If you’re looking for a simple, lightweight, low-profile chest rig look no further than the 215 Gear Recon Series Mod Chest Rig with Pockets.
Today we’ll be walking you through the rig, highlighting the features, material and the unique self-adjustment H Harness system that sets this apart from many rigs on the market today.
We’ve also included detailed photos and a video review below where we talk through our thoughts on the rig and how it worked for us.
215 Gear Mod Chest Rig w/ Pockets
In talking with 215 Gear, they’ve explained to us that their typical design philosophy is for a lighter, smarter set up; regardless of the item. We feel this is an accurate description of the features they’ve integrated into their Mod Chest Rig.
A highlight of 215 Gear’s attention to detail is the integration of a tourniquet solution built into their rig. Carrying a primary lifesaving device like a tourniquet is often neglected in chest rig designs and one that we feel is extremely important.
Let’s take a look at the features of this rig in detail and explain their purpose and function.
To focus on the lightweight and low-profile aspects of this rig, let’s first talk about the storage capacity. This rig is NOT purpose built for carrying some ridiculous 13-mag loadout that leaves you immobile and unable to fight properly. It WAS purpose built for a simple recon loadout of three mags and one in your gun.
While built to fit standard 30-round 5.56 magazines and PMAGs, we also tested the fit of AK-47 30-round magazines as well. You don’t get the same retention with AK mags and if you want to use the built-in retention pull tabs you’d have to replace them with longer shock cord. They’re also not as easy to draw and reinsert, but it can be done if needed.
Moving fore of the magazine carrier brings us to two GP pockets with attached pull-tab flaps and two pistol magazine pouches with removable/adjustable flaps and 1.5″ elastic retention. In our testing we ran Glock 19 and Sig P226 pistol magazines without the flaps and didn’t have any issues with retention, even while running.
The two GP pockets are great for miscellaneous items like a multi-tool, cleaning kit, flashlight, QuickClot Combat Gauze or admin supplies. It’s nice to see GP and pistol mags on a chest rig to enable the operator to free up his waist for increased mobility.
Moving port or starboard of the magazine carrier, you’ll find PALS webbing three columns wide that will accommodate MOLLE requiring up to eight rows in height. This is common to the Eagle MLCS pouches and many other three-column wide MOLLE pouches. Dual comms setups can be run using the PALS or even an extra pouch to hold a blowout kit. As every unit isn’t running MBITRs, the PALS provides an advantage for custom communication setups.
Briefly mentioned above, the three on-board magazine pouches feature user adjustable and replaceable shock cord retention, which also means that the retention and pull tabs are removable if desired. The doubled 1″ webbing pull tabs were large and easy to grab even with gloves on.
Large 2″ elastic loops with an integrated smaller loop channel are placed onto the H-harness shoulder straps to help manage comms cables and hydration tubes. These slide easily, so don’t depend on them to stay put in a certain place on the 2″ webbing shoulder straps other than sitting at the bottom. If you have a large and lightweight item secured to these, they could possibly stay put in a place other than at the bottom.
Moving down the rig you’ll see two smaller 1″ elastic loops on each side of the magazine carrier to continue the cable/tube management from the loops on the shoulder straps.
215 Gear’s Tourniquet holder is mounted to a 1″ webbing strip just below the magazine carrier. Although having a tourniquet in this handy location could get in the way when going prone, for the most part we didn’t mind its location at all. The potential to jab into your stomach would also be mitigated if wearing body armor.
Under stress the tourniquet holder is a bit difficult to open through the integrated release mechanism, but can simply be pulled out the side if needed due to the flexibility of the shock cord used in the holder. This doesn’t compromise the security of the tourniquet in the holder and we felt that it properly held the SOFTT-W Tourniquet we were running just fine. It can become lopsided from going prone and dragging on the ground, but we didn’t experience any premature opening or release in retention.
The Mod Chest Rig features a single length of 2″ webbing as the basis for the H-harness design that’s completely detachable from the rig through the use of 2″ tri-glides in the front and 1″ ITW Fastex SRBs (slide release buckles) under each armpit.
Most H-harness type chest rigs utilize 1″ webbing that runs from the shoulder blade under each armpit and typically feature a tri-glide adjustment or an adjustment through the SRBs. Where 215′s design differs is the unique way they’ve attached the 1″ webbing to the tri-glide and the SRB. The webbing is sewn-in on the SRB male buckle and the top bar of the tri-glide, allowing the webbing to flow through the middle bar of the tri-glide when a 4.5″ long webbing pull tab attached to the bottom tri-glide bar is pulled by the wearer.
While seeming complicated to explain, it’s truly a simple and unique design. However, the self-adjustment depends on how good your flexibility is. To adjust each side of the straps you have to cross-grab each strap, meaning that you’re grabbing the right side adjustment with your left hand behind your back.
Out of the two people who put this rig through it’s paces one could adjust it properly by himself and the other didn’t have the flexibility to pull the adjustment tabs. This would also be harder while wearing this rig over an armor carrier. While someone may not have the flexibility to grab this adjustment themselves, it definitely increases the ability of a buddy to come along and simply grab the tab to help adjust the rig.
The 1″ waist strap is completely detachable via 1″ ITW Fastex SRBs with a sew-in adjustment on a right side tri-glide, leaving the left side to manage the slack and overall adjustment.
While unlisted in the product description on 215 Gear’s Website, the material appears to be 500d Cordura. With lighter weight Cordura you’re more prone to wear than the common 1000d Cordura used in most tactical manufacturing, but it’s becoming more common these days to go with 500d and even 330d to trim weight.
Of course if you’re in a unit purchasing lighter weight pouches and rigs you can probably afford to easily replace them if they become damaged. We’ve been running this particular 215 Gear chest rig for about three months now with no wear issues whatsoever. Granted our testing on this rig hasn’t been downrange, but we definitely aren’t on a static range when we’re putting gear like this through its paces.
ITW Nexus Hardware is used throughout the Mod Chest Rig with color-matched single-side printed MultiCam webbing on the particular colorway we reviewed. The rig also comes in Coyote.
Measurements and Weight
Lightweight was definitely achieved with the Mod Chest Rig, weighing just under a pound at 15.7 ounces. The overall dimensions of the rectangular main rig area are 18″ wide by 7.75″ tall. The GP pockets are roughly 3″ wide x 4″ tall x 1″ deep.
There will most likely be plenty of slack leftover after you properly adjust the 2″ webbing shoulder straps and we’d recommend trimming off the excess and not stuffing it in the elastic routing loops just above. As the elastic routing loops move up and down your slack will fall out and could get in the way when drawing your mags.
215 Gear can can purpose build any variation of this rig for any unit and it’s also available in a version called the Mod Chest Rig MOLLE without the GP and pistol mag pouches. It’s nearly identical to the one we reviewed except for featuring PALS webbing over the mag pouches rather than the GP and pistol mag pouches.
The Mod Chest Rig can also be used for PSD work and easily be concealed under a cover shirt, the MOLLE version may be a better fit for that purpose, but the lightweight and lo-pro aspects of this rig are truly beneficial to multiple applications. The Recon Series Mod Chest Rig with Pockets runs $149.99 and $144.99 with MOLLE.
Visit 215Gear.com for more information on the Recon Series Mod Chest Rigs.
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