Chest rigs are mad-popular right now, which is dope because the people who actually need/use them have options and a market full of competition to give them better products. But for the regular guy, justifying owning one is a little more difficult.
A chest rig, so you know, is a little (usually a little bigger than your hand placed on your chest nip-to-nip) cloth pack held onto your body with straps. It serves as a platform for (most commonly) spare magazines for guns, medical supplies, navigational equipment, tools, snacks, and almost anything else you can imagine a person would need in various situations where having those items in reach at all times is critical to success.
I am skeptical of people who own body armor, ballistic helmets, and night vision/thermals who aren’t LE/MIL, alphabet bois, assassins, or specific types of hunters.
Some people want to own this stuff “just in case” or “just because” or “because I can”, but to me it seems more and more like a waste of money and time for people who will, realistically, get less use out of body armor and a helmet than they will out of their concealed carry gun — gods forbid they ever have to use it since they probably don’t train ever (meaningfully).
I have owned a couple plate carriers, but never got much use out of them except for armed security work and spooky stuff like that. When I saw my first chest rig, I was interested and bought the Haley one immediately because I could wear it independently or click it onto my Mayflower APC, to have a fair bit of modularity for different scenarios. I’ve since gotten rid of my plate carrier, plates, and that Haley rig.
But I got another one — and let me tell you, it comes in handy.
WHAT: Spiritus Systems Micro Fight Chassis MK3 chest rig. Placard-style, which means it has buckles on the top and sides so you can click it onto many different plate carriers.
- Size: 5×9 inches.
- Weight: Weighs less than a pound empty, just over a pound in its most accessorized (but still empty) variant.
- Construction: Some tough cordura-type material that all military gear is made of. It’s stitched perfectly and the first impression (and lasting one) is of a well-made product.
- Color: Ten choices, from Multicam and MC Black to Woodland and MC Alpine (that’s what I got, mainly because it was in stock).
- Options: It’s a modular system, which means there’s a whole suite of existing accessories so you can adjust the piss out of the rig to match the needs of your mission.
- $75 for just the chassis, which is pretty much worthless without at least the rifle or pistol inserts if you’re just getting it to put on a plate carrier. It doesn’t come with the shoulder or back straps for standalone use.
- Around $185 for a basic pistol/rifle kit.
- For $380, you can get (this is what I have) enough accessories for high- and low-profile, multi-caliber flexibility.
WHEN: When you need mission-critical gear in reach.
WHERE: On your chest, in a backpack, or over a shoulder — we’ll get to that.
HOW: You use the inside, outside, front, or back velcro to secure whatever inserts/flaps/sections/hanging pouches you need, then you go. Adjust the straps when you first get it and tape up the extra. Leave a little wiggle room in case you get fat (or wear it over a jacket or something).
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Here are some ways I justify and implement this kit:
- Boom-boom go bag: just the essentials and stays in my backpack while at work or in my day bag (backpack, tote, duffel) while I’m out and about daily. I carry this ALL THE TIME — 90 percent of my use of this kit. Easy to sling over a shoulder or clip around the waist and reload from. It contains a few spare mags, multi-tool, ear pro, last-ditch tourniquet, and E/E kit. This requires the full flap, pistol mag inserts, and the back strap.
- Rifle just-in-case bag: the same as the pistol go bag, but for a “truck gun” — in this case, my .300 BLK SBR. The only adaptation is the pistol mag inserts swapped for a 5.56 rifle mag insert.
- Pistol and rifle carry: I changed the full flap for the half flap and put in one of the inserts for pistol mags. I also put on the shoulder straps and moved the back strap to the bottom. I’ve rarely used this in this setup, I just wanted to show y’all the versatility of this lil kit. I keep it like this when I’m driving a long distance. This can also be used hunting boar, in an area with dangerous predators, or in places with thick bramble. Some pistol mags, some rifle mags, some essentials.
- Full rifle kitterino: I added the S.A.C.K. for more storage, swapped the front pistol insert for a 5.56 rifle mag insert, and removed the half flap. This is the “heavy” kit for rifle. I’ve never used it in this configuration, but this can be considered a more robust “truck gun” setup.
- Big gaym hunter: Swapped the 5.56 rifle mag inserts for 7.62 inserts and added some gloves, spare loose bullets, and mission critical snacks. Same as before, but for a heavy rifle. I have hunted like this and it makes up probably 10 percent of my usage of this kit.
So there are some ways I use this rad bit of kit that may not have an obvious civilian use. Not that I need to justify anything SINCE I’M A GROWN MAN, but yeah. Most of these setups can be used in competition and training too, if you do the right type.
Yo, I got this for free/I bought it to do what’s called T&E — testing and evaluation. It means I got this thing, am not bound by any agreement to be nice in my review, and I get to beat the piss out of it and treat it rough-like. My opinion is mine and based off of my time with the gear/gun/product/service.
This post originally appeared on SJT and is reposted here with permission from Jordan Garcia.
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