Most of the time, especially if you’re going to be in spitting distance of motor vehicles, remaining visible after the sun has gone down is pretty important. And that’s why a lot of gear, both outdoor and urban, comes in bright colors and with reflective elements. There are times, however, when you might want to be a bit sleeker and more shadowy, like a panther in the night.
Whatever the reason for your desire to go unnoticed, you can’t really go wrong with an all-black loadout of gear, like spec-ops soldiers are wont to don for night missions. As it turns out, you don’t actually have to be a Navy SEAL to get your hands on some superb tactical-focused outdoor gear, so long as you know where to look. In fact, if you take a gander at the following collection of gear we’ve scouted out entirely on REI, you might realize that gearing up in all-black-everything is as simple as clicking a few buttons.
Gear Aid 550 Paracord
There is perhaps no single material more useful for outdoor and survival applications than 550 paracord. And not only does Gear Aid’s offering include a whopping 100-feet of the superb stuff, but it even comes with a carabiner so you can attach the bundle to your modular bag if you don’t have enough room to stash it all away. Better still, though this cord looks black, it also has reflective elements for better visibility in low light.
REI Co-op Wind Pro Hinged Balaclava
While hoods and beanies are decent for keeping the top of your head warm, they don’t do much for your face. Luckily, you can remedy that with REI’s Wind Pro Hinged Balaclava. This mask is breathable, abrasion-resistant, machine washable, and even somewhat water-resistant for light rain protection. It’s also ultra-comfortable thanks to flat-sewn seams and a Polartec Wind Pro fleece construction.
Adventure Medical Kits Tactical Field Trauma Kit
Even if you’re just going out for a quick day hike, you should still bring along a small first aid kit. And few are quite as well-equipped for adventure as the Tactical Field Trauma Kit you see here. Loaded with antiseptic wipes, bandages, petroleum gauze, a wealth of single-use ointments and medications, this is an indispensable kit for all your field first aid needs.
Swany X Cell II Insulated Gloves
A lot of waterproof winter gloves are pretty bulky — sometimes to the point that their functionality is more like mittens than articulated gloves. However, the folks at Swany have figured out a way to keep your digits warm without sacrificing all of their range of motion. These leather gloves have a breathable waterproof membrane, they’ve got pockets for hand warmers that double as vents when needed, and they even have insulation built-in where you need it.
REI Co-op Ruckpack 65 Travel Pack
In spite of its fairly sleek minimalist exterior, REI Co-op’s Ruckpack 65 Travel Pack was definitely built for “continent-sized adventures.” In fact, the “65” in its name refers to its expansive interior capacity, which is 65 liters in total. And while its ripstop nylon exterior is able to weather off-grid adventures, the inside is perfectly suited to modern living — made possible by a padded laptop pouch, a removable mini pack for day jaunts with its own hybrid hydration/tablet sleeve, and so much more.
SureFire P2X Fury Dual-Fuel Flashlight
While most flashlights are at least halfway decent when it comes to illuminating your path, they don’t do much else. By contrast, the SureFire P2X Fury Dual-Fuel Flashlight is a veritable powerhouse, with an anodized aluminum construction that doubles with a toothed bezel to create an excellent ad-hoc self-defense weapon, a maximum output of an impressive 1,500 lumens, and a battery life that lasts for up to 40 hours straight.
REI Co-op Norquest GTX Insulated Jacket
The sleek exterior of this jacket might make you think that it’s an urban-oriented garment and little else. But glance a little closer and you’ll realize that REI’s Norquest GTX Insulated Jacket is actually an adventure-ready, stormproof garment with pockets of insulation that can keep you warm even when wet. Better still, it was built with bluesign-approved materials for a measure of sustainability.
Benchmade 917BK Tactical Triage Knife
If you know anything about Benchmade, it’s probably that they’re one of the top knife making brands in the world right now with a brilliant balance of styles from the worlds of the outdoor, the tactical, and even everyday carry. This particular knife, however, is special because it was crafted specifically for public safety workers. In fact, on top of having an AXIS lock, CPM-S30V steel blade, and grippy G10 handle, it also has a built-in seatbelt cutting rescue hook and a carbide glass breaker tip.
Danner Wildland Tactical Firefighter Boots
As you might’ve guessed from its name, Danner’s Wildland Tactical Firefighter Boots were specifically made for fighting blazing forest fires. In fact, they meet the stringent NFPA-certified standards for just such activity. And if they’re good enough for use by firefighters, you can bet they’ll keep your feet protected for any outdoor activity.
Casio G-SHOCK Rangeman GPRB1000 Watch
For those that want an impressive survival- and outdoor-focused watch, you could opt for a hiking smartwatch. However, if you’re looking for a bevy of features without an abbreviated battery life, you’re far better off picking the legendary G-SHOCK Rangeman watch you see here. Not only was it designed to withstand some of the worst conditions on the planet, but it also has built-in GPS functionality that can be powered by the sun. We wouldn’t necessarily say this is the ultimate survival watch, but it’s definitely in the running for the top spot.
Scoured: The Best Outdoor Gear On REI
Not all outdoor gear is dark and dreary. If you’d rather have a pop of color, you’ll find solace in the olive drab and earth tones of last month’s guide to the best outdoor geat on REI.