Fire Mission FFE, Over!

Welcome to my blog!

It will be a blog where I review tactical and military gear. These reviews will be truthful and unfunded. The reason behind these reviews is that, beside myself, a lot of military members, armed civilians and airsofters are looking for quality gear. To help them in this “neverending journey”, I will explain why some products work or don’t work for me.

I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for.

FMB

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Rufus Breacher: Ferro Concept Slickster Plate Carrier Setup & Review

This is an article not written by FMB but by “Rufus”. He is a currently deployed Recce dude and former contractor that is an obvious gearwhore. He’s got a great IG that for some reason features a plastic chicken from time to time.

So, grab a cup of coffee and start reading!

I used to work with a JPC for several years now, and I decided to adopt a new load out, a fresher one.
Don’t misunderstand me, my JPC did his job pretty well, and remains a reliable Plate Carrier.
But since it was a bit damaged at the bottom of the Kangaroo Pouch (After all these years, fair enough), I decided to buy a new one and try my chance with the Ferro Concept Slickster.

One of the reason, is that I was really seduced by the idea of the elastic cummerbund with additional compartments in it.

My setup

As I was working with a MRAP-style Dingo 2 vehicle, wich is really tight inside when it’s full, I wanted to get rid of my so much loved tactical belt.
Putting my magazines, IFAK and grenades on my Plate carrier instead of my belt was an option I had to consider.
So the elastics compartment were coming.
The basic product is made for lighter tasks, able to be worn concealed, as well as overt.

My basic load requires me to carry 10 magazines for my SCAR L, 3 Magazines for my sidearm, the FNH 5.7, some grenades, an IFAK, a radio device and some small equipment, I decided to add to the basic Slickster, the Ferro
Kangaroo flap pouch. On the inside, I added a triple Mag turnover pouch.
Without adding any equipment to that configuration, It provides you 4 compartments each side, and three more on front, giving you the capacity to fit 11 items of your choice directly on the Slickster.

Two compartments were used for the IFAK from ITS Tactical (Slim Pouch) and an additional Israeli bandage.
Four other compartments were filled with 4 AR Magazines, plus 3 in the kangaroo flap pouch.
The radio fits in another elastic pouch on the cummerbund.

To that, I still had to add 2 pistol mags with an unusual size, so I needed some stretchable double mag pouch…
Found it with Tasmanian Tiger, as well as a double grenade pouch to carry a frag and a Flashbang.
I never had been a big fan of TT products, but I have to admit that some of them are up to the job.

As I needed to add some personal equipment but didn’t wanted to encumber myself with an admin pouch, I decided to try and put a Shock Cord Insert from ITS Tactical on the velcro surface above my Magazine.
On it, I attached a Gerber Filter Torch, the PTT for my Radio device, etc…

I also added some shoulder pads for my own confort.

Finally, I reached my goal with a plate carrier that fits perfectly to the job, getting rid of my tactical belt to only keep my Sidearm, a tourniquet and a dump pouch.
Carrying 7 AR Mags, and 2 5.7 Pistol mags and some grenades on the slickster, 1 AR mag on my assault rifle, 1 on my sidearm,
2 additional mags in my “Bug Out bag” from 5.11 Tactical as well as some smoke grenades, white and colored, a PR Kit, an MRE, some extra medical equipment and a softshell jacket.

My thoughts about the Slickster

After almost a month of deployment, spending most of my nights patrolling outside the wire, I find that configuration really handy and feel really comfy using it.

I will just add side soft ballistic inserts in the next few days to fit the standards imposed by my higher echelon.

In the vehicle: gain of mobility going in and out of the MRAP, even with the M249 of my colleague in the way…

The only disadvantage i saw so far is about the elastic slot of the cummerbund. Be careful about the equipment you fit inside, like the IFAK for example… the friction due to the movement sometimes ejects the soft equipment parts. Think about a way to attach it, like i did with the ITS pouch and some bungee rope. But prefer to use these slots for “hard” equipment such as mags, radios,etc , that stick into the pouches without any problem.

My conclusion is that the slickster remains an affordable multi purpose plate carrier, you can use it for overt as well as for covert kind of mission.

I hope you guys liked his article like I did.

Go check out his IG (@rufusbreacher) if you did.

~ FMB

Blackfolium MARS

The quality of the MARS sling is out of this world! Get it? … ok, enough with the jokes.

For the last two year I’ve been using the Magpul MS3 sling. It was my favourite up until I received the MARS from Blackfolium.

First, let’s talk about the company. Blackfolium is an Italian company that is steadily growing. They work with current and former Italian service members for their testing and development.

They contacted me via IG to test their new sling. It took a while for it to arrive, but that was a positive thing. They kept improving the sling using feedback from their contacts in Iraq.

Eventually I received the sling and it’s a beauty!

Multi-Adaptive Rifle Sling

As the name suggests, it’s multi-adaptive. But what does that mean?

You can buy the sling in one point, two point or switchable 1/2 point configuration. This all depends on the hardwear that you choose.

I chose the HK sling hooks so I can switch between a 1 point and a 2 point sling. Plus they fit the sling loops of my SCAR perfectly.

By giving you the option in hardware, Blackfolium didn’t create one, but several types of slings.

But what makes the MARS different from others?

Let’s look at the material:

They’ve used Cordura 500D – DWR/nIR for their central body. The thicker part that helps carry your rifle comfortably for a long time.

Inside, they used a closed cell padding that doesn’t absorb water. So perfect for you diving lot (or the guys like me that tend to fall into the river when crossing it).

The webbing is a high quality, abrasion resistant variant that after hard use, still looks great!

Their hardware is mostly metallic making it highly durable. I haven’t had any problems so far and the sling remains quiet in use.

Now let’s have a look at the design:

When ordering, you can choose between the single point, dual point and switchable version. Afterwards, you choose the hardwear you want to include (A: the attachment closest to your stock. B: the middle piece of hardwear to switch between 1 and 2 point and C: the part closest to the barrel).

After you’ve made your choice, a technical drawing is displayed! Pretty neat to see what you’ve chosen.

Picture courtesy of Blackfolium. A: Mash hook. B: D-ring. C: Clash hook.

As you can see on the drawing, above hardware C is their quick release buckle. This allows you to adjust the length of sling very fast. The use of the rubber and the plastic tab makes gripping it with wet, cold, gloved or bloody hands easy! In my opinion, this is one of the best parts of the MARS.

The MARS is available in Black, Coyote and Multicam. The price depends on the hardware you choose.

Did I mention they have a lifetime guarantee? The guarantee provides for the repair and replacement of structural defects in the fabrication, according to their website.

My thoughts:

I’ve been using the MARS sling very hard the last couple of months. It has taken me longer than expected to write this review because I’m very hard on weapon related items. If a weapon attachment or sling breaks, it can have serious consequences. So to the guys over at Blackfolium: sorry for the wait, but I’m sure you fellas will understand!

I’ve used the sling on the range, during the patrols in the Belgian streets, during a couple of FTX’s and during close combat training.

So what do I think about the MARS?

First if all, I can honestly say that after this review, I will keep using this sling.

The fast switch between 1 or 2 points, the oversized quick release buckle and the padding are everything I needed without knowing it.

I constantly use the quick release buckle to switch from a close “patrol setup” to a looser “shooting setup”. After some training, it becomes second nature.

The sling has held up to the abuse I’ve trown at it and then some!

The padding in the middle is great for me, but I can imagine that some might not need or like this. Maybe Blackfolium can make this also an option on their website.

My sling came fully assembled and after some small adjustments in size, everything is stowed and fitted. No loose straps because of the included elastic bands and hardware. The attention to detail is amazing on this one.

I can only recommend the MARS sling from Blackfolium. Go check these awesome dudes out!

IG: @blackfolium

Website: http://www.blackfolium.com

~ FMB

Disclaimer:

I’ve received this product free of charge to test and evaluate. I am not bound or payed to write a positive review. This review is completely honest and unbiased.

SUMO GEAR: Mission Modular Belt

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Belts, some like them, some can’t stand carrying anything on them. As you could read on my 1st line article, I like carrying stuff on my belt. I enables me to distribute the weight and mission essentials.

In the beginning of my career I only used to carry a leatherman in a nylon pouch on my old BHI Riggers belt. After being issued an individual sidearm (the FNH FiveSeven), I purchased the excellent HSGI Sure-Grip padded belt. The HSGI belt was very comfortable but big. So the search for a smaller belt setup, combined with an inner belt for extra stability started…

What was I looking for?

  • Slim profile
  • Rigid enough and with MOLLE to carry pistol magazines and a holster
  • With an inner belt for extra stability
  • D-Ring on the front to attach a safety lanyard for heliborne Ops.
  • Cobra buckle after good experience with my Sumo Gear EDC belt.

Luckily Sumo Gear just released some pictures of his new Mission Modular Belt.

I messaged Yanniek, the owner of Sumo Gear, asking for availability and a couple of days later I had a package delivered to my front door. Talk about fast custom work!

To be clear, Belgian SFG operators were involved in the design and the testing of this belt.

The system consists of three parts:

  • The belt with MOLLE
  • A full velcro inner belt
  • The padded belt

Utilising the three parts, you are able to change your setup in function of your mission and the weight on your belt.

So let’s look at the MMB and why it has been made like it is.

The MOLLE belt:

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Photo courtesy of Sumo Gear
The inside:

The MOLLE belt is lined with Velcro Onewrap. This material was used because it’s less aggressive so it won’t chafe and damage clothing as much if you choose to wear it without one of the inner belts.

The outside:

The outside of the belt is covered with a Cordura Laminate MOLLE-type system wich is light, low-profile, but incredibly strong. I was able to attach all my pouches with ease and they are very secure.

The belt isn’t as wide as the HSGI Sure-Grip. The reason behind this, is that the wider belt can hinder your movement when entering windows for example.

The buckle:

I chose the Cobra-buckle with a D-ring. A Cobra-buckle without the D-ring is also available, should you not need it.

The D-ring isn’t attached with an additional piece of velcro after some input from SFG operators. They need the D-ring fast and it doesn’t move, so the velcro tab isn’t needed.

The closure:

The end of the belt can be secured using Velcro Onewrap. He chose to use this instead of an elastic because it won’t strech over time. The piece of Onewrap can also be removed when attaching a belt-loop holster.

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Photo courtesy of Sumo Gear
This makes the velcro part only 25mm wide, instead of the 7cm on their EDC belt. Resulting on less wasted space on the belt.

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Photo courtesy of Sumo Gear

The inner belt

The inner belt is made using Polyamide covered in velcro. The choice of this material for the inner belt is because regular Nylon webbing has a “rolling” characteristic which didn’t really work for the inner belt.

The inner belt really keeps the MOLLE belt in one place, yet it can be easily removed when you need to. The inner belt is closed using velcro, so it won’t interfere with the cobra-buckle of the MOLLE belt.

The padded belt

The padded belt is an extra piece that gives you the option to carry heavier loads on your belt, without it becoming uncomfortable.

It is lined on the inside with spacer mesh and on the outside with Velcro. The MOLLE belt attaches without a problem, thus forming a stable platform.

The padded belt can be colour-matched with the MOLLE belt.

Options

The Modular Mission Belt is available in Coyote, Multicam and black.

It can be made with a cobra buckle with or without a D-ring.

You can order the belt as a set of the three belts or just with either the inner or the padded belt.

My thoughts

The belt is very comfortable and stays put, using the inner belt.

I’ve tested the belt during a field training as well as during the support of the Police.

It is a very sturdy platform that filled the need I had in a new belt. The pouches are secured, the belt doesn’t hinder my movement and doesn’t move around when running.

I’ve been able to hold quite a weight with such a compact belt.

The construction of the belt is what I expected from Sumo Gear. The quality control is amazing as is the shipping time.

I apologise for the lack of own pictures.

Disclaimer: I bought the belt and I’m not bound by or affiliated with Sumo Gear.

FMB

FROG.PRO SFD-Responder Review

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Over the last year, it seems that the terror attacks in Europe have increased. From Oslo to Madrid, organised cells and “Lone Wolfs” have been targeting civilian gathering places.

One of the lessons learned from the attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016 was that the Tourniquets applied by the Military personnel saved a lot of lives. But the question now is: what if there aren’t any soldiers, LEO’s or first responders nearby? Do you have the equipment and, more importantly, the skills to save your own but also another life?

On one of my IG posts, I asked my followers if they carried any trauma, first aid or medical gear in general on their person and if they tought that it was paranoid if someone did. The consensus: I’ve got a collection of very prepared followers that carry a bunch of kits (from personal EDC kits to full medical kits in their car). What caught my eye was that several noted that they started carrying medical kit after the recent attacks in Europe or that they carried particularly in Europe. It makes you think how much the recent terrorism has influenced our lives.

I’ve been carrying an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) of some sort on me for the last 4 years. It has ranged from a single RATS TQ ( who I do not advise anymore because of the conflicting reports) to a full kit in my backpack.

After discussing with and learning from several IG members ( medic_sf, _0_tim_0_ and whiskeydeltagulf to mention a few) and medics, I realised I needed to up my game.

In comes the SFD-Responder by FROG.PRO.

In their own words:

” The SFD-Responder is an unconventional elasticized pouch for carrying the first aid kit designed to ride concealed on your ankle.

The SFD-Responder is an unconventional elasticized pouch for carrying the first aid kit designed to ride concealed on your ankle.”

Let’s take a look at the pouch and afterwards how I’ve set up mine for the moment.

Overview:

Looking at the central part of the pouch, we see the section where you can store your medical equipment. It’s made of a double 4″ elasticized band that has been separated to form 3 smaller pouches. The elastic nature of the band makes sure that you can carry different sized items, as well as comfort in carrying.

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The outer closure flap consists of a laser cut MOLLE system, made of Hypalon® and Cordura®, backed by velcro. Due to the MOLLE system, you can add items with shock cord or MOLLE pouches ( note that they have to be slim) or your gloves. The velcro can be used to add bloodtype or medical patches.

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On the back of the outer closure flap is very powerful velcro that has yet to come loose during movement.

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For the inner flap, they used a 3D Air Mesh fabric that is very comfortable.

The SFD-Responder weights approximately 110g and is available in Black, Tan, Coyote, Ranger Green (Masterrace) and Multicam.

I went for Black, because it’s supposed to be concealed in urban terrain, not camouflaged.

Setup:

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So how have I set up my SFD-Responder? To be honest I’m waiting for a couple of additional medical kit to arrive from the excellent EMT shop. But this is what I have in mine right now:

  • North American Rescue CAT
  • H&H Bandage
  • Seatbelt/clothing cutter
  • Quikclot Advanced clotting sponge
  • examination gloves

How will I set it up in the future:

  • SOFTT-W (CAT will go in my Backpack Kit)
  • H&H Bandage
  • New clothing cutter attached to the MOLLE
  • Quikclot Combat Gauze
  • HYFIN Chest seals (2x)
  • Examination gloves

How do I like it?

I really love this thing! I’ve been carrying the pouch while running with my dog on the beach, during city trips, to the movies, for 3 hour car-rides, to a concert and it has yet to come loose or be noticed!

The folks over at FROG.PRO really did their research concerning materials and construction. I wear the SFD just above my shoes for extra security ( not that it’s needed to be honest) and they stay put.

During really hot days it does get a bit sweaty under the pouch, but not that it’s uncomfortable or that it comes loose.

Even with a full load, the SFD-Responder wasn’t noticeable under my TAD gear trousers. For people who wear skinny jeans ( looking at Europeans and Lucas from TREXARMS) it might be a problem, but under most of my straight cut and boot cut jeans it wasn’t noticable.

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Verdict

If you’re looking for a concealable option to carry your medical kit, look no further! The SFD-Responder by FROG.PRO is a quality product that does what it has to do and then some!

Links:

FROG.PRO SFD-Responder: FROG.PRO , EMTShop

North American Rescue HYFIN: Amazon , EMTShop

North American Rescue CAT: Amazon , EMTShop

Disclaimer:

I bought this product with my own funds, I did not receive or ask for a discount or the product in exchange for a good review. My reviews are truthful and BS free.

 

WAS Covert Plate Carrier

In a world of unrest, mass shootings, armed home invasions and terror attacks you need a way to protect yourself.

One way of doing this is wearing body armor.

The problem now is: What type do I buy and wear?

There are several different types of body armor: Armor vests, plate carriers, low profile plate carriers, low profile armor carriers,…

All these types have their function with their own positive and negative points.

For home-defence and low profile protection during civil unrest or terror attacks, you don’t always need a full plate carrier or armor vest. So I opted for the Warrior Assault Systems Covert Plate Carrier, or CPC in short.

I ordered this plate carrier from UK Tactical during one of their sales. (They have a lot of sales!)

This is their description of the CPC:

Warrior’s Covert Plate Carrier (CPC) is a low profile slick armour carrier designed to hold 10 x 12 plates and US style SAPI Plates. The CPC is fully adjustable on the shoulders for size. The  sides are made from double layer high quality elastic, and incorporate 2 internal pouches on each side which can hold mag pouches and/or radio. The sides are fully adjustable for girth by way of Velcro closure. The CPC can be upgraded to create the CPC-MK1 Combo by adding Warrior’s TVMP Triple Velcro Mag Pouch for 5.56mm mags, which attaches to the front of the carrier by means of Velcro and is then secured shut by overlapping the Velcro elements of the side elastic side sections. Made from Genuine U.S. Mil Spec materials.

Looking at the CPC, it’s obvious that it has a simple design. But perfect for low profile work.

The CPC is basicly two plate bags held together with an elastic cummerbund and velcro. Now let’s take a look at all these components, individually.

The plate bags

The bags are shaped especially for SAPI style plates.

Starting from the top.

They have two shoulder straps covered with either hook or loop velcro.

On the front there is a loop velcro panel where you can attach IFF and or morale patches. This is also an ideal spot to attach small velcro-backed panels, like the Spiritus Suite Inserts.

Going lower, there is a second velcro panel, this one is to attach the elastic cummerbund. You can also add velcro-backed pouches to this panel, like the Triple Velcro Mag Pouch by WAS.

In my CPC, I carry LVL IV ICW plates by NEXUS, also acquired trough UK Tactical. (Again, sales!) My hard plates are backed by PARACLETE LVL IIIa soft plates.

These fit great and are held inside of the carrier by a velcro strap underneath the plate bags.

The cummerbund

The cummerbund is made from a double layer elastic and is, in my opinion, one of the best things on the carrier. It has two slots on either side for radios, 5.56 Mags, Twinkies, cellphone for Tinder and in my case… an Israeli Pressure Bandage and possibly a NAR CAT TQ.

The cummerbund is well constructed and the items placed inside the internal pockets don’t dig into your sides.

Adjusting the size of the carrier is easily done by adjusting the velcro. It will fit skinny and fat guys and girls. You can also adjust the size on the back.

Well, …. That’s it. A simple carrier. Now I do have some points that I don’t like or I would like to see improved.

Suggested and planned improvements

One of the things I would like to change is adding two 1″ vertical straps next to the front top velcro panel. The reason behind this is the ability to attach female clips to attach a chest rig. Somewhat like the Ferro Concepts Slickster.

Yes, I know, this is another plate carrier and no I didn’t buy the FC Slickster.

Adding the ability to attach a chest rig or placard will seriously increase the options you have.

Another point I would like to see improved is the selection of pouches available from WAS for this carrier. Pistol mag pouches with velcro attachements come to mind. Some brands that make quality velcro pouches, suitable for this carrier are  Blue Force Gear and Spiritus.

Concealment

The CPC is made to be covert (Duh!), but just how covert is it?

I have worn the CPC under a light winter jacket, hoodie and large shirt. The CPC is only slightly noticable on the back.

It is comfortable enough to be worn for a complete day, even when loaded with a radio, a 5.56 mag and med kit.

Update!

Via one of the Facebook gear pages, I managed to find a coyote CPC that was already altered. The previous owner added the shoulder straps of one of the Warrior Assault Systems chest rigs. In doing so, I was avle to attach the excellent Spiritus Systems Micro Rig ( bought at Tactical Kit), thus expanding the capabilities of the CPC.

Adding their SACK pouch, I was able to build a full size rig, by just adding the female buckles.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a cheap quality covert plate carrier, this is the one for your.

It is my “bump in the night” carrier that has it’s place next to my bed, yet is sturdy enough to be used as a SHTF plate carrier during civil unrest or during terror attacks.

Slightly adding some hardware like the female clips really improves the carrier.

FMB

Links

CPC Black

CPC MK1 Kit

 Spiritus Systems Chest Rigs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Agilite Modular Assault Pack (A.M.A.P.) II

A while ago, I was accepted for the T&E program of Agilite Gear and a few weeks ago, I received one of their new products: The Agilite Modular Assault Pack II.

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About Agilite Gear

From their website:

“Agilite is Israel’s leading Tactical, Rescue and Outdoor Gear Manufacturer.  
 
Agilite was founded by Israeli Special Forces and US Army veterans who wanted to create gear that was as clever as it was strong. Today, Agilite is a proud supplier of Special Operations, Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue units across five continents as well as civilians who need exceptional equipment that keeps them agile and light on their feet. It is used in some of the most remote, most non-permissive environments in the world. 
   
Tough Gear, From a Tough Part of The World
 
 To understand Agilite gear you must understand where it comes from. Israel is a place that has never been able to take its guard down and that has had to innovate to survive. Agilite products get battle-tested long before they are released to the public, under conditions where there’s little margin of error.
 
The Agilite Scorpion logo is the humble mark of the adventurous, the duty-bound and of those willing to step out into the unknown.

Made In The USA & Israel

Agilite Tactical Gear is designed in Israel and manufactured in both the United States and Israel for the ultimate combination of breakthrough design and the highest quality manufacturing on earth.

From the Single Fiber to a Finished Piece of Gear

In 2012, Agilite Systems Inc. acquired Shiltex, Israel’s National mil-spec narrow textiles company that has supplied the Israel Defense Forces with premium quality equipment and components since before the Six Day War in 1967. The acquisition of Shiltex adds a serious weapon to the Agilite arsenal and consolidated some of the best elements of Israel’s high-end textile industry.”

Personally, I had never owned something by Agilite, but knew them for their OpsCore helmet covers, their assault vests and looking at their new line of products on their Instagram. This all looked very positive and I was eager to try out some of their products.

K Series

The K series is the new line by Agilite Gear, with the main elements being their new K5 Plate Carrier and the new AMAP II Pack.

The K series is a line of compatible products that work with the K5 Plate Carrier. It consists of different attachments, like the NVG/binocular tether, different kinds of hydration packs and the AMAP II Pack.

Agilite Modular Assault Pack II

As the name suggests, the AMAP II is the second version of their assault pack.

If I had to describe the AMAP II in one sentence, it would be:

” A small innovative assault pack, that allows you to carry everything you need to fight (Comms, bullets and water) and nothing that you don’t need.”

Lets take a look at the specs:

  • Capacity: 14 liter (854.3 cu. in. ) capacity & additional helmet carrier volume.
  • Materials: Mil-Spec materials and polymer hardware.
  • Available colors: Multicam, Black, Coyote Brown.
  • Available shoulder straps: Padded shoulder straps, K Minimals shoulder straps.
  • Made in Israel

Overview

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Looking at the exterior of the pack, the first thing that you notice is the helmet compartment. This compartment is designed to hold your OpsCore helmet but will also hold older style helmets like my MICH helmet. Personally, I’ve used it to hold my rain jacket and/or my Arc’teryx Atom layer.

The helmet compartment has mesh sides that help with getting water and sand out of it, as well as reduce the weight of the pack.

Behind the helmet compartment, there is a patch of loop velcro to attach your IFF, flag and cool guy patches. Just underneath the velcro, there is a small loop to attach dummy cord.

On the sides, the pack has a section of MOLLE ( 3 X 5 rows) to attach extra pouches. I’ve used this space to attach an additional PRC-152, a pouch for a Nalgene bottle and more recently my IZLID. The sides also have a strap to reduce the profile of the pack and help secure the pouches that you might attach. All the straps have velcro loops to shorten them.

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On top of the pack is the really good stuff that I was looking for in a pack. First and foremost, there is an oversized “drag handle” that is stitched extremely well. This thing won’t come loose. Underneath that handle are two very large comm ports. One on each size.

A problem that I have with a lot of packs is that when using radios, the comm ports are always to small. With the AMAP II, I had no problem to even route the two antennas from the PRC-117G trough one of them, while running the coiled cord from my Liberator III trough the other one. This for me is one of the best features of the AMAP II.

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To make things even better, between the two comm ports, there is a small opening to route your hydration tube trough. So you can keep your water separated from your radio equipment.

On the back of the AMAP II, it’s easy to see why this pack is different from others you might have encountered. The AMAP II is designed to work with the K5 Plate carrier and will attach to it using the hook velcro and the clips on the side of the pack.

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Currently I don’t own the K5 plate carrier, so I’m not able to comment on how this works, but Agilite posts a lot of videos on their IG page, showing the integration.

For me, a retro-fit kit to attach the AMAP II to non-Agilite plate carriers would be worth looking into. A lot of units have SOP’s and regulations concerning the use of personally bought plate carriers.

Luckily, you also have the ability to use the AMAP II without the K5 plate carrier. Agilite gives you the option to choose between two kinds of shoulder straps: the K Series Padded Shoulder Straps and the K-MINIMALS™ Lightweight Shoulder Straps. Agilite was so kind to send me both versions so I can do a comparison between the two.

The shoulder straps attach via a system that, to be honest, I was very sceptic about. On top and bottom, you just pull a piece of webbing that has been folded over several times and stitched trough a plastic loop. I understand what you’re thinking: “How the hell will that system hold any weight?” My thoughts exactly, but…

You have to understand that the AMAP II isn’t designed to hold 35Kg of radio’s, ammunition, tents, etc. Keeping that in mind, I loaded up the AMAP II with a PRC-117G, two batteries for it, two spare batteries for the PRC-152, my handset, the IZLID, 3L of water in a Camelbak bladder, my Arc’teryx Atom, TAD gear hard shell, 3 SMK GRENs, a stripped down MRE and a JFIRE in the admin compartment. Yep, the AMAP II can carry all of that. Loaded up, the pack was heavy, but still comfortable and the shoulder straps were able to hold all that weight. For comfort I wore the padded ones of course.

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The padded straps have a type of mesh padding that helps with comfort and moisture wicking. They also feature multiple straps, both elastic and non-elastic, for hydration tubes, communication cables, etc. There is also a strap for dummy cord on the top part and a D-ring on the bottom part.

The K-MINIMALS are the lightweight version. They are made primarily out of strong mesh, so they are very lightweight and breathable. They each include two straps for  hydration tubes and cables.

To access the interior of the AMAP II, you just unzip the curved heavy-duty zipper that runs down about 90% of the whole pack. Being that it’s curved on the top, allows you to open just the top and being able to reach down in it, yet prevents stuff falling out. I really like this design.

The coyote AMAP II that I received has a light green interior lining on the front and back. On the front panel there is a zipper with paracord attached that opens the “admin” compartment. This compartment runs down the entire height and allows you to fit a bunch of stuff in there like maps, notebooks, powerbanks, etc. Above the zipper there is a plastic clip that can be used to hold keys, dummy corded items and during my vacation I attached my GoPro to it, to keep it secure.

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On the back panel there is the same kind of plastic clip. Additionally there is a compartment to hold a Camelbak bladder that can be closed using the drawstring. On top of the compartment, there are two straps that are great to attach a radio.

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It’s necessary to note that when loaded with bulky items, the back panel tends to bulge. As of yet there isn’t a stiff panel available to reduce this, but this might be a good accessory for Agilite to release. When using the AMAP II with a radio, I’ve never had this problem.

On the bottom of the main compartment, there is a large drainage hole.

Usage

The AMAP II is designed to be an assault pack. It’s not designed for you to live and fight for 3 days but rather for shorter missions. And it excels in that purpose. I use it now to carry my PRC-117G with some extra batteries, water and an extra layer. This is now my goto pack for that use.

I’ve also used it as a day pack on hikes in Norway. I carried my Canon 60D in a LowePro Toploader Zoom 50, a gorillapod, a GoPro Hero 5, memory cards in a Pelicase 0915 SD, 3L of water in a Camelbak bladder, my Arc’teryx Atom in a stuff sack and my maps in the main compartment. In the helmet compartment, I carried an IFAK in the ReFactor Tactical Delta Trauma pouch, a survival kit and my Fjallraven EcoShell. I had absolutely no problem carrying this rather heavy load comfortably in this small pack.

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PROS

  • Small, yet highly capable assault pack
  • Large comm ports for antenna’s and cables
  • Helmet compartment is perfectly sized
  • Straps to secure your radio to the back panel
  • Curved zipper is a great design
  • Quality design and stitching

CONS

  • The back panel can form a bulge when loaded with bulky items
  • No retro-fit set available, yet

Conclusion

I really like this assault pack. It’s great for when you need to carry the essentials like comms, bullets, water and a warm layer. If you work with radios and are looking for a small pack, check out the AMAP II.

~ FMB

Links:

Agilite AMAP II

 

Disclaimer

I received this product from Agilite Gear to review and as part of the T&E Program. I am in no way bound or paid to write a positive review. All my views and observations are 100% honest.

 

 

 

First impression and overview: Re Factor Tactical Delta Trauma Kit

After using the HSGI Pogey pouch as an IFAK on my 1st Line for a couple of months, it became obvious that it wasn’t ideal.

I needed a “tear-away” pouch that could hold all my medical gear, excluding a TQ, and be low-profile, yet secure enough to mount on my belt.

Instagram came to the rescue! One of the few things I like about social media is the ability to meet and talk to like-minded individuals who, in some cases, have more knowledge about certain things. This time it was medical!

I’ve gotten many suggestions, from basic pouches to custom build ones. One of the suggestions, backed by input from a medic and a video review by the awesome Canadian Robo Murray, really caught my attention.

In comes the Re Factor Tactical Delta Trauma Kit!

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Description from the Re Factor Tactical website:

“The Delta Trauma Kit is a low-profile, minimalist kit designed to provide only essential medical items for treating life threatening wounds sustained on the battlefield.

Compatible with MOLLE or belt attachment, the kit can be worn overtly or covertly while maintaining a low-profile carry. The center red identifier pull-tab allows you quickly detach and open the kit under stress. The outside features a large carrying tab down the center of the pouch for ambidextrous access, and also includes velcro adhesive in addition to the buckle strap for added retention. Additional bungee straps have been included for the addition of a tourniquet on the bottom of the pouch. The interior is built with multiple elastic bands and slots for securing various sized pieces of equipment, including combat gauze, NPA’s, bandages, and other required items.”

Acquiring the Trauma Kit

To be honest, the pouch that was suggested and also reviewed by Robo was the Coyote Tactical Solutions STOMP. An amazing pouch with mostly the same features. I’ve been told that Coyote Tactical Solutions makes the Delta Trauma Kit for Re Factor Tactical.

Looking around on the internet, the STOMP wasn’t readily available in Europe and I didn’t want to pay an insane amount of import taxes.

Then an IG follower showed me the Delta Trauma Kit, a pouch that was in stock at the guys of Tactical Kit in the UK.

I immediately ordered two pouches: One in Coyote for “work” and one in Multicam for “play”. “Hello… I’m an gear-addict…”

Shipping was very fast and I got my gear in TWO days!

First impression

A compact and streamlined pouch that can carry a lot! It’s able to hold all the medical gear I had in the Pogey pouch and then some! I now have the ability to add some items, like a survival blanket and an additional gauze bandage if I want.

I’m also liking the belt attachment. It keeps the pouch securely attached without having to worry that you’d lose your live-saving kit!

I’m already liking the pouch, but will do a review of it after some use and training.

Overview

The exterior

The pouch measures 9 x 5″ or 22.9 x 12.7 cm. It’s a very sleek and streamlined design that is perfect to place in the small of your back.

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On the front there is a loop to pull the pouch away from the mounting and a square field of loop velcro to attach a medical patch.

On the back there is a big patch of hook velcro to securely attach it to the belt mounting.

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On the bottom, there are two drain holes where you can pull the included elastic cords trough. With these elastic cords you can secure a TQ to the bottom of the pouch.

The pouch is closed with a zipper that has red paracord to open it. I like to attach paracord to all my zippers, so it was nice that it came standard.

The interior

Here’s where the magic happens! The pouch lays completely flat when opened, so you have a clear view of everything inside.

The two sides of the pouch are configured differently.

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One has the elastic straps running vertically that have stitching across to hold decompression needles, NPA’s, sharpies and the likes. Behind the straps there is room enough for chest seals and Elastic Trauma Dressings (in my case the NAR ETD 6″).

The other side is where the Delta Trauma Kit differs from the STOMP. Here there is one elastic strap running horizontally, stitched to create 3 loops. Then there are two elastic straps running vertically to create the modularity to set up your kit to your needs. The horizontal straps are perfect for compressed gauze.

In the middle of the two compartments, there is an extra strap that can be used, in my example, for your gloves.

The mounting

The mounting for your belt is done by a MOLLE system with loop velcro on one side and a strap that keeps the pouch secured to your belt. It came with the MALICE clips to attach it. It’s a well thought-out system.

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Conclusion

The Delta Trauma Kit is definitely an upgrade to my old system. It’s low-profile, tear-away and holds everything it needs to.

If you’re in the market for a new IFAK pouch, you should take a look at this one!

~ FMB

Links:

Tactical Kit

Re Factor Tactical

 

The Delta Trauma Kit was not a sponsored item, my review and thoughts about the product are truthful and not funded.

 

 

Equipment Series: 2nd Line

The second part of this series is of course my second line!

2nd line

Task

My second line is dedicated to fighting and completing my mission. In English: things to make holes, things to plug holes and things to make holes in the ground and everything on it.

Location

All my fight and mission gear is either on my plate carrier or my MAP/Day pack.

Mostly I work only with a MAP style bag on my back because it’s more streamlined and smaller than the issued Camelbak Motherlode.

When I need to carry more food, water, munitions, batteries and what not, I will carry the issued backpack because it remains a decent pack.

Contents

Plate Carrier (WAS DCS with LVL IV and IIIa Plates)
SCAR Mags x3 (WAS pouch)
SMK Gren (WAS pouch)
Surefire
PRC-152 (HGG Pouch)
Knife (Pocket Piefighter)
Admin pouch (WAS) Compass
Slate Cards
RED Card
Pencil
Eraser
Sharpener
Römer
Small calculator
Markers
GPS Dakota 20 (to double check) (WAS pouch)
MAP (WAS Cargo Pack) or Daypack PRC-117G
PRC-117 Batt
Liberator III Long Cable
Hydration Bladder
Weapon Cleaning Kit
Insect Repellent
Boo-Boo Kit
Stripped MRE
Liberator III
Princeton MPLS LED light
CAT TQ (Tactical Tailor pouch)
IFAK CAT TQ
Israeli Pressure Dressing
Quiclot/Celox

Depending on the mission, our VDL system can be added either in the internal radio pouch of the carrier or in the issued PRC-152 pouch. Using the HMD we are able to see the video feed from our air assets, wich is a big plus!

The Setup

In these pictures, I don’t have the Cargo Pack attached and my Spiritus Systems GP pouch is still attached on my plate carrier. This is the setup with our VDL system. The admin pouch can be closed, but on the pictures I stuffed it with some extra aerial pictures.

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Here are some extra pictures from my last exercise:

If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know.
~ FMB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equipment Series: 1st Line

1st lineTo start the 3-part series, it’s only logical to start with my 1st Line!

All lines are used to complete certain tasks.

Task

My first line is used to survive, escape & evade and fight. The “fight” part isn’t common for a 1st line but I have included it because I carry 2x 5.56 and 2x 5.7 magazines on my belt.

Location

Where do I put the items to survive, escape & evade and fight?

All the survive and escape & evasion items are in my clothing. The reason for this is that my pants and smock/combat shirt will be the last things I will drop.

although I really want to control naked one day…

My “fight” items are on my belt.

Contents

Survival, escape & evade

Survival tin/ E&E Kit
Waterproof Container
Signal mirror
Razor blades x2
Sewing kit (strong needles, cord)
Snare wire/string
Fishing kit (hooks,wire,weights)
Small candle
Waterproof matches
Condom
Magnesium & ferro rods (fire lighting)
Survival blanket
Cotton patches
 Medication (anti-diarrea, headache, …)
Pockets
Notebook and pencil
Lighter
Camo Cream
Small Air Marker Panel
Boonie hat
1:250 000 Map of Belgium
Sawyer Water Filter
Magnets (to hold up maps, air pictures)
Chalk
Extra Petzl headlight
Emergency Strobe Light
JFIRE

Fight

Belt (HSGI Suregrip)
5.7 Mag x2 (HSGI TACO)
SCAR Mag x2 (HSGI TACO)
FNH 5.7
Dump Pouch (WAS)
IFAK (HSGI) NAR Field Dressing
Chest Seal x2
NPA
ARS
Nitrile gloves
Shears
Permanent marker
TCCC Card
Flat Duct Tape
Compressed Gauze x2
Leatherman (WAS pouch)
GP Pouch (Spiritus Systems)
Chem lights (x2 IR, x2 Vis)
Krill Light IR (Not shown)
PRC-152 Batt (Not shown)
Petzl Headlight
MS2000
Spare Batt (AA, AAA, CR123) in container
Gloves (Mechanix)

The setup

Escape & evade

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Fight

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So that is my current first line. The dump pouch is a new addition to my belt and I will see if I like it. My first impression is good, so I’ll let you guys know.

If you guys have any questions, please let me know.

Update on FMB: I have some exiting news! After becoming a contributor to Spotter Up, an amazing community of writers from all backgrounds, I might start working together with a tactical gear company in their T&E program.

In due time I will keep you guys updated!

~FMB

Equipment Series: Intro

2nd lineAfter doing a little poll on IG, I noticed there is interest in what I wear and carry on the job.

Being the people pleaser that I am (I’m really not), I thought I could do a 3-part series about my “3 lines”.

Overview of the series:

  1. Line 1: Clothing and belt-rig.
  2. Line 2: Plate carrier and MAP.
  3. Line 3: Berghaus pack.

In these 3 articles, I will try to outline what I usually carry and why. Note that these items can of course change, depending on the mission, environment and tasks.

For me, equipment is a living being. It changes constantly because of own experiences, but also because of insight from colleagues.

1st line

Lately I am carrying a heavier 1st line and a more streamlined 2nd line, while 12 months ago it was the other way around. What I post here, will be what works for me now.

Most of these items (99%) are personal items that I have bought to better do my job as a JTAC. The equipment we get issued is not up to the task of holding all our radios, magazines and other items.

If you have any questions, remarks or advise, you can always leave a comment here or on my IG.

IG: @firemissionblog

 

~ FMB