Every modern mission needs a lot more tools than just arms and armor. To extend the combat capability of every individual soldier we need to have gear that will support the attack, defense, assistance, and surveillance. And for that, we need load carriage rigs that will hold that gear.Currently, there are three types of rigs that are used with modular armor:
Clavicle and shoulder rigs
Chest and frontal rigs
Additionally, there are options to attach your gear to other parts of your armor like the thighs or cummerbunds. But, because these parts can’t be as balanced as your belt you will want to keep the heaviest and most important gear on the aforementioned three.Also, you will want to balance between the equipment you are keeping on your shoulders with that on your belt. Ideally, your center of mass should stay in the exact position as it is without any gear attached. This isn’t always possible, but it should be approximate.Finally, it is important to keep your load carriage rigs and platforms modular. While there are good traditional load-bearing vests out there, they are not as compatible with modern battlefields and missions and may force more weight on you than it is necessary for the mission.
Importance of Load Carriage Rigs
Gear rigs have everything to do with how humans move and how we spend energy while moving. This isn’t something a regular person may think about every day, but in a combat situation, the speed and endurance of the army are extremely important.Even with heavy loads, you will try to keep balance automatically. With that, some of your muscles will work harder than others and become a weak link inside a march or maneuver. That increases your fatigue and lowers your military combat ability.With a good rig, you can both balance the weight of your gear around your body and push most of the weight on your strongest muscles.Simply, carrying 200lbs on your legs is called walking while the same weight on your arms is heavy-lifting. With a well-balanced gear setup, you can even run with 100lbs on your person, which is impossible otherwise.
Clavicle Carriers and Load Vests
These types are very common but have changed significantly with the introduction of modular and custom equipment. Unlike before, you will not be wearing a full vest with predetermined holsters but rather a set of MOLLE/PALS loops that can accommodate different additions.Also, new vests are made to work in tandem with battle belts and body armor and to create a seamless transition for both weight and balancing. Because your vest can support your battle belt you can push more weight downwards and still have your shoulders carry any excess.The most important issue with modern load vests is that they are comfortable and ventilated. With proper padding, you can attach much of your gear without any issues and no long-term medical problems.
Battle belts are now one of the key components when it comes to mission layouts. If you need to optimize on a budget this is exactly where your priority should be, as a good belt can make a difference between mission injuries and success.Primarily, you need to have support on your lower back and for the belt to fix in place the spaces on the back where we don’t have a lot of muscle. This will prevent any spinal injury when you are encumbered.Most of the advantages become apparent in a marching and maneuvering situation as most of the weight will be on the legs and thighs, allowing you to traverse longer distances.Also, unlike backpacks you will have much of your equipment by your side and accessible in an instant. Such benefits become critical when there is a need for swift action, such as with first responders or in an ambush.Faster missions that focus on mobility can utilize somewhat narrower belts. But, even these need to be correctly attached to the plate carrier and shoulder straps if you want to keep all of your ammo holsters and med-kits.
Strive for Balance
Balance is the most important thing when you want to carry weight easily. Your whole body can lift up a ton, but singular muscles can’t. Always make sure to measure everything and keep balance in mind when attaching modules.This way you won’t need to sacrifice a lot of mobility for just a bit more load.