In the last decade or so, the United States has been involved in over a decade of foreign wars, some of the longest in US history. After September 11, 2001, the countries attitude towards terrorism was changed forever and so was the influence it had in the tactical gear industry. To meet an incredible demand for innovative gear, the military branches turned to the civilian market to fill contracts and new ideas for the way soldiers carried their kit. Numerous companies switched over their outdoor production lines and started producing a variety of military tactical gear in a multitude of colors like Desert Tan, OD green, Multi-cam, ATACS, Kryptec, MARPAT, Army ACU and so on. New ways to attach gear like Molle and quick clips quickly emerged and now dominate the offerings.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have wound down, but not the threat of extremists and radical nation states. In fact, social media calls to attack the US homeland have increased. Couple this terror threat with domestic imminent threat incidents occurring every two weeks, another sea change is on the scene. Many are even complaining that law enforcement, who has now adopted much of the aforementioned gear, appears too “militarized”.
The need for “Urban” camouflaged gear is here. Not camouflage in a traditional sense, but clothing and gear that remains unassuming or “covert” and highly functional. The intended user of these products will be law enforcement, private security, military contractors and even the responsible citizen.
We first noticed the paradigm shift with new colors being introduced like “Urban Grey” and Kryptec “Typhoon”. Some companies, like Condor Outdoor, are taking it to the next level. A new R.A.C.E line (Respond Aggressively Contain or Engage) is coming soon. This gear will be specifically designed to appear like everyday outdoor kit, but it will be “purpose built” for expedient, rapid deployment from an undercover posture, to the full blown engagement of an armed threat.
New looks, design and function based on proven tactics will shape the Condor R.A.C.E line of gear. In the end it comes down to speed and first responders of all types. Now more than ever, the old saying “When seconds count…” rings true!