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Snake Eater Tactical Simple Sling: It’s All In the Name

Introduced in mid-2017 as a lightweight and functional rifle sling, Snake Eater Tactical continues to produce its Simple Sling as a customizable mainstay to its overall tactical product line.

Made from a 1” wide nylon webbing, the Simple Sling uses an ITW Ladderlock buckle at the front end of the sling to allow for easy, one-handed adjustment.

The Simple Sling comes with several different mounting options to include; a QD swivel, HK snap hook, the Blue Force Gear Uloop, and a stitched webbing loop.

The rear of the sling comes with the standard plastic hardware to allow the material to be passed through any 1” sling mount or allow for additional mounting hardware to be added (not included).

The front end of the sling end in a “Z fold” that has reinforced stitching to ensure adjustments never exceed the hardware, and that there is always a minimum of five inches of tail to grab a hold of. The rear end is free-running, and allows the user to apply it to either through webbing slots or tri-glide buckles to form a loop for the buttstock or QD attachment.

Specifications:

  • Minimum Length: 6”
  • Maximum Length: 65”

The Simple Sling comes in seven unique colors to include; Multicam (featured), A-TACS, Wolf Grey and more.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostExcellent (5/5): The listed cost for the Simple Sling runs between $29 and $42 based on hardware. This price reflects the balance between the nylon material of the sling, and the included minimalist hardware. The Simple Sling’s design is comparable to other mainstream slings currently offered by a number of vendors to include; the Operators Two Point Sling ($35.99) by First Spear, the Vickers Tactical Sling ($49.95) by Blue Force Gear, or the MS3 Gen2 ($47.45) by Magpul. Thus, at its base price the Simple Sling is perhaps one of the most inexpensive and affordable on the market while the inclusion of extras still keeps the cost modestly priced.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): Very lightweight and of average thickness for modern nylons, the Simple Sling added little weight to the overall rifle, even when wet. The solution-dyed mil-spec 17337 nylon weave pattern helped ensure durability, and still yielded good flexibility through the ladderlock hardware without binding or drag. As a minimalist sling there was no padding, yet the material was soft enough not to excessively chafe exposed skin.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): From a durability aspect the Simple Sling comprised of just that—a simple sling made from lightweight and flexible 17337 nylon. This type of nylon has been used for years in MOLLE webbing and has breaking strength of 1,200 pounds at 1” wide. Numerous adjustments to the overall length and position did not yield any frayed edges nor friction markings (typically associated to the hardware heating up to the point to physically melt the outermost layer). The heat-shrink tubing attached to the ladderlock buckle did not split nor stretch, and did a good job at adding a purchase point on which to grab for adjusting the overall sling.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally, it’s hard to get overly complicated on a minimalist sling design. And the Simple Sling took its adjustment design from the older Vickers Sling by Blue Force Gear and employed that simplicity with more modern materials and hardware. This allows the Simple Sling to deployment in mere seconds. Attaching/adjusting the provided front end connection point was easy, and the rear folded material allowed it to be directly mounted to a stock or have preferred hardware added (not included).
  • Weight Excellent (5/5): At just 53 grams (1.86 ounces) the overall weight of the Simple Sling was extremely light thanks to its principle 17337 nylon. There was no excess material or padding, and that kept the weight to a minimum. In comparison the Operators Two Point Sling (113 grams), the Vickers Tactical Sling (117 grams), or the MS3 Gen2 (225 grams) were all still well above the weight of the Simple Sling due to the thickness of the nylon and associated metal hardware. The Simple Sling’s light weight put it as one of the lightest minimalist slings on the market.

Overall Rating – Very Good (23/25)

Product Link: https://www.snakeeatertactical.com/product/the-simple-sling/

IMG_2889_Tackenberg

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

PLATEminus V4 Plate Carrier: Minimalism Meets Compatability

Designed to be a minimalist plate carrier for low-visibility work, or as a base platform to individually customize, the PLATEminus V4 is the next iteration by Blue Force Gear to further advance its plate carrier lineup.

The V4 incorporates the compatibility of the original PLATEminus MOLLE ptaltform, with Blue Force Gear’s proprietary ULTRAcomp™ laminate material, which is half the thickness of a dime and four times as abrasion resistant as 1000D Cordura. The V4’s ULTRAcomp laminate is laser cut to create a fully MOLLE compatible matrix of slots and voids to reduce weight, complexity, and potential failure points over traditional platforms.

The front and back carriers are designed to fully enclose SAPI/ESAPI armored plates (not included) and include integrated shoulder harnesses. The rear cummerbund adjustment panels, and rear side of the side panels feature Ball Loaded Index Points (BLIP) that aid in tactile sensation when donning or adjusting. The interior lining of the V4 features a moisture-wicking Tweeve lining that help assist in mitigating heat from the body. Both the front and back carrier feature a (female) hook-and-loop panel for identification panels or morale patches.

The fully adjustable shoulder harnesses secure across the shoulders via hook-and-loop, and include retention bands for securing hydration lines or communication cables. The V4 also features a fully adjustable cummerbund in front or back with Blue Force Gear’s military grade Ten-Speed elastic, and secured by wide hook-and-loop panels.

The V4 comes in Coyote (featured), Black, and Multicam and is sized to match the following:

  • Small – 8.75″ wide x 11.75″ high x 1.25″ thick – For Small SAPI / ESAPI plates
  • Medium 9.5″ wide x 12.5″ high x 1.25″ thick – For Medium SAPI / ESAPI plates
  • Large 10.25″ wide x 13.25″ high x 1.25″ thick – For large SAPI / ESAPI plates
  • Extra Large 11″ wide x 14″ high x 1.25″ thick – For Extra Large SAPI / ESAPI plates

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): The market for minimalist plate carriers averages between $100 and $300 depending on the quality and quantity of materials used. Although the V4 has not yet been released, it is estimated that based on the design and use of proprietary Blue Force Gear materials, the cost for the PLATEminus V4 will be approximately $180-$200. This would place the V4 at an affordable range for most individuals looking for a quality plate carrier to customize, without taking a substantial hit in the wallet.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): With no excessive materials or design, the V4 was a very sleek and lightweight plate carrier that afforded a high degree of comfort and range in motion. Obviously this would vary depending on adding more magazine carriers or accessory pouches, but as a minimalist platform the V4 was very comfortable. The adjustable shoulder harness and cummerbund were made from the military-grade elastic that allowed the wearer to find the perfect height and compression level around the torso. The BLIPs on the back corner of the rear plate carrier and rear of the cummerbund were readily tactile, although it would have been an improvement in the design if it had been on both the front and back corners of the side panels rather than just one—or better yet on the fold-over flap on the front plate carrier since that will be the one you use the most.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The V4 is made dominantly from Blue Force Gear’s proprietary ULTRAcomp™ laminate which has an amazingly high degree of abrasion resistance, minimizes materials needed, and maximizes flexibility. At no point in testing did the carrier separate, plates slide, or adjustment areas not retain their setting. There was extensive bartack stitching throughout the V4 that reinforced all key stress points. The elastic bands in the cummerbund did not fray nor warp, and retained their overall tension levels. The retention bands on the shoulder harness were a little weak on grip, because they are a different hook-and-loop material than the cummerbund, so hydration tubes or communication cables may actually work their way loose. This could be resolved by Blue Force Gear by making the retention bands wider, to afford more contact surface for the hook-and-loop. Some fraying in the (female) hook-and-loop material was observed when opening/closing of the V4s side panels and attributed to normal wear (it was in the center field of the material, not at the stitching).
  • Functionality Good (4/5): From a minimalist standpoint, the V4 is about as functionally sound as you could imagine. The design featured no excessive hardware or materials, and the laser cut MOLLE pattern into the ULTRAcomp™ laminate ensured widest compatibility to preferred magazine or accessory pouches without excess stitching. Additionally, the V4 has a legacy-type design wherein the cummerbund of the plate carrier is secured around the wearer’s torso to the front carrier, on top of which a fold-over flap is secured on top of the cummerbund. This approach in design has been used for some time. It would have added to the V4’s overall Functionality score if the outer side of the fold-over flap had a corresponding field of (female) hook-and-loop to allow additional non-MOLLE mounting systems (such as the D3CRX Chest Rig by Haley Strategic) to be added.
  • Weight Excellent (5/5): Coming in at an amazingly light 1.8 pounds (without plates), the V4 is obviously a very lightweight design thanks in part to its materials and minimalist intent. This helps spare the overall wear and strain on the user due to excess materials. In comparison, other plate carriers from 5.11, Condor, Tactical Tailor, Shellback Tactical and others with the same legacy design are a full pound heavier or more. The V4 actually comes in closer to the weight of other minimalist carriers, such as by Crye, which puts the PLATEminus V4 on-par with other performance manufactures.

Overall Rating – Good (21/25)

Product Link: No product link at the time of this writing. Product coming soon!

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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