This year Danner introduces the Striker II DXTVent boot. It's built to take the rigors of duty, but still keep your feet "cool" and comfortable on the hottest of days.

What makes the boot so comfortable is its Terra Force X sole/foot bed. It's built to be light and responsive, much like your favorite athletic shoe. The difference is these are duty boots and they will support and protect your feet. The midsole is made of shock-absorbing polyurethane with a visible carbon fiber arch insert that adds stability to the boot while reducing its weight.

To further increase stability, the leather upper is stitched to the midsole plate at the heel and forefoot. This makes the boot and sole act as one piece and keeps them from shifting during heavy stress while running and climbing.

The boot's leather upper naturally breathes, a comfort factor, and is polishable, a duty requirement for many agencies. Danner is also using proprietary materials to allow for air flow and increased moisture wicking in the shaft where heat tends to build up. This keeps the feet cooler and more comfortable on the hottest days.

I have been wearing the Striker II DXTVent on duty for the last couple of weeks, and I have noticed a major difference between the DXTVent and its all-leather Gore-Tex-lined sibling the Striker II. My feet and legs have been markedly cooler during foot patrols. I have also noticed that when working an entry access point, where the sun beats down on me, my feet stay comfy and cool…in black boots.

Danner's Striker II DXTVent is a good boot for summer or three-season wear depending on the climate you work in. I have found the boots to be comfortable for 12-hour shifts and they leave me ready for more the next day. Give these boots a perusal for your next duty boot.

BigFoot Bag

Unzippable Gear and Cargo Bags

There are some items for duty that defy being categorized; the BigFoot Bag is one such item. It serves multiple purposes from being a ground cloth, to hauling gear, to being a weather-resistant rooftop cargo carrier.

The BigFoot Bag is available in sizes small, medium, and large, and in several colors. Made of UV-treated polyester with vinyl coating or reinforced 18-ounce vinyl, the bags are weather resistant or virtually waterproof.

It's easy to load the BigFoot Bag because it unzips flat and can be laid on the ground, on the bed of a truck, or in your department's garage. The bags have two pairs of carry handles and Fastex-close reinforcing straps to keep your heaviest loads in the bag, even if you drop a full BigFoot. The large bag can hold a load of gear, and I would suggest at least two people carry it when full. I have found the small BigFoot I have requires two folks to get it into my SUV when it's fully loaded.

BigFoot Bags operate on the "Keep It Simple Stupid" theory. There are large yellow big feet on each end of the bag to put a foot on to stabilize and secure the bag while you grab the small yellow feet and zip the bag closed. Then zip the closures to the middle, secure the reinforcing straps, and the bag is packed and ready to travel.

If your agency has odd gear for rappelling, SCUBA, WMD, etc., BigFoot Bags could be the answer to your transportation and storage needs.


Versatac Pants

When it comes to "tactical" training pants it seems every company that makes clothing sells a pair. Most of these pants have that cool ninja look, but lack functionality. How about a pair of pants that is comfortable, designed to handle the rigors of rock climbing, is truly functional, and looks good? Would a pair of pants like that be something worth looking at?

I think so, so I looked at them: the Versatac pants from RailRiders. These pants are available in a lightweight or mid-weight version. The lightweight pants are made from three-ounce Duralite Nylon, while the mid-weights are made from 6.8-ounce Yukon Canvas Weave nylon fabric. Both materials are tough, abrasion resistant, wrinkle resistant, and feel nice.

Versatac pants are designed for the active user. They have a gusseted crotch to aid in comfort and range of movement, as well as plenty of pockets. The cargo pockets have concealed front zippers to allow easy access while seated or kneeling and they each have a small internal pocket for small items: pens, a light, etc. The flaps on the cargo pockets are closed with Velcro and two buttons on each pocket to ensure whatever you put in the pocket stays there, even during the most vigorous activity. The front pocket is reinforced to protect it from wear when you carry a clip-it knife. Rear flapped pockets provide additional storage space.

I have worn the Versatac pants in muddy miserable conditions while T&Eing firearms. Generally this means the bottom of the pant legs will turn a nice mud brown, permanently. But the Versatac pants came out of the washing machine looking like the day they arrived from RailRiders.

I found the Versatacs to be comfortable when worn for long road trips or shooting. The legs and crotch don't bind or chafe; something that can't be said for many of the training pants on the market. If you are in the market for pants that will serve you on the range, in the field, and on duty now that they're available in black, give RailRiders' Versatac pants a look. I think you, too, will be impressed.

Gerber Legendary Blades

Modular Hydration System Pack

What do you get from a company that makes some of the finest knives in the business when the company decides to go into the hydration pack end of the market? You get a pack with a virtually indestructible hydration bladder that acts as a frame. This new Assault Modular Pack System (AMPS) was developed by Gerber Legendary Blades.

Gerber has designed the Assault Modular Pack System to meet the needs of law enforcement, military, and emergency medical services with a more rigid and tougher liquid bladder. This seems to be the weakest point of any hydration system, because flexible bladders are easily punctured by something as innocent and common as a pen. I have heard from many of my buds who've ended up with a soaked passenger seat and no liquid left to drink after a pen or corner of a citation book punctured the bladder.

This won't happen with the Gerber 150-ounce GRASP external fill bladder. I watched the company rep hit the bladder with a standard ballpoint pen several times and all it did was leave a blue line on it. During testing, Gerber ran over a bladder and it survived to carry liquids another day. That's because the AMPS pack is made from 1,000-denier nylon Cordura to survive the harshest environments.

The pack also has ports to run communication wires, MOLLE webbing, ergonomic back pads, lumbar support, and padded adjustable shoulder straps.

Overall I found the AMPS pack and bladder to be an awesome system. It allows you to carry a large amount of liquid and has pockets to store all your little and big stuff and keep it all within arm's reach. This pack could serve as your duty gear bag or a roll out bag, or an escape for the weekend bag; whatever you choose.