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The Best Tactical EDC Gear For Mission-Ready Carry

Best Tactical EDC Gear 0 Hero

One of the synonyms for the term “tactical” is “prudent.” The reason is that, while most of us consider tactical equipment to be made exclusively for military or paramilitary operations, a tactical item can be anything you carry that is intended to prepare you for multiple worst case scenarios, and allows you to perform whatever duties come your way. When we look at tactical gear, we’re not just thinking about what’s going to be adroit at taking down the bad guys, but what is going to outfit the user with items that are prudent for dealing with disasters across the board.

The overlap between your ordinary everyday carry loadout and choosing to go in a tactical direction is dependent on how much you think about pure survival on a daily basis. You’re almost certainly going to need to make some adjustments for weight, as tactical gear is often intended for more serious situations than you’ll find at the average accounting firm. We suggest making the transition slowly, accumulating a piece at a time, like you would with a personal tool set. Simply pick from among these pieces of tactical EDC essentials and begin your metamorphosis.

The Best Tactical EDC Gear Breakdown

What Exactly Is Tactical EDC Gear?

Put simply, tactical gear is a piece of equipment engineered specifically for a certain use or application — or “tactic.” While this could, in theory, cover a wide range of tactics and uses, pretty much all tactical gear refers to items made for offensive or defensive applications, more specifically those typically pertaining to military and law enforcement personnel. As such, tactical everyday carry items aim to afford the same utility as normal EDC items, albeit in more hardwearing, streamlined packages that boast a level of quality and construction that operators can trust with their lives.  These characteristics play an intrinsic role in giving one of these items their tactical edge that places them squarely in the category of tactical everyday carry gear. 

EDC With A Tactical Edge

The Main Areas To Consider When Buying Tactical Everyday Carry Gear

When shopping for tactical EDC gear it helps to have a sense of what to look for. Knowing this, we’ve broken down some of the most crucial areas to take into account when shopping. 

Materials: The materials used to craft a tactical piece of EDC gear will play a monumental role in the item’s overall quality and durability, as well as its price — making this an absolutely pivotal element to consider when shopping. 

Design: A major part of what makes a tactical item tactical is its design. For this reason, the overall design of every item should also very much be taken into account. 

Durability: Whether for self-defense or survival applications, tactical gear needs to be able to stand up to the rigors that come from these uses. As such, as item’s durability is another monumentally important area to factor into your decision when shopping. 

Versatility: Some pieces of tactical EDC gear lend themselves to a surprisingly wide array of different uses and applications — traits that afford these items markedly more versatility, and therefor markedly more value and bang for your buck. 

Gerber GDC Money Clip

Gerber GDC Money Clip
Photo: Gerber
Why It Made The Cut
  • A hardwearing G-10 money clip with a removable fixed-blade. 

Best Tactical Money Clip: Able to hold five credit cards along with a bit of cash, The Gerber GDC is a tactical take on a money clip that features a G-10 frame that houses a removable fixed-blade knife that locks into the frame. While it doesn’t afford the same level of utility as a full-sized EDC knife, the Gerber GDC is nonetheless capable of handling more day-to-day cutting tasks — plus makes for a great backup blade. 

Material: Titanium nitride-coated steel body with G10 front plate
Capacity: 4 cards + 4 bills
RFID-Blocking: No

Mechanix Wear Pursuit D5 Tactical Specialty Gloves

Mechanix Wear Tactical Specialty Gloves
Photo: Mechanix Wear
Why It Made The Cut
  • A lightweight yet rugged pair of tactical-specific gloves with internal layers of Armotex affording A5-rated cut resistance. 

Best Tactical Gloves: After its auto-focused mechanics gloves started to become increasingly popular with military personnel and law enforcement officers, the company opted to design a purpose-built set of tac mitts, resulting in the Mechanix Wear Pursuit D5 Tactical Specialty Gloves. ANSI A5 rated for cut resistance, these gloves features a TrekDry liner, internal layers of Armotex, synthetic leather palms, touchscreen-friendly fingertips, and three-dimensional patterning that conforms to the natural curvatures of the wearer’s hands. Secured using TPR closures, these tactical gloves are also fully-machine-washable. 

Cut Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No
Touchscreen Compatible: Yes

Leatherman Rebar

Leatherman Rebar
Photo: Leatherman
Why It Made The Cut
  • A simple multi-tool design affording incredible levels of utility & durability. 

Best Tactical Multi-Tool: Leatherman is beloved by laborers for their precise construction and easy use, which also makes them suited to a hard knock life setting snares around your bivouac. Shears, pliers, knives, and saws, all done in 420HC stainless steel with a black coating that won’t give you away. Equipped with 17 tools and functions in total, the Rebar stands out from other multi-tools on the market from its incredibly simple yet thoroughly utilitarian design that manages to afford unparalleled degrees of durability in the field. 

Closed Length: 4.0”
Primary Blade Length: 2.90”
Primary Blade Steel: 420HC
Tools/Functions: 17

Dango T01 Tactical Wallet

Dango T01 Tactical Wallet
Photo: Dango
Why It Made The Cut
  • An ultra-rugged USA-made tactical wallet w/ a removable 14-function multi-tool.

Best Tactical Wallet: The Dango T01 is an American-made tactical EDC wallet that’s constructed around a chassis that’s been precision-machined from aerospace-grade aluminum before being mated to a top grain leather cover using mil-spec hardware. Equipped with RFID-blocking tech, this tactical wallet also features a silicone cash band, space for up to 12 cards, and Dango’s integrated 14-function MT02 Multi-Tool. Weighing only 3.5oz, this tactical wallet is also TSA-approved (with its multi-tool removed). 

Capacity: 12+ Cards + Cash
Materials: Raw Hide Leather, Aerospace-Grade Aluminum, & Stainless Steel
Features: RFID Protection; Removable Multi-Tool With 14+ Functions Including Hex Wrench, Bottle Opener, Pry Bar, Screwdriver, Knife, Saw, & More

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Photo: Gerber
Why It Made The Cut
  • An affordable yet thoroughly hardwearing tactical pen with an all-weather ink cartridge & integrated glass breaker. 

Best Tactical Pen: The Gerber Gear brand really put on their game face with this pen. It’s equipped with a glass breaker on the end, a “Rite in the Rain” cartridge for use in extreme weather, plus a ballpoint that is good at going into jugulars or making grocery lists. Between its stainless steel construction, pointy shape, and knurled grip pattern, the Impromptu also makes for an exceptional self-defense striking tool. Its generally hardwearing nature also practically guarantees that this tactical pen will offer up a lifetime of use. 

Material: Stainless Steel
Ink: “Rite In The Rain” Cartridge
Deployment: Clicker

Spyderco Dog Tag Folder

Spyderco Dog Tag Folder
Photo: Spyderco
Why It Made The Cut
  • A stealthy folding knife made from surprisingly top-shelf materials. 

Best Concealed Tactical Knife: Going with an ordinary neck knife is good for camping and regular activities, but if you want to add a tactical edge and a little concealment to your blade-on-a-chain, pick up this offering from Spyderco, one of the most praiseworthy names in knives. Modeled after standard issue dog tags, this knife features a handle made fro a lightweight yet rugged combination of G-10 and carbon fiber that comes mated to a sturdy 1.23” blade crafted fro top-shelf CPM S30V steel. 

Overall Length: 3.23”
Blade Length: 1.23”
Blade Steel: CPM S30V
Handle Material: Carbon Fiber & G-10 Laminate

Olight Warrior 3S

Olight Warrior 3S
Photo: Olight
Why It Made The Cut
  • A compact yet potent, weapon-mountable 2,300-lumen LED flashlight engineered specifically for tactual use. 

Best Tactical Flashlight: Spanning around 5.50”, the Olight Warrior 3S is a small but potent flashlight that’s been engineered from the ground up specifically for tactical use. This flashlights laundry list of features include a built-in proximity sensor, a lockout function, tactical striking bezel, an IPX8 rating, an anodized aluminum body, a 984’ throw, a maximum output of 2,300 lumens, and a battery that affords up to 55 days of burn time on a single charge. Furthering its tactical nature is the fact that this torch is compatible with some of the company’s firearm mounts and remote pressure switches, allowing the Warrior 3S to also serve as a handheld or rifle-mounted light.

Length: 5.47”
Body: Aluminum
Max Lumens: 2,300

Benchmade Claymore Knife

Benchmade Claymore
Photo: Benchmade
Why It Made The Cut
  • A rugged USA-made automatic knife made for hard tactical use. 

Best Tactical Knife: The Benchmade Claymore is the result of the Oregon City outfit setting out to produce the ultimate tactical folder. Benefitting from a lightning-fast automatic push-button deployment with an integrated safety switch, the Claymore is constructed around a Grivory handle that comes mated to a 3.60” tanto blade made from CPM D2 tool steel that’s been fortified via a Cerakote finish. In typical Benchmade fashion, the price of this knife includes the brand’s lifetime warranty and LifeSharp service. 

Blade Length: 3.60”
Overall Length: 8.60”
Blade Steel: CPM D2
Handle: Grivory

Triple Aught Design FAST Pack EDC

Triple Aught Design FAST Pack EDC
Photo: Triple Aught Design
Why It Made The Cut
  • An incredibly modular & immensely durable tactical backpack made for operators & EDC enthusiasts alike. 

Best Tactical Backpack: Webbed over like a fly in a spider’s skein with MOLLE straps, you can use this as a simple day pack for toting around your water bottle, or turn it into a multi-purpose arsenal ready to head into the brush for a quick chat with Charlie. In typical TAD fashion, the FAST Pack EDC boasts an unmistakably top-notch build quality and a plethora of genuinely useful features, whether you’re commuting in the city or caught behind enemy lines. 

Capacity: 28L
Exterior Material: 1000D & 500D CORDURA Nylon
Laptop Sleeve: No

Luminox Navy SEAL Watch

Luminox Navy SEAL Watch
Photo: Luminox
Why It Made The Cut
  • An extraordinarily rugged yet lightweight military watch crafted from proprietary CARBONOX composite. 

Best Tactical Watch: As some of the most elite operators in the world, Navy SEALs often require some of the best gear on the planet. Case in point, the Luminox Navy SEAL Watch. Crafted around a 45mm case, this quartz-powered tactical watch features a proprietary CARBONOX construction that’s water resistant down to 200 meters. Sporting a stealthy colorway, this mission-ready watch also comes mated to a matching CARBONOX bracelet with 316L stainless steel hardware. Made in Switzerland, this 3500 Series watch also boasts a rotating bezel, a tempered scratch-resistant mineral crystal, a date window at 3 o’clock, and Luminox’s own proprietary self-powered illumination. 

Case Size: 45mm
Case Material: Carbon Compound
Movement: Quartz
Water Resistance: 200m
Lume: Luminox Self-Powered Illumination

The Best Tactical Knives Proven For Combat

Best Tactical Combat Knives 00 Hero

Tactically-minded blades have long been some of the most popular pieces of EDC gear that also lends itself to use on the battlefield. For a more expansive look at today’s latest and greatest options, be sure to check out our guide to the best tactical combat knives.