The Best Private Investigator Gear and Tech You Need in 2020

Are you a private investigator looking for new tech?

There’s a lot of gear needed for a PI to be successful in the business, and with technology becoming more advanced, there are new items out in the market that will make surveillance and observation more convenient in 2020.

If you’re in the PI field, you need the best tech to provide results for your client. Here’s some of the best private investigator gear to invest in.

1. Hi-Resolution Bullet Cameras

These types of cameras an excellent for fixed surveillance like a house or place of business. They record in high-definition and can also be placed in different locations with ease.

Most bullet cameras can be accessed through a smartphone via wifi. They’re very discreet with sizes varying from 1 to 5 inches in length.

2. GPS Tracker

These devices can be easily set-up on a vehicle to track a person’s movements and location. Not only are they tiny and difficult to find, but most have a battery life of more than 30 days.

If you are a PI looking to track someone’s day to day movements, a GPS tracker is a must-have investment.

3. Pen Audio Recorder

Having a pen that can also record audio is a great way to log a conversation without the other person knowing. The device is usually activated by pressing the top of the pen and will save the audio file onto a micro-USB memory card. 

They are small, easy to carry, and can also record your thoughts about the investigation on the fly.

4. High-Quality Power Bank

As a private investigator, you can end up on a stake-out for hours or days at a time without access to electricity to charge your devices. Since most of you carry around smartphones, laptops, and tablets to keep your investigation in order, its smart to carry around a power bank. Try to find one with a solar charging panel so your devices never run out of juice.

5. Power Inverter

There are power inverters with outlets that can plug into a 12-volt port in your car. You can also purchase battery-powered inverters that can supply power via USB to charge your devices without having to plug it in your vehicle.

6. Binoculars

When recorded surveillance isn’t enough, and you need to see what’s happening on your stake-out in real-time, its best to get a pair of binoculars. Look for ones that are small enough to slip in a jacket pocket but still have high-quality, long-distance lenses.

7. GPS System

It’s best to keep track of information like where you are and where you need to be. Having a GPS can assist with this. Most modern cars have GPS systems already installed, but you can also purchase apps on your phone to get a GPS, or you can buy one that is entirely independent and doesn’t require an internet connection.

This private detective agency would agree that having a GPS is one of the most essential pieces of tech you need to have as a private investigator.

8. Sleeping Bag

When you’re on an investigation, you don’t always know where you’ll end up for the night. Consider purchasing a sleeping bag to keep in your car for these types of situations. Also, make sure you bring extra toiletries, flashlights, a passport, and additional sets of clothing.

9. Quality Camera

When on an investigation, it’s best to have a quality camera that can snap pictures both in the daytime and low light situations. Collecting evidence is crucial when investigating possible crimes or situations of infidelity. 

Presenting photographic evidence that’s blurry or doesn’t have much detail is amateur at best. Make sure you take the time to look at all of the camera’s features and pick the one that fits with your needs and budget.

10. Tripod

Always have a portable tripod handy when collecting photo evidence. This will take away any handheld camera movement that might ruin your shot. It’s also useful when you have to videotape or take pictures of the same area for long periods.

Some companies manufacture small tripods with posable legs that can grip to walls, doors, or windows.

11. Dimmable Desk Light

There will be certain situations where you will be in the dark most of the time. With that being said, you’re still going to need some light to look at documents, pictures, or the plans of your investigation. 

A dimmable battery powered desk light or book light is the perfect tool to help you read in the dark, hands-free.

12. Steering Wheel Desk

As a private investigator, you will be spending a lot of time in your car, which will, in turn, be your office sometimes. Consider buying a desk that can connect to your steering wheel. This will help out on long surveillance missions which require you to be on location, giving you the option to work through some paperwork in your downtime.

13. Nonlethal Defensive Gear

Even the best PIs may eventually blow their cover and end up in a confrontation with someone. Consider carrying nonlethal defensive gear such as pepper spray or a taser. This way, you can defend yourself and make a quick getaway without having to use lethal force.

14. A Bag with Lots of Space

A private investigator carries around a lot of gear. You’ll need a place to put all of your accessories in—that’s why we suggest you get a large carrying bag that can haul all of your gear. 

Make sure this bag is made of durable material and has many pockets to store your PI items. It should also be comfortable to wear or carry for long amounts of time.

Don’t Skip Out On Purchasing Your Private Investigator Gear

This is the top private investigator gear you need to have to make your stake-outs and investigations successful. Take a look at what you don’t have and make sure you pick up some of these items if they’re missing from your private investigator’s arsenal.

Looking for more must-have item reviews? Check out the other articles on our site.