Police Product Test: Under Armour Chimera Training Shoes

Scott Smith reviews Under Armour Chimera Training Shoes, 5.11 Tactical Light for Life PC3.300, Safariland Double Rifle Case, and Armortek Double Pistol Case.

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Under Armour

Chimera Training Shoes

More and more agencies are strongly encouraging, even requiring, officers to participate in some form of physical fitness training. This "PT" makes the troops more fit, more awake, and less prone to injury, and reduces body mass, increases ability to perform tasks for longer periods of time, and reduces the odds for having a cardiovascular incident (aka heart attack). One of the most important items you can have for PT is a comfortable, durable, supportive pair of quality shoes. And the Under Armour Chimera fits the bill.

While I am not big on running thanks to more knee surgeries than I care to count, I do walk, lift, ride a mountain bike, and occasionally do some light jogging. During my testing I found the Chimera to be up to all these tasks and more. These shoes are comfortable when standing for long periods of time, walking several miles at a time, or pedaling around the park.

On some recent days where the thermometer pushed past 80 degrees, the open mesh kept my feet cool, and the uppers are supportive and comfortable from the first time you wear them.

UA's Direction Cushioning Engineering (DCE) provides cushioning and makes for a very stable shoe with a nice rebound effect. UA's ArmourLastic, ArmourGuide, and ArmourBound all control impact while giving excellent cushioning. And the Chimera's outsole provides traction on wet grass, mud, concrete, or asphalt. In my opinion the comfort and performance rivals a brand that is known for its use of air cushioning.

What you won't find with Under Armour's shoes is an obscene retail price. Most Under Armour footwear is under $80 and there are models made for men, women, and children. Today this is considered a bargain. If you are looking for a good looking pair of training shoes that will serve you well, the Under Armour Chimera would be a good choice.

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5.11 Tactical

Light for Life PC3.300

When the Light for Life UC3.400 was introduced by 5.11 Tactical a couple of years ago, I thought, Great light, but can't it be smaller? Yes it can, and the Light for Life PC3.300 is the result.

This mid-sized duty light is a good value for the price. It will last virtually forever and doesn't need batteries because it uses ultracapicitors instead, it recharges in less than two minutes, operates with a tail cap or body button, and it weighs just over a half a pound.

The tail cap and body button do more than just turn the light off and on; they change the mode from high intensity, to low intensity, to strobe. Yes, I said the light operates in three modes with a simple push of the button. These buttons are easy enough to operate that I was able to operate the PC3.300 from the Harries' Technique using both buttons. I was able to change from mode to mode easily and swiftly.

After seeing that it functioned as advertised I thought I would see how it would survive "me." I tossed it down the driveway, dropped it out of the window of my truck, ran the charge to "0," recharged and repeated, sat on it, stepped and stood on it-all the stuff that happens on a shift. It survived, it held its charge, when it was drained it recharged as 5.11 said it would, and it kept on going.

Unlike many other rechargeable lights the Light for Life PC3.300 likes to be on the charger. Its FlashPoint Power Technology capacitors won't degrade when left in the charger because the system monitors the charge and regulates it as needed. If you don't want to leave the light in the charger all the time, take it at the end of the shift and put it back the next day. It won't hurt the system, honest; I have tried.

The PC3.300 is a good light. I like the fact that it is lightweight and charges as quickly as I can slip on my jacket and get my stuff out of the truck. If you are looking for a primary duty light the Light for Life PC3.300 from 5.11 Tactical will serve you well and chances are you won't need to buy another battery as long as you own it.

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Double Rifle Case

Most of us know Safariland for its duty, competition, and off-duty holsters. Over the last couple of years the Safariland name has come to encompass all of the group's subsidiaries, including Bianchi, Second Chance, and ProTech. This change not only makes Safariland the only name you need to know when you want XYZ item but it brings all the resources of the various companies under one corporate identity. What this does is expand and improve the product line.

Safariland's 4552 Double Rifle Case is one of the latest examples of this expansion and improvement. This weapons case is designed to carry and protect full sized AR-15s, M4s, standard precision rifles, M1As, and police patrol shotguns. The case comes in two sizes: 36 inches and 46 inches.

I tested the 36-inch Double Rifle Case. It allowed me to easily carry a DelTon M4 and a Sig Sauer 556. My tactical shotgun wouldn't quite fit, but if it had a collapsible stock it would have.

What set the 4552 apart from other weapons cases are the options for carry. You could use the wrapped carry handles, a single shoulder strap, or a pair of straps that make the 4552 into a backpack. This last option comes in handy when you have to carry your load over a distance without straining your hands or one arm.

Another excellent feature of this pack is its MOLLE straps. You can add pouches and magazine carriers to meet your specific needs. These straps are located on the front of the main pouch.

Speaking of the main pouch, it's large enough to accommodate a set of shooting sticks, a bipod, foul weather gear, it's your call. Inside this pocket are two padded pockets in which you can carry extra optics. These pockets are large enough that you can carry low power variable focal length telescopic sights on their mounts or any red dot sight.

A small pocket on the outside of the main pouch bearing the Safariland logo is bungee corded, and closes with Velcro and two straps. This might seem like overkill, but this pocket is capable of carrying a half-dozen loaded 30-round AR magazines, and you want to keep them secure.

In my humble opinion Safariland hit a home run with its 4552 Double Rifle Case. It is mission adaptable, adaptable to the individual, and secures and protects two long guns at a time. This is one of the most versatile weapons cases I have seen.


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Double Pistol Case

When I heard about Armortek's virtually indestructible cases, it sounded too good to be true. I was told they can be secured wherever you can wrap the cable, they're lightweight, and they fit a variety of weapons. To satisfy my curiosity I had one delivered to my office.

I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. Armortek's Double Pistol Case felt substantial. I had been expecting a flyweight case, not a heavier tough skinned welterweight.

The zipper is solid, the pull tabs lock to the inner hidden metal frame, and the handles are riveted to this frame. To make sure you can't tear the inner steel case apart the hinges are welded to the top and bottom, the security cable is part of the inner steel frame, and once it is locked to the zipper tabs good luck getting out the case's contents. This is like having a gun vault in a brief case.

The interior of the case is velour-covered dense memory foam. This helps prevent scratching of the items stored in the case and because it is memory foam, the foam wraps around your weapon, camera, etc., and keeps it from shifting in the case. Once you remove the item the foam returns to its original condition awaiting the next items to protect.

The Armortek Double Pistol Case was easy to operate and once I figured out how to thread the cable I realized this was a slick system. You feed the cable out the top of the case at the security eyelet, through one zipper pull, overlap the other zipper pull, and the cable loop fits in between the lock loops on the metal frame. This system will allow you to secure not only your weapons but also other valuables when you travel or are at home.

Armortek cases are tougher than they look and are priced not to break the bank.  If you travel with your weapon or other valuables, Armortek's lockable cases are something I would consider. 

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About the Author
Scott Smith Bio Headshot
Retired Army MP
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