TACTICAL GEAR: NTOA Member Tested and Recommended Means Squat to me


Another “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” tactical product

So your new tactical-groovy toy comes complete with a NTOA Member Tested and Recommended seal of approval on it – guess what that means?


Before I get into why let me explain to the folks here what “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” means. NTOA (National Tactical Officers Association) is a trade organization (mostly) for police officers and trainers who work in the tactical realm.

What “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” means is one of their members has reviewed a piece of gear and given a score on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best. The testing and scoring system is mandated by the NTOA.

Sounds good right?

Well here is where I have a problem with “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” products and the NTOA itself. First off the NTOA clearly states on their website that:

“Please note that this is not product endorsement from the NTOA. It is a recommendation by a field tester for the law enforcement community”

If that is so, then why do they put the NTOA seal on products their members test? Seriously if they are willing to use their name and logo to endorse a product then why do they then distance themselves from a product that they endorse with their seal of approval and logo? (confusing right?)

I am guessing it has to do with the Fees they charge for listing any product that gets the “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” seal on it - anywhere from 50 dollars to 10% of the products retail value.

So the NTOA won’t even stand behind their own members’ decisions on gear they have reviewed using NTOA testing standards, that they put the NTOA seal/logo on and charge companies scale based fees to list.

Am I the only person here that finds that to be odd and even contradictory?

Here are a few examples of products that are “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” for Police Officers that do not make any sense:

Under Armor Clothing – This stuff is not only flammable but it will melt to your body if you are on fire. Not something that a tactical operator would want to wear wile raiding a meth lab or driving a 120 MPH in a vehicle powered by 30 gallons of flammable liquid.

Condor Outdoors Products – Condor copies nylon gear designs (from good folks like John Willis and So-Tech) then cheaply knocks them off in China and puts their logo on them.

This is theft, so why would an Association run by POLICE OFFICERS support a company that STEALS???

ZipCuff’s - if anyone here reads the informative blog ITS Tactical they know ZipCuff’s have Zero place in law enforcement. They are easy to manipulate and escape from, not a product a police officer working on the streets should even consider using.

So why would an Association run by POLICE OFFICERS support a product that will surely get a police officer killed someday???

Other products that are “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” - NTOA recommends a desk (a desk, what?) and AA Energizer batteries (I am guessing the bunny is also in). Not exactly stuff that has a place in the same category as tactical gear used by police officers busting down the doors of crack dens.

In Conclusion…

So between the contradictory nature of NTOA’s testing and endorsement policies, the fact that they do not clearly disclose that gear companies have to pay them to get listed, putting their seals on questionable & dangerous products and approving tactical products that are stolen makes “NTOA Member Tested and Recommended” something that makes me NOT want to buy a product.

Considering that the NTOA is a well known and respected association that represents hard working and brave Police Officers; in my opinion they should seriously reconsider how, when, who and why someone would get a seal of approval with the prestigious name of NTOA on it.

But opinions are like assholes (everyone has them and they all stink), so maybe I am just over thinking this one.


~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.