“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some gear comments

Not sure where I had gotten the tip from lately, but someone had mentioned Vertx pants as a newer "semi-tactical" pant, which had a lot of good features without being quite as blatantly obvious as some of the 5.11/Blackhawk/EOTAC offerings out there. Being that we are currently testing out some new pants for work, and that I needed some new pants anyway, I picked up a pair to try the other day.

Eh. .

Comfort-wise they aren't bad - nicely made as they describe, seem durable enough (though not as sturdy as say the offerings from Mountain Khakis,) and yes they are a "medium profile" cargo-style pant. The lack of velcro & buttons on the major pockets is a good thing for certain situations. They certainly won't look out of place as casual pants wandering about or even in some work environments. 98% cotton/2% spandex, which has good and bad points depending on your needs.

But the front pockets are a fail in my book. The way the curve is cut and how they meet up at the seam ruins it. Why? Because I can't subtly, reliably carry my pocket knife.

For those not "on the job," or shooters, or military or whatever, let me explain. Since pretty much the late 80's/early 90's, when a combination of Spyderco & Ernest Emerson swept to popularity amongst the "high speed" tactical crowd, pocket clips holding knives in an accessible position have become just about dominant throughout the communities. (Yes, I know, others have done them and helped the spread - but those two were the biggest names in it hitting mass appeal.) I can pretty much guarantee you that you go to any police department, any operational military unit (I'll leave the admin monkeys out,) any shooting event and a good chunk of the regular public - and the majority of them are carrying knives clipped in a pocket. It's a good, secure way to hold it & be able to access the tool when needed, which is part of why it has spread so successfully. Sure, there are some debates on carrying front vs. back pocket, strong side vs. weak side - but the overall consensus is it is a good place for a folding knife.

And these pants just can't do it well. Not even talking big knives here - just regular, medium-sized street-legal folding knives. Tried it with several of mine today & they all stuck at least partway out, and were at an odd angle.

The company did well - and I certainly hope they fix this on round 2. Of course, YMMV as may your opinions. But unfortunately I won't be looking at any more of their pants until they do.


In some other random gear notes, again which may bore some of you:

Seems that more and more folks are reporting problems with the Blackhawk SERPA style holsters - despite the fact they recently picked up a SOCCOM contract for issue... I was a fan of the holster for a while, but given the continuing issues I am retiring mine as well. Just because I haven't had a problem yet, doesn't mean I want the first time to be sometime I really need that pistol. A shame - and hopefully something that can also be fixed.

On a good note for the Blackhawk stuff - been using a pair of the Warrior Wear desert boots for about 8 months now as just outside/range/casual boots. Comfortable from day one, seems plenty sturdy, and I've had zero problems with wear or tear on them. Plus, the soles hold well when wet and don't squeak like so many do. Definitely recommended.

Been using a Kifaru X-Ray pack for about six months now as an everyday carry kind of thing. Founded by the guy who started Mountainsmith packs, the company primarily builds for military & the hunting/guiding side of things now - very police and military friendly, some great designs and some improvements on old technology. Downsides are that, while pretty much bombproof stuff, it does come with the associated weight of all that; and that it is rather pricey if you aren't lucky enough to be getting work to pay for it somehow. But, my experience with it has been great, and I will definitely keep them in mind for other gear as well. Also - if you have special needs/requests, from what I understand they will bend over backwards to meet them.

Had a few others to mention, but now they have slipped my mind so I will leave my comments at those three.

And, for full disclosure, I have received no compensation or consideration by any company for any of their products - these are just my opinions based on my experiences. Thank you FTC for making sure I'm not deceiving anyone...

1 comment:

roaming_gnome said...

I have a Mountainsmith backpack for long trips, and I'm eyeing a day pack for my SAR ready pack. I can't speak to the tactical side of the business, but their stuff for the civilian side seriously rocks. It's even decently priced.