Tactical chest rigs are probably the best ways to quickly and easily increase your individual tactical capability. Also, unlike directly attached MOLLE/PALS gear, you can quickly take the rig on and off when you need it.In most combat and emergency situations, a rig will be used by a specialist to carry mission-specific gear. This can include larger medical packs, mines and explosives, technical equipment, as well as a wide range of surveillance gear.Those in the market to buy a good tactical chest rig should look for three aspects that make the difference between a good product for sale and an insufficient one:
If any of the three are unsatisfactory, the whole rig won’t be good for your use. It should not feel like something you are wearing over your plate carrier, but rather as an extension to your existing gear.The biggest issue for most operators will be the balancing. Keeping an ideal balance with your gear will make everything seem lighter and it will be objectively easier to carry around. That becomes an issue with some of the chest rig gear that is often front-heavy.This is why you need to have adjustable straps and comfortable holds that will keep everything in place right where you need it. Without it, there is a chance for you to topple to the front, and even damage the very gear you need.
Focused on Specialized Gear
Although it is completely possible to use chest rigs to attach ammo holsters, shotgun shell holders, and grenade pouches, this is usually something that a well-balanced fire team will have on their plate carrier directly.But, a prolonged military engagement may require for any team to have a surplus of ammo and medical pack, which would require a number of chest rigs.Tactical chest rigs will usually be used for specialized equipment and particular missions. The operators handling the rig will be a dedicated medic, explosives expert, or carry technical equipment needed for the particular mission.In these cases, the operator in question will probably have the rest of their tactical ability diminished, which means that the rest of the team will need to cover their drawbacks and blind spots.The advantage of a chest rig in this situation is two-fold. Primarily, it allows for the specialized operator to take up the rig directly with the pre-attached gear. This removes the need to fasten the MOLLE/PALS straps every time and adds to the flexibility of the team.The capability for the best chest rigs to be made completely custom and to be attached to any vest is why they are used by Navy Seals and the Army. They are a comparatively cheap way to improve body armor with micro adjustments.
Finding Ideal Balance
Because specialized gear can vary so much, each operator will need to find the balance that works best for them. This can be done with the shoulder and side straps and needs to work in lockstep with the plate carrier itself.Ideally, you don’t want to have a lot of padding on the chest rig as the straps will go over the plate carrier. You don’t need to overlap the padding and that can even be detrimental for your balance in some cases.The main straps that need to be adjusted before you start wearing the rig are those in the back. They need to form a tight fit and keep the rig ideally placed on the bottom half of your plate carrier.Next, you will want to take the rig with the equipment on at least once before the mission and slowly adjust the front straps. Much of the specialized gear is not balanced left to right, so it’s not strange that different lengths will be needed for the left and right strap.Finally, adjust the side straps to hold the gear in place when you are running, climbing, or spinning. The torque from the gear can be an issue, so it needs to be as much of a close fit to your center of mass as possible.
Attaching and Detaching Gear
As chest rigs can be rather cumbersome and heavy, it is mandatory that there is an easy way to take them off. If you have used your gear, or it needs to be laid down, you need to have a way to do this quickly.The best way to achieve this is to look for strap-hooks that can be detached in an instant and lets the gear fall.In the end, there are situations where you need to flee the engagement quickly and you don’t want your chest rig to prevent you from maneuvering away from combat or taking tight cover when you need it and at a moment’s notice.