​What Riot Gears Are Sold in a Tactical Shop

What Riot Gears Are Sold in a Tactical Shop 

What kind of riot gear or armor can one buy in a tactical shop? Today, the choice of tactical riot gear and equipment in online stores is so wide that you sometimes makes you feel like a kid in a candy shop: armor platesballistic shields, accessories, clothing, bags. You are definitely spoiled for choice here. 

This guide is intended to help you categorize the abundance of riot gear options in your mind and make the right choice. 

Riot gear types 

For a non-professional, all riot gear may look the same. After all, they are often marketed the same way. However, there are two main types of riot gear available in tactical shops: 

  1. Riot gear for civilians. 
  2. Tactical riot gear. 

Here is how they are different. 

Riot gear for civilians 

Civilian riot gear is designed for wearing by rank and file citizens. Yes, it may look very similar to the real tactical gear, but its purpose differs. The main priority of riot gear for civilians is comfort. You see, regular folks like you and me rarely take part in law enforcement operations, for example. So we do not need specific riot gear functionality designed for police officers and military. But we do need comfort when we are shooting at the range, or hunting in the wilderness. 

Does this mean riot gear for civilians is useless? Not at all! What’s said above simply means that riot gear for civilians has its niche, and what you get is tactical clothing and equipment that is not designed for some real tactical applications outside of some typical civilian usages: hunting, hiking, tourism etc. The only exception are riot shields which are perfectly legal to sell to civilians, so such transparent polycarbonate tactical shields are real riot gear. 

Tactical riot gear 

Now, tactical riot gear is designed with real-world policemen, spec ops and military in mind. Such equipment is tough, durable, and extremely functional. The same looking civilian gear often does not stand a chance against specialized tactical riot gear if you compare them closely. Moreover, various tactical riot gear is made different depending on its purpose. For example, riot gear for police officers and riot gear for military ops is different. 

Tactical riot gear offers more functionality in comparison with its civilian counterparts. For example, tactical boots may feature a sheath to hold a knife, pants often have an embedded holster, and backpacks include adjustable straps for tighter fix and a webbing to secure various tools to the backpack. 

What riot gear can you buy in a tactical shop 

Tactical bullet-resistant vests 

Such vests offer a place to insert an armor plate and the standard MOLLE attachment system. Bullet-resistant vests are demanded by police officers, law enforcement officers, spec ops, military, security guards, and more. Protective capabilities of this riot gear depends on the armor plates you insert. 

Armor plates 

Tactical armor plates give protection from bullets and stabs depending on the class of the armor plate. According to NIJ, protection classes range from Level II to Level IV. The higher the protection level, the more high-energy projectiles the armor can effectively stop. 


Protective helmets are designed to keep your mind put together, so to speak. The design may include bullet-proof glass visors, additional neck protection, and embedded ear protection. A tactical helmet can withstand hard hits with bullets, projectiles and melee weapons, reliably protecting its wearer. 


Tactical riot shields can be bought in many tactical shops and are presented in dozens of variations. The simpler models are just polycarbonate riot shields, while more complex variants include lighting shields, ballistic shields and wheeled tactical platform shields. 

Tactical clothing 

These products are available in dozens of tactical shops, both online and brick-and-mortar. Tactical clothing include jackets, pants, footwear, headwear, gloves as well as additional protective equipment: elbow pads, knee pads and protective eye wear.

What to prefer: riot gear for civilians or tactical riot gear? 

The answer to this question depends on your goals and purposes. Normally, if you are a civilian, you should look for riot gear for civilians. Why? Because most likely you simply does not need all the additional durability and concealment options the tactical gear provides. At the same time you’ll overpay a lot for these functions. So we recommend sticking to civilian tactical gear of the proven manufacturers, like those offered in our tactical store. 

On the other hand, being a law enforcement officer or a military who faces civil disorders and riots as a part of your job, you certainly need some serious tactical riot gear. In this case we recommend asking a consultant in the tactical shop to guide you through the selection process. At BattleSteel®️, we are really looking forward to every new customer and will be glad to help him or her make her choice.

This article is the author's opinion and does not represent the official position of BattleSteel®️

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