THYRM DarkVault Comms 2.0 

THYRM® LLC is a family-run business founded by Andrew Frazier to create innovative products for tactical and wilderness applications. The company has just come out with its second generation DarkVault® the DarkVault 2.0 Critical Gear Case. It is a revolutionary mobile communications platform that offers complete protection for your smartphone without the need for a special phone case. Designed specifically for smartphone use in austere environments, the DarkVault 2.0 can be attached to plate carriers or chest rigs for quick docking and use.

The DarkVault 2.0

The DarkVault 2.0 is available in two sizes to fit both regular size phones and Max/Plus size smartphones. It features an integrated phone clamp, a removable MOLLE/PALS mount system with full mechanical interlocks, and a stable viewing platform. This makes it a versatile and convenient tool for navigation, accessing ballistics info, ad-hoc mesh comms, and more.

The DarkVault 2.0 boasts a wide array of impressive features. It provides comprehensive protection for your smartphone, safeguarding it from damage. The case is designed with a Poron® sealing gasket, making it both waterproof (note: not rated for prolonged submersion or diving) and dustproof. It has an integrated spring-loaded self-adjusting phone clamp that ensures your phone stays securely in place during rigorous activities.

The DarkVault 2.0 is available in two sizes, one for regular size phones and one for Max/Plus size phones, both in slim cases. It features an integrated phone clamp.

The phone holder is compatible with a wide range of smartphones, including models from Samsung®, Apple®, and Google®. Numerous phone cases have also been tested for compatibility. While not all phone and case combinations may be explicitly listed,

The exterior dimensions of the Regular size DarkVault 2.0 with the mount are 6.62 x 5.53 x 1.52 inches. The exterior dimensions of the Large DarkVault 2.0 with the mount are 7.22 x 5.43 x 1.52 inches.

THYRM provides dimensions and guidelines on its website to help users determine if their specific equipment is compatible. Maximum dimensions for a phone case, in each DarkVault 2.0 size are: Regular DarkVault 2.0: 6.1 x 3.1 x 0.46 inches. Large DarkVault 2.0: 6.7 x 3.3 x 0.46 inches.

The DarkVault 2.0 also features a MOLLE/PALS attachment system with full mechanical interlocks, allowing for easy attachment to plate carriers or chest rigs. Both the case latch and MOLLE/PALS mount latch can be locked for added security. The MOLLE straps are made of a hard polymer. They’re quickly detached from the case allowing you to easily weave them through PALS webbing.

The DarkVault 2.0 features a MOLLE/PALS attachment system for external and internal mounting options

The DarkVault 2.0 is available in a Comms Version and a Blocking Version. The Comms Version of the DarkVault 2.0 has an adhesive overlay that can be removed to reveal a clear polymer window to allow for smartphone camera use, turning it into a bodycam. The Blocking Version features a proprietary polymer construction that acts like a Faraday cage, reducing signal transmission by 110dB.

A Faraday cage, named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented it in 1836, operates by distributing the electric charges within the cage’s conducting material in response to an external electrical field, thereby canceling the field’s effect.

It’s a commonly held misconception is that a Faraday cage provides full blockage or attenuation. Although the reception or transmission of radio waves, which are a form of electromagnetic radiation, is heavily attenuated or blocked by a Faraday cage, it has varied attenuation depending on wave form, frequency or distance from receiver/transmitter, and receiver/transmitter power.

The Blocking version provides110dB (decibels) of signal reduction between 300 and 1500 MHz (1.5 GHz) to block standard cell tower, GPS, and other signals. THYRM notes that higher frequency WiFi/Bluetooth (2.4 GHz and higher, including WiFi Calling) aren’t consistently attenuated.

Very strong signals may still interact with your devices. For example, if you’re in close proximity to a cell tower or many cell towers in a dense urban area, it’s possible that signals may occasionally make it through the case, according to THYRM. In order to create a case that blocked all signals at all frequencies would have required the case to have been extremely large or extremely metallic. This wasn’t the design intent of the DarkVault.

There are many reasons for isolating and shielding wireless devices. The Blocking Version was developed with input from active-duty military and federal law enforcement to provide professional-grade levels of protection while keeping gear immediately accessible for navigation and communication tasks.

The Blocking Version can reduce a smartphones digital footprint without constant power-cycling when active surveillance / counter-surveillance is anticipated and reduce the chances of remote locating. They may also be employed for secure facilities BYOD management and by the general public to protect against data theft or to enhance digital privacy. Faraday bags can also be employed for the same purposes, but they don’t provide the physical protection of a DarkVault case. Maintaining a minimal electronic signature while still relaying information when needed is critical on the modern battlefield, as seen in Ukraine. Cellphone signals have been used to locate troop concentrations a direct artillery fire, or other munitions. The DarkVault 2.0 provides and additional layer of protection for soldiers on the front lines.

The cases have a wide lockable latch and feature a full clam-shell design that opens flat. The latch is very secure and won’t open accidentally yet is easy to operate. The two hinge screws at the base of the case can be tightened or loosened to adjust hinge-friction allowing the user to tune whether the case opens freely or has to be purposefully moved from one orientation to another. Examples where the latter might be used is when you are mounting the case to a plate carrier or pack and want the case to stay closed and out of the way, even when not latched.

The DarkVault 2.0 allows you to quickly dock and use your phone for navigation, ballistics info, ad-hoc mesh comms, or any other use

The DarkVault 2.0 is available with an optional Velcro® Accessory Pak, Each Velcro Accessory Pak comes with two pre-cut loop Velcro pieces, designed to assist users in attaching IDs, patches, or name tapes to their DarkVault 2.0. A smaller Velcro piece is included, which can be trimmed to maintain a clear portion of the window on the DarkVault Comms 2.0.

When ordering your DarkVault 2.0 Case, if you select the “With Velcro” option, the appropriate size and color of Velcro will be selected for you. For example, large FDE cases are paired with large beige Velcro, while ranger green cases are matched with black Velcro. If desired, Velcro Accessory Paks can also be purchased separately on the THYRM Velcro Accessory Pak page.

The DarkVault 2.0 cases are available in a variety of colors to meet end user needs. The Comms Versions come in four different colors: Black, Ranger Green or OD, Tan or FDE, and MultiCam® or FDE. On the other hand, the Blocking versions are available in two MultiCam patterns: MultiCam and MultiCam Black.

Final Thoughts

The DarkVault 2.0 Critical Gear Cases are innovative solutions that are robustly built and fulfill a significant requirement in the market. Like all THYRM products, they’re designed and made in the USA. They’re available for purchase on starting at $89.99.



Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up 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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