TacPack Review: Useful Gear, Presents to Self
Monthly subscription boxes are quickly becoming popular across a vast number of industries. Venture capitalists have thrown at least $295.8 million into the market, investing in that growth. The most popular boxes have to do with food, makeup, art, and fashion. The idea is simple: get stuff you like every month. Companies like TacPack and Battlbox are applying the model to tactical, gun-related, and survival gear. TacPack was kind enough to send us their February box, so we’re sharing our thoughts. They describe their box as composed of “3-7 pieces of tactical gear, EDC gear, tools, cleaning supplies, soft goods, and survival bits.”
At first, we wondered what we would do with $90 worth of tactical gear shipped to us every month: how many lower end Gerbers, tool-cards, and little kit elements could anyone actually need? TacPack thought of that, because the box we got was all about a range trip. We actually used everything they sent us after putting a few rounds downrange. The elements all worked well together; they made sense.
Item 1: Splatter Targets
Punching paper is fun, but it can be hard to tell exactly where your shots are going, depending on the range of the target. We’ve always been partial to splatter targets: they make tracking your shots easy, and they deliver some degree of instant satisfaction when you land a bullseye. We ordinarily shoot Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird targets because they’re probably the most widely available, but we had heard good things about Glow Shot. After shooting them side by side, we found that Glow Shot targets didn’t starburst as brightly or as large an area as the Dirty Birds. In any event, they performed just fine, and were a blast to shoot. We couldn’t find the Glow Shot target pack included here online, so we assume it was a sample. MSRP: some tiny amount of money.
Item 2: Ms. Clean NATO Kit
This is a seriously badass product. Ms. Clean kits were created in response to poorly designed field cleaning solutions provided to soldiers around the world. Strangely shaped and unreliable packaging makes them inconvenient to use. Ms. Clean’s solution is to make a full cleaning kit in a crush-proof (seriously crush-proof) container shaped like a magazine. The kit has similar dimensions to a NATO STANAG magazine, so it fits anywhere a mag was designed to go. You can do a lot with this little guy: clear squibs, clear FTEs or stuck cases, clean your bore, lubricate, etc. The kit covers: 5.56mm/.223/7.62mm/.30/9mm/.357. If you’re looking for more detail, don’t worry: we’ll post a review soon. MSRP is $44.99.
Item 3: Range Wipes
These are pretty great. We put about 400 rounds downrange today, and our hands were filthy. After we cleaned our guns, our hands were filthier. These wipes effectively removed that nastiness, and left our hands feeling moist and clean. They’re baby wipes that do a great job cleaning gun muck, packaged in a gun-patterned tube. According to manufacturer GX2 Defense, they also contain Aloe Vera & vitamin E. MSRP: $6.00.
Item 4: Tipton Gun Cleaning Picks
We didn’t know we needed these until we got into our AR’s bolt and took down our Sig Scorpion 1911 after 700 rounds without a cleaning. The Tipton Picks make getting gunk out of tight spaces a breeze- they’re even better than wire brushes. They’re cheap, they’re convenient, and we felt like gun dentists. MSRP: $4.00.
Red Hatchet Says…
Why not? If all of their kits are this well thought out, TacPack seems like it could be something to look forward to every month. It’s a great gift idea if you’ve got a Tactical Timmy in the family and don’t know what to get him, or if you’re that Tactical Timmy and you want to treat yourself. As far as value goes, it looks like (with this pack, at least) you’re basically breaking even if you do the 1 month trial. You would save $5.00 if you went with 6 months, and $7.50 for a full year. If you have the disposable income, do it! TacPack mentions on their site that the value of each box is totally dependent on which vendors or brands are willing to play ball on bulk orders, and when you sign up they ask for your T-Shirt and Glove sizes (oh boy, apparel?) We’ve read that the box values are usually well above MSRP of components. There’s definitely a “gambling” feeling with subscription boxes, but isn’t that part of the fun? In any event, if you don’t like it, you can cancel: no problem. According to their website:
“The Golden Rule-the thing that sets us apart! You can cancel anytime with no strings attached. No fees, no wait, no “one more charge before your done” BS! You can cancel your subscription at any time. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you need to end your subscription and we will take care if it for you. It’s simple, we treat you how we would also want to be treated.”
We thought it was fun. Probably a bit dicey on value (this month), but we’d try it again because it was so well thought out, and full of unique stuff that we probably wouldn’t have known to buy on our own! In any event, you don’t sign up to give yourself presents every month to pinch a penny here and there: you do it because you’re getting unexpected, cool, hand picked stuff and because you’re worth it. Try it here.