THE OUTDOOR TECHNICAL TACTICAL EQUIPMENT BLOG. Join us where we talk all things industry, gear, lifestyle, design and just all round fun.
Here at OTTE Gear, much of our product design and marketing comes from on-the-road experiences and travel, both in testing our equipment and learning from other people and countries and brands. I am a little late in posting this, but in July I took a 16-day European trip with my family (it was supposed to have been a summer 2020 trip, but the pandemic had other plans for us…and the world).
We hit London to soak up all things British. We saw old friends, ate a lot of organ meats, and recovered from our jet lag. We were there for July 4th which was interesting. As an American it’s our Independence Day, but the Brits see our independence day as treason! The Brits had a chip on their shoulder about it and invaded the US 30 years later, burning the White House down in 1812. I think they have since “gotten over it” (let me know if I have that right, all you English out there) and our two countries enjoy a great partnership now.
After London we took the train to Amsterdam, a wonderful old city with canals and lots of bikes. It’s an easy city to navigate, with friendly people and a welcoming culture. We spent 3 days there learning about their history, their city, and their art. The kids had a lot of questions about the Red-Light District and hash cafes. That was an interesting one to have to explain to teenagers….
As I navigate between multiple countries in a short period of time, you can imagine it can be tricky to keep track of my stuff. I found that my All-Purpose Packing Cubes and my Utility Pouch Set was the best equipment to stay organized. The Packing Cubes work great for clothes, and the Utility Pouches help organize all my chargers and European power adapters.
Our last stop was France. Many of us have an idea about the French, about their arrogance, rudeness, how much they smoke, how little they eat. Some think they are wimps for not standing up to the German invasion during WW2. Well, after 7 days in Paris and a day in Normandy, my views changed. Paris is truly a beautiful city: cosmopolitan culture, unbelievable architecture, and art unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It was a miracle and a blessing that it was saved during WW2. The French are a proud people. They love their culture and language. As an American, I expect people to speak English when in the US. The French have the same expectation and I appreciate that. That said, a hearty “Bonjour!” followed with English is usually enough to disarm even the most proud Frenchman.
On my last day in France, my son and I took the train to Normandy to meet up with a Green Beret Sargent Major who had trained me while I was a young cadet in Boston University’s Army ROTC program. After retirement he moved to France, became fluent, and got a job with the American Cemeteries as a Superintendent. He reminded me that American heritage runs deep in France, as well as the US owing its independence to the French. The French are our oldest ally, after all it was the French, rivals of the English, who helped lead our founding fathers and gave us guns, ammo and cash to defeat the English and win our independence. It was Generals Rochambeau and Lafayette whose leadership of American troops helped defeat the British at Yorktown, turning the tide of the Revolutionary War. The French celebrated on the streets of Paris when the Americans won the War, and they erected a statue of General George Washington that you can still see today. This bit of history was not lost on the Americans: in WW I, General Pershing and the American Expeditionary Force arrived in Paris and stopped at the tomb of General Lafayette. One of his Colonels stood at the grave and said "Lafayette, we are here." It gives me great pride as an American that we remembered what the French did for our fledging country and that after almost 150 years we repaid the debt. As an American, we stand with and help defend those who stand with us. France has stood with us since the very beginning of our great Republic and we stand with her now.
The visit to Normandy and the beaches was very emotional, especially seeing the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc that the Army Rangers scaled to knock out the German post, taking heavy causalities while doing so. Omaha and Utah beaches are where we established a toe-hold on the continent in the military campaign that liberated Europe. In the liberation, American GI’s gave chewing gum to the French kids and laughed and played with them. They spent time interacting with the locals and flirting with the women. The German occupiers, on the other hand kept their distance, were always buttoned up and had a serious demeanor. For the French, the shaggy-haired, scruffy Americans with our wry sense of humor were a breath of fresh air.
Who knows what the future has in store for us or the French. However, this I do know: if push comes to shove, the French will have our backs and we will have theirs.
President & CEO of OTTE Gear
Tom Marshall of RECOIL OFFGRID covers our LVZ OVT pate carrier in a recent review
RECOIL OFFGRID is a magazine dedicated to preparation and survival; featuring articles on making knives, building shelters, bug out bags, and gear reviews. The magazine primarily offers educational articles on how to survive a life-threatening situation or a man-made or natural disaster. As a perfect group of experts to test our LVZ/OVT carrier, they finished the review stating "We’ll continue to test the OTTE Gear LVZ OVT plate carrier in both training and daily “grab-and-go” use as able but, overall, we think this carrier offers a whole lot of bang-for-buck value, especially if you’re in the market for a first-time buy or want to pare your collection of carriers down to a single, modular setup that fills both concealed and overt needs. Stay tuned here and at OTTE Gear as they continue to expand their in-house line of plug-and-play accessories for the LVT OVT line."
That blog on the RECOIL OFFGRID website is available here.
And continue to test it, they did! Tom also wore our plate carrier to HALEY STRATEGIC KALASHNIKOV: THE BASICS OF SHOOTING AN AK
For this class, Tom's loadout consisted of "OTTE Gear LVZ OVT Plate Carrier with G-Code Scorpion mag pouches, which flex to accommodate the odd shape of 5.45x39mm magazines."
For that article as well, check it out here.
// FEATURES //
▪ Constructed of 500D Nylon
▪ Adjustable Hypalon shoulders
▪ Two areas of loop for identifiers
▪ Integrated nylon vertical strips to accommodate QASM buckles (not included).
▪ Removable triple rifle mag shingle included
▪ Fully adjustable Cummerbund Overlaps itself on the front and back area making
it extremely adjustable in or out depending on your size.
▪ Cummerbund has 4 pocket areas on each side for magazines or radios
▪ Interior has 3D style spacer mesh
▪ Plate pockets load from the bottom and will accept up to 10x12 Level 3 and 4
ESAPI OR SIMILAR PLATES and Plate Backers
// SIZES //
The LVZ / OVT FITS - MEDIUM SAPI, ESAPI, SWIMMER PLATE, 10"x12" up to 10”x12.25“x1”
The size of the carrier has nothing to do with your shirt size but everything to do with the
size of your armor plate.
OTTE & QILO are NJ neighbors and it’s about time we made something together.
Introducing our Convertible Pouch in Andrew Bawidamann’s iconic “Poppies of War” print.
-Constructed 500D Cordura
-Made in USA with US-sourced materials
Drops on the site on Friday, 6/25 at 3PM EST.
Whether for fashion or for function, camo is never totally off-trend. And at the present moment in men's style, it's as relevant as ever. Streetwear's been using it since the beginning. Hip-hop style got a hold of it in the '90s and hasn't let go since.
With summer winding down and fall right around the corner it’s that perfect time of year – not too hot and not too cold, just right for adventure. Preparing for these adventures means selecting your best gear that is not only reliable and time tested, but also really sharp looking. Getting disorganized, overpacking, or not packing enough are an adventurer’s enemy. And nothing will make you more frustrated than getting to the range or campsite ripping through all your gear looking for that one thing (you know that ONE necessary piece of gear that you absolutely needed) only to realize that you left back on your kitchen counter next to the note that says “DO NOT FORGET!” OTTE Gear has developed packing systems to help make sure you stay calm, cool and organized so that you can focus on the fun and adventure.
Belly up to the bar with….Dave Young
For this month's GAB, we probed the soul of Dave Young aka @youngbuckdave. He is a true friend, an artist, and frankly a sub-par shooter...more of a spray and pray kinda guy. Just Kidding. His encyclopedic knowledge about guns informs his tactical photography which captures the people and products he is so passionate about. When you meet him ask him about his dad, the old school lawman. Read on.
Be TacticalOTTE Gear sent our very best Zach Stone to the The Tactical Games last week which took place at the epically cool GTI facility in Barnwell, SC, a decommissioned nuclear processing facility that really puts the athletes in the mood. Price of entry was being an endurance athlete with tremendous shooting precision, also known as ass-kickers, door-kickers and Tier 1 operators. Besides participating in the competition, OTTE Gear is also a sponsor of the games and proudly outfits the TG staff with our DK Jackets. At the end of the day, Zach hosted an impromptu party at our tent for all of the worn-out athletes.
Belly up to the Bar with @robomurray
An uncommon day (February 29) seemed like a fitting time to feature an uncommon dude, Robo Murray, as our Grab a Beer With OTTE Gear interviewee. We learned about Robo from our Canadian friends at Parabellum Prime who said we should definitely check him out. While his day job is in the Information Security space focused on OSINT, his passions are Firearms, Firearms training, Airsoft, and Milsim which led him to his pursuits working for WGT Consulting on the side. Somehow he also finds the time to create rad combat-inspired casual clothing (http://www.robo-apparel.com/). You can learn a lot more about him in our interview below, or by visiting his various social media platforms.
January 2020 – William Todd Fairbairn, Founder & CEO of OTTE Gear
Climbing is a sport where no matter how hard you train and prepare there are always elements that are out of your control, not least of which are the weather and your DNA. These was front and center as I attempted to climb Aconcagua last month, Argentina’s and South America’s tallest mountain. The mountain reaches 23,000 feet. The air gets thin and hard to breath the higher you climb. It is not considered tall enough to require bottled oxygen and while there are drugs you can take to help mask the physical pain of the high altitude, only your DNA will predict how you perform up high. Needless to say, my DNA did not help me. I woke up gasping for air and moved extremely slowly above 14,000’.
OTTE Gear Multicam Gaiters (shown in photo)
One lucky person will win over $4000 in prizes from OTTE Gear and our sponsors. All you have to do is start following on Instagram.
1). Follow OTTE Gear
2). Follow as many of our other sponsors that you want
( the more you follow, the more chances you are entered to win! )
December 2019 – William Todd Fairbairn, Founder & CEO of OTTE Gear
It has been 15 years since I entered this industry with the 2004 SHOT Show debut of my brand, OTTE Gear and I think it’s about time I let folks know a little about me and the brand. The whole idea for the brand was born after hearing from our friends that were deployed to Afghanistan. They told us that the clothing they were using did not work well in the Himalayan environment nor did it hold up to their use and abuse. Many opted to use their civilian clothing in the most subdued colors available and black out the logos with a Sharpie marker. They knew that my partners and I had worked for The North Face so they reached out and asked for help designing better clothing systems.
Thanks to its long-standing team up with Andrew Bawidimann, we think of Otte Gear as the original purveyor of tactical artwork. Its Poppies of War print is an almost subtle mash-up of toes-in-the-warm-sand comfort and Taliban-era sentiment. At first glance, it’s a broad, vaguely organic pattern; but a focused gaze reveals a smattering of weapons that are familiar to anyone who’s spent some time in Afghanistan.
We met Joe Savio on the range a while back and were instantly charmed by his skills and his humor. He is the owner of GST Training & Consulting, partner in Modern Materiel, the first and only New Jersey AR-15 manufacturer focusing on law enforcement, and Relations Manager for Holosun Optics among other firearms and defense industry companies. Drummer/Shooter/Tequila connoisseur...clearly he is a very good guy to know.
It started way back when we were searching for someone to join our team as a friend/advisor/specialist, someone who not only enjoys OTTE Gear but also lives and breathes our industry AND has great character. We were already fans of @UTMAIB and he graciously accepted the role. Jon is an avid shooter, loves all things pew pew and engages consistently with those eager to learn more. He has a fetish for Multicam and, not gonna to lie, looks good in it. So let’s grab a cold one with @UPTOMYASSINBRASS and learn more.