Streamline Your SOFTT-W Tourniquet with this DIY Flat Fold Method - ITS Tactical

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Streamline Your SOFTT-W Tourniquet with this DIY Flat Fold Method

By Bryan Black


I’ve always appreciated the quality and craftsmanship that goes into each SOFTT-W Tourniquet and feel they’re the best on the market. That being said, their bulkiness right out of the package has always bugged me. As an aside, if you’re storing your tourniquets in the package; DON’T! In the critical situation where you’d need a tourniquet, you don’t want to mess around with having to open a plastic wrapper.

After plenty of practice refolding the SOFTT-W over and over again, I feel that I’ve come up with a good repeatable method for folding that I’d like to share with you. The benefits to this technique, which I’m dubbing “flat fold,” are that it reduces the overall profile of the SOFTT-W from 2″ to 1″ while still maintaining the same 5″ overall length. The length of the SOFTT-W is longest at the windlass, which is where the 5″ measurement comes from.

SOFTT-W Tourniquet Flat Fold

We’ve created a video below where I show how to fold the TQ below and we’ve also added detailed photos showing each step. The only other addition I’d like to make is to mention that the flat fold method shown here uses a 7″ tail, or bitter end when folding. There’s certainly not a right way or a wrong way to do this, but this is just the best method I’ve found for making the SOFTT-W as compact as possible.

Final Notes

A few additional points to mention with the flat fold method are that the TQ is now more streamlined to help it from getting caught on things. It’s especially beneficial if you’re wearing a TQ on the shoulder strap of your plate carrier or affixing it to the side of a MOLLE Pouch, like our ETA Trauma Kit Pouch. The flat fold is also perfect for storage in our EDC Slimline Pouch to always have a TQ available on your belt.

Hopefully the photos and the video together make it easy to understand the folding method, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave them below in the comments.


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  • brendenvalks

    I know that you promote and sell your own line of emergency medical kits. I have a question about pre-made kits I was hoping you would be willing to answer for me Bryan. 
    So many people out there say you should not buy pre made emergency kits because they don’t have the appropriate gear, or it’s low grade, or they just don’t have that personal touch. I was wondering what your thoughts were?

    Love the site and all you do!

    • panch0villa

      brendenvalks  I would say the ITS kit is a legit starter.  But your kit has to be customized for you and each person as well. For example, each member of my family has one.  My youngest daughter has a Disney altoids tin (wife and I deco’d) and Disney bandages and bandaids as well as hard candy chocolate and a small figurine.  Thats what she needs to survive because she will be with me or my wife.  

      I think that is why so many people say not to get pre made kits.  Like I said this is a great starter kit just add what you may specifically need and call it a day.  i am sure Bryan will get back to you.  Just wanted to share my two cents.

    • brendenvalks

      panch0villa brendenvalks  Thanks for your great 2 cents! That makes perfect sense. I am slowly getting things like a good emergency kit together so I am trying to be thorough and do my homework. It’s also a little tough to decide when your from Manitoba Canada where it’s colder then the surface of Mars for a good portion of the year.
      It’s hard to stuff a wool hat and gloves in a small case!

  • kmedic6351

    Personally I never buy pre made kits. Its not so much that the gear is low grade but just do nest include the right gear and as often is the case carry huge markups. This may not be the case with ITS but I still would rather create my own kit. For my case I carry a quick clot, SOFTT tourniquet, a few small things of super glue, gloves, forceps, compression bandage, lighter, fishing hook that is modified, emergency blanket and a CPR mask. If I need to do a field stitch I will pull out a single stitch I put into my para cord bracelet and use that as a stitch but only if it is really needed. Determine what your needs are as best you can based on your area (type of conditions you can come across, weather, etc..) and compare to kits that are already out there. 
    Thats just my 2 cents based off of being a former paramedic that deployed to Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Hope that helps some.

  • panch0villa

    Thanks so much for this folding set up.  Now if I could figure out how to roll this Marine rolls on my cammies.  Just kidding, I’m not that boot!

    Why do I carry a tourniquet on my EDC?  Well I had to have the north half of my heart and entire ascending aorta replaced by the VA after being wounded in the Marine Corps.  I am on Warfarin and if I get a major cut I will more than likely need a tourniquet just to get to BAS (ER for everyone else).  This T is the business and my family and I feel better having it around.

    Not too worried about being shot but I can see a vehicle accident or major fall derailing me.  What most people would be able to put pressure on and call it a day I get to spend a few days in the hospital.  This along with NasalCease (hemo plugs, marketed for your nose but they work on any puncture) and quick clot or CELOX bring a lot of confidence to my adventures.

    • SoLongSidekick

      panch0villa Holy jesus dude, what happened if you don’t mind me asking? 

      I had no idea parts of the heart could even be replaced, how in the world do they replace a muscle that beats thousands of times a day? Same for an artery that pumps so much blood you can bleed out from a simple cut to it? Crazy.


    Great idea, I’ll be using it to “thin the herd” on my ITS kit this weekend….thanks Bryan!

  • MykeHotel

    Hey B what brand is that shirt you have on? Thanks- MykeHotel

  • panch0villa

    Did this today and added a web dominator upgrade.  Instructions can be found for CrewLeaders under:

  • panch0villa

    Shinotama  Cant see why not, the folding should be pretty close.

  • Loko

    Great article/video. Still can’t fit this big guy into the TQ pouch I bought but now it looks better and fits better strapped to my chest rig. Thanks.

    • SoLongSidekick


    • SoLongSidekick

      @Loko Stupid comment editing rules. How am I not allowed to edit a comment that you automatically entered before I had a chance to actually type anything? Anyways… I ordered Mil-Spec Monkey’s Shear Pouch Plus which has a shear holster with two loops of velcro on the front of it for holding a TQ. It was a serious bitch to get the SOFTT-W in there (never tried it folded the original way, but can’t imagine that would be any easier) but that just means better retention. It was brand new so I imagine after the TQ has been in there for a while it should get a bit easier. Might be something to look into if you’re still after a solid retention method.

  • Drew

    Holy crap. You just took eight minutes to show how to fold a strap. I scrolled through and looked at about four thumbnails to get the gist of it. Talk to a high school video editing teacher, internet users gots shit to do.

  • checkerboard

    Does anybody have a good method of folding the SOFTT TQ, the one with the screw down buckle?

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