6 off-duty tactical toys every dad will want this Father's Day
By Lindsey J. Bertomen, C1 Contributor
It’s that time of year when everyone recognizes their father for Father’s Day. Before we look at products, my wish for all LE fathers out there is that they return home safely after their shift. This year, I am emphasizing two great pastimes: mountain biking and shooting. Happy Father’s Day!
1. Otis Technology Ear Shield
The Otis Technology Ear Shield is lightweight hearing protection that uses Sound Reduction Chamber Technology to protect your hearing without the use of batteries. The Ear Shield allows normal conversation to take place while on the range. The product is lightweight, and does not get in the way of range training. Best of all, they are inexpensive.
2. Explorer Cases #11413 and Gun Bag
Explorer Cases has taken their case concept a step further by adding an optional padded gun case that fits inside the larger hard case. Explorer Cases are water tight (I have taken one on a rafting trip), as well as chemical-, dust- and humidity-proof. They handle extreme temperatures and can be purchased with custom or pick foam. The handles work with gloves and don’t cut into the hands. The wheels don't get jammed up and they are generally lighter than similar cases. The heavy-duty Explorer bags have padded organizers, heavy-duty zippers and hook and loop side flaps.
3. Petzl TACTIKKA+ Headlamp
The TACTIKKA+ is a lightweight headlamp with a unique switch design. It runs from 5-110 lumens in the white LED mode and also has a red LED. Users can scroll through the lighting modes using a click, a long click or a double click. The double click is a panic button boost. It will give 10 seconds of 140 lm. This is for people who hear something go bump in the night and need a burst of speed. The TACTIKKA+ beam is diffused, which prevents harsh shadows and gives the user a great working flood light. It is perfect for trail runs in total darkness. The lighting head tilts. When the batteries begin to fade, the circuitry allows the beam to remain constant.
4. Trek Fuel EX-5
Mountain biking can take one’s fitness to a different level. The Fuel EX-5 is appropriate for beginners and advanced riders. The Trek Fuel EX-5 is the starting point for the Fuel Platform, but it comes with a RockShox XC32 front, Monarch RL rear hairspring shock with lockout, 2x10 drivetrain (SRAM X5 rear, 11-32) and Shimano M355 disc hydraulic brakeset. Full suspension riding raises the ante on a mountain bike. It allows riders to move more efficiently over rough terrain - think rock garden riding. I like 29 inch wheels because I am more inclined to roll over than jump over obstacles, and the Fuel EX5 can do both.
5.CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV
CamelBak has added lightweight articulating pads on the back panel of the M.U.L.E. These pads flex with the rider, allowing air to circulate while keeping the load balanced. The helmet hooks and integrated rain cover are also new. I have used CamelBak hydration products for years. The Antidote Reservoir, which comes in the M.U.L.E., is the best yet. It is easier to maintain than any other hydration component out there.
6. Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD
I tried out the SHIELD at SHOT Show when it was first introduced. I was pretty impressed with the quality. Lately, I have been shooting the 40 Caliber version. This is a 19-ounce, 7+1 capacity handgun that has all of the features of its larger counterpart. Made of polymer and stainless steel, I find this gun to be one of the most ergonomic of the compact BUGs out there, suitable for vest and off duty carry. Now that I have put several hundred rounds through one, I have found that I can “failure drill” this gun reliably at 7-10 yards better than some duty guns. That is, it is accurate enough to quickly place a sinus cavity shot consistently. I would carry this gun anywhere. For shooters who prefer 9mm, it is also available.