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Updated on January 31, 2014
We had an amazing time at SHOT Show 2014 checking out the newest gear from all our go-to brands. We could talk for days about all the exciting products that launched this year, but we’ll save you the time and only recap our top 10. Get the scoop on the clothing, equipment and footwear that made the cut.
1. Vertx bags
When looking at this new line from Vertx, it’s surprising to find out this is the brand’s first venture into bag and pack design. The innovative options easily rival styles from established bag manufacturers. For the organizationally challenged, storing your gun, magazines and equipment has never been easier. MOLLE adaptors and Velcro accessories allow you to customize every element that goes in your bag. Vertx Designer Jesse Thompson refers to the system as “tactical origami” because of the way specialized straps mold to secure your shooting accessories no matter their size. These range-ready options will be on the market in April.
2. Bates Code 6 boots
This year at SHOT, Bates is introducing its new line of boots, Code 6. There’s nothing like lightweight boots to keep you fresh on your feet, and these are the brand’s lightest yet. The Code 6 compliments Bates’ top-selling, Ultra Lite series. This upgrade from the Ultra Lite line boasts a TPU outlay for extra stability, a V-fit lacing system and a vapor-mesh tongue for breathability. One of the most impressive new features is the TPU shank found in the sole of the boot. This feature offers durability as well as comfort, perfect for professionals whose jobs require them to constantly be on their feet. The premium design materials and athletic comfort attributes will make Code 6 your go-to boot for spring and summer.
3. Streamlight Stylus Pro USB
Streamlight showed off its entrance into the USB rechargable flashlight category with the Stylus Pro USB. No more fumbling with batteries, this flashlight makes recharging during remote operations easy. If you have a laptop or a USB station in your car, you’re good to go. Simply open the port, attach a USB cord and wait for the the light to turn green. When completely charged you’ll have a full three and a half hours of run time.
4. New Propper bags
Now for the first time ever, this trusted brand is producing bags and packs. We got the lowdown on the new bag line from Propper Brand Engagement Manager Jonathan Klamm. All the bags are made from durable 1000 denier nylon and boast an impressive number of tactical features.
“Single use scenario is good for some people, but you really need something you’ll be comfortable bringing on the range as well as taking it home,” Klamm says. “We wanted to make go-to bags.”
The line even boasts a Tablet bag for the tech-savvy operator. If you’re anything like us, you’re decent at using technology and absolutely awful at keeping it in once piece. This case acts as your tablet armor, protecting it with durable nylon fabric and a soft fleece lining.
5. Vertx Airflow Technology tactical pants
We were excited when Vertx announced the debut of a new style of its classic Phantom Ops pants: They now feature airflow technology. For this first round, they boast a MultiCam patterned mesh that circulates air throughout the pants, keeping you cool even when things are heating up.
“Fighter Design’s ‘Airflow Tech’ has been on my radar for a while now,” says Vertx Director of Sales Darrell Morrow. “As an apparel feature, there’s nothing else like it. It’s proven to keep you cool. Adding it as a feature option to Vertx tactical pants is frankly just an awesome evolution.”
6. Danner Gore-Tex Tachyon boots
Last year Danner launched its ultra-light Tachyon boot. This year, it launched the leather Gore-Tex version. What’s so special about this boot? It completely crushes the competition. Weighing in at only 17 oz., it’s the only lightweight waterproof trainer in its league.
7. Rocky C5 Combat boots
Check out Rocky’s newest recruit, the C5 Combat boot. The all-new style has been trained, tested and deemed ready for action. It’s super light and even more aggressive. This new style is the follow-up to Rocky’s best-selling C4 Trainer. The main difference is that the C5 features a tread that stretches from the toe all the way up to the back of the heel. This durable exterior allows you to stand tough no matter the terrain or weather. In addition, the all-new leather vamp makes it compliant with army regulations as well as GSA compliant.
8. New 24-7 Series tactical pants
Looking for a way to stay stealthy even in the most casual of situations? Tru-Spec’s popular 24-7 Series meets your needs with the launch of its Eclipse pants. It debuted this style at SHOT Show and they’re set to release later this year. These lightweight tactical pants feature a sleek, jean-cut design and hidden features to covertly carry your tactical accessories. You can’t tell from a first glance, but they boast an impressive eight pockets. The Eclipse is available in two fabrics—a quick-drying, moisture-wicking, 100-percent durable nylon material or a Teflon coated poly/cotton ripstop.
9. Original SWAT H.A.W.K boots
The highlight of the show for Original SWAT was its introduction into the lightweight boot category, the H.A.W.K. (High Agility Weight Kinetics) boot. These are some seriously badass boots. The H.A.W.K. is scheduled to be released this spring in waterproof and nonwaterproof styles, and when it hits the market, Original SWAT claims it will be the most slip-resistant boot out there. As stable as this boot is, it’s also incredibly comfortable because of its dual-density midsole. That means the standard-density EVA provides the essential responsiveness while a softer EVA heel gives your foot a little cushion. If everything goes to schedule, you’ll be able to slip your feet into a pair of these by the end of May.
10. 5.11 Tactical’s Storm Grey gear
When evading the enemy, color can be a vital weapon. That’s why 5.11 Tactical unveiled its classic gear in a brand new color, Storm Grey, at SHOT. The company received feedback from teams training for the 2012 London Olympics about needing gear to blend into environments that include asphalt, concrete and stadiums. From there, the storm gray color was developed, allowing tactical professionals to blend seamlessly into the urban battleground.
What new gear are you most excited for? Let us know in the comment section below.