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.
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.
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)
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.
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