It's pretty hard to find the right gift for anyone this time of year. Buying gifts for cops is especially difficult. That's why the editors at POLICE have assembled this quick look at a dozen great gifts that any cop would love.
We've set a maximum price of $250 for these products. Each product was pulled from a review we published in Police Product Test during the year or the product is something that we have personally used.
5.11 Tactical Light for Life
We've been following the development of 5.11's Light for Life full-size duty flashlight since the company showed us a prototype at Urban Shield 2008. And we still think it's one of the coolest products that we've ever seen. The light uses an ultracapacitor system to fully recharge in 90 seconds with a runtime of two hours, and it can be recharged up to 50,000 times. AC and car rechargers are available. Price: $169.99.
BlackHawk Operations Jacket
This jacket is so comfortable and so versatile that it almost makes me wish for a chilly fall day so I can wear it. Made of a water-resistant nylon and polyester, the jacket is machine washable. But the best thing about it is all its compartments. It has so many that after a year of owning it, I'm not sure that I've found them all. It's great for storing cell phones, knives, flashlights, OC, handguns, and mags. Available in black and foliage green. Price: $224.99.
DeSantis Cozy Partner Holster
DeSantis' Cozy Partner Holster is an excellent piece of gear for the off-duty or plainclothes officer. This inside-the-waistband holster has a very precise tension system that secures the pistol and facilitates a smooth clean draw. A reinforced lip ensures that the holster doesn't collapse when it's empty. One of the best features of this holster is its body guard, which prevents the leather from digging into the wearer's side. Price: $70. (Note: If you buy a holster as a gift, make sure it fits the recipient's gun.)
Galco International Ankle Lite Holster
A lot of cops don't like ankle holsters for their backup or off-duty guns, but many do. If you're buying a gift for an officer who does favor ankle holsters, then take a look at Galco's Ankle Lite. The Ankle Lite uses the same neoprene ankle band and Velcro closure as Galco's Ankle Glove holster. Designed for extended wear comfort, the Ankle Lite has sheepskin padding between the holster and ankle. Speed of draw and weapon security are enhanced with a reinforced thumb break retention strap. The Ankle Lite can be worn with or without an optional adjustable calf strap. Price: $55.16.
Ka-Bar Warthog Folder
We get a chance to test out a lot of knives here at POLICE, and we are hardly ever surprised by them anymore, but the Ka-Bar Warthog blew us away. It's by far the finest knife we've ever seen for the price. Is it as good as a $300 tactical folder? Absolutely not. But for under $20, this thing rocks. That's right, under $20. For that price you get a liner lock folder with G10 handles, a stainless steel blade, and great ergonomics. If you believe that you have to have two knives in order to ensure you have one when you need it, the Ka-Bar Warthog is a great second blade. It makes an excellent stocking stuffer for any officer. Price: $17.79.
Kershaw Knives Black Blur
Designed by renowned knife maker Ken Onion, the Black Blur is one of the latest models in the Kershaw SpeedSafe product line. SpeedSafe helps the operator open this folder easily and quickly with one hand. The 33/8-inch blade is Sandvik 13C26 stainless steel; the handle is 6061-T6 anodized aluminum with Trac-Tec grips. And the result is an excellent knife with a great ergonomic feel. Available in serrated and non-serrated versions. Price: $99.95.
Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9" Black
If you're going to buy boots for a fellow officer or for the officer in your family, you'd better know them very well. But it would be hard to go wrong with the Classic 9" Black from Original S.W.A.T. The Classic 9" is constructed of 1,000-denier nylon and leather and features a full-grain leather toe and steel shank. A removable molded orthotic footbed allows for a custom fit. Price: $99.95.
Pelican Products 2360 LED Flashlight
Small LED flashlights are great tools. They fit in jacket and pants pockets with ease, are bright as all get out, and tough as nails. There's only one drawback to a lot of these things: They use relatively expensive, sometimes hard to find CR123A batteries. That's why Pelican's 2360 is such a great product. It's an excellent LED light made of aerospace-grade aluminum with a peak output of 95 lumens and it runs on two AA alkaline batteries. In other words, when an officer is on shift and the flashlight is dying, all he or she has to do is stop by a 7-11 and pick up a pack of Duracells. Price: $44.95.
Revision Eyewear Sawfly Glasses
Ballistic eyewear has become extremely popular in the last few years and Revision makes some outstanding glasses. The company's Sawfly accepts a prescription insert and looks like a fashionable pair of sport sunglasses. Each Sawfly set comes with interchangeable polycarbonate lenses for various light conditions. All Revision lenses offer 100-percent UV protection. Available in regular and large (hat size 7.5 or more). Price: $89.99; Shooters Deluxe set, $119.99.
Streamlight TLR-1 and TLR-3
OK. We're cheating here. This is two separate products, both excellent weapon-mounted lights. The TLR-1 is designed for use with full-sized duty pistols. It weighs a little more than four ounces and pumps out 135 lumens of LED-generated light. The TLR-3 is considerably smaller at 2.7 inches long and designed for backup and off-duty weapons. It weighs only 2.3 ounces, but it's very bright with a peak output of 90 lumens. Price: TLR-1, $193.95; TLR-3, $135.
SureFire E2D LED Flashlight
SureFire's E2D is a compact LED flashlight that's made of aerospace-grade aluminum and powered by two CR123A batteries. That's some serious juice and it produces some serious brightness, 120 lumens at max output. The light can also be run in a low-output (five lumens) for more than 75 hours of runtime. A scalloped tail cap prevents the user from accidentally activating the light. Price: $149.
TRU-SPEC 24-7 3-in-1 Jacket
Tru-Spec by Atlanco
Not merely a jacket but a system, TRU-SPEC's 24-7 3-in-1 jacket consists of an outer water-resistant shell and a zip-out fleece panel. Either one can be worn separately. The outer jacket has zippered hand warmer/cargo pockets, low-profile chest pockets, zip-out ID/badge, and side zippers that allow easy access to a weapon. Whether used alone or in tandem with the outer shell, the zip-out fleece liner is soft and very comfortable. When used as a liner, its zippered slash hand warmer pockets are great for securing small items. Price: $129.99.