PHLster Flatpack Tourniquet Carrier is practical way to EDC a CoTCCc-recommended tourniquet. TacMed Solutions SOF Tourniquet is shown flat folded on Flatpack.

Although it has been available for close to a decade, the patent pending PHLster® Flatpack™ still stands out as the most adaptable and unobtrusive tourniquet carrier on the market. It will hold just about every CoTCCC recommended limb tourniquet.

Not all tourniquets are created equal. The Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC), a division of the Department of Defense’s Joint Trauma System (JTS). CoTCCC plays a crucial role in shaping evidence-based guidelines for trauma care in tactical and combat environments. CoTCCC conducts thorough research and rigorous testing on various tourniquets. Their goal is to assess the effectiveness of these tourniquets specifically in combat situations. Which is why I opt to carry a CoTCCC recommended tourniquet. I wouldn’t trust my life or the life another to anything less.

Why Carry a Tourniquet?

According to published research, reported in the October 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)), the average response time in the US from the time of a 911 call to arrival of EMS on scene was seven minutes. This increased to more than 14 minutes in rural settings. A person can bleed out from a severed femoral artery in less than five minutes. You do the math.

Research also shows that for civilian patients with peripheral vascular injury, prehospital tourniquet use is associated with dramatically improved odds of survival. The study, titled “Civilian Prehospital Tourniquet Use Is Associated with Improved Survival in Patients with Peripheral Vascular Injury,” was published on 29 March 2018 and reported in the May 2018 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS). This study was a multi-institutional retrospective review of all patients sustaining peripheral vascular injuries admitted to all 11 urban Level I trauma centers in the state of Texas from January 2011 to December 2016.

The study found that “Although still underused, civilian prehospital tourniquet application was independently associated with a 6-fold mortality reduction in patients with peripheral vascular injuries. More aggressive prehospital application of extremity tourniquets in civilian trauma patients with extremity hemorrhage and traumatic amputation is warranted.” Simply put, tourniquets save lives. A tourniquet is the single most important item of medical gear that you can carry. You are statistically far more likely to need a tourniquet than your gun.

A tourniquet is the single most important item of medical gear that you can carry.

PHLster Flatpack

No tourniquet does you any good if you don’t have it with you when you need it. However, carrying a tourniquet as part of your everyday carry (EDC) can be challenging. Bulk is an issue that must be contended with. This is one of the major reason more people do not carry one. The Flatpack eradicates any reasons for not having this crucial life-saving device on hand.

The origins of the Flatpack can be traced back to 2015, when Jon Hauptman, owner and operator of PHLster Holsters, was approached by detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department who were looking for a better way for plainclothes carry of their issue tourniquet.

The Flatpack is not designed as a replacement for cases and pouches, although some people do carry it as such. Rather it is designed to provide a concealable option when a case or pouch is not practical. The Flatpack relies on the cover garment to protect the tourniquet.

Traditionally, carrying a windless tourniquet on your body has usually required some kind of bulky carrying case or bands to keep it secured. Some individuals have turned to elastic band alternatives, which are often challenging to use single-handed and can pose other issues.

A significant challenge with folding a windless tourniquet lies in how to secure it once folded. Typically, rubber bands are employed to keep the folds in place. However, this approach has a notable drawback. When you require the tourniquet, you must remove the rubber bands. But what if you find yourself in a situation where you have only one functional hand and urgently need to apply the tourniquet? The Flatpack solves this issue.

The Flatpack features a 5”×2.62” injection-molded plastic backboard, available in either black or blaze orange, through which a continuous piece of shock cord is threaded in two loops to hold a flat-folded tourniquet. The ends of the knotted shock cord can be tightened and secured in adjustment notches on the backboard to enhance security and eliminate any slack in the cord. The shock cord unlatches quickly and provides swift, one-handed deployment of the tourniquet when needed. It is durable, simple and practical. It doesn’t contribute any noticeable thickness to the overall package. It weighs only 1.2 oz.

The PHLster Flatpack has a 5″×2.62″ plastic backboard and uses a shock cord in two loops to secure a flat-folded tourniquet. It is available in black or orange.

Simply fold and stage your preferred tourniquet flat, secure it to the backboard, adjust the shock cord tension to your liking, and carry it in the manner that suits you best. The Flatpack has two BioThane® (polyester webbing with a TPU or PVC coating) closed soft loops for horizontal belt and MOLLE carry. The loops are attached to the backboard by a screw and post and fit belts up to 1.75” wide.

The loops can be easily removed, transforming the Flatpack into a slim, easily accessible pocket alternative to slow and unwieldy rubber bands. A TacMed Solutions™ SOF® Tourniquet typically rides in my front pocket in this manner. It is discreet way to carry the tourniquet on my person and provides rapid, easy access with either hand. It also allows me to easily hand or even toss the tourniquet to other responders, if needed.

The SOF® Tourniquet, now in its 5th generation, has an advantage over other limb tourniquet options recommended by CoTCCC. When it comes to on-body everyday carry (EDC), it can be flat-folded to achieve a more compact overall profile, making it an excellent choice. Another plus is it lacks any hook-and-loop to snag or abrade clothing.

The Flatpack is very versatile. It can be equipped with a short MALICE® clip or a Tek-Lok® belt attachment for additional mounting options. Or you can affix adhesive backed VELCRO® hook strip to the back plate to allow it to be attached to any loop surface.

PHLster Flatpack belt loops fit belts up to 1.75” wide. The belt loops can be removed for an even slimmer profile for pocket carry or for additional mounting options.

The Flatpack’s utility extends beyond just carrying a tourniquet. It can accommodate additional medical supplies beneath the tourniquet, such as chest seals and hemostatic gauze. This transforms it into a compact, organized, and secure mini trauma kit.

The Flatpack has a MSRP of $24.00. Law enforcement and military discount available.It is made in the USA and has a two-year warranty. It is a great way to ensure that you always have a tourniquet with you. In closing, always remember that you are your own first responder.


PHLster Holsters

TacMed Solutions

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Eugene Nielsen

Eugene Nielsen provides intelligence and security consulting services. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California. His byline has appeared in numerous national and international journals and magazines.

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