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Review: Gearward A-K Band

I would hazard a guess that most of the Tribe members have given preparedness some thought in one form or another. Whether it’s what you always want to keep in your vehicle, home, or how to pack the essentials in a go-bag – you’ve probably put some thought into it. In the same vein, I have always tried to carry certain tools on me.

Being an avid lock picking enthusiast, I usually have lock picks and a handcuff key, or handcuff shim on me – except the one time I really needed one! No, I wasn’t arrested. I wasn’t kidnapped either, but I was doing an impromptu lock picking demo that lead to a demonstration of the handcuff shim. Well, the shim was too thick for the handcuffs and I inadvertently tightened the cuff. It’s really easy to do, so then I needed the key I usually have hidden on me – except it wasn’t there! At that moment I wished I had a paracord bracelet with a built-in handcuff key. Now that I have tested the Gearward A-K Band, it would have been a Godsend in this situation!

Gearward A-K BandThe “A-K” in the Gearward A-K Band stands for anti-kidnapping. It is designed to allow you to carry escape tools in your watch band. The inventor refers to it as a “wearable insurance policy”. The intended purpose is for military personnel, foreign aid workers, and journalists in conflict zones, or travelers in countries with a high risk of kidnapping for ransom.

The A-K Band is designed specifically for you to escape from rope, duct tape, zip ties, and handcuffs. The kit contains a ceramic razor blade, a polymer handcuff key, and a 4′ Kevlar friction saw already tied with loops on the ends for your feet. Many people thinking about a kidnapping or unlawful restraint situation wear a “ranger/survival bracelet” with a built in handcuff key and other items. I think the A-K Band solution is a better option as it draws less attention. Even though much less of the public wears watches nowadays, it still isn’t going to blatantly stand out like a survival bracelet.

Here is a video from Gearward demonstrating using the kevlar friction saw from the Gearward A-K Band to escape from a set of flex cuffs:

Gearward A-K BandGearward A-K BandI first tried the A-K Band out on my Suunto. It was a little tight going on (the Suunto watches tend to have wide bands after all), but it fit fine once it was installed.

Gearward A-K BandI could definitely tell it was there, though it was comfortable, and after a while I forgot it was there. I tested using it, I could easily take the watch off behind my back and access the contents in case I needed to.

Gearward A-K BandI also tested it out on my Apple Watch, it went on a little easier than the Suunto. The A-K Band was not noticeable on either of my black synthetic watch bands, although it was a little less comfortable on the more pliable Apple Watch band.

Gearward has a variety of items directed towards the EDC, urban preparedness, and outdoor survival conscious. Their A-K Band is very affordable at $25.00 and can be ordered directly from them on their website.



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