The holidays are coming up, and you know what that means. It’s time for our list of gadgets that every executive protection agent wants for Christmas in 2019!
So, in no particular order, here are ten of our current favorites.
1. Executive Protection Admin Bag
There are tons of solid admin bags and pouches out there, but even the top-of-the-line ones often require agents to make sacrifices. We think this executive protection admin bag is the most uncompromising yet.
It easily packs all the admin gear you need on the job but can also hold your short barrel weapons and work as a medical/trauma bag—with the ability to strap on additional med pouches if needed. The tried-and-true sling design means you can access your bag’s content without taking the bag off, or easily jump into a car with the bag still on.
The Executive Protection Admin Bag was designed by our very own Aaron Mauldin, so it might seem tempting to call us biased. And sure, to an extent, we are—but we’d never recommend a product if we didn’t think it was actually good. Throw in a soft body armor panel and you’re ready for anything.
2. Classic Standard Pocket Trio by Tale of Knives
Having the right tools when and where you need them just makes life easier. And until you’ve tried one of these high-quality multi-pouches, you don’t know how easy it gets.
Tales of Knives makes a lot of cool EDC products, and their pocket organizers are fantastic. This handcrafted leather pouch is durable and practical, allowing you to fit and easily access a knife, a pen, and a flashlight with no effort. Highly recommended!
3. The Zeus, a Portable Jump Starter, USB Charger and Flashlight
Nobody plans to have a dead car battery. But some people make plans so they can jump-start the car if the battery does die.
With 20,000 mAh, the Zeus will start even the biggest truck multiple times. It also has enough juice to charge a big smartphone at least 10 times—or work as a flashlight for days. The Zeus is portable—weighs a mere 1.4lb/640g—and comes with a bunch of cables, too. If you spend any time on the road or even off the grid, this is a must-have.
4. Solo Monoculars
There are quite a few high-end monoculars out there, but we’re really fond of Vortex’s products. They’re small enough to fit in your pocket or pouch, extremely lightweight, and powerful. Sure, their field of view may not match full-on binoculars, but that’s not their purpose, right? The included utility clip lets you attach the monocular pretty much anywhere you want, and the rubber armor means you don’t have to worry too much about dropping it. Cherry on top: Vortex’s products all come with a lifetime warranty.
5. Apricorn’s Line of Aegis Secure USB Keys and Hard Drives
Digital security, whether your own or your client’s, is no joke. It’s easy to assume you don’t have to worry about the physical security of your data, but all it takes is one slip-up for sensitive material to be lost–or worse, stolen.
The Aegis line offers the best secure data storage solutions on the market. Apricorn’s hard drives and USB keys have hardware encryption–which means no one can read what’s on a device unless they have the credentials to unlock it. The security features are too long to list: biometric access, PIN codes, ability to attach a lock pad to block physical access. Even better: the drives and USB keys can be set to wipe/self-destruct the data if someone repeatedly tries to unlock them. If you’re still carrying sensitive files on “regular” USB keys, you really need to make the switch.
6. Bail-Out Gear
Link: see below!
Executive protection professionals prep for a wide range of emergency scenarios, some of which are more likely than others. One scenario that we’d like to see is more people preparing for is evacuating from high-rise buildings.
It’s not that bail-out kits are ignored—they’re just under-used. It’s understandable, sure, because how often do high-rises catch on fire? However when they’re needed, they’re really needed.
Rather than recommend a specific product, here’s a fantastic article by RECOIL OFFGRID Magazine that goes over several bail-out kit components and setups: https://www.offgridweb.com/gear/knowing-the-ropes-bail-out-gear-buyers-guide/.
7. FLIR Thermal Cameras for Mobile Devices
Cool and useful. FLIR are known for their great range of thermal cameras and night-vision systems—both of which we’ve talked about before. Recently, they really upped their game with a new line of thermal cameras for smartphones.
Simply connect the device to your phone (iOS and Android are both supported, you just need to order the right product) and there you go: your phone is now a thermal camera. Now, you can use it to troubleshoot insulation and HVAC problems at your house, but also to do some quick and dirty TSCM work when on the job, detecting everything from battery-operated devices to finger- and handprints.
Is it as advanced as some of their larger products? Of course not. But the ability to have a thermal camera you can plug into your phone, and then do a quick sweep at a moment’s notice, is tremendous.
8. Vapur Portable Roll-Up Water Bottle by Triple Aught Design
Like anyone else, we try to keep ourselves hydrated—and our clients when needed. That means relying on disposable water bottles or re-usable hard-shelled ones. Well, the former can be frustrating to dispose of—if the situation even allows it in the first place. The latter won’t go through security, and needlessly take space in an already crowded bag regardless of whether they’re full or empty.
Triple Aught Design (and a few other folks) have solved this problem: foldable, reusable bottles. Their “Anti-Bottle” is durable, takes almost no space, can be tossed anywhere in your bag when empty, and is easy to wash. Once you own one, you’ll wonder why they’re not used by everyone. A word of caution: don’t go for the dirt-cheap alternatives unless you really enjoy the taste of plastic.
9. USB Flashlight by Goal Zero
Goal Zero makes some seriously cool power banks and solar chargers, but one of my favorite Goal Zero gizmos is this little unsung hero: the USB Flashlight.
True to its name, it’s a flashlight you can plug into any USB port—whether on a power bank, a charger, or connected to your phone. You can adjust the LED bulb to cast narrow or broad light, and they don’t need much juice. They’re tough, too: the ones I’ve had have just worked, even if they get roughed up.
10. WeBoost Cell Signal Booster
Executive protection pros rely heavily on cellular network coverage for apps, emails, messages, and, not least, calls. As we all know, and regardless of the country where we work, cell coverage can often be spotty. And even if you only intend to work in well-covered areas—wouldn’t you rather be prepared? That’s where weBoost’s cell phone boosters step in.
Strap the antenna outside of your vehicle, connect it to the booster, and any available signal will be boosted up to 32 times. Even better: the network can easily be shared with other folks in the vehicle. Given how well this tech works, there really is no excuse for being caught without network access—whether they’re on the road, laying low at a hotel in the middle of nowhere, or because a local cell tower got knocked out.