Words and pics: Rich Norman
In summer 2016 I reviewed the original THYRM CellVault.
At the time I didn’t know I needed one. Same story with the XL version. Once you use it, you wonder how you did without.
As a primer here are some storage suggestions from THYRM’s website:
A CellVault XL can store:
• Two 18650 batteries (with CellVault XL divider removed)
• Four AA batteries
• Six CR123 batteries
• Eight AAA batteries
• Small survival gear such as lighters, hooks and line, a light stick, a compass, and lip balm
• First aid gear including hemostatic clotting agents, tweezers, and bandages
• Consumables* such as medication, instant coffee packets, electrolyte powder, candy
• Valuables such as emergency money, a flash drive, and keys
• Cigar/Cigarettes/chewing tobacco
• Sewing kit
In profile, the XL looks like the standard CellVault:
From the front, however, you can see how the form factor has been expanded to offer twice the carrying capacity:
Helpfully, the width of the XL maximises use of one PALS channel and is, of course, still MOLLE compatible – thanks to the clip which runs the entire length of the unit; hinging at the top and secured by a clip at the base. It’s a secure system.
Also situated at the top and the base are lanyard attachment points:
When open, an o-ring is exposed under the lid and I’ve found it’s best to keep this lightly oiled with silicone to aid water resistance. While you can submerge the unit, it’s not mean to been immersed for extended periods.
Upon opening, the internal divider is revealed:
This is a useful feature, but can easily be removed by compressing the long axis of the unit between thumb and forefinger.
The divider comes in ’emergency orange’, which is a really useful colour for keeping tabs on it, if you’re adjusting the unit’s load on the fly.
For me, a small improvement to the system could be achieved by terminating the divider with a small platform. This could then be used to drag the contents out of the unit.
The CellVault XL comes in a number of colours and is composed of a high quality polymer – much like Magpul uses on its stocks – meaning it’s a tough little cookie.
What’s more, it’s designed and manufactured in the USA.