Holiday gift buying can be a pain for everybody. It's hard to know what anybody really wants without asking them. And buying gifts for cops can be really hard.
So once again, the editors of POLICE Magazine offer you our annual holiday gift guide. Note: We've allowed some inflation this year. The price limit for 2010 is $350 (Yes, we know. That's a substantial gift).
5.11 Tactical: Chameleon Jacket
Designed for undercover or off-duty wear, 5.11 Tactical's Chameleon Softshell Jacket is made of 100 percent polyester bonded softshell material with a brushed lining. Taffeta around the inside of the hem reduces abrasion from duty belts. The Chameleon has three exterior pockets, including two handwarmer pockets and an upper arm sleeve pocket. The interior of the jacket has three pockets. Available in three colors: black, dark navy, and a combination of moss green and black. List price is $99.99.
Benchmade: 1100 Damasteel Series Pen
Let's get this out of the way first: The Benchmade Damasteel Pen is not cheap. This baby will run you at least $200 and it lists for $250. But this isn't a Bic disposable pen either. Knife maker Benchmade's tactical pen is made of blue Damasteel so it rivals the company's knife blades for toughness. As a writing instrument, the Benchmade tactical pen excels. Available with blue or black ink, the Benchmade tactical pen uses a Fisher Space Pen cartridge for smooth, clean writing at any angle.
The BlackHawk Operations Jacket is one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear that a cop can own. Part of BlackHawk's Warrior Wear line, the jacket is comfortable from about 50 degrees down to just below freezing. It can be worn during plainclothes operations or off duty, and it has plenty of pockets for magazines and other necessary items. One really cool feature on this jacket is a zippered vertical chest pocket that's perfect for smartphones. Large rear pockets on the Operations Jacket are excellent for handgun concealment. List price is $224.99, but it's available for much less through a variety of outlets.
Brite-Strike: Basic Tactical Light
Just about every cop already has a flashlight. But a warrior can never have too many. So flashlights make a great gift for LEOs. And the Brite-Strike Basic Tactical Light is an excellent small flashlight. Available in two models, one with strobe and one without, the Basic Tactical Light was designed by cops for cops. It produces a blinding 150 lumens at max power and a very strong 80 lumens at low power. Battery life is outstanding, eight hours on the 80-lumen setting. Pricing is also excellent. Brite-Strike is offering a holiday special that lets you buy two get one free for a total of $119.98 for three strobing BTL-150-HLS lights. List price is normally $90 per light.
It's getting cold in much of the country and a lot of cops have to work out in the weather. If someone on your list has that duty then Elbeco's Ufx base layer turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks would be a great gift. Ufx is breathable, comfortable, pill resistant, and even anti-microbial. These great base layer garments are made of non-shrink fabric that dries very fast. Prices vary depending on distributor but expect to pay around $40.
The Crossbow comes as a two-frame, two-lens (day and night) kit in a zippered hard case, with a head strap and microfiber lens cloth. If you require additional lenses for varying light conditions, you can choose from ESS Eyepro's high-definition yellow and rose copper. Lenses are secured to the frame by the Ded Bolt locking system, which makes them secure once in place but still easy to remove. ESS Eyepro's Tri-Tech Fit helps the Crossbow protect the operator's eyes while staying comfortable for a 12-hour day or longer. List price is $105.[PAGEBREAK]
Pelican Products: Hardigg Fieldpak
The FieldPak consists of Pelican Hardigg's tougher than nails Storm Case and a double rifle case made by Eagle Industries that fits inside the Storm Case and can also be removed for use on its own. This combination should keep a pair of long guns protected in just about anything duty can dish out. The Hardigg Storm Case is water- and dust-proof thanks to its inner seals and pressure latches. Hardigg makes the FieldPak for long guns from an M4 to a full-size tactical rifle such as an M21 or M24. List price is $360.
Safariland: Shooters Range Bag
Safariland's Model 4555 shooter's range bag features a removable center carry compartment with zippered, padded side panels for four separate handgun compartments. It has removable, adjustable storage loops for extra magazines and adjustable hook-and-loop dividers to customize accessory space. The outer bag features a dual-zipper opening, a flat-side zipper pocket, ID window, and large outside zippered pocket for other accessories. Overall dimensions are 14 X 19 X 10 inches. It retails for $78.
SureFire's Pen III is one of the few tactical pens on the market with a retractable point so you don't have to worry about losing the cap. Machined from aerospace aluminum the body is hard anodized to military standards. The Pen III is also an excellent writing tool with a Schmidt EasyFlow ink cartridge that produces smooth sharp lines. List price is $115.
TASER International: TASER C2 ECD
TASER's C2 consumer model is an excellent personal defense weapon. The C2 offers off-duty officers the same level of neuro muscular incapacitation (NMI) as their on-duty X26 TASERs, but the duration of the pulse is 30 seconds in contrast to the X26's five-second ride. The C2's much longer pulse duration is intended to give civilians the opportunity to escape from an attacker, but it's sure to give off-duty officers enough time to secure the subject. Prices range from $349.99 for a C2 and one cartridge to $449.99 for a deluxe kit with multiple cartridges.
Not merely a jacket, but a system, Tru-Spec's 24-7 3-in-1 consists of an outer water-resistant jacket and a zip-out fleece liner that can be worn separately or together. The outer jacket has zippered hand warmer/cargo pockets, low-profile chest pockets, zip-out identification/badge plackets, and side zippers allowing easy access to your 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 secure small items. When used as a standalone jacket, its zippered pockets give it a finished, professional look. Best of all, this three-in-one is priced so as not to break the bank and is well made. List price is $169.99.
Each model in the new Wiley X line includes shatterproof lenses and frames that exceed ANSI Z87 high-velocity impact and safety standards. The line includes the Revolver, AirRage, Hydro, P-17, Airborne, Slay, Brick, and Reign. All have Rx-ready frames, and three feature Wiley X's Top Down ventilation and removable foam Facial Cavity seal to keep cool air circulating, so shooters retain clear vision. List prices range from $75.