RE Factor Tactical Survival Keychain Review: VOSB Series
Neat Little Package, if You’ll Use It
RE Factor Tactical is led by Special Operations Veterans, and creates solutions for the unique set of challenges posed to our most elite warriors. They produce gear that is designed to meet the specific requirements of a particular set of jobs, although civilians might find their kit useful as well. According to RE Factor, their products aren’t put into production until extensive field testing has been conducted by their brothers in arms. As you might expect, their products are made in the United States- these guys don’t skimp on the patriotism. They also continue to honor the fallen by making contributions to a number of charities, so you can be sure that you’re not only supporting an awesome VOSB, but also indirectly benefiting a number of worthy causes when you shop with them. RE Factor is responsible for the venerable R.A.T.S tourniquet, among other innovative products. Along with a quality array of bags, medical, and shooting gear, they produce a survival bracelet and a keychain.
If you’re an EDC or survivalist type, chances are that you’re already seen bracelets, watch bands, knives, AR15s, pets, furniture, and potentially even hairstyles that feature paracord. Well, the fact is that paracord can be a very useful survival tool, and the guys over at RE Factor really know how to work with it. This keychain packs a lot into a pretty small package:
There’s a lot you can do with paracord. You can fashion rope, repair equipment, hang your food, make it into a pulley, use it in a splint, strangle an otter with it, or even name it and pretend it’s a loyal pet.
20′ Fishing Line
Fishing line is for fishing. Hand fishing is not difficult in shallow water, and could be a life saver in an outdoor survival situation. It can be also used as a trip wire, to support a structure, to help hang your bear bag, in numerous first aid situations, as a snare, as floss, or as a fun companion for your paracord pet.
18″ Snare Wire
This was a thoughtful inclusion. Like many other items on the list, snare wire can be purposed to a number of different field applications. Like fishing line and paracord, it’s great for lashing objects together to fashion shelter, a weapon, etc. If you’re stuck in the same place for a while, you can use it to snag critters to eat over and over because it’s a lot more durable than a textile.
Whistle Buckle or Handcuff Key
Either you’re Jason Bourne and you need to escape the clutches of bad guys, or you’re me: wanting to be as loud as possible so some park ranger can find my stupid ass crumpled at the bottom of a ditch. Admittedly, there’s some room in between: this option really highlights the fact that RE Factor doesn’t only have your average civilian in mind when creating options for this keychain. How many people think they’ll need a handcuff key attached to their key fob or backpack? We opted for the whistle, because it’s the RE Factor folks and their peers who might be rescuing us one day.
Everyone needs fire, and there aren’t too many alternate uses for this one.
P51 Can Opener
A P51 can opener is a lot more powerful than it may seem. Firstly, it’s actually incredibly easy to open just about any can with one of these. The little blade can be used to make small cuts, drive screws, gut a fish, scale a fish, mark trees or rocks, or be used to end your life when despair sets in and you decide that you’re not going to survive anyway.
You can catch fish with this item when it is combined with the included fishing line. You also may be able to stab bugs with it.
Suunto Clipper Compass (Optional)
I absolutely love this little guy. I have no half baked witticisms for you about this tremendous piece of kit. It works, it illuminates well, it’s easy to read, it can take a beating, and it’s very easy to secure to any part of your gear. Get one.
The Use Case
Many of us will not need to fish for food in an emergency between Monday and Friday, so this isn’t really an important piece of EDC gear for a lot of folks. However, if you’re hiking, camping, screwing around far from home, or just want a neat piece of FDE paracord to impress the weird ladies you hang out with, it’s hard to go wrong with RE Factor’s survival keychain.
Breaking this thing down would be pretty tough if you didn’t have a knife already. Fortunately, when we tore into it we had our limping but not yet defeated SOG SEAL Pup. If I were RE Factor, I’d include some reference material. I get annoyed when I see companies selling all kinds of survival kit and not including material with valuable information regarding what a user should expect in the event that they actually have to USE it. I imagine that if I were lost on a hike and starving, I’d have some more time to think about how to break down and use this keychain, but I have to admit that it was a tad frustrating. Not necessarily because it’s poorly designed, but more because I knew the process would have been simpler if I had a notecard cluing me in to a few things.
If there’s no secret to taking it down, prepare to fight it. This thing was wrapped TIGHT. I wanted to preserve the integrity of the paracord, but I ended up making one or two cuts with my knife in order to get at the guts of the keychain.
The snare wire and fishing line will become impossibly tangled. This seems like an inevitability based on how it was packed, but if you’re lost in the woods you have time to unravel it.
That said, the compass is easy to read, the paracord works, the fishing line is tough and visible, the P51 is a P51,the firestarter strikes, and the whistle whistles.
Red Hatchet Says…
Yep, this is a neat little package. Be prepared to take your time if you ever actually need to use it, but you can rest assured that it’s well made, dependable, and contains useful kit for many wilderness locales around the world. This probably isn’t something that you’re going to need on your keychain, but that’s okay because it works just fine when clipped to a backpack. Oh, and did I mention that that Suunto clipper compass is super, super, cool? We wholeheartedly recommend you check out RE Factor’s other products, including the R.A.T.S tourniquet for your shooting bag. Support our veterans and their business, honor the fallen, and stay safe out there.