Our entire editorial team attends the SHOT Show in Las Vegas every January, but this year we did something new. From the hundreds of products we saw, our team selected a handful of items we
found most innovative and interesting from an urban survival perspective. Each of these products were bestowed with one of our new awards, and became part of the RECOIL OFFGRID Best Products of SHOT Show 2017.

Best of SHOT Show 2017 Awards

We devised nine award categories this year — note that these categories may change or be eliminated in future years, depending on what we find at the show. If there's nothing particularly innovative or new in one of the nine fields, or there's something extremely cool in a segment we haven't addressed, we'll add or subtract categories accordingly.


Also, please note that these picks are based solely on our initial impressions during SHOT Show, so we couldn't determine at that time how the products would hold up to real-world testing. If something looked awesome on the show floor but falls flat on its face in practical tests, we'll be sure to let you know.

Without further ado, here are our picks for the Best of SHOT Show 2017. As we get our hands on each product and have time to test it thoroughly, we'll add links to this article to direct you to our in-depth reviews. So be sure to return to this page or follow us on social media for updates on these products.

Best Firearm: Hudson H9 Pistol

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Hudson H9 gun 1

Each editor put some rounds through this futuristic looking handgun at SHOT’s Industry Range Day and walked away impressed. Some describe it as the lovechild of a 1911 and a Glock; it’s supremely comfortable and surprisingly light, and follow-up shots are effortless.

To find out why we think it’s the most promising new firearm of 2017, read the full in-depth review by RECOIL Editor Iain Harrison in Issue 29 of our sister publication. He wrote, “It's always refreshing to see American innovation is alive and well, particularly in an unknown startup company. We wish the Hudson team well, and look forward to the success of their baby.”

There's not much more we can say that RECOIL hasn't already said, so we'll leave future updates on the Hudson in their capable hands.

Best Accessory: MAGPUL X-22 Backpacker

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Magpul X22 backpacker gun 2

This clever rifle stock design clips together, making transportation of a disassembled Ruger 10/22 Takedown fast and easy. It fits all factory Ruger 10/22 Takedown models, as well as many aftermarket barrels, such as the Tactical Solutions SB-X and Volquartsen Ultralite.

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Magpul X22 backpacker gun 2v2

The MAGPUL X-22 Backpacker also incorporates two storage compartments: one under the cheek piece for three 10-round spare magazines or a box of ammo, and one inside the grip for a ferro rod, small knife, fishing kit, or other survival tools. It will be available in spring 2017 in black, FDE, OD green, and stealth grey colors. MSRP is $110.


Best Knife: White River Knives Firecraft

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards White River Firecraft knife 3

Three no-nonsense survival blades, with 4-, 5-, and 7-inch options to choose from. Each S30V stainless knife includes a divot for use with a fire-bow as well as a striking notch for use with the included ferro rod. Each knife also includes a leather sheath, which retains the knife and ferro rod.

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards White River Firecraft knife 3v2

The Firecraft FC4, FC5, and FC7 are available for $240, $280, and $320, respectively. We're currently working to obtain an FC5 for a review — stay tuned.

Review: White River Firecraft FC5 Review

Best Light: Streamlight Bandit Headlamp

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Streamlight Bandit headlamp 4

It’s lightweight and compact, but produces an ultra-wide 180-lumen beam. It’s also USB-rechargeable, weather-resistant, and impact-resistant. Plus, it includes a headband and a hat clip.

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Streamlight Bandit headlamp 4v2

The Streamlight Bandit looks to provide a lot of value for its $35 MSRP, but only testing will reveal that for sure.


Best Tool: Tuff Writer Mini-Click Gen 2 Tactical Pen

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Tuff Writer pen 5

The second generation of this tactical pen features new titanium, brass, and copper materials in a variety of finishes. Each pen is made in the USA with a slick updated version of the company’s 416SS ball-bearing mechanism. Hit the link below to read our full review.

REVIEW: Tuff Writer Mini-Click Gen 2 Tactical Pen Review

Best Backpack: Crye Precision EXP

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Crye Precision EXP backpack 6

Crye calls the EXP 1500 and 2100 “everyday-use bags with maximum tactical utility.” They’re designed for those who want to go gray in urban environments, and are made in the USA from domestically sourced materials. Each pack expands upward and outward, adding 500 cubic inches of volume and capacity for items up to 27 inches long.

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Crye Precision EXP backpack 6v2

We're interested to see how these backpacks fare during real-world testing in an urban environment.


Best Jacket: Kitanica Mark IV

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Kitanica Mark IV jacket 7

Motorcycle gear meets tactical apparel to create one unique jacket. The original Mark IV was released 21 years ago and popularized on TV by Adam Savage of MythBusters. Kitanica has completely redesigned the jacket for 2017 with stronger materials and more of the company’s signature articulated padding.

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Kitanica Mark IV jacket 7v2

There are tons of pockets, zippered pouches, cinches, and even some PALS webbing. Its ultra-tough 1000-denier CORDURA fabric is treated in urethane coating for water resistance, and it's made in the USA. At an MSRP of $669, it's certainly an expensive piece of apparel, but we'll see if its features justify the price tag.

Review: Kitanica Mark IV Jacket Review

Best Pants: 5.11 Tactical Defender-Flex Jeans

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards 511 Tactical Defender Flex jeans 8

These may look like ordinary blue jeans, but they add a new level of capability while remaining discreet. Seven deep pockets provide room for EDC gear and gun magazines, while stretch fabric is designed to improve flexibility. Not the first pair of tactical jeans ever created, but certainly among the most comfortable and functional.

REVIEW: 5.11 Defender-Flex Jeans & Pants Review

Social Award: Klecker Knives Stowaway Tools

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Klecker stowaway tools 9

Our photo of this new system from Klecker Knives quickly garnered hundreds of likes on our Instagram, outpacing the other products we photographed at SHOT and earning it our Social Award. Whether they’re stowed on a carabiner, KeyBar, or in Klecker’s iPhone case, the Stowaway system lets you roll your own multitool from more than a dozen mini-gadgets.

OFFGRID best of SHOT Show awards Klecker stowaway tools 9v2

Tool options include: belt cutter, fire starter, folding knife, Kwikset and Schlage blank keys, pliers, Philips/flat screwdriver, tweezers, comb, flashlight, Griffin pocket tool, pen, pocket clip/bottle opener, scissors, straight razor, and hex wrench. That's a whole lot of versatility in a small package, and with the mix-match format, you won't be stuck carrying extra tools you never use.


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