Each year we go back through many of the items we’ve had the opportunity to review and select 10 that we feel would make exceptional gifts or stocking stuffers. The selection criteria is heavily influence by function, reliability, relevance and value. A $300 widget that solves nothing won’t make the list. They also represent products from mature retailers and manufacturers who are committed to customer service. So, with that in mind we’d like to present our Holiday Shopping Ideas for 2015.
In the number one spot is the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB holster. The Tuck 3.0 is by far the most comfortable inside the waistband holster that I’ve ever worn. This concealed carry IWB holster can be equipped with a variety of belt clips, including the nylon “C” clips and “J” clips. The Cloak Tuck 3.0 also has the ability to house multiple shells, allowing concealed carriers to swap out their guns while keeping the same holster base. M.S.R.P. $43.88
Next up is Streamlight’s ProTac HL USB. This compact light is capable of producing an 850 lumen extremely well collimated light beam that will expose even the darkest recesses several hundred yards out. The light runs on rechargeable batteries that can be recharged directly from the USB port on your laptop, your vehicle or solar panel charger. The ProTac HL USB also runs on two lithium CR123A batteries. Streamlight has a number of accessories including an international USB power adapter. The ProTac HL USB is selling for just over $100 at a number of online retailers. For a comprehensive review click here.
Streamlight’s TLR-6 is our number 3 pick; Glock 43 owners will love the TLR-6. We think it’s by far the best weapon mounted laser / light combination. The TLR-6 installs easily and securely on the “railess” Glock 43. Activation and mode selection is accomplished using the ambidextrous pressure pads. This light will produce a 100 lumen beam and an aiming laser that can be precisely adjusted for wind and elevation. The TLR-6 was specifically designed to mount on the highly successful Glock 42 and 43 subcompact pistols. The light runs on two CR1/3N lithium batteries and is available for just over $100. Read our review here.
Our number 4 pick is Spyderco’s Reverse. The Reverse is a very cool fixed blade knife that’s a collaboration between Craig Douglas, aka “Southnarc,” and Michael Janich. Douglas is an “edge-in” advocate while Janich is an “edge-out” advocate. So what better compromise than to create a compact and highly effective fixed blade knife that allows for both edge orientations.
The Reverse’s blade is precision machined from CTS® BD1 stainless steel. Its slightly concave edge profile and full-flat grind give it a very acute point and an extremely aggressive low-drag edge geometry. To facilitate convenient carry and quick access, the Reverse includes a custom-molded Boltaron® sheath that is specially designed to allow the knife to fit securely with both handle configurations. An angle-adjustable G-Clip™ attachment provides both belt and inside-the-waistband carry to support a broad range of carry preferences. M.S.R.P. is $149.95 but you’ll want to shop it for some very attractive deals. Read our review here.
Number 5 of our list is Petzl’s Pirana. The Pirana descender is not new but it’s by far the best tool around for a controlled rappel or emergency egress. There are three breaking positions you can chose before starting the rappel, you can also easily adjust resistance while rappelling or tie off. We selected the Pirana for its functionality, reliability and simplicity. We feel that it is a better solution than the Huit. You can pick one up at Moosejaw, REI for a little over $40 including tax and shipping. A great tool t have in your kit.
CRKT’s Williams Design Yukanto was our number 6 pick. Just looking at this very deadly fixed blade knife leaves you breathless. It’s classic Japanese personality coupled with CRKT’s manufacturing prowess translates to one amazing defensive tool. The Yukanto™ features a clip-blade crafted in the Osaraku style made famous by the 16th century Samurai warlord, Takeda Shingen. Compact in size, it still comes up big on cutting abilities when called upon for duty. It’s no wonder the name translates to “Sword of Valor”. M.S.R.P. is $99.99 You can read our in-depth review by clicking here.
Number 7 on our list is LaserLyte’s Trigger Tyme™ Laser Training Pistol. Experienced shooters be they sport, law enforcement or military have their preferred techniques and tips for exceptional shooting. However, within that diversity, there is a common thread that training is essential and that firearm skills are perishable if not preserved. LaserLyte’s Laser Training Pistol makes training safe, portable and cost effective. By itself, the shooter can engage a paper target and observe his or her trigger control and perfect draw. When combined with several of LaserLyte’s laser training targets, shooters can create an effective and safe training environment. You can read our review here. M.S.R.P. is $149.95
Number 8 on our list is the Crimson Trace LG-919 G10 Master Series Lasergrips. These grips represent a standards setting level of refinement. CTC’s decision to use a micro laser lens solved an all too common problem with Level 2 and Level 3 tactical holsters. In this rendition, nothing was taken for granted and nothing was overlooked. The LG-919 provides a hand-filling grip for exceptional control. If you own a 1911 without the accessory rail, you couldn’t do better than with the Crimson Trace LG-919 G10 Master Series Lasergrips. M.S.R.P. is $399
Read our comprehensive review here
Burris XTR-II 2-10 x 42 is number 9 on this year’s list for very good reason. Simply stated it’s a very high quality magnified optic with considerable Steiner influence. Our review was of the 2-10 x 42 and you can read that here. Optical clarity is excellent as is color rendition and tracking. The XTR-II are a First Focal Plane design featuring mil reticles (other reticle types are also available) and mil turrets, reticle illumination and side parallax adjustment. We can’t recommend this optic more highly and at prices ranging $900 – $1,500 they qualify as a “Honey I Love You” gift.
Read our review here
We close with our 10th great piece of kit, for 2015, the Streamlight TLR-2 HL G (Green Laser). Not all green lasers are created equal and what separates men from the boys is the operating temperature range. Your garden variety green laser aiming model has a limited environmental temperature range. Streamlight retains the typical TLR packaging and mounting system but really cranked up performance with the 720 lumen TIR LED and the direct drive Green LED laser with an operating temperature range of 40F to 120F. M.S.R.P is $580 which is a tremendous value for this professional grade accessory.
You can read our detailed review here.