How cool is this? S.O. Tech is introducing a line of adapters that allow you to integrate Goal Zero solar panels into your MOLLE gear. The adapters will fit the panels without modification. The adapters will be available on SpecOpsTech.com later this month.
Ball caps don’t really have to do much to fulfill their purpose. If they keep the sun out of our eyes, we are usually pretty satisfied with them. The Blasting Cap from RE Factor Tactical is a ball cap, but it does a lot more than keep the sun out of your eyes. It might just change what you expect from a cap.
It seems like everyone makes a tactical hat these days. Many are basically identical low crown, unstructured hats with a Velcro panel on the front. Others have incrementally introduced innovative, end user centric features like ventilation and interior signal panels. However, few have so successfully combined these features into something that feels completely new like the RE Factor Tactical Blasting Cap.
The cap itself starts out as a Flexfit ball cap with mesh side and back panels. The Blasting Cap has features that you expect from a “tactical” cap. It has front and rear Velcro panels for attaching patches and identification. The edges of these panels are embroidered for durability. It has a 1”x1” Velcro panel that replaces the button on the crown. This allows for comfortable use of over-the-head hearing protection and attaching IR glint tape. Additionally, there is a second 1”x1” Velcro panel on the inside of the cap for storing your IR glint tape when not in use.
The interior of that cap contains still more functionality. The binding tape on the interior of the cap is printed with the RE Factors of various Es as a reference for those who need this sort of thing (which is not me). The front most two panels are lined with high visibility orange material that can be used for signaling which I find to be extremely useful.
Basically, this cap has many more features that you would typically expect from a cap.
Observations from Use
Caps must be comfortable to wear or they are useless. Since the Blasting Cap starts with a genuine Flexfit cap, it is extremely comfortable. The fact that it has mesh panels to greatly increase ventilation improves the comfort exponentially in warm weather.
The embroidered edges on the Velcro panels are a nice touch. It should help extend the life of the panels by preventing the edges from pulling when you remove a patch.
The signaling panel is the kind of feature that you will get more use out of than you realize. You can get someone’s attention in a crowd, get noticed if you find yourself in an emergency in the woods, or use it as a reference point for land navigation while using the leap frog technique. Of course, there are military uses for the panel that I am not qualified to comment on.
I have been struck with the thoughtful touches that can found in this cap. Things like the embroidered edges on the Velcro panels and the interior glint tape storage panel show attention to detail from the types of people who wear these caps on the job. Many of these features can be found on other caps but you will only find all of them in the Blasting Cap.
Check out the Blasting Cap on REFactorTactical.com.
Disclosure: RE Factor Tactical provided me this cap for review, free of charge.
The Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight (MPIL) Mk1 is one of our favorite pieces of gear. It is now available from OC Tactical and direct from Battle Systems in addition to its initial release from ITS Tactical.
You already know Maxpedition for their EDC bags and pouches, but with the introduction of the FEROX Folding Knife, they are ready to dominate yet another portion of the EDC market.
The FEROX manages to pack a lot of features into a relatively inexpensive knife. The handles are made from textured fiber-reinforced nylon and are available in black, OD green, and khaki. The liner locking 5Cr13 stainless steel blade is hardened to 56/59HRc and is blackened for a low-profile appearance. The FEROX also features a tip down pocket clip and a guard/flipper for easy opening.
Here is another reason to love smaller gear makers. No large gear manufacturer would ever make a pouch for an American Kami Spork and if they did, it wouldn’t show the attention to detail that this new pouch from OC Tactical does.
This new pouch allows you to protect the contents of your pack from your spork and protect your spork from the contents of your pack. It is made from 2″ wide Multicam webbing and lined with polyester for easy clean up. The pouch also features duel drainage grommets (front and back) so it doesn’t retain stuff like soup, cheese spread, and barbeque sauce.
Grey Ghost Gear says that the “cool factor” comes from the fabrics that they chose for these packs. It is available in Coyote Brown or Multicam LiteLok material which is extremely lightweight and has an interest ripstop-like appearance. The black version is made from a proprietary, large weave ripstop fabric that looks very slick. The grey and A-TACS FG versions are made from lightweight and durable 500D Cordura nylon.
The pack itself features a sleek, compact design that offers about 900 cubic inches of capacity. It has two pockets – a large main pocket and a smaller center zip pocket. The center zip pocket has internal organization features and a holster pocket for covert handgun carry. The bag also features a mesh back panel, a sternum strap, and a large grab handle on the top.
Check out the new Stealth Operator Pack on GreyGhostGear.com.
I have received a few emails inquiring when the MPIL (Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight) from Battle Systems would be available again. I have good news. The new production version of the MPIL available soon.
The production version features a few changes from the original pre-production version that I reviewed. The production version has new packaging, coyote brown para-cord attachment points, and an improved IR reflective patch.
ITS Tactical will have the exclusive release of the production MPIL in the next several days. Stay tuned.
Bladerigs is now offering Cold Steel Secret Edge knives that have been customized and fitted with their excellent sheaths.
The customizations that have been performed on these knives turns them into compact defensive knives that are somewhat reminiscent of the Tracker Dan BloodShark. The handle is removed, reshaped, and then cord wrapped. The result is a thin, concealable handle that gives the user tactile feedback about the edge orientation and keeps your hand from slipping up onto the edge.
The sheath is the excellent minimalist IWB rig. This sheath allows a multitude of carry options in addition to inside the waistband. It works especially well tucked into a belt loop horizontally near the wearer’s center-line.
Welcome to Be Heard! Be Heard is your chance to tell us what you think about a variety of topics. We want to hear from you so leave a comment below.
The topic for this installment of Be Heard has to do with knives. When you are choosing a knife to carry everyday or on your gear, do you look for something that has features that make it a good tool first or a good weapon first? Why?
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