The best gear under $25 to make life in the field suck less, according to soldiers

Apparently $25 is all it takes to improve gear that was built by the lowest bidder.

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Have you ever looked at your issued gear and wondered how “military-grade” came to be such a low bar to clear? Maybe it was those boot socks that leave your toes poking holes in them after being worn twice. We’ve all exorcised demons in the field after torturing our bodies with MREs for days on end. As luck would have it, the internet had delivered when supply could not.

Hundreds of respondents answered the call to this awesome Reddit thread asking U.S. service members which inexpensive purchase made Army life substantially better or worse. It’s definitely worth a read, upvote, and contribution. In the meantime, we gathered up the highlights so you can start hating life just a tiny bit less.

Was there something we missed? Thought of another essential piece of gear worth bringing into the field? Let us know in the comments.

Quality helmet pads

Socks that are not made in hell

Decent eye pro

A Swiss Army Knife

A razor that actually saves you money

Someplace to lay your head at night

More power

Decent mosquito repellant

Good, old-fashioned note-taking gear


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Scott Murdock

Commerce Reporter

Scott Murdock is a Task & Purpose commerce writer and Marine Corps veteran. Since 2020, he’s selflessly committed himself to experiencing the best gear, gadgets, stories, and alcoholic beverages in the service of you, the reader.