The Problems of Velcro on Tactical Gear



It seems like a lot of the tactical gear and camo uniforms that are currently available use a lot of Velcro? Now new Velcro has it place for some uses it is quick and convenient.  But it’s also noisy, and when the going gets real dirty and muddy, it just doesn’t stick together anymore.

Personally, I try to avoid gear that uses Velcro.  On uniforms, I prefer buttons.  The stay closed, don’t catch on strange surfaces and last longer.  On tactical equipment I prefer the plastic squeeze clips like on surplus M16 magazine pouches and the square 2 quart canteen covers.  They stay closed and open silently.

The plastic clips that are on the M16 pouches

Now I know all the arguments about noise not mattering and in most cases, they are right.  If you are in a firefight noise, doesn’t matter.  But there is always that one situation when noise matters.  If you are trying to stay concealed or out of sight when pulling security, and need to get something from a pocket or pouch the noise of the Velcro tearing open can give away your position.

What maybe a bigger problem is that it wears out or won’t hold after being in the mud or grass,  I have had it some types that wear out in a surprisingly short time.  Mud can be washed off, but I hate picking grass or foxtails out of it.

Now there is one problem that I have became aware off, but does not apply to most US surplus gear.  Is cheap foreign made knock offs.  The Velcro brand is a better sealer, can hold with a tremendous amount of force and takes a longer time to wear out. Cheaper versions can load up with fuzz,  be affected by moisture, dirt, etc, are less durable and less capable of holding during extreme conditions.  So if you absolutely want Velcro make sure you are getting the real thing.

See also  Why You Should have a Military Entrenching Tool.
Velcro that has been in the grass
Velcro contaminated with lint

Like most things It has it place, I am just not sure that I want it on my tactical gear.  You might end up spending more time than you think in the field and you want your gear to last.



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2 thoughts on “The Problems of Velcro on Tactical Gear”

  1. Veteran Who Is Preparing

    In US military manuals printed before 9/11 when they covered uniforms they said that zippers and velcro were not approved for use on uniforms. The reasons were 1) they are loud when you want silence 2) if exposed to flames (like from a flamethrower) velcro will melt so the clothing it is on can not be removed easily by medical personnel. I unfortunately used the early issue ACUs (the ones that split open on the crotch and nothing you did could fix it so everyone stopped trying even Field Grade officers). The velcro sucked and wore out fast. The only piece of velcro that didn’t was the one that held your rank because you hardly ever removed it. Velcro is a material I try to remove from gear and camo whenever it arrives. I bought bags of replacement buttons and fasteners for the job.

  2. Velcro has 2 distinct sides. Hook and loop. If you notice the contaminated pieces in the pictures are the hook sides. If you use velcro make sure the loop side is the one most exposed and this will minimize contamination. I agree it may not be appropriate for some long term uses.

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