highly effective when faced in projectile type conflict. Many hunters may find tactical vest useful, preventing accidents (such as Former Vice President Dick Chaney’s incident) or in aid from an animal attack. Furthermore, in the cases of civilian welfare, tactical vests have proven effective in saving lives, espcially when one is thrown into the “cross-fire”, for example, robberies and car jacking.

Throughout time, tactical vests have become a necessary precautionary device in saving lives.

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Evolving from LINCLOE, to LCE, to LLCE, to ALICE

In 1965 the Lightweight Individual Clothing & Equipment (LINCLOE) program marked the official start of the U. S. Army’s development of a standard load-carrying equipment system to lighten the carrying load for combat soldiers. However, earlier work along similar lines can be traced to the development of the Lightweight Rucksack in 1961. Feedback from infantry soldiers in 1962 led to the development of a modified M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment (LCE) system using nylon materials in place of cotton canvas duck. From these early modifications of existing gear, LINCLOE set design goals of 3 lbs. for the field pack and 3.3 lbs. for the nylon-equipped M-1956 LCE. In 1967 the nylon M-1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment (MLCE) was adopted although it was intended for use only in tropical environments.

The LINCLOE program did not end with the adoption of the M-1967 MLCE. In 1969 LINCLOE developed another LCE system, the LINCLOE LCE. Initial testing of the LINCLOE LCE revealed failures primarily with the closure devices. Throughout 1970-72, the LINCLOE program continued to test configurations based on both the LINCLOE LCE and the M-1967 MLCE. However, due to numerous problems with the various sets of equipment supplied by Natick Laboratories, the U. S. Army suspended testing in March 1972. Natick Laboratories made the requested modifications and testing was completed by August 1972.

In late 1972, Natick Laboratories and the U. S. Army agreed on a system that would later be adopted as U. S. Army standard in January 1973 – the M-1972 Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (LLCE). Contracts for the M-1972 LLCE components were issued in 1974 and soon thereafter the system was renamed All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE). The ALICE military backpack was the final result of the LINCLOE program and officially entered service in 1974.

The ALICE system uses the concepts of fighting and existence loads, the primary idea being that an infantryman should not carry any items deemed unnecessary to the immediate mission. Thus the items of the fighting load are normally carried on the belt and suspenders where they are easily accessible; the existence load is intended to be carried in the field pack.

The ALICE pack has been phased out of service for all active units in the U. S. Army. It was succeeded by the MOLLE system.

U.S. Army Duffel Bags

It is not exactly sure where the term ‘Duffle Bag’ came from or when it actually came about to the Army. Some history dates back during World War I 1917, E.E. Cummings was in the military as an ambulance driver. And while he was serving his time he would write letters talking about his experiences in combat. He mentioned his duffel bag a lot. The Army duffel Bag in World War I was called “The Doughboy Duffel Bag”, This bag was about 10 inches longs, made out of tan cloth from Duffle, brass rings, and rope. The bag was made like a knapsack, and not very well put together for traveling in combat.

After World War II the duffle bags in World War II were made with the same cloth but it was made 8 inches longer than the older duffle bag used in World War I. In World War II the bags were called “Barrack Bags” They were still made to look like knapsacks, and they were still not very sturdy while traveling in combat. In the years to come the bags would be made better.

In 1943 the Army made a lot of changes to the Duffle Bag. The duffle bag was made with olive drab no.3 canvas. This canvas was woven into a backpack that came with two web straps, which was made to carry heavy loads easier. It is a 37 inch wide bag, and is 12 inches long. The bag comes with all kinds of attachment rings so soldiers can carry more. The new duffle bag traveled well in combat, and the concept is used in the present day Army with more things added that made the duffle bag even better. To make identification easier, Army duffle bags get stenciled with the name and serial number of the soldier that is carrying the bag.

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The Combat Field Pack M-1990 (CFP-90)

In the 1990’s the United States Army made the decision to introduce the Individual Integrated Fighting System (IIFS) to its soldiers. The IIFS was meant to replace the old All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) that soldiers had been using for many years to carry their tactical and personal gear. Part of the new IIFS was the Combat Field Pack M-1990 (CFP-90).

The purpose of the CFP 90 is to enhance the safety and comfort of the soldiers, in two main ways. First, by more evenly distributing the weight of their load; second, through the many ergonomic and comfort features found in the pack. Some of the features offered by the CFP-90 include: lower padding on the back, lumbar support, shoulder padding, and an adjustable suspension system. It also features compression straps that enable a soldier to tightly strap down heavy loads to ensure minimal load-shifting. It also offers a hip belt to ease the strain of heavier loads.

CFP-90 Carrying Capacity and Features

Internal Storage

The CFP-90 field backpack (there is also a smaller CFP-90 patrol pack, which can be attached to the larger field pack) features two compartments. The first is the lower sleeping bag compartment; the second is the main compartment. The main compartment has a false bottom, allowing the pack to be completely opened if there is no sleeping bag being carried.  Between the 2 compartments there is a total of 1200 cubic inches of space for equipment.

Supports and Compression Straps

There are two removable internal metal supports that run lengthwise on side each of the pack.  These provide extra support, but can be removed if not required.  Compression straps are located on the interior and exterior of the CFP 90 to secure down any equipment for minimal shifting during movement.

External Pockets

On the outside of the pack are 3 external pockets.  On side has one long cylindrical pocket, the other has two smaller pockets to organize smaller gear.

Introduction of the PALS System

The combat field pack was one of the first backpacks to adopt the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS).  PALS is a system of nylon loops that covered the outside of the pack.  The PALS system allowed different pouches and equipment to be attached to this webbing framework.  It allows the wearer to customize the equipment and placement of that equipment for their personal style and preference.  These pouches can also be customized for specific mission needs or areas of responsibility.

The PALS system is now common on all current issue military backpacks as well as tactical vests and equipment.

Summary of Features:

  • The pack is made of eight ounce sturdy back-coated nylon that is not only durable, but also water resistant.
  • The CFP 90 weighs eight pounds when empty.  That includes: straps, belt, frame, and nylon.
  • It can carry up to seventy pounds of equipment.
  • 1200 cubic inches of internal cargo space.
  • PALS equipment system.

The CFP-90 is an effective load bearing unit that is made with the soldiers comfort and safety in mind. Since it allows the user to carry heavy loads with relative ease, it is even used by civilians for activities like hiking and camping.

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