Thyrm® LLC is a family-run business founded by Andrew Frazier to create innovative products for tactical and wilderness applications. Their product design team has more than 40 combined years of experience developing tools for skilled operators in high-risk professions. The company is named after the giant Thyrm, King of the Jötnar, who Norse mythology tells us stole Mjölnir, the hammer of the thunder god Thor and the symbol of his power.

Available with or without THYM’s proprietary signal blocking capabilities, the DarkVault™ and DarkVault-Comms cases are designed to protect mission critical gear.

The Thyrm DarkVault™ and DarkVault-Comms™ Critical Gear Cases ae the company’s latest products. Designed to protect critical gear, the patent-pending cases are available with or without Thyrm’s proprietary signal blocking capabilities.

The DarkVault and DarkVault-Comms are ruggedly constructed and packed with features. Features include a gasket seal that keeps out water, dust, and dirt, quick MOLLE/PALS attachment system for external and internal mounting options, quick release hinge friction adjuster to tune hinge friction for on-body navigation and communication tasks, MOLLE compatible straps to secure case to MOLLE/PALS, strap/latch holes for locks and tamper-evident devices to prevent access to internals, as well as internal and external adhesive-backed loop Velcro® panels for ID and organization.

DarkVault and DarkVault-Comms cases feature: strap/latch holes for locks and tamper-evident devices to prevent access to internals and secure case to MOLLE/PALS.

The DarkVault version also features proprietary GPS and Cellular signal blocking polymer construction. It provides 90 to 104 dB (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.

There are many reasons for isolating and shielding wireless devices. According to Thyrm, the DarkVault 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 DarkVault can provide isolation without constant power-cycling when active surveillance / counter-surveillance is anticipated and prevent remote locating. DarkVault cases can also provide isolation and block remote wiping or alteration of field-acquired wireless devices recovered in SSE (Sensitive Site Exploitation) or criminal investigations and maintain the integrity of the chain of custody. 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. The DarkVault provides a single solution. DarkVault-Comms cases provide all of the physical protection of a DarkVault but allow for electromagnetic communication (i.e. they are non-blocking).

The DarkVault and DarkVault-Comms feature a low-profile design. Case exterior dimensions are 7.2 x 5.43 x 1.67 inches with mount. The interior dimensions are 6.70 x 3.95 x 1.15* inches (*maximum depth). The hard polymer construction keeps gear protected yet is very light in weight. Although the cases are waterproof, they’re not not rated for prolonged submersion or diving.

The DarkVault and DarkVault-Comms cases also feature tunable hinge friction for on-body navigation and communication tasks.

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 quick release hinge adjuster lever on the case allows you to adjust hinge friction maintain the opened case halves in a set position, such as a 90-degree angle for instance. Examples where the latter might be used are when you are mounting the case to a plate carrier or pack and don’t want the case to open fully and dump the contents out or when using one half as a navboard / compass and GPS mount.

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. They’re somewhat similar to the attachment on the Thyrm CellVault™ and CellVault XL, which are designed for battery storage.

The DarkVault and DarkVault-Comms cases feature a quick MOLLE/PALS attachment system for external and internal mounting options

The DarkVault is constructed of a proprietary conductive material that acts like a Faraday cage or Faraday shield, reducing the ability of radio-frequency signals to pass through the case in either direction.

Named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836, they operate because an external electrical field causes the electric charges within the cage’s conducting material to be distributed so that they cancel 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.than a mesh cage.

Near-field high-powered frequency transmissions like HF RFID are more likely to penetrate. A solid cage, such as the DarkVault, generally attenuate fields over a broader range of frequencies

The DarkVault has been tested to reduce the signal (between 300 MHz and 1500 MHz) by at least 90 dB. This is generally enough to block normal cellphone calls and data, and also block GPS signals. This reduction meets the specifications of THYRM’s government customers.

Very strong signals may still interact with your devices. For example, if you’re in close proximity to a cell tower or to 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.

It should be noted that the DarkVault and DarkVault-Comms are identical in appearance. There are no distinguishing factory markings. That’s left up to the end user.

To sum it all up, the DarkVault and DarkVault-Comms are innovative, well-made, ruggedly constructed products that meet a very real need.

The DarkVault (signal-blocking) has a MSRP of $89.95. MSRP for the DarkVault-Comms (non-blocking) is $59.95. They are available in Black, Flat Dark Earth, Olive Drab, and Rescue (orange). All Thyrm products (except for some promotional items) are designed and manufactured in the USA.



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.

Photos courtesy Thyrm LLC.

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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