What's the Best Piece of Field Gear You've Ever Bought?

A U.S. Army captain covers himself with a poncho liner during a break in Afghanistan.
A U.S. Army captain covers himself with a poncho liner during a break during Operation Regular Flint at Shele Kalay, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Jan. 16, 2012. (Spc. Kristina Truluck/U.S. Army photo)

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Let's face it: the standard-issue gear that U.S. service members receive during their time in the military often isn't up to snuff. Sure, some gear gets the job done just fine, but in a world where "military grade" is often a euphemism for "cheaply made junk from the lowest bidder," it's often worthwhile for American troops to avail themselves of commercial, off-the-shelf products to supplement and augment their current kit.

To that end, we're always on the hunt for the best field gear on the market to help make U.S. troops' lives a little bit easier when they're in harm's way. And no, we're not talking about random "tacticool" accessories that nobody actually uses, or ultra-Gucci gear that's been proven ineffective (you know who you are). We're looking for the poncho liners and boot socks that make long marches more bearable, the knives and multitools that are handy in a pinch, and even the super random or relatively obscure items that can't be beat out on patrol.

So tell us, service members and veterans: What's the best piece of field gear you've ever bought? Leave your responses in the form below, and we'll incorporate your insights and expertise into an upcoming survey of the best field gear for life in the military.

Your personal information will not be shared, and your responses will only be used for editorial purposes.


-- Jared Keller can be reached at jared.keller@military.com.

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