I recently tested the RE Factor Tactical Operator Band, a tactical wrist bracelet with unique features. Its components can be used to catch food or fish, make weapons, build shelter or repair equipment.
There are plenty of tactical wrist bracelets on the market. They are a fashionable way to carry a few extra feet of paracord. No one really knows who came up with the idea of consolidating the cord, but it certainly caught on like wildfire.
When it comes to prevailing in adverse conditions, the strategy of diversification - being able to place many different tools in different places - is a sound approach. The Factor Tactical Operator Band is simply an application of this strategy.
The RE Factor Tactical Operator Band uses real 550 cord, which most of us know can be disassembled for the inner strands, if needed. Many paracord companies import cheap material and sell it as the real thing. RE Factor avoided the “lowest bidder” syndrome by going to a local manufacturer.
The RE Factor Tactical Operator Band resembles other paracord bracelets, but it is slightly thicker and heavier. It has 12 feet of paracord, about 2-4 feet more than most bracelet products. Since the extra couple feet of material can mean the difference between surviving and prevailing, this is important.
Second, woven into the center is snare wire, which can be used as a fishing leader, trip wire, etc., and 30 feet of 80lb fishing line. I’m not sure how they pulled it off, but there is also a fishhook inside, oriented so the user doesn’t know it's there until it's needed. It’s woven into the fishing line and the rigid P51 protects the area.
I know that the P51 is handy in the field, but I had to pick the brains of the RE Factor Tactical team. You guessed it - the Operator Band was conceived in an US Army Special Forces SERE level C course, as part of US Army Special Forces Qualification Course. You see, RE Factor Tactical is veteran owned, and our designer gave plenty of thought to what would work downrange. Combat veterans evaluate the products before they are marketed.
From our designer’s narrative:
We were given a limited amount of tools to survive [in the SERE Level C Course] but from everything that we were given I remember thinking that if I found myself in this situation again I would want the ability to make fire, cut things, make shelter, catch food and escape capture. As I continued my career, I deployed to a number of different environments and found myself constantly adjusting my survival kit in order to fit the mission and my posture.
The P51 can opener is lashed to the side opposite the clasp, and it can do a number of chores besides opening cans. The tremendous utility of the tool selection will not be lost on most users. For example, it is a perfect striking tool for the fire steel, which completes the bracelet.
I can easily weave a tactical bracelet, having done several for my own use. I would be reluctant, however, to pull this one apart for the components unless I really needed them. The P51 comes readily off the top without disassembling anything.
There are two features of the RE Factor Tactical Operator Band that stand out for me. It has a ferrocerium stick that can be used without taking it off the bracelet. Ferrocerium is a man-made material that has the consistency of soft metal and the ability to throw a 3,000 degree spark when a hard edge is scraped against it. It’s the same thing used in a lighter.
I tested mine by quickly cranking out a fire with it. One can actually get up to 1,000 strikes from this short rod. A fire steel is often the best way to start a fire when the stakes are high.
The other standout feature is the handcuff key. It is fixed in the clasp and easily removed for use; it comes off easily and can be hidden in case capture is imminent.
I know that many will ask if the product is compliant to many settings that prohibit carrying certain items in the name of security. I cannot answer this conclusively, but it should be fine for most. I’m certain that many of our enlightened readers have anecdotes about what things are and aren't allowed in the name of perceived security. Personally, I consider the safest flight one when everyone is holstered or muzzle down, with topped off magazines.
When I wore the RE Factor Tactical Operator Band for a couple of weeks, it loosened and conformed to my wrist. It’s not heavy and only reminds me it’s there when I retrieve things deep in my pocket. Despite the metal in it, it doesn’t make a sound and is non reflective.
The RE Factor Tactical Operator Band is not fashion and it isn’t a gimmick. It is a serious comfort to those who may need to put it to use. RE Factor is an American veteran-owned, combat-experienced company that sells stuff I would trust on my brothers and sisters.