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Tag Archives | Vigilant Gear

OscarDelta GTFO Wrist Strap

The need to break a side or rear window in your car rarely arises… but when it does, it really does.

The GTFO Wrist Strap from OscarDelta is a glass breaking tool that can be worn on your wrist so that it is always with you. It consists of a length of shock cord with a tungsten carbide bead.

To use the GTFO Wrist Strap, remove it from your wrist. Hold the shock cord in one hand and the bead in the other. Stretch the shock cord and release the bead so that it strikes the window. This simple design allows the user to generate high velocity for the bead in a confined space.

OscarDelta.co.uk

These are also available at USA based dealer, Vigilant Gear.

CORE Nano Adventure Wallet as Compact Entry Kit

This is pretty slick. Vigilant Gear posted a picture of how they use the CORE Nano Adventure Wallet from Triple 7 Gear/20$ Bandit as a compact entry kit organizer. Many people who live or work in urban spaces are adding lock bypass tools to their emergency preparedness kits and this looks like handy way to keep those tools organized.

vigilant gear core nano kit

To put this in perspective, the kit shown is smaller than a deck of playing cards yet it can bypass most common types of locks the urban survivor is likely to encounter. This kit is not being offered for sale as shown but you can build your own that is tailored to your needs/skill level. Most of the individual tools are available at Vigilant Gear.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit 2.0

Vigilant Gear has revamped their Micro SERE Kit. The new Micro SERE Kit 2.0 comes in a new container, with new components, and with new packaging.

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The new container is a lot like the old one in that it is a compact plastic clamshell box but it is now made from opaque black plastic rather than clear plastic. The new packaging looks good and has product information printed on the box.

All of that is great but I am sure you all want to know what’s inside. The new kit includes:

  • (1) Black Plastic Storage Case (2.3″ x 1.8″ x 0.5″)
  • (1) Mini Survival Mirror with SOLAS panel
  • (2) Polymer Handcuff Key
  • (1) Ceramic Razor Blade
  • (1) Tinder Quick Firestarting Tab
  • (1) 14mm (Grade AA) Luminous Button Compass
  • (1) 6ft Length of 188LB Kevlar Cordage
  • (1) 6ft Length of Stainless Steel, Nylon Coated Leader Wire
  • (1) Spring Steel Split-Pawl Handcuff Shim
  • (1) Quick Stick Bypass Tool
  • (1) EZ Decoder Bypass Tool
  • (1) Micro Escape Tool
  • (1) Ferrocerium Rod
  • (1) Diamond Wire Blade
  • (2) Bobby Pins
  • (1) SERE V-Cutter
  • *Optional Bogota Titan Nano Entry Toolset

You can view the contents of the old kit HERE.

The Micro SERE Kit 2.0 is in stock and that is rarely the case for long so act fast. Check out the Micro SERE Kit 2.0 at Vigilant Gear.

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Black Friday Special at Vigilant Gear

Santa doesn’t come down the chimney. He bypasses your locks with the Black Friday Special at Vigilant Gear.

Save big at Vigilant Gear on Entry Cards when you use code ENTRYSALE.

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Vigilant Gear Titanium Entry Card Giveaway

Vigilant Gear is giving away some Titanium Entry Cards. That would be pretty cool on its own since their Ti Entry Cards are pretty slick but these aren’t just any old Titanium Entry Cards. No, these are custom anodized versions that look amazing. I bet posting an EDC dump picture of one of these bad boys on Instagram would net you a few thousand followers in one fell swoop… maybe.

Enter the giveaway at Vigilant Gear.

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Vigilant Gear – New Site and New Gear

Vigilant Gear has an all new site that is loaded with new gear. They are also now offering shipping for just $2 or free with purchases of $50 or more.

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Vigilant Gear Gentleman’s Kit

The new upcoming Gentleman’s Kit from Vigilant Gear looks like something that was designed by a committee that consisted of Indiana Jones, MacGyver, and that guy from the Dos Equis commercials. This kit is industrial strength cool.

The Gentleman’s Kit is a custom leather wallet that is designed to hold a number of different E&E tools including various types of lock bypasses like Bogotas, shims, and similar items. It can also be used to hold a credit card pick set or just plain old credit cards. It is made from Horween Chromexcel leather and embossed with the Vigilant Gear logo.

The image below is a prototype so you can probably expect some small changes in the production version. These will be available soon. Check out Vigilant Gear.

vigilant gear gentlemans kit

Review: Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit

I am not sure I have ever had more fun reviewing an item as I had with the Micro SERE Kit from Vigilant Gear. However, this kit isn’t all about fun. It actually packs a lot of serious capability into a very small package. How small? Small enough that you can completely cover it with a business card. In fact, you can almost cover 2 of them with a single business card!

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit

Overview

The Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit (MSK) packs several contents into a very small package. Those contents manage to cover a lot of bases despite their small size.

The MSK contains:

  • Plastic Storage Case (2.3″ x 1.8″ x 0.5″)
  • (1) Mini Survival Mirror with IR panel
  • (2) Polymer Handcuff Key
  • (1) Ceramic Razor Blade
  • (1) Tinder Quick Firestarting Tab
  • (1) 14mm (Grade AA) Luminous Button Compass
  • (1) 6ft Length of 188LB Kevlar Cordage
  • (1) 6ft Length of Stainless Steel, Nylon Coated Leader Wire
  • (1) Spring Steel Split-Pawl Handcuff Shim
  • (1) Quick Stick Bypass Tool
  • (1) EZ Decoder Bypass Tool
  • (1) Micro Escape Tool
  • (1) Ferrocerium Rod

You can also add an optional Bogota Titan Nano Entry Toolset at the point of purchase.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit Contents

Observations from Use

There is a lot of ground to cover here. I will address each of the components individually, though likely not in the depth that they would merit as individual review items. Once the individual items have been addressed, I will speak to the kit as a whole.

Contents

The case itself is great. It is compact and seems durable. I have opened and closed it countless times while testing all the various items and the clasp has help up. It’s clear, frosted plastic construction gives you a glimpse of the contents at a glance. It is ideal for this application.

The signal mirror works well enough for such a small, light signal mirror. The reflective side is protected with clear plastic film which I recommend keeping in place until you need to use it and then retaining. I have had good luck sticking it back in place after testing. Normally, I would say remove the film so you don’t have to in an emergency but in a small kit like this the film protects the mirror’s surface while it is stowed with the other items. The reflective side (it looks like SOLAS tape or something similar) gives you low/no light capability and was a smart addition by Vigilant Gear. The mirror has a lanyard hole which is handy for a couple reasons. First, if you are actively trying to be found, you can hang the mirror around your neck with some cord so it is readily available and second, it acts as a sight for the two handed signal mirror aiming method.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit TIHK

The kit includes 2 TIHKs. These are currently the best discreet handcuff keys on the market by virtue of their small, integrated clip that allows them to be carried discreetly in a number of locations. They work especially well stowed on the rear belt loop of your pants. They work GREAT on most handcuffs but I wish they were just a hair longer so that they worked better with ASP cuffs which are quite common. The ASP cuff has a plastic housing that makes the keyway just a bit deeper. The TIHK will open them but you really have to press it into the keyway which can be difficult to do behind your back.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit Cutting Implements

The ceramic razor blade is pretty rudimentary as a cutting tool. It is sufficient for cutting some cordage thanks to its somewhat toothy edge but it is not especially sharp and it is difficult to hold. These are the concessions you make with such a small kit. It does come packed in its own tiny sleeve which is nice for preventing it from scratching/cutting the other items in the kit.

People have been starting fires with Tinder Quick fire starting tabs for years because they work. You may even be able to split this tab for multiple uses depending on conditions and skill level. This is a very nice addition to the kit because it covers one of the most basic needs in a survival situation – heat.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit Fire Starters

The included button compass is one of the nicest I have seen. Some button compasses easily reverse polarity, develop bubbles, and have hash mark covered dials which is strange because they are really only good for cardinal directions. This one developed no bubbles, held its polarity in all testing, and is easily readable. It’s an excellent little compass.

The MSK includes 6 feet of coiled Kevlar cordage with a 188 pound break strength. This can be pulled apart into multiple smaller strands which are strong enough for lashing sticks for shelter and thin enough to improvise fishing line. It can also be improvised into a saw for cutting plastic like PVC pipe or zip tie style restraints. This is the ideal, compact cordage for a kit like this. You will always be able to find a use for cordage.

The included 6 feet of nylon coated steel leader wire is just as versatile as the cordage. I suppose that someone well versed in snaring could make a snare from it. However, I like to use it for gear repairs since it can act somewhat like thread with its own built in needle. Like the cordage, you will always find ways to use this.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit Cordage

Vigilant Gear provided a second handcuff bypass option in the Spring Steel Split-Pawl Handcuff Shim. These work well on cuffs with and without anti shim measures. They will certainly work on the most commonly used cuffs. Assuming I can access the shim from where my hands are cuffed, it is fairly easy to shim a set of chain style cuffs. Hinged cuffs limit your range of motion and make things a lot harder.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit Handcuff Shim

Quick Sticks are amazing in their effectiveness and simplicity. They are used by inserting them to the back of a padlock’s keyway and then simply applying some leverage to defeat the pawl that locks the bail in place. It bypasses the keyway entirely so there is no picking skill required (though some practice is recommended). I have had great luck with defeating padlocks with a single locking pawl but not so great luck on doubles. I have heard of being done though so, on at least some padlocks, it can be done with practice.

The EZ Decoder is similar in design and principle to the Quick Stick but it is designed to open combination padlocks. You can tell the difference between it and the Quick Stick easily by remembering that the EX Decoder is much thinner. It works by inserting it into the lock through one of the small spaces around one of the combination tumblers (that is why it is so slim) and applying a bit of leverage to lift the locking mechanism. They work like a charm on the right kind of lock and it takes up almost no space in the kit.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit Padlock Bypass

The MSK includes a Micro Escape Tool which is a tiny metal saw that is thin enough to be used as a handcuff shim. The saw edge can be used to cut through flex cuffs, tape, and other non-metallic materials. It has a small lanyard hole at one end and I recommend tying some thin cord to it that can serve as a wrist lanyard (with a bit of extra slack) so you don’t have to worry about dropping such a small item. If you do this in advance, it will be ready to go when you need it.

Finally, the kit includes a small ferrocerium rod fire starter. Ferro rods are a survival/E&E kit mainstay for a reason. They work and they work regardless of weather conditions, altitude, and other factors. The Micro Escape Tool makes a decent striker for the rod and it seems to be of good quality judging by the sparks it throws. A skilled fire starter can have a fire going in minutes by using the ferro rod with the Tinder Quick tab. The ferro rod can also provide hot enough sparks to ignite natural tinder too.

Kit as a Whole

This is a well designed kit. A skilled user could use the included items to cover at least two of their basic survival needs. The cordage could be used to build shelter (though cordage is sometimes not needed for shelter). The ferro rod and Tinder Quick tab can be used to start a fire for warmth. There is room to add a water purification tablet or two which would then cover another basic need. With that said, it is important to remember that this is a SERE kit, not just a survival kit and so it is heavy on items that are used for evasion.

The tested version of this kit used small plastic baggies to hold the cordage. They were a serious pain in the backside if you ever wanted to repack the cordage and place it back into the kit. Thankfully, the current version of the kit includes small rubber bands to retain the cord. The bands are easier to use and can be used as an emergency fire starter.

The rest of the kit items are surprisingly easy to repack. You would think that with a kit this small, repacking would be a pain but it is easy and doesn’t even really have to be done in a certain order.

Wrap Up

This is a tremendous little kit that puts a lot of useful tools into a small package. It will be best suited to knowledgeable users or those who are willing to spend a little time training. No one was born with the innate knowledge of how to use a Quick Stick or EZ Decoder so it would be prudent to practice but you knew that already.

I recommend adding the optional Bogota Entry Toolset to round out your lock bypass options. They are excellent and there is plenty of room in the kit for them.

If your job puts you at risk of being unlawfully restrained, this could be a great tool for you. If you are a prepared citizen, it would be worth a look for you, too.

Vigilant Gear Mini SERE Pouch

Hide your small survival gear in plain sight with the new Mini SERE Pouch from Vigilant Gear. This tiny pouch attaches to any loop Velcro panel on your gear and allows you to affix a patch over it to conceal its location. It is a simple, secure, and discreet way to carry small items like Bogota Entry Tools.

Check out the Mini SERE Pouch from Vigilant Gear.

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Vigilant Gear Kit Container

A good survival kit starts with a good container. The new Kit Container from Vigilant Gear is certainly that.

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The Kit Container is made from hard anodized aluminum to keep weight to a minimum while still offering the multiple functions that make metal containers useful in this application like the ability to heat water. The lid has reflective material inside that can be used for low light signalling and its 4.1″ x 2.5″ x 1.4″ size gives you quite a bit of capacity to work with when it comes time to stock the kit.

Best of all, the Kit Container has an integrated rubber gasket and Velcro straps that can help keep the contents dry and intact. The gasket is an especially nice feature that moves the Kit Container to the front of the line when it comes to metal survival kit containers.

Check out the new Kit Container at Vigilant Gear.

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