In this current era, few things are truly new. Most of the things we see and use for that matter are innovations and improvements that have been used for so long in the past. The chest rig is certainly one of these items. Chest rigs have been in existence since the beginning of time. Used by soldiers in the battle fields as strapped sheaths for swords and daggers, this mechanism later paved way to satchels which were used for carrying guns and gunpowder. During the first and second World War, these innovative items gained popularity and were commonly used by American, Soviets, Chinese and Vietnamese soldiers to carry magazines, hand grenades and additional ammo.
The advancement of the chest rig has seen major improvements since the first and the second World War. Unlike the former cotton made chest rigs used in the past, today’s rigs come with multiple Molle attachments which allow the user to make additional add-ons depending with the intentions.
Important things to consider when shopping for a chest rig
Especially when you’re new to chest rigs, buying a reliable unit that will withstand rough conditions while offering you maximum comfort can be challenging at times. This is because there are hundreds of models in the market today offering the same function but differing greatly when it comes to the construction, weight and durability. To save you time and money, this section will guide you on important things you need to consider when shopping for comfortable and reliable equipment.
- Pouches: A reliable chest rig must come with well-sized pouches that allow for easy storage of your personal assets as well as offer additional webbed spaces where you can attach extra pouches if needs be. Make sure that the chest rig has at list four open top pouches to make it easier for you to access some of your most important items.
- Weight: One of the most common complaints from people who wear chest rigs is a continuous back ache. In case you didn’t knew, back ache is caused by putting too much weight on your chest rig. For instance, if you’re using the equipment for military purposes, putting too much rifle mags, spare pistols, knives and a variety of extra grenades provides an unbalanced load which strains the lower back.
- Safety and durability: When shopping for a reliable chest rig, always check on the fabric and the zippers. The material should be high quality, tough and strong to offer maximum safety and durability regardless of your activities.
Various components that make up a great chest rig
The topic on chest rigs is broad and learning about them can take a lot of time. It’s important to understand that these units are designed with various features and components which make them unique and capable of serving a particular purpose. In this section, we will narrow down the various components that are common in most chest rigs in the market.
One of the most critical components of a chest rig are the shoulder straps. The straps can easily define between a successful and an unsuccessful mission since they’re responsible for holding the entire weight of the rig. For increased comfortability, the straps are designed in different styles which include;
- X-Straps—these types of straps cross over the back to help hold the chest rig farm. This design was commonly used on chest rigs during World War I and is ideal for light and low visibility units. Chest rigs with this design are highly reliable; however the straps sometimes have a tendency of migrating to the neck area making you uncomfortable especially when wearing body armor.
- H-harness—the H-harness is the most popular and reliable strap design found in most chest rigs today. Unlike the X-straps, this design eliminates the problem of straps moving on the neck area. This design is also used by various manufacturers to attach dehydration system carriers to increase comfortability.
Chest rigs are compatible with both soft and hard body armor. Always make sure that your chest rig has adjustable straps which are capable of being re-adjusted to work well with all body armors. To improve the compatibility between the two, most manufactures have developed simplified options such as easy routing of the chest rig straps to the shoulder straps of the armor carriers to create one piece. Other manufacturers have come up with chest rigs designed with inbuilt pockets to insert hard armor plates for added protection.
Uses and benefits of chest rigs
Simply put, a chest rig is a handy piece of equipment that allows you to carry all your personal tools such as first aid kits, rifle magazines, digital cameras and other essential supplies. These kits are usually mission specific type of gears that help you carry your tools in a fast, efficient and effortless manner. Designed for mission specific purposes, chest rigs come with various uses and benefits which include;
- Breathability: different from body armors and plate carriers, chest rigs are light, cool and breathable making them reliable in hot climates.
- Compatibility: one major reason why chest rigs are so common today is their ability to merge with other tactical gears. Chest rigs can easily route with body armors, rucksacks and backpacks without any problems.
- Mounted (vehicle) operations: unlike body armors or backpacks, one can easily maneuver and access items at the backseat of a vehicle while wearing chest rigs. They allow you to sit at the comfort of your seat and utilize seatbelts and airbags without compromising with the steering wheel.
When it comes to the usage, chest rigs are ideal for a wide range of functions in the military, medical, photography and rescue mission sectors. The reason why they’re used in most fields is due to their light weight features, design and ability to carry a wide range of tools and ammo during a mission. For military use, chest rigs can be worn together with plate carriers to provide additional protection while in a mission. They come with multiple Molle attachments which allow you to attach extra pouches to keep extra ammo, first aid kit and hydration carriers.
There are many other uses and benefits of chest rigs. Although there are many brands of these rigs available in the market today, the ones that come with high quality features and functionality are just a few. It’s therefore paramount to first consider the functionality and durability of a chest rig before making your purchase. With that being said, if you have more questions about this topic I recommend you visit our website about tactical chest rigs. We have written a whole guide plus some recommendations for you.