First Spear Tubes 6/12 Cummerbund Retrofit Assembly

First Spear Tubes 6/12 Cummerbund Retrofit Assembly





I have been running a variety of outer armor carriers over the last five years. All have served me well, but have been lacking in one area or another. Most recently, my needs have been met by the various covert and assault carriers from Mayflower/Velocity systems. Even these- good as they are, share a common flaw: When donning, you have to pull the magazines out of the front cummerbund flap pouches to fully open the ‘bund flap and secure the Velcro tabs under it. The same is true for removal.
It may not be a big thing, but I like to leave my equipment staged in as ready a condition as possible. What is a big deal is that this one more step impeding the medic from quickly getting to my torso to plug those irksome holes or relieve chest tension.
All of this means a probable home run for First Spear. They are a little known company that rose from wreckage of Eagle Industries sale to ATK. First Spear is everything Eagle outgrew. Nimble, responsive, and highly innovative, plus US made with modest lead times.

One of the things that has emerged from the fresh R&D is the 6/12 system and Tubes securement. Combined, they turn Natick MOLLE on her head, and make getting her second line gear on and off quickly so slick it looks like it shouldn’t work. But it does, and now it even works with conventional designs like my Mayflower LPAAC.

I was poking around the website when I ran across First Spear Tubes 6/12 Cummerbund Retrofit Assembly. While the description was pretty spare it looked like just what I needed to enhance the quick release capabilities of my carrier. So, two weeks after my order hit and was confirmed, FedEx showed up. Besides the ‘bund and TC2001 helmet cover that I paid for, the guys there had thrown in a FS moral patch, and a 6/12 single pistol mag pouch- a nice gesture.
I ordered the size S/M for my Large LPAAC on the theory that it would be similar in size to the S/M Mayflower cummerbund. That ended up being a good calculation.



The Tubes use about 1 MOLLE column of width.



The back side of the 6/12 laser cut fabric is loop Velcro. This secures 6/12 pouches even more.



The C/bund has the standard Velcro lining along with a removable 6x6 plate cover.



Gross adjustment of girth is done via shock cord inside the rear tunnel of your armor.



Old vs New: the FS system on top of the Mayflower velcro and elastic rear adjustment

The assembly is designed to slide into the tunnel at the rear of the armor carrier. If you are using a flap retention system like the LPAAC has, you will need to fabricate a tunnel out of Velcro to secure the rear of the assembly. I made a minimalist one for a proof of concept, and will have a seamster clean it up and make a duty grade version for me.

I believe FS should sell this as an add-on option to the retrofit kit. There are a fair number of designs that use the rear flap retention system.



The inner side of the cummerbund.



And the type of removable padding that protects the wearer from the edges of his side plates. If you have soft armor btw you and the cbund, you can remove these for a lower profile.

All in all this is a neat way to add quick don/doff capability to an existing serviceable carrier.
Original Post
The tube connectors are disconnected by pulling up on the cords attached to the center tab. You then slide the outer tube up or down and it slides off of the inner tube.

To reconnect, slide outer tube from top or bottom until it clicks. The "tab" that the cord is attached to secures the outer tube to the inner tube (for lack of better terms)

This is based on when I played with the system a few weeks ago (and was thinking the entire time "why didn't I think of this?")
What about the gap between the MOLLE on the front of your plate carrier and the cummerbund? I've been looking at this for a while, but I currently have pouches right where the tubes are. Did that change your configuration much?

 

Know what you know; Know what you don't know. -Paul Petzoldt

Chickendiddler covered the function of the Tubes. By the way, why did you pick a fucked up call sign like that?

The tubes are actually pretty secure and will not disengage with out deliberate functioning the lanyard.

It does use up about one MOLLE width. This means my TKN moved toward the 9 o'clock about an inch and a half.

On the other side, my cuff case moved toward the 3 o'clock about the same distance. It is no drama.

That being said, I run a pretty clean vest and am not mandated to wear a bunch of extra stuff. Nor does the practical nature of the Job require it.

It might make a difference to you if your MOLLE is already maxed out.

Alot of things can be carried internally inside the cummerbund in niche pouches. My baton for instance rides in ghetto kydex internally.
Longeye,

I also upgraded an old Eagle plate carrier I had to the aftermarket FS cummerbund with tubes.

It has minimally changed the configuration of the front of my vest, and the improvement in comfort and ease of donning has made me a happy camper.

So, based on my experience with the cummerbund, the next time you see me I'm planning on being in a First Spear Strandghogg PC, I'm that impressed.
Any issue with one-handed connection of the tube assembly? Thanks -JJ

"It it is simple....the job, and the system hate you, and you only have you and your fellow officers.......and many of them are questionable." - NYETI

 

Never Forget

 

 

What are the tubes made of? Do they seem very durable to you? I think this is a great concept, I just can't help thinking that I would bust those tubes while scaling a wall or low crawling or something.
________________________________ Do not pray for lighter loads; strive for stronger backs.
I have not played with the one handedness of these yet.

Durablity? I don't have long term use on these yet, but my impression is that they will be somewhat Ten speed like. They will hit a certain point of cosmetic wear and then maintain from there.

I have no idea what sort of polymer these are made of. I did have reservations about Tubes when I saw them on First Spears Site, but after some hands on with them, they are pretty slick, and apparently durable.

I was the same way with Glocks, M&Ps, Ten speed pouches, Helium Whisper, 500D, etc. All those have proven to work out OK.

I had initial concerns about these inadvertently popping loose on their own. After functioning the system though, the movement required to open them is simple but deliberate. I am pretty confident in the security of it now.
We had a range day yesterday, and among other things shot the new POST qual with all three guns.

It is relatively easy to reset one handed, but easier to do with two hands. It is very easy to doff with one hand from either side.

It seems to make the armor harness very stable- more so than a standard OEM cummerbund.

I did ditch the tunnel idea and weave the shock cord into the MOLLE as suggested by First Spear. It seems to work well, and is a simple field expedient solution.

I have a set of side plates coming and will report how they ride and work with this system as I get more time on it.
Good write-up Longeye
These look like a good solution, since in my very limited playing with armour systems, I also don't like lifting the entire front section to get the cummerbund done up.

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

The 6/12 system is slick- like Helium Whisper kind of slick. The pouches are very firmly attached and lie flatly against the PALS cuts. At this point, 6/12 looks like a solid expansion of the PALS/MOLLE idea.

Because of the loop velcro like material in the interior of the cummerbund, the 6/12 system is locked in from several directions.
On another note, First Spear is one of the rare companies that is wired down tight and displays incredible integrity.

To wit:

Dear Longeye,

Thank you for your recent purchase of the FirstSpear Retro-Fit Cummerbund with TubesTM. We hope you are more than satisfied with the product, and we look forward to offering you other innovative products that enhance your capability.

Since introducing TubesTM earlier this year we unfortunately experienced delays finalizing the industrial grade injection molding tool. In an effort to meet the demand of early adopters such as yourself, to date some TubesTM were produced using a temporary injection mold tool. Regrettably, we have observed the pull tab break on a small number of TubesTM produced from the temporary mold. While every TubeTM has gone through multiple layers of testing, and the failures seem to occur within the first few pulls on the tab, we cannot be 100% certain that you will not experience a failure during use.

For this reason, we recommend that you return your vest to FirstSpear for immediate replacement with industrial injection molded TubesTM. We understand that you may be deployed and/or using your system everyday. Accordingly, we will also be sending you a set of four field replaceable TubesTM within the next two weeks. We highly recommend that if you choose not to send your vest back, that upon receiving the field replaceable TubesTM, you remove the existing TubesTM and replace them with the new ones. Attached is a picture of the field replaceable TubesTM you will receive and this link shows how to install them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...smQ&feature=youtu.be

We apologize for any difficulties you may have experienced and for any inconvenience associated with switching out the TubesTM on your item. FirstSpear’s mission is to continuously bring new and innovative solutions to our customers, and unfortunately as we push the edge of innovation sometimes an issue such as this may occur. Please contact us directly at (636) 349-4820 if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Thank you,
Reina
Customer Service

This sort of proactive stance on issues bodes very well for the company.

I will be buying more gear from them...

To date I have not noticed any problems with my Tubes, nor was I aware of this issue until I received that email. Bravo Zulu, First Spear!
Longeye,
I couldn't ell in your pictures...
Is there a seperate place in that CB for soft armor?
I'm considering getting this to upgrade my Banshee so that I can have my side plates ouside of my soft armor and not have to run plate backers behind my side plates in addition to the soft armor incerts.
Herdsman-
Yes- the whole top opens up for the inclusion of soft armor or plates or a magazine insert or whatnot.

I will shoot a better picture of opening with a plate installed. As an aside, the removable plate retention flaps are sized for 6x6 not 6x8. However, with the velcro lining of the interior of the cumerbund, you could OneWrap the taller plates to secure them or use some 3M adhesive backed velcro on the plates.
I, like many of my counterparts, are interested in the retro fit cummerbund to minimize noise when in the field "green roles" particularly within the recon and sniper realm. As such, if anyone could upload their pics of their armour with the retro cummerbund it would be greatly appreciated. Specifically, I am personally interested in anyone using the first spear cummerbund on an SKD PIG.
Here you go.



This is an old Eagle plate carrier I had laying around. Not too dissimilar from a
PIG. I put the FS admin pouch on the front that includes another accessory pouch that is perfect for my TQ.

I like the FS IFAK pouch, and wear that rearmost on my strong-hand side.

Those are the FS shoulder pads. They are ultra comfortable and do not slide around.





Here's a close up of some of the 6 1/2 pouches on the cummerbund exterior and interior to show the attachment.

It is really no more or less difficult than learning to use MOLLE. The pouches absolutely do not move a millimeter from their attachment, and it makes drawing mags/items from the pouches very positive.

I know one of the VP's at FS. It's as Longeye shared earlier, there was an unfortunate run of the tubes that had manufacturing flaws. Problem solved now.

I've been running this for a little while now. I'm convinced so far and am going to go with one of their PC's soon based on my favorable impression here.

As far as questions regarding the durability of the 6 1/2 cut panels: You really have to lay hands on it to appreciate it. I admit I had trouble believing the material was going to be anywhere near as robust as sewn MOLLE, but the stuff is very tough. So far, I have no concerns.
I really like the look of the tubes, they look like a great option for us patrol LEOs that need to throw their PCs on in a hurry.

Anyone have any hands on time with FirstSpears plate carriers, besides the just the CB? I'm in the market for a new PC for patrol and I'm curious to hear about the fit and feel of their PCs.

 

 

 

Joined: 10/16/10  Location: WA

Howdy all, (from the PC/Armor forum page, just posted this...then I found this post on the stud forum).

Been a while since I posted. Been over in AF for many years, and have always gone thru a lot of gear trying to find the proper fit/function, etc. I recently wanted a change from my BAE Eclipse SF armor/PC. I purchased the Strandhogg and waited about 75 days for it. Quality of construction, and design are outstanding. Now, let me say some things, and I'm not trashing them, as I think they are off to a great start:

1. When I called in, I asked if the Strandhogg would fit BALCS/SPEAR soft armor, as it's a requirement for my jobm I was told by the sales rep, that it would....it does not fit, nor was it designed for full body armor, just backers.
2. Of the two size options, I went with L/XL. It fits like a medium. The plates rode too high up in the back, and almost to my throat on the front. The very well designed tube releases are great, however, the cumberbund was about 4" too small for me, and would not fit. I am 6'1, 49" chest, 40" waist.
3. The shoulder straps do not have much adjustment, and come "maxed out", I need an additional 2-4" on each side if I was to get proper plate placement/throat clearance.

If they would have a proper fitment chart on the site, it would certainly help out. I must say that the comfort with the padding and placement is the best of any vest I have ever worn. No side plate sagging with the 6/6's I put in, though the real estate is limited for the amount of mags I put across the lower front.

If you are a smaller framed person, I would say go for it. If you are the bigger sized person...it's gonna be a stretch to fit you properly.

Because I believe this is an oustanding product, I sent off a detailed email of my issues. No response as of yet. I sold the Strandhogg to another fellow, 5'8", 34" waist, 40 chest, and it fit him very well.

First Spear offers a BALCS/SPEAR compatible vest called the Seige R which I am considering, however, I have to get express confirmation that it will fit my frame before I outlay the cash.

Hope this has helped.

Pat
That boy is just simple. Look at him, just droolin' all over his self...simple....just simple.
quote:
The very well designed tube releases are great, however, the cumberbund was about 4" too small for me, and would not fit. I am 6'1, 49" chest, 40" waist.


There are two sizes of Cummer bund- Do you know which size you had?

There are also four different ways to rig the cummerbund. Between the combinations, it is possible to get a very wide range of adjustment.

FS has pictures up on their website of the different ways to rig the CB. They are all simple and can be done with the parts supplied in the CB retrofit kit.
JS7SFGA,

Does the First Spear Deluxe Shoulder Pads have hook velcro on the top, under the Hypalon material? Or will the friction of the Hypalon be enough to secure them in place?

I need them to fit over the straps of my LBT 6094 Slick Platecarrier.

Thanks in advance,
Wulfi.
PM responded to Wulfi.

No velcro or pile tape.
The hypalon forms a sleeve that your existing shoulder straps slide through.
You're right, the friction keeps them in place.
They are crazy comfortable and the contour keeps the shoulder straps from rubbing on your neck.

I'm loving them.
Longeye,

The callsign was originally chickenzomby. I went full contact retard at SHOT when I showed up 2 hours early to a gathering (looked at the wrong time piece) and drank a few too many shots of Jameson. Acted like a tool and got the call sign.

Lessons learned the hard way
Got it.

In other news, The package of Tubbes replacements came today in a neat little First Spear Ditty bag. It included all four tubes, to replace both CB and Shoulder straps.

The replacements are made of a noticeable different material and obviously came from a different mold pattern. They look good, but time will tell...

Color me impressed with First Spear!
quote:
PM responded to Wulfi.

No velcro or pile tape.
The hypalon forms a sleeve that your existing shoulder straps slide through.
You're right, the friction keeps them in place.
They are crazy comfortable and the contour keeps the shoulder straps from rubbing on your neck.

I'm loving them.



I wanted to chime in on this, based upon a newly arrived Strandhogg I saw this morning.

The shoulder pads on this new carrier (same type as shown above) have hook tape sewn in the standard location to secure the pads in place.

I think this is a solid addition. While I'm sure the pads above have been held in place well by friction on the thicker straps of that Eagle PC, I have observed significant movement with the older (no hook) pads on webbing-only straps like on the Strandhogg or LBT PC's in the last few weeks.

Good to see First Spear continuing to improve an already solid product.

Joined: 9/1/2004          Location: The Big Bend.

Got mine dialed in on my Spartan II. I used the shock cord through the PALS webbing rather than trying to use the flap tunnel on the back. Works damned good and perfect for that application, particularly since the Spartan already has it's own shoulder release.

I played with the 6/12 with only the included pouch, but it's almost entirely covered by my chest rig so probably won't really ever use it on just the cbun. If I ever want o upgrade or splurge on a new carrier, I will definitely be considering either a Siege-R or a BALCS Strandhogg, though. My cbun adapters for the chest rig went in the 6/12 fine. Obviously made donning and doffing much much quicker. Great product, though I'm thinking a bit high priced for what it is (A cbun and a couple shock cords). Was kicking myself for the $99 trade in offer, which is much more reasonable. It is a great product though and improves older carriers greatly and I don't really mind contributing towards innovative companies and new solutions.

If I had any nitpick at this point, it's that the Coyote matches the newer stuff (USMC chest rig and FILBE/Pack System) rather than the greenish tint on the older USMC stuff like the IBA (that the Spartan II replicated perfectly), but that's not their fault. I briefly considered getting the Khaki but no big deal.
I recently purchased and received a Strandhogg sapi cut plate carrier. I bought it to upgrade my patrol rifle plate carrier. I wanted to weigh in on this topic since there are few reviews at this point.

Here are the good points. The quality and function are very good. The tubes are a vast improvement over Velcro. The 6/12 mounting system works. The padding is well placed. Also, the shoulder pads work well for me.

I selected the medium carrier because that is what I was told I needed to fit my medium plates. After fitting the carrier, I have a big concern. I consider myself a short and stocky guy, but not too big or overweight. I am 5'6", 175 lbs., 34 waist, with a 42 chest.

With the medium cummerbund extended all of the way out, it strains to fit with my soft armor and a uniform shirt (with a gap at the rear). However I cannot close the tubes if a wear a soft shell jacket (which I often do in the winter months). I attached the bungee in various ways and removed the padding (which I don't really need in uniform). I am currently going through Elite Defense to correct the issue, and they are sending me a longer bungee to try.

I wanted to caution anyone thinking purchasing the Strandhogg to understand that they may have trouble with fit while wearing soft armor or some types of clothing underneath. I imagine the medium plated carrier may work better with the L/XL cummerbund. To me it seems that they run much smaller than expected and are designed for wearing alone. When I was wearing just a t-shirt, it felt like I was wrapped in a cloud, it was great. I'm sure if you are just wearing the carrier with limited clothing underneath (like at the range) it will work as expected. However, if I cannot fix the fit while in uniform, I will definitely have to return it.

I am definitely open to suggestions to fix the problem.

"It's not enough to bash in heads, you've got to bash in minds!" Captain Hammer

I've been playing around with a SAPI cut Strandhogg for about a month now and I'll echo what everyone is saying about the sizing.

I have the strandhogg cut for large SAPI's. The large SAPI is a bit of a tight fit into the carrier. The medium SAPI on the other hand fits pretty well with little or no movement. I'm contemplating running large backers and medium plates thats how well it fits.

I'm about 6'1, 36 waist and about a 40in chest (wear medium-long uniforms) and it took a lot of adjustment to get this carrier to sit correctly. Out of the box it had the top of the plate up to my neck and my rear plate sagging. Wearing a t shirt or a combat top (and with the shock cord of the cummerbund maxed out) I can easily get the tubes system to close. Wearing a bdu top/jacket/hoodie I can feel the shock cord pulling to the point it may be a better idea to try some longer shock cord.

All in all I really do like this carrier, but the sizing just seems off. A larger cummberbund would definitely be nice.

"Oh no, the Pawnee have returned. They probably want their souls back." Mr. Burns

 I have been in the tubes system now for close to  two years and really like it.

 

This is a bit of a necro post but the topic has come up offline as well. If you need more adjustability with the TUBES cummerbund, you can the cut the shockcord then weave it into the MOLLE or 6/12 and gain some girth that way.This is described and pictured on First Spear's website. You can also swap out the 5MM shock cord for a longer piece. Supply Captain can fix you up there, or you might make a call to First Spear and request a longer piece.

 

As a retrofit it is great. 

 

If you are using this system on the Strandhogg, here is some food for thought. While it works quite well as a throw over vest, It may be best suited as a all day/everyday PC. That is where it's comfort can truly be appreciated. You will only have a sweat stain under your plates. The cummerbund breathes so well, you won't sweat up under it.

 

On the size issues, it (Strandhogg) is svelte. I wear a Medium Long Top and Bottom. By that measure I should be wearing large SAPI plates with medium BALCS soft armor. And I do, because that combo fits me correctly. But in the Strandhogg, I am wearing a XL with XL SAPI plates and I still have excellent mobility and it fits me "right". TheStrandhogg SAPI designed for particular plate sizes. It is made out of stretchy material, and plate fit will be tight, But that is part of the comfort of the system- your plates are not slopping around and they are riding up high where they need to be.

 

For those patrol guys that train/qual in a t-shirt and PC then use some other combination on patrol, you may have to adjust it between job's. Just like you would any other PC worn over various layers. But the 5MM shock cord actually provides a lot of adjustment.

Edited version:

Just to chime in on my 2 cents on the shoulder pads;

I got mine for free from a friend who tried to put them on another carrier, but the shoulder area was too big for them to fit. I added them to one of my own plate carriers with the typical 2" webbing shoulder straps, replacing some old pads that I built in a hurry, and they had seen better days.

With less than 10 days of use, I noticed that they had gotten squished on the side towards my neck, both pads. The padding was completely flat. Flipped them around and tried again, same result after a few days. At the moment they are basically only a thin layer of 3D mesh and the padding has collapsed on itself. My guess is that the perforated foam inserts basically couldn't handle the weight of the carrier.

And mine slide around, bunch up in the front or back.

 

I'll cut them up for further inspection when I've built some replacement pads. At the moment I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.

I ended up sending a Crye skeletal cummerbund and a FS Ragnar tubes cummerbund to DownRangeGear and had them do the tubes retrofit to the Crye cummerbund so i can use that with my strandhogg. Freaking love it. The stock strandhogg was just too thick for my liking. The crye cummerbund still allows for side armor to be integrated if desired. 

 

But yeah, the tubes are awesome. No complaints.

"In the quiet after the storm is when you get a glimpse of who you really are." -Tim Kennedy

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