Always Be Ready

A man is a protector. Period. It’s not always easy but men aren’t looking for the easy route. We’re willing to step up and shoulder the burden of taking care of the people we care about.

But, in order to do that, we’ve got to face the reality that we don’t always have the luxury of knowing when we need to be prepared and what we need to be prepared for.

It can be a daunting challenge but, and the end of the day, it is our responsibility to ALWAYS BE READY.

And, for that reason, it’s critical we incorporate a rigorous training regimen that continues to test us physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
— Archilochos

Just as any soldier on the battlefield or athlete on the field, having the right tools for the training we participate in and the situations we may find ourselves in is paramount to the completion of our mission as protectors. In fact, your gear could literally spell the difference between life and death for you or someone you love.

One of the benefits of operating Order of Man is that I have the opportunity to work with great brands and try some incredible gear. So, when 5.11 Tactical reached out to me and asked if I would consider reviewing some of their gear, I jumped at the opportunity.

Fair disclosure: 5.11 Tactical sponsored this post and I did not pay for this gear but, since I’ve been using 5.11 for my training gear anyways, I happily stand by and endorse the quality and functionality of their products and merchandise.

Rigorous and Exacting Standards

I’ve been using 5.11 gear for four years now and I really wish I had some of this stuff while I was in Iraq (particularly the boots, which I already own and use for hiking a lot).  It wasn’t always easy to procure high quality, durable, practical gear while overseas, as you can imagine. The gear looks good, functions well, really holds up during all my training.

Now that you know some of the philosophy behind 5.11 and their work, how I feel about them, and the mission of ALWAYS BE READY that drives them, let’s get into the gear!

Ridgeline Pant

These are a great, heavy-duty pair of pants designed to weather the roughest conditions and terrain. Yes, some people might wear these pants casually, but for me, they’re something I would wear on the range or while camping. They’ve got plenty of room and plenty of pockets so you’ll always be able to find a place for all your gear. Not only do the fit well, they are highly function and look good. These pants are great for hiking and the outdoors, particularly if it’s cooler as the material is a bit heavier.

Taclite Pro PantTaclite Pro Pant

I actually have three pairs of these and I just keep buying them in different colors. They are very lightweight and comfortable. In fact, thesea are the pants I wore as I participated in Spartan Race’s 60-hour endurance event The Agoge. They kept me cool the entire time and there was plenty of room to stretch out and maneuver. And, they are still in good enough shape from the event that I wear them now.

TacTec Plate CarrierTacTec Plate Carrier

This is ultra comfortable!  When I initially picked this item up, I thought it was going to be heavy and cumbersome and potentially painful as I trained. But, I put in some 20lb plates in this thing and went on a run and it was perfect.

Not only do I run with it but I also do some of my bodyweight workouts (pushups, pull-ups, air squats, etc.). With this vest, you’ll be able to make all the adjustments you need to make it smaller or bigger. Easy to use, versatile, and extremely functional.

5.11 Recon Vandal Shorts5.11 Recon Vandal Shorts

The 5.11 Recon vandal shorts are my go-to daily CrossFit shorts.  They are comfortable and lightweight and give you a lot of room to maneuver. Not only that but the material has a bit of stretch too. I’m also a fan of the pockets so I can carry my wallet, phone, and keys with me if need be. In fact, I’ll probably pick up a couple extra pair of these.

5.11 Tactical Shirt5.11 Tactical Shirt

I’m really excited about this one. The material on these shirts is of excellent quality and it looks so sharp it’s something you could wear casually as well – not just on the range.

They do have a pair of hidden pockets on the chest for whatever you may need to conceal. These run a bit big, so consider that when ordering.

UCR SlingpackUCR Slingpack

This is a great bag – small but with a lot of space. I really like the strap that comes over my shoulder and across my chest because it allows you to keep the pack secured (it won’t bounce around on you). With lots of features and straps, this bag is sure to help you keep all your gear organized and easy to access. This is purpose-built to stay tight to your body.

Single Pistol CaseSingle Pistol Case

I own four of these cases and use them for my 1911 and Glock Firearms. I even bought one for my brother-in-law and father-in-law. They have four separate straps that you can use to slide magazines into. They also have a zippered pouch. These are very practical, very useful and they’re very much a “grab-and-go” item for me if I want to get to the range to get some shooting in.


Like the Slingpack, the PUSH pack can be slung over your shoulder and, like the pistol case, it’s a great “grab-and-go” item.

Whether you’re looking for a range bag or a bug-out bag, this thing has got you covered. In fact, I plan to purpose one of these as a medical kit that I will keep in my truck.

 CFK 7 Field KnifeCFK 7 Field Knife

I’ve got to say, when I received this knife, I showed my boys right away. It is a beast – a big heavy hunk of metal. It definitely looks the part. It comes with a great sheath so, whether you want to throw it on your MOLLE bag or belt, it’s got you covered.


In addition to all the great gear 5.11 manufactures, they are offering a special to Order of Man readers. For all orders over $175 they will throw in a free tactical flashlight.  It’s normally priced at $89.99 so it’s a great value and gift to yourself on top of some other outstanding purchases. This thing is made of aerospace grade aluminum and, while it runs on 6 AA batteries (which are included), if you find yourself short it can run on 3 batteries (at half the time, of course). Just make sure to enter the code FREEXBT at checkout.

As I noted in the beginning, it’s important to me to ALWAYS BE READY. After all, you and I are protectors. 5.11 offers you the gear that allows you to always be ready regardless of what life has to throw at you.

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