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Navy SEALs Gear: List of 17 Things SEALs Use

The United States Navy, Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams, more commonly referred to as Navy SEALs, represent the elite of the elite.

Navy SEALs serve as the primary special ops force for the military branch, among the most respected in the world.

Navy SEAL gear is essential to the success of any mission, particularly the high-level targets that SEALs traditionally target.

As a result, Navy SEAL gear is extraordinarily durable and flexible to meet the strict demands of the special-ops role.

Navy SEALs confront enemy targets on their domain which requires the need for adaptive equipment and gear for a variety of terrain.

SEALs encounter everything from maritime and jungle environments to arctic or mountainous.

Consequently, this list only begins to describe the essential Navy SEAL gear required to carry out a successful special-ops.

“Frogmen” frequently change out gear depending on the mission and climate they plan to encounter.

Learn more about some of the Navy SEAL gear utilized while on deployment:

Tactical Pants

LA Police Gear Mens Ripstop BDU Pants

As Bruce Dickinson once famously said on SNL, “I begin the day like everyone else – putting my pants on one leg at a time.”

Navy SEALs may seem unrelatable yet their essential gear begins like ordinary Americans – with pants.

Nonetheless, Navy SEAL gear is enhanced or upgraded in numerous ways, including tactical pants.

The tactical pants created for the LAPD are comparable to what you would find an Operator wearing on a top-secret mission.

They feature the same classic military BDU design present with Navy SEAL gear.

Military tactical pants are usually constructed in something comfortable yet durable like polyester and cotton blends.

Moreover, the adjustable waist fits all sizes along with the secure Button Fly technology.

Tactical pants generally feature a variety of pockets for personal cargo.

Click Here to learn more.

Chest Rig / Tactical Vest

blackhawk omega elite vest cross draw
Image: OpticsPlanet.com

After the pants come on it’s all about protecting the rest of the body of an Operator.

For this reason, the chest rig or tactical vest (like much of the Navy SEAL gear) is mission-dependent.

Nonetheless, you can get a fair idea of the SEAL gear depending on the climate.

For example, warmer climates like the jungle call for something open and less restrictive like a harness.

However, Navy SEALs often upgrade to a tactical vest in close quarters.

The best tactical bests and Navy SEAL chest rigs are extremely customizable depending on the needs of the operation.

It’s not uncommon for SEALs to include a hydration system on the vest for longer hauls.

Furthermore, many Operators attach carabiners on the best to easily attach additional gear.

Navy SEALs traditionally paint carabiners with black spray paint to avoid sunlight from sending a direct signal to the enemy.

Click Here to learn more.

Helmet

Chase Tactical Bump Helmet

Navy SEALs are always thinking ahead which makes protecting the cranium of the utmost importance.

Thus, a military-grade helmet is one of the first items SEALs make sure to pack.

The Chase Tactical Bump Helmet is a decent example of a non-ballistic version.

The tactical helmet usually features a platform for mounting NVG or similar equipment.

Upper and lower rails enable the Operator to attach lights, cameras, or communications depending on the situation.

While these tactical helmets are lifesavers they do not add a ton of weight which is refreshing during a grueling day out in the elements.

Click Here to learn more.

Watch

casio g shock digital step tracker
Image: DicksSportingGoods.com

Watches may seem like an afterthought yet when SEALs operate they must be precise – like clockwork.

Consequently, Navy SEALs carry a watch with essential gear to make sure they are on time.

Digital watches like the Casio G-Shock are popular among Frogmen.

These types of watches are affordable in the event they get misplaced or damaged.

The Casio G-Shock monitors time with included alarms and stopwatch.

Moreover, it connects with a smartphone app to record steps and mileage.

Navy SEALs often cover a watch with duck tape to eliminate glow during an operation.

Click Here to learn more.

Headgear

Tru-Spec Gen-II Adjustable Boonie Hat

The headgear worn by Navy SEALs varies widely like other essentials.

Green boonie hats, black balaclavas, and tactical baseball caps are just a few of the examples.

Once again, the type of headgear depends on the situation and environment Operators plan to encounter.

For example, a dive hoodie will keep your head dry in the water.

Green boonie hats are resourceful for sheltering the skull from sunlight.

When combined with a bug net, they also provide relief from annoying insects out in the jungle.

Lastly, the most basic type of Navy SEAL headgear is when the Operator wraps a green tee around the head.

Operators are able to stay cool by dunking the shirt occasionally in water.

Regardless of the headgear, Navy SEALs have a variety of methods for staying cool and comfortable out in the sun all day.

Click Here to learn more.

Gloves

Rothco Hard Knuckle Cut and Fire Resistant Gloves

Gloves, like other accessories we are about to address, are incredibly important out in nature.

Thus, Navy SEALs have several options when it comes to a protective layer for the hands.

Gloves are critical for keeping your hands clean and free from getting cut up or blistered.

Additionally, they are extremely efficient at keeping your extremities warm in cooler climates.

The Rothco Hard Kunkcle Cut and Fire Resistant Gloves are a quality example of a military-grade pair.

The gloves feature molded goatskin leather along the knuckles for ultimate protection.

Meanwhile, the palm, fingers, and thumb are also surrounded by a water-repellent version of the leather.

Most Operators have a personal favorite, but the Rothco version is one of the more prominent.

Click Here to learn more.

Boots

Bates Men's 9 U.S. Navy DuraShocks Steel Toe Boot

Boots are synonymous with the military and for good reason.

There is, perhaps, nothing more essential and important in all your gear.

If an Operator has unreliable footwear, they are going to suffer in the field.

Boots that do not fit properly are not only a gigantic hassle but also cause blisters.

Thus, you become a liability to the Team and also jeopardize personal health in the process.

Veterans of the War in Vietnam can attest to the importance of having dependable boots and dry socks.

Consequently, Navy SEALs may change out footwear depending on the terrain.

Military-grade high boots protect the feet and ankles for long-distance travel.

Meanwhile, slip-resistant boots are necessary when traveling on surfaces like a Navy ship deck.

The standard-issue boot of the U.S. Navy is the Bates Durashocks Boot.

The military boot is an absolute workhorse after endearing years of abuse in real-life missions.

It provides Bates patent DuraShocks technology and moisture-wicking lining.

The boot is proudly manufactured in the United States with durable leather and a nylon upper.

Click Here to learn more.

Sunglasses

oakley fuel cell military sunglasses
Image: OpticsPlanet.com

Sunglasses are not only a stylish accessory of special-ops like Navy SEALs yet serve a practical purpose.

They keep your eyes protected from the elements, especially the unrelenting sun.

Furthermore, military-grade sunglasses can adapt whether you are on a ship or preparing for an underwater dive.

Sunglasses are also important at the firing range and in the field of battle.

Lastly, Navy SEALs may transition into goggles in settings like the desert where sand and grit can easily penetrate the eyes.

These sunglasses from Oakley are worth considering if you are seeking a Navy SEAL comparison.

The lens not only meets military specs but also salute the men and women serving the country.

The matte black frames are highlighted with American flag emblems.

Click Here to learn more.

Diving Knife

navy seal knife

Special ops will not make it far without a reliable knife.

Thus, Navy SEALs and other special forces rely on a plethora of knives depending on the situation.

The Ontario MK 3 Navy Knife is the standard-issue yet merely scratches the surface when it comes to weapons at their disposal.

It’s crucial for Frogman to carry a wide assortment of knives depending on the mission.

For example, an MK 3 SEAL knife can also saw through obstacles like rope.

The knife offers a 6.5″ stainless sawback blade which is designed to function underwater for divers.

The handle is molded in black checkered high-impact plastic with cordura and plastic sheath.

It’s also proudly made in the United States like most of the Navy SEAL gear on this list.

Click Here to learn more.

Backpack

Rush24 2.0 Backpack 37L

Navy SEAL gear is extensive when you consider all the accessories.

Therefore, Frogmen never make it far without a dependable, sturdy backpack.

SEALs demand a rugged backpack that is also comfortable yet doesn’t weigh down too much.

Navy SEALs have utilized a variety of backpacks throughout the years, including A.L.I.C.E. packs.

However, many have recently progressed to Berghaus backpacks.

The RUSH24 2.0 Backpack is another military-grade option thanks to its amazing versatility.

The adaptable pack features a hidden CCW compartment, padded laptop sleeve, and hydration tube ports.

All in all, it provides 24 liters of storage and fits a laptop up to 15″.

It’s a versatile military backpack even though most Operators will invest in more than one depending on the requirements of the mission.

Click Here to learn more.

Knee Pads

military grade tactical knee pads

Navy SEALs are not proud enough to recognize that accessories like knee pads are worthwhile for just about any operation.

The BlackHawk HellStorm Advanced Tactical Knee Pads V2 are a quality example of what you would find among Navy SEALs.

These knee pads are lightweight and water-resistant for a variety of climates.

The closed-cell foam padding offers cozy shock resistance and contoured interior ledges prevent the pads from slipping as you walk.

The military knee pads are constructed in a 600D nylon shell.

Click Here to learn more.

Hydration Bladder – SOURCE Tactical Razor

SOURCE Tactical Razor Hydration Bladder

Hydration techniques have been vastly improved over previous decades when most carried a GI issued plastic canteen.

Today, special ops have access to high-tech water bladder reservoir systems.

These hydration bladders enable the Operator to carry more water, and in a much more efficient method.

Tactical water bladder reservoir systems are an improvement over basic canteens in terms of performance.

While they can degrade over time and begin to leak, hydration bladders are more effective for long hauls.

It’s vital that you have enough water for a mission that may require hours or days in the wilderness.

Click Here to learn more.

First Aid Kit

High Speed Gear Reflex IFAK Kit

First aid is generally part of the SERE kit.

Every Navy SEAL carries a SERE kit which is short for “Survival, Evasions, Resistance, Escape”.

As the name implies, this kit contains a variety of accessories necessary for emergency situations.

The SERE kit usually contains items like a water filter, map, fire starting material, and signal mirror.

Most Operators elect to store their first aid kit along with the SERE equipment.

First aid kits are literal lifesavers out in the field.

The kit should include a carrying bag that mounts to your equipment and is easily accessible.

Navy SEALs encounter some of the most dangerous situations of any special-ops unit.

Consequently, it’s never out of the question that SEALs may face challenging, life-threatening situations.

As a result, a military-grade first aid kit will save your butt even if you never reach the level of special forces.

Click Here to learn more.

Red Dot Reflex Sight

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Sight

Red dot flex sight (like the one available from Optics Planet) is among the numerous optics that SEALs may carry on a particular mission.

Navy SEALs have access to all the latest optics and technology associated with advanced warfare.

For example, the Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Rifle Sight is a result of input garnered from law enforcement and military personnel.

The sight is precise and features an extremely crisp red dot thanks to the cutting-edge lens coatings.

The Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Rifle Sight also features front and transparent rear protective flip-covers.

Its sealed tube design prevents snow, rain, mud, dust, or sand from hindering the sight.

The gear mounts to practically any type of weapon as well as compatible with night vision devices.

It was rumored to be part of the accessories utilized in the highly publicized raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

Nonetheless, Frogmen enjoy debating whether the Aimpoint stacks up to other popular sights produced by EOTech and ACOG.

Click Here to learn more.

Swim Fins

Voit UDT Free Diving Snorkeling & Navy Seal Swimfins Black-XXL

Navy SEALs are so versatile that many tend to forget they are also experts in the water.

Thus, swim fins are a critical item of any Navy SEAL gear.

Operators demand the most sophisticated and effective designs for propelling underwater.

Often, these complicated missions require underwater access, so fins need to come along with the rest of the gear.

Surprisingly, you can find a quality, military-grade pair of swim fins at retailers like Wal-Mart.

The long blade on the fins adapts to different situations depending on if you are free diving, snorkeling, or body surfing.

Click Here to learn more.

Headlamp

Princeton Tec Remix Pro MPLS LED Headlamp

The top-secret, tactical procedures of Navy SEALs often require Operators to move in the dark.

Thus, the Princeton Tec Remix LED is one of many headlamps available for SEALs.

The headlamp is powered by a long-lasting (40 hours) CR123 battery.

The battery is reliable in cold weather not to mention extremely lightweight.

Moreover, the Princeton Tec Remix LED Headlamp switches between a high output or more discreet low output mode.

Lighting is provided thanks to LED technology which emits a smooth, powerful white light.

The multiple lighting modes allow Operators to quickly switch in the field along with shifting natural conditions.

Click Here to learn more.

Flashlight

SureFire E2D Defender Tactical Single Output LED Flashlight

Flashlights support other Navy SEAL gear like headlamps for travel in the dark.

Once again, it’s not uncommon for SEALs to move once the sun goes down to minimize the chances of being spotted behind enemy lines.

Navy SEALs tend to customize standard-issue military flashlights with other features like a red lens.

Why?

Red lens make it much easier to examine a map in the dark compared to white light, which is much easier to spot from far distances.

The SureFire E2D Defender Tactical LED Flashlight is a military-grade example.

Its lightweight design allows Operators to carry it anywhere along with separate lighting settings.

The powerful 1,000-lumen beam gives Navy SEALs a tactical advantage in the field.

Meanwhile, Operators may scale down the power of the beam with a 5-lumen low output setting.

The SureFire E2D Defender Tactical LED Flashlight is produced with aerospace aluminum and weighs a mere 4.2 ounces.

Click Here to learn more.

See Also

10 Best Tactical Kneed Pads

12 Best Reflex Sights

14 Best Red Dot Sights for Pistols, ARs, and Shotguns

References / Resources

US Navy SEAL Careers

Navy SEAL / SWCC Official Site 

 

 
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See a list of equipment and gear Navy SEALs use for both training, as well as their missions. This tactical gear loadout includes things like tactical vests, boots, clothing, swim fins, and much more.
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