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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 3/30/2006 8:53:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2006 9:04:51 PM EDT by sleepdr]
Hi all,
3 wearings of a friend's Blackhawk vest convinced me that chest rig will be the way to go. This will be my first attempt at load-carrying, and I didn't see a specific comparison between these options. Please weigh in with your thoughts on a first-timer's set of carry equipment. How much useful capacity difference, thoughts on colors, quality, etc. I run a Troy single point sling on the AR, and its shoulder pad may interfere somewhat.

Here's some basic info:
AO: Desert, foothills, suburbia, small city, and mountains all within 45 minute drive - little snow below 4k feet in winter.
Use: shooting classes, informal CQB training with LEO & friends, potential for use as hunting gear, carrying survival/camping equipment, carrying shooting equipment to/from/at range.
Sidearm: on separate belt/leg holster. (Black color but I'm getting them cheap!)
I'm not very tacticool, but like good quality gear. It seems quality is similar between my choices.
More than basic first aid training, so will probably carry a bit more than an IFAK but need to balance that with other personal essentials.

Option one: SKD's Eagle chest rigs in a color of choice (OD vs CB vs ??). Advantages include supporting an ARFCom sponsor, price, color choice, and shoulder straps look more comfortable. Disadvantages appear to be relative lack of modularity & expandability.

Option two: Tactical Tailor woodland kit on sale. Advantages - lots of gear for the price, modularity, expandability. Disadvantages - more expensive, woodland only, looks like I'd need to add their X-harness to make it comfortable. How "woodland" do these look?

Option three: Hang all this garbage on the belt, but I like the idea of separating the rifle gear from the handgun stuff.

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:02:49 AM EDT
SKD Eagle chest rig would be a good start, perhaps add a small utility pouch or two to carry an IFAK and some snivel gear. Add a good backpack to hold items that aren't immediately necessary which would give you the option to dump it and run light when required.
Another option could be the Eagle Molle Plate Carrier which would provide a larger platform for additional pouches as your loadout evolves. I'd look at the Multicam if you want one set of gear for all of those AO's.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:48:53 AM EDT
Most folks don't need the modularity, but want it. Both rigs will serve you well and you shouldn't have any problems with your Troy sling working with the gear.

I'd recommend the Eagle rig for now, and in the money you save, put that towards ammo and your first training class.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:49:01 AM EDT
I'd be all over the SKD/Eagle rig if they'd fix the pistol mag/too pouches (separate and longer lids).
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:00:58 AM EDT
SKD Eagle would be my recommendation.

SJS is right on the money about the pistol/accessory mag pocket mods. It'd be perfect for what it is with those modifications.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:07:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 10:08:17 AM EDT by Dawg180]
The TT stuff is nice if you don't know quite how you want to load up, or if you need to be able to carry loads other than M4 or M-14 mags. However, to get the same pouches as the SKD Eagle will cost you about 3x times as much, or about 2x as much with the Woodland color. And they just ran out of Woodland X-harnesses yesterday according to the website! Doh!

If you have never gotten a chest rig before, I would go with the SKD Eagle rig, espeically if your dedicated weaon is an AR-15 of some flavor.

Trust me, you will find things you like and dislike about the rig (any and every rig), and will probably end up getting something else in the future. I currenlty have a Hellcat, Eagle chest rig (differet model), Chicom chest rig, LBV, ILBV, and LBE all in the "war room" and I just ordered a TT 2-piece MAV and some pouches today. LOL, I just know once I find the rig I like it will be in the wrong color and I will need ANOTHER one just like it!

Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:41:26 AM EDT
I'm going the other way to most of the advice here.

Go modular all the way. It WILL be more expensive, but you WILL want to change any fixed vest you buy. The more you actually use your gear, the more things you will want to change around.

If you use your gear regularly, you will likely end up selling any fixed vest you buy within 6 months, and will buy some modular vest to replace it.

There's all sorts of options (almost too many) for modular pockets/pouches. Indeed too many to ignore.

I'd suggest a TT two-piece MAV with X-Harness. You can add the adapter to make it more like the one piece but still easy to doff/don.

The TT gear is well made and reasonably priced, and you can add anyone's else's modular pockets if TT doesn't have somethig to fit the need.



Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:16:42 AM EDT
That's not bad advice at all. I do find it interesting that having nearly every kind of chestrig, and most pouches, made by the "heavies" (HSGI, Esstac, Eagle, TT, SoTech etc.) in multiples of each, the Eagle will fill the bill nearly everytime unless you have a need for a very unique or very heavy loadout.

That is not to say that you can't easily duplicate and improve the Eagle with modular gear, it'll just cost you more.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 12:15:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
I'm going the other way to most of the advice here.

Go modular all the way. It WILL be more expensive, but you WILL want to change any fixed vest you buy. The more you actually use your gear, the more things you will want to change around.

Big +1.

I debated between the exact two rigs and ended up getting the TT MAV when the OD was on sale. I am very glad I did. You don't know how great modularity is until you've tried it, especially since you will be using it for different purposes.

Spend the money on the TT rig--you'll end up with a modular one at some point anyway. Buy once, cry once.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 12:52:09 PM EDT
identifying specific loadout would be helpful...currently, my BH molle vest includes the following: 2x2 30 rd pouches, double pistol mag pouch, knife/light combo pouch, HSGI vertical chest molle holster, molle hydration/bladder carrier on the back...spaghetti side closures were replaced with matching hand tied 550 cord (knotted where cord Xs) much better fit and retains chest/waist size...the only 'free real estate' on the front of vest is over right pectral (sp?) muscles...currently, no provision for odds/ends carry space, but molle pouches/pack could be attached to hydration/bladder carrier...this setup is definately not the cheapest rig available, but it has what i want/where i want it, and all add ons can be quickly changed out (for example, shotgun pouches)
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 1:20:09 PM EDT
Have you considered Eagle's Tac V1-MS? Modular system, nice quality. I love mine so far.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 1:30:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 1:34:43 PM EDT by sleepdr]

Originally Posted By IL_Shooter:
identifying specific loadout would be helpful...



Thanks for all the replies, folks. The multicam stuff looks nice, but MC BDUs are expen$ive! $200 is a far cry from the $40 I dropped last year for a woodland set at the surplus store.

Here's a tentative basic loadout, expecting it to be fine-tuned over time. Until I have a better idea, it's intended to be somewhat minimalist but able to adapt to changing situations.
AR platform only for now.
4-6 30rd AR mags.
Glock 19 + 1-2 mags or 1911 + 3-4 mags. Holster on belt, probably will also carry mags on belt.
Multi tool
Light - probably a SF 6p.
Extra (5) CR123 & 2xAA batts for SF, weaponlight, & EOTech
IFAK @ minimum, probably more like a double IFAK. Would consider carrying that on belt, possibly on weak side thigh.
Fixed blade knife + pocket sharpener, probably stash a folder somewhere, too.
Basic survival gear - compass, firestarting stuff, wire, mirror, mylar blankie, needles, thread, fishing line & hooks, wire, 2-4 folded garbage bags (for ponchos & other uses), etc.
A Powerbar or two
Cell phone
Some 550 cord and gaffer's (duct/100mph) tape, sharpie, pen, pencil, small notepad.
Hydration likely Camelbak-type, but my current blue MULE stands out a bit much.

I'll use a ruck to stash bulkier things like extra socks/undies, rain/foul weather gear, more food, more H20 + filter, more ammo (including a .22 pistol & brick), cooking gear, spare light bulbs, more first aid stuff, small shovel, deck of cards, shelter, sleeping gear, personal necessities, etc.

Any glaring omissions? They don't teach us this stuff in med school.

ETA: This eBay auction looks intriguing.


Link Posted: 3/31/2006 1:34:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:
I'd be all over the SKD/Eagle rig if they'd fix the pistol mag/too pouches (separate and longer lids).

If it was just for ammo, I'd agree. But even with two small utility pouches (SOB X-4s or TAG Nalgene pouches are the biggest I can fit on there) you don't have a lot of cargo space. Plus there's no provision to carry water.

Given the two choices you posted, I'd say take the TT MAV. Better yet, pic the individual pieces you need off the WC sale page, and build a 2-piece MAV with the right mix of ammo & cargo for your needs.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 2:19:30 PM EDT
If your current blue MULE stands out a bit much then stay away from the woodland camo for those AO's.... the MAV in ACU seems like it would work the best given your parameters...... and CTD has some decent tan color gear for cheaper than dirt.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 2:23:02 PM EDT
your response on load out is very helpful...i have no hips and avoid any belt loads when i can, but apparently your belt 'stays up' when you put 3-5 lbs on it..with that in mind, the unique items you carry that don't automatically fit into pre-made pouches include: IFAK, compass, firestarting stuff, wire, mirror, mylar blankie, needles, thread, fishing line & hooks, wire, 2-4 folded garbage bags (for ponchos & other uses), Powerbars...sizes on IFAK vary widely, and you might have trouble finding a pouch the right size, but you should want to avoid an overall thickness greater than 2 stacked AR mags (2" ?)...the several other small items you mentioned should all fit into 1"+- thick pouches, and these common accessory pouches are plentiful...enough 'real estate' should be available on standard molle vests for all these pouches (another alternative is a butt pack, if your belt doesn't drop down to your knees...hehe)...a molle sheath for your fixed blade would be helpful...SF 6P may be too long to fit in knife/light combo pouches, maybe double check length against depth of pouch pocket..i had to go with a SF Exec that was 1" shorter to be able to close the pouch flap

later, after sizes of specific pouches are known (X molle rows by X molle columns), actual 'real estate' utilized could be easily measured against area available on molle vests..pls post if you are interested
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:35:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 3:39:39 PM EDT by die-tryin]
Well there are some good choices ppl have listed. I started out with USGI LBV gear, I didnt like having anything around my waist like a big thick pistol belt. I wanted as much movement as possible. That is when I got into chest rigs. I had the SDS one, it was nice and worked out, but then I wanted to get into Ballistic protection aka body armor and plates. I couldve jus gotten the BA and put it under the SDS rack, but I wanted something that was more of a plate carrier combo type deal. I ended up with the BlackWater rig. It was more expensive than the SDS ($179 vs $40). But I get alot more for my money as well. Im very happy with this setup.

Here is my review on it.

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=10&t=194645


The one pouch to the RIGHT (in the pic) is my survival kit. It covers all the main ingrediants of a good survival kit.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:04:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 7:20:46 PM EDT by sleepdr]

Originally Posted By geezzer:
If your current blue MULE stands out a bit much then stay away from the woodland camo for those AO's.... the MAV in ACU seems like it would work the best given your parameters...... and CTD has some decent tan color gear for cheaper than dirt.



Ummm, how much blue is there in most woodland camo schemes, anyway? I take that to mean that woody will stand out pretty badly in my area, yes?

I've about settled on the SKD either multi or ACU, but those prices on the TT gear keep haunting me - $165 for $372 worth of gear - even if it's woodland. Thanks for the heads-up on CTD. A CRNA friend just dropped one of their catalogs in my mailbox, so I'll browse it tonight.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:29:27 PM EDT
Buy it smart the first time, and get the SKD/Eagle. Joe @ SKD is great to do business with, and Eagle Industries, you just cant get much better
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:45:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By billclo:
Have you considered Eagle's Tac V1-MS? Modular system, nice quality. I love mine so far.



I actually got outbid on an eBay auction yesterday for a gear package including one of those. Vests still aren't my preference right now, but thanks anyway.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:10:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sleepdr:

Originally Posted By geezzer:
If your current blue MULE stands out a bit much then stay away from the woodland camo for those AO's.... the MAV in ACU seems like it would work the best given your parameters...... and CTD has some decent tan color gear for cheaper than dirt.



Ummm, how much blue is there in most woodland camo schemes, anyway? I take that to mean that woody will stand out pretty badly in my area, yes?

I've about settled on the SKD either multi or ACU, but those prices on the TT gear keep haunting me - $165 for $372 worth of gear - even if it's woodland. Thanks for the heads-up on CTD. A CRNA friend just dropped one of their catalogs in my mailbox, so I'll browse it tonight.



For an additional $3-10 of Krylon you can make that TT gear ANY color you want!

Seriuosly, that is what I am going to do. A good dusting of tan and it should blend right in with the illinois "green and brown drought grass" color we have ahad around here the last two years.

Link Posted: 4/1/2006 3:46:27 PM EDT
This just came today from SKD. I paid for it with the money from selling my TT MAV-2 with X-Harness.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:48:18 PM EDT
Modular rigs are great; but they are like holsters in that you'll end up with a bunch of poucges/gear that doesn't fit your needs as you try different solutions. However, you can tailor it just the way you like. As modular rigs go, I think the MAV is pretty good.

The Eagle is a lslick, low-profile, affordable rig that was set up by someone who knew what they were doing. If you want a rig that is good to go for a class right out of the box, the Eagle is the way to go. If you don't mind the time and expense of setting up your own rig and you like things to be just the way you want them, then modular is probably the way to go.

I'd also caution against loading the chest rig with a lot of crap. Keep only the things you need immediate access to on it, the rest can go in a backpack. Your lower back will thank you later.
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