Words and Pics: Rich Norman
This chest rig was a surprise in more ways than one. For a start, it was free.
After publishing a review of Whiskey Two Four (WTF)’s excellent WTFix PALS straps, the owner of the company – Ryan – contacted me on IG to say he was sending me a Turnkey Chest Rig with a personalised label, as thanks for the write up.
With no strings attached, this was a pretty decent gesture which I’m extremely grateful for – thanks again, Ryan!
Complimentary gear is a tricky ethical issue for an independent reviewer, because I’m not going to promote something that doesn’t inspire me. In fact, I don’t write at all if I’m not inspired; hence why you don’t see a lot of negativity on my blog. It’s not like I’m not a negative person (I really am) but if I don’t like something, I simply cannot be bothered to write about it.
Lazy and negative pretty much sums me up.
I didn’t actually know if I’d write about this chest rig and since I knew I didn’t have to, there was no pressure. It arrived a few months back and I gave it a once over, but it’s only recently I’ve gotten to know it – and that’s the second surprise; it’s a really solid offering.
WTF is all about racey laser cut laminates and the Turnkey is no different: the body of the rig is a fabric called ACRONYM (Advanced Composite Rugged Optimized NYlon Material).
We at The Reptile House approve of this backronym 🙂
Here I’ve accessorised the Turnkey with Spiritus Systems’ SACK, which I reviewed recently:
Straight away, you’re thinking “Ten Speed” and I thought the same when I got the rig out of the Jiffy bag; but there are a number of key differences, while the product continues to leverage the benefits of elasticised mag carriage.
First, notice that the bottom corners of each pocket are open. Potentially, this allows dirt and other crud to egress the rig, not to mention water if you happen to take a dip or it’s pissing down.
The base panel extends from the rig’s body and is, therefore, composed of hard wearing ACRONYM. This area is often where Ten Speed wears thin – from the sharp corners of the mag – so that’s another difference right there.
Lastly, this construction contributes to a third way in which WTF’s elasticised pockets differ from Ten Speed. Whilst continuing to retain contents solidly, it’s easier to insert a mag into the pocket to its fullest extent.
Something else which marks out the Turnkey is its ability to carry five mags. This is pretty much perfect – ergonomically – for me.
I also find that – like a micro rig – the narrower the rig’s body, the more securely it adheres to my chest. The Turnkey is like a limpet in this respect – which is good. The harness also makes it easy to wear the rig high up. It’s also H-pattern, which I prefer to an X-harness.
The harness – and waist strap – are composed of good quality jacquard webbing and all fittings are the benchmark: ITW.
On the reverse of the rig, as indicated by the SACK, is a hook Velcro field. This is the only downside I’ve found:
I’d prefer this to be a lot bigger – in the style of Mayflower/Velocity Systems placards. In that way the Turnkey could also be worn on a PC.
Construction is highly competent throughout and stitching is straight and true. This is a great rig if you just want to simply and easily carry five mags while handing off any other essentials to your belt.