Blue Line

Clothing and duty gear

October 27, 2021  By Hilary Rodela and Brendan Rodela

Credit: CHOKCHAIPOO / Adobe Stock

A 2021 tactical gear review

Wearing and using the right equipment can make all the difference in your day. Whether on or off duty, it is important to be comfortable yet also have the ability to be efficient. This past year, several companies have developed outstanding gear – both apparel and accessories – to make an officer’s day the best it can be. When you have the right gear, you can do your job much more efficiently than when you don’t.


LA Police Gear’s BFE Stretch pants can carry everything an officer might need. Featuring a 10-pocket design, there is no limit to what you can take with you. The BFE pants deliver in every way: a high quality, tactical, cop friendly product, for less than a pair of jeans at the mall. The BFE pants are made from a blend of 67 per cent polyester and 33 per cent cotton, and they also feature two front pockets, two back pockets, two hip pockets (perfect for a rifle mag), two zip top cargo pockets with internal organizers, one deep, slender front pocket (perfect for a pistol magazine), and one handcuff key pocket built into the rear centre belt loop. The stretchable fabric allows the officer to load up with all their gear and carry their firearm IWB comfortably, without sacrificing flexibility or mobility. And they look good doing it, too.

Finding a shirt that is great for off duty time and also while at the range is a challenging task, but the LA Police Gear Combat Shirt might just fit the bill. Thick, yet breathable material makes this shirt a comfy choice for your outdoor excursions. Each sleeve has a zipper pocket and a spot for a moral patch. The material has just enough stretch that it moves with you.

Fantastic footwear

Good, solid footwear is key in the world of law enforcement. When you stand on your feet for hours on end at a call or crime scene, pursue a subject on foot, or any other strenuous activity on the job, what you put on your feet matters. Any seasoned officer will tell you that quality boots are crucial.

LA Police Gear’s Sector 8” boots have been known to be the remedy for long shift fatigue; they offer not only a professional look, but are comfortable as well. With cushioned insoles to keep your dogs from barking after several hours on your feet, the Sector 8” Boot is cost effective too. The rubber outsoles feature a rugged tread that’s perfect for any rough terrain you may encounter on duty, or off. The side-zipper allows you to put them on in a hurry and take them off just as fast when its finally time to relax.

For tactical purposes, the 8” A/T boots have the same technology support as their A.T.L.A.S. boot line. They are water, slip, and oil resistant and are great for long hour wear, on duty or off. They are comfortable and hold up on the street and in rugged terrain.

The A/T Trainers are equipped with mesh that is sturdy yet allows for airflow, so your feet stay fresh. These shoes are great for running and working out. The soles provide a nice cushion, so your feet will not tire. The tread is made from the same material, including the same pattern, as the A/T tactical boot so your shoes will not wear quickly. These are also flexible and light, making them ideal for working out so you can be in your best shape on or off duty.

For strictly on-the-street purposes, the Norris sneaker is an ideal design. The sneaker is solid and feels like a tactical, duty boot to the touch, but wears like your favourite pair of sneakers or trainers. The Norris sneaker is equipped with Ortholite footbeds and rubber perfect for rough terrain. While wearing them you can tell they are durable shoes that will last and will protect your feet.

Firearms accessories and more

A shotgun can be a highly reliable solution for a variety of needs. However, if there is one major complaint about shotguns, it is the ammo capacity they have or don’t. While the shotgun is a powerful weapon, and would likely be a one hit wonder in most scenarios, you can’t afford to let the weapon run empty on you. XS Sights, known mainly for their quality optics, also offers accessories for many firearms, including the 12ga. Remington 870 shotgun which provides a solution to this problem.

The XS Sights Remington 870 Magazine +2 Extension and Detent Swage Tool Kit is a fast, inexpensive way to add capacity to your favorite shotgun. The kit includes the one piece magazine extension, a new spring that can be trimmed to the appropriate length, and the detent swage tool too. To assemble, after unloading, disassemble your shotgun by removing the mag tube cap, barrel, and spring. You’ll likely notice two dimples on the end of the magazine tube as well. If your magazine tube does not have these dimples, you can move straight to the next step in the process. In order for the extension to function, the shotgun shells must be able to move past those dimples, into the extension piece. In order to raise those dimples, clean the magazine tube, and apply a bit of oil to the detent swage tool to prepare. Simply insert the tool into the end of the magazine tube until it hits the dimples, and lightly tap it in with a hammer until the shoulder of the tool is flush with the magazine tube. Next, remove the swage tool and trim the spring to the appropriate length (about 33”, or to your desired preference). Then re-attach the barrel, insert the spring, attach the extension and you’re ready to go.

The Streamlight-TLR-6, Mounted Weapon Light was designed for smaller pistols and can enhance the use of an officer’s gun. After Brendan Rodela tried it out on his Sig Sauer P365 firearm, he saw it was easy to affix and it added to the gun without making it look or feel heavy. Officers will need a new holster, though, to accommodate the light. With 100 lumens, the light itself is bright and has a wide span, making it a great choice for any officer.

The TLR-6 also includes a laser. After Rodela tested the light on his firearm, he found it was easy to reach the laser switch. Rodela’s hands are small and usually this poses a challenge, however with the TLR-6 he was able to reach the switch comfortably and effectively. Finally, it has a long run time, approximately 11 hours, so officers will never be without light.

The LA Police Gear Twist Angle Flashlight offers up to 750 lumens and has a long run time: up to 80 hours on the low setting. Made with durable, aerospace aluminum, it also has the ability to be angled so you can see into those hard-to-reach places. A magnetic charger that takes seconds to set up, also makes charging easy. The Twisted Angle flashlight also has a high, medium, low, and strobe function along with memory functions and locking capabilities.

The LAPG Frunk Pack is another great item, especially for range day or off duty hiking. Don’t let its size fool you, it has more room than it appears, and it even has a removable holster. The pack has several pockets, is expandable, and has an adjustable strap. It can easily carry a backup firearm, extra magazines and anything else you may want to have with you.

Final notes

All of the items that were reviewed in this article were tested both on and off duty, and all passed the test.

No matter what your need is or what your title is, there is gear for you. Women’s tactical wear is becoming more and more tailored to the female form, making clothing less baggy yet still professional. Men’s tactical apparel is being developed with materials that are even more durable than ever. Tactical wear is no longer bulky or cumbersome; it is lighter, stretchier, yet more rugged than ever before bringing all of the qualities you look for together.”

Hilary Rodela has been a professional public safety writer for seven years, and is a licensed private investigator.

Brendan Rodela is an active duty police officer and professional public safety writer.

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