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Review Posted: Emdom Recon Waist Bag: The Tactical Fanny

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Testimonials

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10-Speed M4 Chest Rig: Tactical Minimalist

As a minimalist chest rig with adaptability, the 10-Speed M4 Chest Rig by Blue Force Gear offers a high degree of positive magazine retention, with no excessive materials or weight. This is in large part to its efficient use of military-grade elastic and durable Cordura nylon.

Using an “H” style harness design, the 10-Speed M4 Chest Rig has fully adjustable shoulder and torso straps with ITW GhillieTEX quick-release side release buckles. On the back of the harness is a (female) hook-and-loop panel for associated patches or name tabs. The rear cross-section of shoulder straps is also designed as a drag harness to pull the individual if necessary.

On the main nylon platform there is an 18” (W) x 6” (H) map pocket secured via hook-and-loop (with two directional pull tabs), in front of which are four M4/AR-15 patterned magazine slots made from elastic material.

On each side is a field of MOLLE-compatible webbing that allow for the inclusion of additional 10-speed magazine carriers, aid pouches, or other accessories.

Above the nylon webbing are two Cordura loops (one each side) that allow for hooks or carabiner to be attached for added carrying capacity.

Specifications

  • Magazine slots made from BFG military-grade elastic
  • 500D Cordura
  • 3×3 MOLLE-compatible nylon webbing

The 10-Speed M4 Chest Harness comes in five different colors; Multicam (featured), OD Green, Wolf Gray, Coyote, and Black. The 10-Speed also comes available for 308 magazines and MP7s.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): At an MSRP of $89.95 for a minimalist chest rig, the Blue Force 10-Speed M4 Chest Rig is moderately priced within the current market. It is priced above some manufacturer’s versions of chest rigs, such as from SKD, 5.11, or HSGI that include either heavier material with lower quality nylon, or less material in the harness itself. Other chest rigs that are more expensive are frequently those with dual carbine/pistol functionality built into the design.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): With four fully-loaded carbine magazines, the 10-Speed chest rig was able to distribute the weight evenly across the shoulders. The adjustment straps feature an extensive length for full-size customization with/without body armor. Overall this made the 10-Speed chest rig very comfortable, and it didn’t move or slide during stressor drills (lunges and body twist). An added plus was the “H”-style shoulder harness with a “clean” design (no loops or straps) along the edging that eliminated any potential material that could irritate while wearing the chest rig for long durations.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The base layer and shoulder harness is comprised of 500D Cordura, which gives it a high level of nylon abrasion resistance—but is average for tactical products in the current market. The elastic material is stitched to form the magazine sleeves was robust, but is only as durable as the elastic bands within it (kind of like a lot of little rubber bands). While during the normal course of firing and stressor drills, some surface fraying was noted but not to a significant degree so as to damage the overall material. The ITW GhillieTEX quick-release side release buckles are of higher-than average quality considering they are of a high-durability polymer and minimize IR signature.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): For a minimalist carbine chest rig, the 10-Speed accomplishes that, and leaves the opportunity to expand the platform if desired. While the user has the ability to carry four loaded magazines, the added MOLLE on either side allows for added accessories or pockets. With no excessive materials (hydration loops, snaps, shock cord, etc.), the 10-Speed would make the ideal conceal/low-profile chest rig for those looking to wear it under a jacket or collared shirt. The only problematic issue was an added (female) hook-and-loop field on the inside of each elastic magazine carrier. While no accessories were provided with the chest rig, or sold separately to accompany a hook-and-loop field in this location, it did make holstering magazines a little difficult as the edges of the magazine and hook-and-loop often hung up on one another. Additionally, with the extensive length in each adjustment strap, it would be greatly beneficial if elastic retention cuffs were added behind the side-release buckles to help stow/secure excessive amounts of material. Otherwise, bartack and “X”-type reinforced stitching were noted in key stressor points, but the max weight-load of the designed drag handle was not tested during the review.
  • Weight Excellent (5/5): At 11.3 ounces (empty) the 10-Speed is amazingly light. The design and choice of using 500D Cordura for material kept the overall weight to a minimum. When properly adjusted and worn, the weight of the 10-Speed is hardly noticeable.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.blueforcegear.com/ten-speed-m4-chest-rig.html

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.

Emdom Recon Waist Bag: The Tactical Fanny

Capable as a stand-alone waist bag, with enough durability to augment a full kit in the field, the Recon Waist Bag by Emdom USA offers the user added storage of critical resources or accessories within easy reach.

Exterior

Made from 1000D Cordura with ITW Ghillietex hardware, the Recon Waist Bag (RWB) has three storage compartments that can accommodate sensitive equipment, EOD tools, or other necessities.

The main storage compartment has an overall dimension of 11” (L) x 7” (H) x 4” (W) with a “V” type design that comfortably fits inside the front hip, optimizes storage, and does not inhibit movement or range of motion. It is secured via a genuine YKK zipper with a single paracord pull-tab, and the zipper itself has extensive cover rims to protect from moisture penetration or saturation along the line.

In front of the main storage compartment is an additional 6” (L) x 4” (H) x 2” (W) accessory pocket secured via YKK zipper with a paracord pull-tab, and cover rim. A single drainage grommet allows the passage of moisture or other debris.

The third storage compartment is an 8” (L) x 4” (H) flat-style pocket on the upper back of the RWB, that is also secured by YKK zipper. This makes it ideal for conceal carry firearms, notebooks, or sensitive electronics.

On the rear of the third storage compartment is a MOLLE/PALS webbing field for attaching the RWB to a plate carrier or belt (with short MALICE clips) when the waist belt is disconnected. At the bottom is a single drainage grommet.

The removable waist belt can accommodate waist sizes up to 53”. It has a 1” wide ITW side-release buckle at the middle and a “looploc / oval slide” release system at each end for donning and removal from the main waist bag. By sliding the oval slide out from the looploc, the belt is detached from the main waist bag. The belt also features an elastic retention loop for securing excess webbing.

Interior

The interior of the main storage compartment features a mesh pockets with an elastic rim. In opposite bottom corners of the space is a paracord loop (two total) for attaching keyrings, carabiners, or other retention items. As with all interior spaces, all edges are finished with binding tape nylon to ensure no fraying.

The front and rear accessory pockets are otherwise unremarkable with enough room for smaller items, electronics, or other necessity items.

The Recon Waist Bag is available in Multicam (featured), Black, Coyote, and SDU Grey. Other custom colors are available for pre-order.  

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Good (4/5): At a list price of $69.99, the Emdom Recon Waist Bag is the size of a small fanny pack, and made from material and hardware consistent with most tactical the gear. This helps ensure its longevity in the field. Some similar market alternatives include Spiritus Systems Fanny SACK ($64.95), the Tactical Fanny Pack ($74.00) by T3 Gear, or the Gear Belt Pack ($115.00) from Hill People Gear. This shows that the RWB is one of the more inexpensive options available, and at a good overall cost to the consumer.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the RWB had an adjustable nylon belt that could accommodate up to a 53” waistline, so there was ample material to get a comfortable fit. An included elastic cuff on the belt ensured that excess material was appropriately secured. The side-release buckle and YKK zippers all moved easily and smoothly. The RWB had a “V” type design that helped keep the center of gravity to the bag’s contents in the front pelvis, and with minimal “flop” when running or during dynamic movements. This also ensured that the RWB did not inhibit or gouge the body when taking a knee or sitting.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): As with most of its products, Emdom USA used 1000D Cordura for its RWB, relying on the material’s high degree of abrasion resistance—which was needed given the bag’s position in front of the body. Pointed objects stored inside the bag did not poke through or penetrate the material’s denier. Extensive bartack and double-line stitching was noted throughout and added to the bag’s overall strength. All interior edges also had binding tape throughout that kept the material from fraying when in contact to stored items or general wear. 
  • Functionality – Average (3/4): Functionally, the RWB was comfortable and offered an immediate place to keep smaller, needed items close at hand. And while the RWB lacked the semi-rigidity of say, the Expandable Hanger Pouch with its HDPE insert, this would have impacted the RWB’s “V” style design to sit comfortably inside the front pelvis pocket, and out of the range of movement. So, there was a tradeoff between flexibility and function. There was the option to disconnect the waist belt and attach the RWB itself (via the included MALICE clips) to a MOLLE field on a plate carrier or bag, but it was rather tricky/difficult to pass the flat metal sliders through the plastic hardware to disconnect it on both sides. Again, this was difficult while repeating the process backwards to reattach. Otherwise all pockets were easily accessed and the main storage or third storage compartment made an ideal pocket for a CCW while leaving plenty of other room for regular EDC items. One solid recommendation to Emdom would be to examine an alternative means of quick connect/disconnect given the market’s large volume of hardware, rather than this pass-through approach.
  • Weight – Average (3/5): At 10 ounces (empty), the 1000D Cordura material of the RWB was reasonably lightweight, and did not pull or fatigue the hip or back regardless of how heavy the added items were. The one notable aspect in how the RWB distributed the weight was the lack of padding or thickness in the removable nylon strap that wraps around the waist. During dynamic movements that strap wound move around unless secured through the trousers’ belt loops, and over time that could potentially chafe exposed skin or cause the bag itself to move around excessively. In terms of overall weight, the Tactical Fanny Pack (6.3 ounces) by T3 Gear, or the Gear Belt Pack (14.8 ounces) from Hill People Gear illustrate that the type of material and amount used can play directly into the overall weight of the product. And while there are minimalist designs as well as traditional, the Recon Waist Bag by Emdom USA is of an appropriate (or average) weight between these two design approaches.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.emdomusa.com/Emdom-Recon-Waist-Bag-p/eu047a.htm

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.

The “Ruck” Personal Utility Case: Big Strength In a Small Box

Introduced in early-2019, the Ruck Personal Utility Case by Pelican is an evolution over its predecessor. It provides a reinforced, crush-proof personal items case that can store sensitive electronics, documents, tools, or any other essential items safely and securely.

The Ruck Personal Utility Case comes in three different sizes, the R20, R40, and R60 but are of the same design. All are constructed with a rubberized exo-skeleton design made from ABS and Polycarbonate. The result is a container with an abrasion and impact-proof shell, that also passed IP68 submersion testing and is rated waterproof (to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes) and protects from water, dirt, snow & dust.

External

The R20/40/60 has an external shell made from two types of polymer, with rubberized protective bumpers to protect the shell from accidental droppage.

Each utility case has a dual pivot hinge latch for easy one-handed opening, and stainless-steel pins that ensure smooth movement.

To prevent water and dust penetration, the Ruck also has a single built-in pressure valve, similar to other Pelican protective cases, that also allows balance of air pressure.

IMG_2485

Internal

Internally, the Ruck distinguishes itself over previous personal utility case designs in that it includes a snap-in, flexible lid organizer, and a rigid MOLLE-style divider tray (with included hook-and-loop straps).

Inside each Ruck is a rubberized O-ring that ensures moisture or dust does not penetrate the storage space.

IMG_2480

Specifications:

  • R20
    • External Dimensions: 9.84” (L) x 6.12” (W) x 2.89” (D)
    • Internal Dimensions: 7.63” (L) x 4.70” (W) x 1.90” (D)
    • Internal Volume: 0.04 ft³
  • R40
    • External Dimensions: 9.84” (L) x 6.12” (W) x 2.89” (D)
    • Internal Dimensions: 7.63” (L) x 4.70” (W) x 1.90” (D)
    • Internal Volume: 0.04 ft³
  • R60
    • External Dimensions: 11.14” (L) x 6.86” (W) x 3.88” (D)
    • Internal Dimensions: 8.90” (L) x 5.37” (W) x 2.96” (D)
    • Internal Volume: 0.08 ft³

The R20/40/60 is available in OD Green (featured), Tan, Black, and Emergency Orange.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): The model evaluated was the largest of the Ruck cases, the R60 ($64.95). This version of the Ruck cases is large enough to fit most personal electronics, folded documents, and smaller pocket tools. The closest comparison to the Ruck would be the Otterbox 3250 ($35.99) (following a significant drawdown by the company) but yet is still smaller than the R20 ($44.95). Alternatively, the Ultrabox 407 ($34.65) by Underwater Kinetics has roughly the same dimensions of the R60, but not the interior features. For the most part Pelican has cornered both the market and design for personal utility/dry boxes and their products can be found on a number of secondary vendor sites that can often have 10-15% off coupons applied to further defray the cost. Given the legacy of Pelican, the diversity of the Ruck case size and utility, and the lifetime guarantee that comes with the Ruck, the cost is well placed.
  • Comfort Fair (2/5): Bulky. The R60 is a large, beefy sized case that really only had application packed into a large backpack (and when it was, it took up considerable space) or mounted in a vehicle or ATV (probably the best application). The exo-skeleton gave the box its superb durability, but also made it easy to snag on straps, mesh, or slide-release buckles on its many 90-degree angles. The smaller R20/R40 is better suited for individual carry/use, but the R60 really should be used with larger equipment that needs tools, electronics, or other items kept nearby.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): Probably damn-near indestructible. Given the two types of polymer materials (which themselves are well-known for their resistance properties), the stainless-steel hinge material, and its relatively small design (which is to say in comparison to full-sized hard cases) the Ruck was very difficult to really do anything to the case or its contents despite being thrown, dragged, or stomped on. That’s not to say it would keep the items inside perfectly protected against impact, but if you packed the utility case so there was no excess space to allow for movement then electronics and other sensitive items were properly protected. The likely reason is the exo-skeleton acts similar to a building super-structure in that it mitigates stress away from the point of impact to across the overall structure.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): In comparison, the Ruck case was a nice improvement over traditional, empty square type dry boxes wherein it is basically a watertight shell. The flexible lid organizer was easily removable and allowed for organization not typically considered in most utility cases. The MOLLE-type divider tray came with three hook-and-loop straps to assist in immediate use and mounted/attached watches, cables, and tools. Aside from the shell, the O-ring also helped ensure the contents remained free from moisture or dust. Otherwise a good aspect of the Ruck’s function was built into its overall durability. The latch system on the Ruck cases was an improvement over the Go Case hinge system, and was more secure. For the R60, because of its size, in the future Pelican may want to consider adding mounting points or spacers on the bottom to allow straps or other mounting hardware to secure the case to a vehicle or ATV. This would make it easier to attach.
  • Weight Good (4/5): An (empty) R60 weighed 2.34 pounds (the R20 is listed as 1.26 pounds and R40 is 1.68 pounds) which is rather light considering the case’s size and durability. The storage capacity is limited to only the space of the interior, so was impossible to overload it. For the model evaluated; a cell phones, extended battery bank, cabling, shot timers and all manner of personal items fit comfortably inside. Obviously the smaller R20 and R40 are smaller and will fit less, but the R20 still could fit a smart phone easily. In comparison the smaller 3250 by Otterbox weighed 0.87 pounds or the Ultrabox 407 by Underwater Kinetics weighed 0.9 pounds – neither of which had the added functionality of the Ruck’s lid organizer or divider tray and this accounted for the minimally extra weight.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/products/cases/personal-utility-cases

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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