Agilite Bridge – First impression

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No matter how good your helmet is fitted or which suspension system it has, wearing NVG’s makes it imbalanced.

That was very clear to me when I was going down a rocky hill, wearing full kit and a heavy bergen, using NVG’s on my old MICH helmet. The front of the helmet kept shifting down over my eyes. At that moment I decided I needed a counterweight.

My first counterweight was the Flimmuur copy of the TNVC Mohawk. The reason why I bought the copy is because TNVC doesn’t ship outside the US. (Yeah I know Tim from Heresy Group, it’s a copy!) It’s a good design that I really like, the only thing that gives me doubts is that I check from time to time if it’s still attached. Reason for this is that the top part is attached by only a small part of velcro.

A couple of weeks ago, I received the Agilite Bridge for testing. This isn’t my first Agilite product and will definitely won’t be my last! The first time I saw the Bridge was on Shinobi’s IG (@shinobi275), you know,the guy with all the silk kit?

Overview

The Bridge has a rear “pod” that accommodates most battery packs (from what I hear, because we only have the PVS-14) and counterweights. The battery pack or counterweight is protected by a piece of polymer. At first I was sceptical about this part, but in my opinion it’s a good way to protect the battery pack without adding to much bulk or weight.

The “pod” is more than just a way to carry a battery pack or counterweight. On the left and right it has several elastic loops that can hold batteries (AA and CR123) or other small items.

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On the bottom, it has loops where you can store your PTT cables from your Liberator or Peltor headset.

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On the back, there is a loop panel to attach IFF/IR patches. Rest assure, there is enough velcro on the Bridge to hold all the patches or accessories in the world.

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Following the “vertical strip” towards the top of the helmet, you can see that Agilite added a bungee system to attach IR strobes, cameras or manage your comm cables.

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On the end of the vertical strip, you have a horizontal one that attaches with velcro to the velcro patches on your Opscore. This part comes in two different sizes, for different sizes of helmets. It’s also elastic.

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Conclusion

Overall, the Bridge is a solid built, function packed counterweight pouch. You can tell that Agilite has done its research before designing it.

This is only the first overview and impression. Now the Bridge will be used during upcoming trainings and I will update you guys on how it holds up! You can’t test tactical gear in a week or two!

The Bridge can be bought here.

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Disclaimer: I received this product from Agilite Tactical for testing. I am in no way bound or paid to write a positive review.

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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.