Words and Pics: Rich Norman
The HSP D3CRM – or Haley Strategic Partners Disruptive Environments Chest Rig Micro – is the little brother of HSP’s D3CRX which I reviewed here.
Since its release, the D3CRM has only been available direct from HSP.
Now, however, it will soon be shipping from Tactical Kit, where my review sample is from.
Huge, huge thanks to them for this U.K. exclusive!
The D3CRM allows a number of magazine formats to be carried; a feature made possible by a choice of removable inserts, which are sold separately: sub-gun, 7.62, and 5.56 (the latter of which was included with my sample).
The 7.62 and 5.56 inserts utilise HSP’s excellent MP2 retainers – which I fully reviewed, here.
Alternatively, the sub-gun insert is described by HSP as follows:
The Quad SMG/PCC (Sub Machine Gun/Pistol Caliber Carbine) insert is our Multi-Mission pouch on steroids. This unique insert allows any size mag to be inserted from a smaller MP5 style magazine up to a larger SIG MPX style magazine.
HSP’s Multi-Mission pouch (MMP), which is referred to above, will be well known to owners of the D3CRX. While the MMP’s sides are elasticated, its outer face is rigid. This means that – unlike a fully elasticated solution such as Blue Force Gear’s Ten Speed pouches or Spiritus’ Chassis inserts – it’s a breeze to reindex one handed.
Back to the 5.56 insert I was sent and it’s based around the MP2; which is one of the very best mag retention systems I have used. In fact, it could be the only reason you need to select the D3CRM over all other options.
I find MP2s more usable than Kydex, because although they work on a similar principle they deliver just the right amount of retention for me.
Each MP2 is held firmly in place within the insert by elastic. I prefer this method to that of Ferro’s Kwik Triple Shingle (reviewed here) for instance, which also uses MP2s.
Secured into the chest rig by Velcro, the 5.56 insert which contains the MP2s lives in the rear compartment of the D3CRM and is height adjustable:
Unlike a similar micro chest rig such as the Spiritus Chassis, the D3CRM doesn’t lend options with its front compartment. Whereas the Chassis can be configured as a utility pouch, or to carry an additional three 5.56 mags – or something in between – the D3CRM’s equivalent is an unambiguous utility pouch; and a clamshell-opening one at that.
Using chunky dual zips and knotted paracord, it’s relatively soundless upon opening.
I’ve purposely not filled it with crap, so readers can appraise it bare. The Sharpie is for scale and just about fits in the utility pouch in this vertical orientation.
The compartment is approximately 1.5″ deep and is equipped with loop Velcro on the internal front face, with elastic retainers on the internal rear face.
It’s flanked on each side by a Multi-Mission Pouch (MMP). This style of MMP is meant for pistol mags, torches or multi-tools – if you use those things. If not, the MMPs can be largely forgotten since they collapse when not in use.
Here I’m using an MMP to carry a DMM Tactical Carabiner:
It’s also worth noting that like the rest of the D3CRM, the pull tabs on the MMP bungees are very good quality; texturized and rubberized.
At the base of the D3CRM, both front and rear compartments are perforated for drainage:
The reverse of the D3CRM features hook Velcro in the Mayflower placard style. This can be used to secure the rig (as a placard) to a compatible PC. A dangler type pouch can also be hung from the Velcro, if additional utility is required (in either chest rig or placard modes).
Under normal circumstances the full-width Velcro is covered by a flap.
Onto the X-harness and this is fully removable – side clips included.
Adjusting the X-harness is really easy when it is in situ; and the D3CRM works well riding high or low – which can’t be said of all chest rigs.
The X-harness offers enough slack for the user to wear the chest rig over a slick carrier if desired; or, it cinches right down on the small framed amongst us. Again, not always a given.
The front of the X-harness features webbing columns for cable management etc.
The rear of the X-harness is canalised, meaning that strap twisting is minimised when donning the chest rig. It doesn’t completely prevent this, but that’s the opportunity cost of going with this kind of harness as opposed to H-pattern.
As I find usual with X-harnesses, they are best worn with a stand-up collar to prevent chafing. The D3CRM is no different in this respect.
Judging the D3CRM simply from promotional pics was (for me) deceiving.
I get that it’s an art director’s job to dress pics to make them interesting – and HSP’s images are well done in that regard; but you can end up with the impression that a product billed as minimalist is overly busy.
Hands on with the D3CRM is pleasingly different to what I expected. Playing around with it dispelled a lot of my assumptions – and in a good way.