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Review: Salomon Quest 4D GTX Hiking Boot

I’ve been wearing Salomon Quest 4D GTX Hiking Boots for more than 4 years now. My first pair is still going strong after those four years and last summer I came across a deal on a new pair that I couldn’t refuse so I purchased a second pair. I wear them exclusively when I am hiking, shooting, and daily in the winter. I have no way of knowing how many miles I have on the first pair, but it is a few hundred in hiking miles alone not to mention the daily winter wear. I know these boots inside and out and it’s long past time I wrote a review.

I won’t waste a lot of words giving you an overview of these boots. They are Goretex lined hiking boots. The same can be said for a lot of boots. Instead, I will focus in on what sets these boots apart for me and why I like them.

Longevity

There are really two forms of longevity when it comes to footwear. The first is obvious and has to do with how long a pair of boots can last. I have found these boots to be extremely durable as evidenced by my experiences above. These boots have hiked over Selkirk granite and dusty summer trails. They have spent time in snow, rain, and been submerged during creek crossings. They have been worn as work boots while felling trees for firewood. They’ve been through a lot and the soles are still attached (although I did have to use a bit of Shoe Goo last summer), the toe cap is still attached, they are still water-proof, and the support hasn’t broken down.

The other form of longevity is just as important. There is nothing worse than wearing out a pair of boots that you love only to find that you can’t buy them anymore. Fortunately, the Quest 4D GTX boots have been in continuous production for years. They are actually in their 3rd generation now and while there are small changes, the fit and important features have remained the same (at least through the first two generations that I have used).

Fit and Support

You can boil down the reasons I tried these boots in the first place to two things: fit and support.

The fit is perfect for me and everyone that I have turned onto these boots has found the same thing. I find them to be somewhat narrow through the heel and arch, not overly so, but narrow enough. The toe box is very generous. When laced, I find that the shape of the collar provides plenty of room for your ankle to articulate in the direct that it should articulate. My feet aren’t narrow or wide but I do have high arches. These boots accommodate me very well.

When it comes to support, I have never had a better boot. Wearing the Quest 4D Boots is like wearing ankle braces on the trail. This is accomplished a few ways. First, the ankle area is very sturdy and shaped so the foot can hinge forward and back but has plenty of support for side to side flex. Second, the way these lace is excellent. The first few lace loops are fixed. The first lace hook actually grips the lace aggressively so you can really lock in your heel and set the tension on the lower part of the boot. This is the first boot I have owned with this kind of locking hook and it might be the most important feature to me.

These boots have taught me the importance of locking in the heel for my long term comfort. They actually have a rigid plastic heel cup that works with the previously mentioned locking hooks to really immobilize and support your foot. This has been key to how well these boots support my ankles and prevent blisters. That same rigid plastic component runs all the into the arch for extra arch support. I have never sprained an ankle in these boots (if you know me, you know that is saying something). I have also never had an out of control hotspot or blister in these boots. Those are the functional benefits of good fit and solid support.

Water-Proof Performance

I swore off Gore-Tex boots before I tried these. Some water-proof boots that I have owned have left me with extra foot care problems like blisters from moisture build-up. That hasn’t been the case with these though I do still wish there was an identical, non-waterproof version.

Salomon does make a Quest 4D Boot without Gore-Tex in their military focused Forces line but it appears to have a different lace setup which has made me wary of trying them. If you have them, I would love to hear from you.

If you are stuck with water-proofing, at least it is well executed in these boots. My 4 year old Quest 4D Boots are still water-proof so the water-proofing has proven to be very durable. I also like that Salomon runs the waterproof membrane most of the way up the sides of the tongue, sort of like webbed duck feet. You have to submerge the boot all the way to the second lace hook before you have a chance of water ingress at the tongue which is handy during creek crossings.

Grip

I wear these boots hiking in conditions that vary from damp forest floors, to dusty summer trails, to miles of exposed granite, loose rock, and snow. These boots have an aggressive, long wearing sole that seems to grip wall across all those surfaces and in all directions. The soles on my 4 year old boots have been fairly long wearing and are still offering solid grip on the trail. The new boots seem to be somewhat more aggressive but it is hard to tell if that is because they are new or some change Salomon made to the sole.

Wrap Up

These are my go to boots for pretty much everything. They offer the support, grip, and sneaker like performance that I like for the shooting range or training courses. They have the fit, support, and durability I need for logging miles on the trail. They lock the heel and support my ankles better than any hiking boot I have ever owned. I like them so much that I keep a spare pair, broken in and ready to go.


A note on price… Premium boots are not cheap. These will typically cost around $230-$240 a pair. That hurt at first but using the same boots for 4 years stakes some of the sting out of paying up for them. BUT… You can shop around and save a ton. Salomon seams to roll out new colorways or even new generations of these boots with some frequency. If you can settle for last season’s color, you can save a lot of money. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner too.

I have purchased my first pair for $240 at REI so I could try them on. I purchased my second pair for about $150 off retail because it was a discontinued colorway on Amazon. It is hard to pass on a $240 pair of boots for around $100 shipped.

Click Here: Salomon Quest 4D Boots on Amazon

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KA-BAR BK62 Kephart Knife

If you are a fan of historic outdoor knife patterns, I am about to make your day. Ka-Bar is about to release one of the most accurate recreations of Horace Kephart’s iconic knife design to date. The KA-BAR BK62 Kephart Knife will be released in Ka-Bar’s Becker line based on an excellent original Kephart knife that belongs to Ethan Becker. You can learn more in the video below.

KaBar.com

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KE Arms Releases G26 Compatible Slide Blanks

KE Arms is pleased to announce the release of our slides compatible with Gen 3 Glock 26 pistols and similar frames like those made by Polymer 80.

The KE26 Slide is machined from 17-4 Stainless steel and heat treated to Rockwell 42-43.  These slides come ready to accept OEM internals, barrels, and guide rods. The KE26 slide is compatible with all Glock 26 Gen 3 OEM components.  Nothing else has been machined on the surfaces, making them perfect for custom builds and gunsmithing projects.  Completed models with serrations and optics cuts will be coming soon.

All KE Arms slides are manufactured in Arizona, with models available for the G17, G19, and G34 as well.   KE Arms has supplied other well-known brands with slides since 2015.  Slide blanks are available to consumers for $200 on KE Arms’ site http://www.kearms.com/ke26-slide-blank.aspx

Dealers and clients interested in OEM purchases can contact KE Arms at sales@kearms.com

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Strike Industries Opens Pre-Orders on Viper PDW Stabilizers

Strike Industries has opened pre-ordering for the hotly anticipated Viper PDW Stabilizer. This collapsible pistol brace is already ATF approved and offers the end user push button deployment.

From Strike Industries:

The Strike Industries Viper PDW Stabilizer represents the pinnacle of ultra-compact PDW systems. At the compressed position, the compact Viper PDW allows for effortless maneuverability particularly in close quarters and vehicular operations. With the press of a button, the rapid deployment system instantly springs to the extended position for greater shot stability and faster reaction time. Previous PDW systems for ARs have been notorious for expensive proprietary systems, spotty reliability and poor ergonomics.

This system is designed to be able to drop into your existing platform. The buffer system is carefully engineered to provide high reliability while allowing for the use of standard bolt carriers, allowing for multi-role use with a single system. The included flat-wire spring increases bolt load despite the compact dimensions for greater reliability, even in extreme short barrel configurations.

Included with the Viper PDW is a rubberized cheek rest to create a comfortable cheek weld, a criticism of many competitor PDW systems. At the rear of the buffer tube and beneath the housing, QD cups are built in for expanded sling mounting options.

Unlike most traditional arm stabilizers, the Viper PDW Stabilizer is designed to be ergonomic and comfortable along all planes. The overall design eliminates any snag hazards and abrasion zones resulting in a comfortable cheek-weld and stabilizing interface.

The PDW Stabilizer is already ATF approved. Finally, a PDW stabilizer without compromise. Quickly deployable, drop-in capable, and ruggedly reliable.

Strike Hard, Strike Fast with the SI Viper PDW Stabilizer.

Check out StrikeIndustries.com

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Hill People Gear Capture Flap – Now Available

The Hill People Gear (HPG) Capture Flap is now available to purchase on HillPeopleGear.com. This beaver-tail/tailgate accessory can be attached (via G-hooks) to all HPG packs (and many packs from other manufacturers) to add secure external storage for bulky items. The Capture Flap is laser cut with a PALS compatible grid for adding additional pouches. The back of the Capture Flap is lined with loop material for added hook backed pouches.

HillPeopleGear.com

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B.E. Meyers & Co. “MAWLR” LX570 Official Debut at SEMA 2108

SEMA 2018 finished last week, wrapping up the first year of B.E. Meyers & Co.’s participation in one of the world’s premier auto shows. While SEMA may seem an unlikely place to find a laser manufacturer, B.E. Meyers & Co., who is known for innovative defense and aerospace solutions, had something truly unique to share with the automotive industry. The “MAWLR”, a Lexus LX570 that B.E. Meyers & Co. and Defconbrix transformed into the ultimate overland vehicle, was unveiled at SEMA in the Toyo Tires Treadpass. It is extremely rare to see an LX570 configured for off-road use, and none have a story quite like the MAWLR’s.

When Sean Jennings of Defconbrix picked up the Lexus LX570 from B.E. Meyers & Co. in Redmond, WA last February, it was a completely stock vehicle with a long way to go before it would become the MAWLR. The Lexus had belonged to the late founder of B.E. Meyers & Co., Brad Meyers. To honor Brad’s adventurous spirit, and his legacy of ingenuity, Matt Meyers, CEO of B.E. Meyers & Co., decided to turn the LX570 into a project build with a unique vision. The MAWLR would parallel the qualities that make B.E. Meyers & Co. products successful, specifically the MAWL® (Modular Advanced Weapon Laser).

Purpose-Built

As a company that focuses primarily on laser systems for night operations, the B.E. Meyers & Co. team needed a vehicle that could navigate the rugged Pacific Northwest terrain in low-light, and no-light conditions. The MAWLR is purpose-built to transport equipment to remote destinations for product demonstrations, testing, and photo shoots.

Weapon-Ready

The MAWLR is weapon ready, equipped with a TruckVault with designated space for rifle platforms, laser systems, and accessories. A large roof rack easily accommodates additional gear in travel cases.

Rugged and Dependable

Custom armor, all-terrain tires, and all-wheel-drive ensure the MAWLR can make it from point A to point B in the varying climates of the Pacific Northwest. The MAWLR can transition from Washington’s snowy mountain passes, to wet rainforests, and sandy deserts, all without breaking a sweat.

All the Photons

Whether demonstrating the latest laser technology, or shooting machine guns on a photo shoot, the B.E. Meyers & Co. team can often be found making magic happen during hours of complete darkness. Extensive aftermarket lighting on the front and rear of the MAWLR provide the lumens necessary to navigate to and from remote destinations at night.

B.E. Meyers & Co. and Defconbrix will be revealing the official build list once the project is officially completed.

The B.E. Meyers & Co. MAWLR build by Defconbrix can be followed on Instagram (@the.mawlr), and Facebook (@mawlr).

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Shaddox Tactical Padded Weight Pockets

If you are looking to add some weight to your ruck without tearing up your pack or your back, check out the Padded Weight Pockets from Shaddox Tactical. They make three sizes for 20, 30, and 45 pound weights. These pouches are designed around GORUCK plates (or similar) to mount via PALS webbing inside GORUCK bags but they can also fit other bags.

These pouches are constructed from two layers of 1000D Cordura Nylon with closed cell foam padding between layers. The top flap is secured with Velcro and features a Velcro/PALS field for attaching small pouches or moral patches.

Check out the Padded Weight Pockets at ShaddoxTactical.com.

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Review: Bravo Concealment DOS IWB and BCA OWB Light Bearing Holsters

I’ve recommend Bravo Concealment’s holsters for a long time on the basis of their solid quality, very competitive prices, and very short lead times. They represent an excellent value. It’s time we take a closer look at the two holsters from them that I use most often.

BCA Light Bearing OWB

Glock 17 TLR-1HL BCA Holster

The BCA outside the waistband holster is the first holster I ever owned from Bravo Concealment and it is likely the holster for which they are most well known. My original BCA, a 1911 holster, was given away to a friend years ago but now I use a BCA Light Bearing OWB for my Glock 17s and 19s.

The BCA is a pancake style holster made from two separate layers of .080″ thick kydex that are riveted together. This allows the injection molded belt loops to be spaced out to promote a very close to the body fit and stability on the belt. Currently, Bravo Concealment only offers the BCA with loops for 1.5″ belts but the standard hole spacing allows the end user to purchase aftermarket loops for larger belts.

The BCA conceals extremely well thanks to its slightly curved design, how close it rides to the body, and 10 degree forward cant. I also find that it is an excellent holster for use on a so-called “battle belt” if you do not need any drop.

DOS-Light Bearing IWB

Glock 17 TLR-1HL DOS-L Holster

I have less experience with the DOS-Light Bearing IWB holster than I do the BCA but I have come to use it quite a bit. My holster is for the Glock 17 but I mostly use it to carry a Glock 19 with TLR-1.

This holster is a tuckable, IWB design that can be used with 1 or 2 belt clips (2 clips are included). It is also a two-piece design with a slight curve molded into the overall shape of the holster. It is a straight drop design though some cant can be adjusted by the user via the belt clips.

A Glock 19 or 17 with a TLR-1 is not an easy handgun to conceal for everyone but the DOS-Light Bearing IWB makes it work for me. I prefer to wear it somewhere near my hip. I have tried it in the AIWB position but found that a holster like the Torsion is better suited to appendix carry.

Observations from Use

There a number of things that I look for immediately with kydex holsters like clean mold lines, finished edges that won’t cut into the wearer, straight site tracks, and mold blocking built in for gun parts that might otherwise drag during the drawstroke. Then there are things you have to feel more than you can see like how positive the retention is, whether the handgun drag due to poor molding practices, and to what extent the design of the sweat shield interferes with the grip. Bravo Concealment has all of these considerations ironed out and their holsters offer excellent fit and finish.

The molding is particularly good. It is well thought out with proper blocking, plenty of space for aftermarket sights, and very cleanly executed. The way they blend mold features like the sight track into the barrel relief is actually pretty slick. This is really only possible because they machine their own molds. They even go to the trouble of building in space for some of the most common aftermarket accessories like extended slide releases.

Those of you with handguns with red dot sights will be pleased to know that both holsters are cut to accomodate dot sights. They also mold in space with extended or threaded barrels in both holsters.

I have found Bravo Concealment’s belt hardware to be excellent. The early days when kydex benders would bend their own belt hardware are long gone (thankfully). Injection molded hardware is the way to go for long term durability and Bravo Concealment’s is very good. Their OWB loops tuck completely behind the holster itself and sort of rake back to match the curve of the holster. Their tuckable IWB clips offer a ton of adjustment and loop around to the back of the belt to ensure they don’t come off until you release them.

I prefer holsters that DO NOT have adjustable retention but this isn’t always possible with all types of holsters or gun/light combinations. Adjustable retention holsters can often loosen over time and use. I prefer to just have strong positive retention molded into the holster so I don’t have to worry about getting the adjustment just right and then thread locking the screw. These two holsters (and the others I have used) from Bravo Concealment have strong, positive retention without needing an adjustment.

The sweat guard design on both holsters is identical and it is quite good. Bravo Concealment calls it is “medium” sweat guard. It is an almost full coverage guard that tapers so that the user can establish a full firing grip with the handgun still in the holster.

As much as I like these holsters, there are some changes I would like to see. The BCA does so well on battle belt set ups that it would be nice to see it offered with a wider variety of belt loop sizes, especially 1.75″. The DOS-Light Bearing Holster does an admirable job of trying to turn in the grip of my handgun, but the TLR-1 light is wide enough that the double clip set up can’t turn it in on it’s own. It would be nice to see some sort of a claw/strut offered as an option to help turn in the grip for these handguns with larger lights.

Wrap Up

These are excellent holsters made in the USA by a completely modern holster maker. I highly recommend them especially considering what a good value they are. Bravo Concealment often has sales and they offer various combos that make their holsters an even better value than what they initially appear to be.

Bravo Concealment

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Chase Tactical at CATO Conference – Reno, NV

Mark your calender. Chase Tactical will be in attendance at CATO.

To all our California Law Enforcement followers we’ll be displaying at CATO in Reno, NV from November 5-6 in Booth 320. Stop by for a chance to win a Free Chase Tactical Plate carrier and see our new products.

ChaseTactical.com

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Paladin 5 Silencer from Griffin Armament

Griffin Armament has released details regarding their new Paladin 5 Silencer.

User serviceable rifle sound suppressors are becoming more and more popular and requested. We have been fielding requests for them for probably the last 5 years with decent volume. It’s not applicable to all end users as a lot of users don’t really shoot a lot. But if you’re one of these guys that is on the range all the time or out on the back 40 shooting all the time it’s definitely really nice to have. Depending on the ammo you’re using how dirty or clean the powder burn is etc, how badly the twist in your barrel shaves copper off your bullets and throws molten lead in your suppressor… all of that adds up for people that shoot a lot. What do we mean by a lot?, we’re talking thousands and thousands of rounds so it’s not needed for most people, but if you are a heavy shooter and you want to be able to clean the suppressor and set it back to factory specs, that’s a really nice feature. Cans get heavier over time due to the carbon and copper deposits building up in the suppressor with use. And the Ratchet-lok™ end cap on the Paladin® suppressors makes them super easy to take apart and service but also ensures they stay together even under hard use.

Personally, I like them. The Paladin is right now my favorite series that we make. It’s definitely not the easiest suppressor to make but its its one of the best.

–Evan Green, Business Development Manager – Griffin Armament

Check out GriffinArmament.com for more details.

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