Monday, June 29, 2015

RE Factor Tactical: Operator Band, Hostage Card/Wilderness Card, and Blasting Cap

In the "tactical market" today there's any number of companies producing questionable products.  Many of these products only really appeal to type of folks that think a beard and some 5.11 gear makes you an "operator".  One company I've enjoyed following that has been coming up with some great stuff is RE Factor Tactical.  They are a Special Operations Forces (SOF) veteran led company and their products are made in the U.S.A.  Enough said.  If you're familiar with Pineland, don't be surprised to see the flag on some of their products.  I've just about had my feel of Pineland.

I already have a few products from them and like them all.  Rather then write a separate blog on each, I'll just cover them all here.  They still have some more products I'm after.  I really like their bags, but a fella has to pace himself.  They have great shirts as well.  So, on to the products I do have.

Blasting Cap

This is one of my favorite hats, I just need to get a different color.  I was introduced to this hat when my company bought them for use while in Pineland.  It's a flexfit hat with a mesh-style backing.  It's a very comfortable hat with great features.  It's got your typical flag-sized velcro patch on the front but also on the back.  It also has a 1"x1" velcro patch on the top both inside and outside.  This could be used for IR squares.  The reason behind having a patch inside as well is so you can store you IR square while not in use so that it doesn't get faded and ineffective.

The feature that's most handy in the woodline is the VS-17 (bright orange) panel sewn on the inside of the hat that can be used for signaling.  But you might ask why this is called the "Blasting" cap.  That would be because of the RE Factors printed on the inside tape for quick reference.  If you don't know anything about those, you probably don't need to know.  If you want to know, try google.

If you're going for a hat that you can "flag or swag" up, this is it.

Operator Band

The Operator Band was designed with survival in mind.  It's not the same as the other paracord bracelets you see around.  It's made from 12 feet of paracord and you can see it has a can opener on it.  What you can't see that's contained woven into the paracord is the 30 feet of fishing line that's 80 pound test so that it can double as snare wire or other uses.  There's also a fishing hook,45 pound test leader wire and firestarter.  That wire can also be used for snares. But wait, there's more.  It also has a handcuff key that can be easily removed and replaced for use when you don't wish to be retained.

It's a great piece of kit that's easy to throw on and go.  It makes for a compact survival accessory that should be with you anywhere you go.  I recommend having a few.  While they are designed and sized to go around your wrist, they can easily be clipped onto your daily carry bag or whatever you carry.  I currently have one around the shifter on my truck.  Have a few handy and you can stick them where they might be most needed.  You can also get them with an optional Suunto compass.  I don't have that model, but I would recommend it.  They do have a few different models of bands, so go check them out.

Survival Cards

These things are awesome.  They have the Hostage Escape Card and the Wilderness Survival Card.  These are handy little credit card sized cards that contain lots of survival tools.  Again, a nice compact piece of kit.  You can get several items from REFT for survival and take up little to no extra room in your kit.  The cards are made of stainless steel and really light weight.

These Hostage Escape Cards contain several items for defeating locks.  In it is a quick stick, saw, handcuff shim, tension wrench and rake.  I'm not going to break down what each item does, just know they are all handy when you want to defeat locks.  If you want to learn how to use those tools, use google and find some learning elsewhere.  If you know how to use these tools, get one of these cards.  They are handy to have on standby if needed and work really well.  I broke apart one card and was able to get through a few locks.  I honestly was worried about the thin steel parts breaking, but no worries there.

Another great piece of survival kit is the Wilderness Survival Card.  The parts in this one should be more familiar to most.  It includes an arrowhead, small game arrowhead, trident, dual sided saw, four snare locks, two sewing needles, tweezers and nine fishing hooks.  So basically, pack your woobie, operator band and this card and you're good to go.  I haven't gotten to really test this card yet, but I plan to do so next month when I'm back in the field.  I'll update once I've used it some.

So you can see why RE Factor Tactical is one of the companies I keep a watch on.  They don't have a ton of products in their store, but the one's they do have are quality and useful.  They have a blog that has some pretty good reading as well.  Just go give their website a look by clicking here.  If you have any of their other gear feel free to share your thoughts with me and let me know what you think.  I've already identified several things on their website I'm going to budget in, so I'll share those once I get them and get some use in.  For now I've got these few toys to play with.