Celebrating over 14 years of LF forum  reading by asking the sort of question that got me here in the first place.  Why is this going to be long?  I'm gonna  walk through who I am, what I want and what I've used to try and solicit some advice from the more experienced and learned folks here.

Me: I'm 5'10" and 160 lbs (ish), I generally wear a 40 jacket (or 50 in Euro sizing) unless they're really slim cut.

What (to be carried): 

  •  >= 4x 5.56 mags (if wearing a belt with 2x), 
  • pouch or PALS for pens, chemlights, head lamp, etc.
  • pouch or PALS for  map/notebook pouch (yes, separate from the previous)
  • pouch or PALS for AN/PRC-148C 
  • PALS for EUD / NettWarrior (hard to see this anywhere but a bib)
  • pouch or PALS for conformal battery (because the two previous are thirsty!)
  • PALS for IFAK (either in addition to or in lieu of a belt worn IFAK)
  • a means to carry H20 (either space on the rig or the ability to mount  a camelbak) 
  • a means to control cables and route antennas  

I'm probably forgetting something.  I usually prefer space for NODS, compass and cutter on there...but, the PSQ-20 is massive and I'm not sure how to skin that cat yet.  There's the possibility I might need to haul two radios.  Ideally, I could wear it stand alone or throw it over an armor carrier / PC.

What I've used in the past (and what I liked or didn't):

TAPS - the Army's institutional chest rig solution, approved for static line parachute operations and my main line gear for the last 7 years or so.  The Army took a stab and integral pockets and pouches that worked fairly well for organizing kit - I worn mine with a few external pouches that accommodated 2x 1QT canteens/Nalgene, padded NODS pouches, cutter, compass, extra mag pouch and R/T pouch.    Not a bad effort, the cons would be that the harness is pretty garbage and doesn't really position the TAPS properly on someone my size (and pity the JM that has to JMPI me wearing it), the pouches use hook and pile tape and/or snap fasteners.  Theoretically, this could answer the mail with an improved harness and a decent spot to stash the EUD.

TT   2-PC MAV w/ X-Harness.  Loved the idea, didn't really like how it fit on someone with my less than barrel chested proportions. The X-Harness is nice, and the overall load carrying is similar to the TAPS, though I like the internal pockets on the TAPS better.  Honestly, probably would have preferred the 1-PC (maybe w/ bib).  

Naturally, I've worn the FLC, LBV, and LCE - however, they're a in a different class.  I like the LCE concept with or without low profile suspenders.  I've got a vintage ATS war belt and a Crye blast belt to work with, and my intent is to divy up my kit between first and second line.  That said, I need a chest rig that sits high enough on my body to actually make belt mounted kit viable -  it's not an abs/belly rig, amirite?  I generally prefer canteens to Camelbaks because wearing one more thing that keeps my torso from breathing and interferes with any gear I carry on my back isn't appealing.  The TAPS, for all its flaws, did transition pretty seamlessly between over armor and stand alone wear.

I've been experimenting this week with the Crye AVS.  The fit is "OK"-ish and the yoke/harness is pretty good for managing ride height as well as managing weight/load.  However, the pouches are  a mixed bag.  6x mags and a radio, 4x mags and 2x R/T is good.  A single PALS channel on each is less so and the FASTEX closures are "meh."  The elastic bands will help with mag retention until they wear out, at least.  I haven't figured out how to actually get what I want on/in the AVS.  No, I didn't spend my own dough on it...I love Gucci kit, but not $500+ worth.  I'd like an option beyond simply hanging ALL THE THINGS on the Crye AVS plate bags and cummerbund.  

Thoughts?  Too ambitious?    I lost my  train of thought in there a couple times...kids!

________________________

Daggers Forward - Daggers In!                                 Shape the Fight!

Essayons et Faisons                                                          Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

Original Post

I'll take a stab at this.  I am working on some updates to my current chest rig that was made for my buddy's team.  Other than your admin stuff, I think we got it pretty well dialed in.  Now the split front is a feature you either love or hate.  My buddy likes it because he can unzip to air out or prone out.  But yeah as you mentioned that fucks you for admin space.  

Here is what we came up with, for your dancing and dining entertainment.  Base rig is split front with 4 pouches.  They can carry either 1 or 2 mags, or a 152.  So the idea was to be able to carry at least 4 mags and up to 2 radios.   The side panels have pouches big enough for a 1 qt canteen, or the usual stuff like BNVD;s, IFAK, etc.  

rig

Here is the center section showing the different carry modes.  From L to R, you have radio mode, with tuck tab removed from top flap, which is tucked behind radio.  Next you have 2 mag in insertion mode, with pull tab tucked under lock.  Then you have 2 mags with pull tab set for rapid deployment.  And finally just a shot showing the pouch open, with tuck tab and tunnel.

Notice the pouch tension feature is down low, so you have a nice funnel to insert stuff into before it kicks in.

The side panels have the same tuck tab and top flap feature, basically an improved GI canteen pouch.

The harness is a modified "H" like you see on a lot of rigs these days.  Nice and low pro to fit under ruck straps.  

The next model we're working on has some improvements.  We're gonna make the side panels removable, so you can have a micro chest rig in conjunction with your PC, or stand alone for CTR.  Also playing with the idea of making the panels mountable to your ruck.  And a few other things.  

I think if you went with a solid center panel, you could get some admin pouches in there, behind all the other stuff.  I might try that later as well.  I think my buddy either runs that stuff in the PC pockets, up high, or in jacket/pants pockets.       

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Here's another shot of the whole rig.

rig

And I here ya on the sizing thing.  I'm a skinny little fucker myself and something like this wraps way around me.  Just the nature of the beast.  However, with removable side panels you get a sweet micro rig.  My buddy is a barrel-chested snake eater and has no issues.  So yeah during infil, the side panels could be attached to your ruck, so the ruck straps have a smooth wrap around ya.  And again once rucks are dropped at MSS/ORP, then you have a nice micro rig for close target recce.  Then when you jock up for actions on the obj, you could add side panels and additional kit.  And yes, it integrates quite well with his belt kit, since he runs one from Jay Jay's, with flush-mounted pouches.  And BTW, the Brits run a "Commander's pouch" on strong-side for notebooks, "aides memoir"/cheat sheets, etc., and 2 x 3-mag pouches on other strong side.  So there's another option for ya.           

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

That reminds me a bit of the Crye AVS rig with the zipper relocated center.  Similar concept behind the pouches, different execution and, of course, the suspenders are lower profile. 

I received my HSGI AO Chest Rig in the mail yesterday - It's not modular (no side panels) and no split front, so definitely less versatile than your buddy's rig.  I'm gonna start with 4x single mags on the front and build on a couple GP pouches and probably stick my EUD front an center.  I'm keeping it cheap for the time being and recycling pouches I already have. 

The sizing on the AO harness, as with most for me, is comical - I've got, literally, feet of slack on every point of adjustment.  I could run it with the hook-pile tape off the front of my AC, but I want to wear it higher if I can.  None of this solves my water issue...could do a R/T on my left and a Nalgene on my right I guess, off the AC cummerbund. 

________________________

Daggers Forward - Daggers In!                                 Shape the Fight!

Essayons et Faisons                                                          Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

Ha that's funny, we started with his AVS which he didn't like (too over-done) and went from there.

avs

It's sexy as hell, but designed more to catch the fisherman, than the fish, IMHO.  

rig

And what we ended up with.  Note AVS and JayJay's belt kit in background.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

I debated posting this for a couple of reasons.  First, I've never been in your situation.  Second, the exact rig I'm thinking of is no longer in production (I think), but might be available as a custom rig (I think).  I am referring to the S.O.Tech Hellcat or Tomcat rigs.  The pic is an airsoft rig, but it gives you an idea.  S.O.Tech made several different flavors.  A straight chest rig, solid front; a hybrid split/solid front that closed the two sides with a velcro overlap (the idea was that it could be quickly removed by ripping the velcro open, but not as a common way to take it on and off); and a split front with two fastex buckles.  My personal example also has the hydration bladder back panel and more padded shoulder straps.

The rig is made to be very flat and customizable.  There are six mag slots built into the panel with bungee cord retention.  The front is all PALS.   So you can carry 0-6 magazines in the vest itself, and add all the pouches you want all around. 

Image result for sotech hellcat



Image result for sotech hellcat

The Falcon has bungee retention and the Tomcat has velcro flap retention.  Neither is a split front.  The only split front I can find is their medical rig.

https://sotechtactical.com/pro...=af9fc7099&_ss=r
https://sotechtactical.com/pro...=af9fc7099&_ss=r
https://sotechtactical.com/pro...=af9fc7099&_ss=r

-------------------------

Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

I'm 6ft 200lb, average build and about a year ago I tackled much of the same issues. I wanted a kit that I could run with or without armor and with or without a ruck that would allow me to quickly scale up or down per METT-TC. The chest rig is a Mayflower/Velocity gen 5 and I added a few alterations to fit my needs.

Here's an article explaining the ideas behind the system and here's a boring video detailing what I modified on the chest rig and what I typically carry in it. At 46:49 on this video you can see how it carries with a PC and ruck. As you can see I typically run a HSP flat pack plus with it which may not be to your liking, however if you can manage to move maybe your IFAK and radio to your belt, the gp pouches on either side fit a nalgene or similar water bottle nicely.

 

Following this because I have been searching for the perfect chest rig too.

DJL2- I'm about the same size as you (5'9" and 170lbs) and have the same issues. I've been using the Mayflower/Velocity Systems UW Gen IV for the last four years but am not 100% happy with it. I hate hydration tubes/Camelbaks and would love to have a canteen or nalgene on each side but the UW Gen IV doesn't fit either in the GP pouches. I'm pretty interested in the ones that Diz is working on. Those ammo pouches are perfect too (I'm not a fan of velcro on pouches because you can't quietly open it in the field).

I remembered the SOTech from back in the heyday of chest rigs.  I also remembered the EssTac Bushboar series.  I nearly grabbed a trim bush - went with the HSGI largely because it's smaller, even though integrated pouches are nice.    I also appreciate the Crye chest rig...amazingly good value for something out of big "C."  

I looked at Mayflower, BFG, Haley,  VTAC, SKD, Spiritus...likely others.  My old ATS suspenders are still the best low-pro harness I've encountered, but I'm not gonna cut 'em in the front for a chest rig - I'll save 'em for belt kit.  I might move on from my old ATS belt though, but that's a different topic.  I will likely need a different harness though - pretty sure the HSGI harness buckles are gonna be an issue and I still need a way to carry water, but I'll see.  

Life would be easier if I weren't worried about a sidearm, that's for sure.    Keeping the access/draw clear costs space that could  be much better used the 99.999999999% off the time you're not engaging people with a pistol.    

________________________

Daggers Forward - Daggers In!                                 Shape the Fight!

Essayons et Faisons                                                          Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

I've been using the 1-pc MAV as my heavy patrolling rig for almost three years now, and I made some modifications based on my needs that I really like. The MAV has 18 columns of PALS, so there's lots of space. I can post a picture next week if you'd like.

First, I got rid of the X-harness. Maybe it's just me, but I hate how it feels, and the adjuster in the middle never seems to keep the backstraps even. I switched to the Velocity H-harness, removed the top center buckles (see point #2), added female 1" GTSRs where the harness used to attach on the sides, and replaced the existing 1.5" buckles with female 1" GTSRs. Now, I can use the same H-harness and waistband with every chest rig I own.

Second, I replaced the center 8 rows of PALS with a loop Velcro field. This allows me to swap out placards as necessary, since I'm already heavily invested in that system with my AVS plate carrier. The H-harness clips directly into the placard on top. MissionSpec made me two custom 8x5 PALS placards for about $40 each, so I keep one with M4 mag pouches, and the other with SAW pouches/something else. Plus, I can ditch the full MAV and just wear the placard if I want.  

I think these are big improvements. It's comfortable, rides well with the H-harness, is easy to get out of with the added side buckles, and doesn't bounce around like the TAP. Plus, with the addition of 1" buckles, you can clip it on to an armor system if you have to. 

About the bib: switching the buckle size did sacrifice the ability to mount TT's bib, but I made myself a replacement that'll fit an admin pouch or an EUD, I think it's 4x3. 

senorlechero posted:

I’d go with the Crye low profile chest rig and then pouch it out with what you need 

https://www.cryeprecision.com/...ow-profile-chest-rig

I actually just got this chest rig a few days ago to give it a shot. I would skip this option. 

Sounds good on paper but getting it adjusted properly is a nightmare and certain slots are unusable because the harness needs to route through it. I would only get this if you need one or two pouches at most. 

My personal favorite chest rigs are the Mayflower/Velocity Gen V split front, the Eagle MPCR, and the LBT 1961G.

Sounds like the Eagle MPCR v2 might be up your alley. It can allow for a Yote or beavertail assault pack to be mounted for hydration needs, there is PALS on the sides so that you can mount your own pouches (IFAK/Radio/conformal battery).

There are hidden mesh pockets behind the body that you can use to store maps, documents, etc. Loops on the shoulder harness for routing antenna, comms wires. Only problem I see is that you probably won't have space to mount an EUD as there is no bib

I'll take a look.  The EUD might just need to live in a admin pouch somewhere.  It's not like I really wanna spend a lot of time staring at the damn thing anyway ;-).

________________________

Daggers Forward - Daggers In!                                 Shape the Fight!

Essayons et Faisons                                                          Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

Melon_Killer posted:
senorlechero posted:

I’d go with the Crye low profile chest rig and then pouch it out with what you need 

https://www.cryeprecision.com/...ow-profile-chest-rig

I actually just got this chest rig a few days ago to give it a shot. I would skip this option. 

Sounds good on paper but getting it adjusted properly is a nightmare and certain slots are unusable because the harness needs to route through it. I would only get this if you need one or two pouches at most. 

Interesting. How does the harness going through the slots keep you from using them? 
I’d love a more detailed breakdown of your thoughts on it. 

I like the look of it because it’s the only chest rig that wraps around you full, that I’m aware of anyways

senorlechero posted:
Melon_Killer posted:
senorlechero posted:

I’d go with the Crye low profile chest rig and then pouch it out with what you need 

https://www.cryeprecision.com/...ow-profile-chest-rig

I actually just got this chest rig a few days ago to give it a shot. I would skip this option. 

Sounds good on paper but getting it adjusted properly is a nightmare and certain slots are unusable because the harness needs to route through it. I would only get this if you need one or two pouches at most. 

Interesting. How does the harness going through the slots keep you from using them? 
I’d love a more detailed breakdown of your thoughts on it. 

I like the look of it because it’s theonly chest rig that wraps around you full, that I’m aware of anyways

I got it for that exact reason as well as to have side armor protection when needing to go overt. 

Take a look at Page 11, Photo #2 and #4 https://www.cryeprecision.com/..._Rig-Manual(Web).pdf

It requires you to loop the harness webbing through the cummerbund and in my case, it was no longer possible to mount internally on the column that was needed to add side plate protection. Overall, I wish they had sewn the harness into the assembly like the vertical webbing/stiffeners found on the JPC/AVS cummerbund.

I could not get it adjusted properly either, the harness still sat too low when tightened all the way.

 

 

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