Words and Pics: James (T42J)
So-called ‘ultralight’ carriers have existed as long as special units have had a need for them, and C2R Fast out of Hereford have smashed the ball out of park for even longer still. I’ve owned some of the offerings from the other companies, namely Blue Force Gear’s Plateminus and Crye Precision’s AirLite EK02, but wasn’t particularly impressed with either.
The Plateminus had some clever features – like lasercut slots for TQ straps and the ability to horizontally and vertically mount PALS pouches – and the Crye EK02 with its, at the time, ludicrously light design and bungee plate retention helping to get rid of plate sag. They were both very light, but hideously uncomfortable.
So when, at the Pilgrim Bandit’s charity event myself and most of the @callsign_t42 lads got eyes on a new C2R carrier, questions were definitely asked; most of them left unanswered, unfortunately. Apparently the Light 2 had been brought in en masse by a certain unit. I was sold there and then. I was also broke as hell and dressed in a Newcastle-inspired AVS rig worth more than I was (and still am). The AVS went soon after and the Light 2 – misnomered as the Ultralight 2 by yours truly – found its way to my front door.
However, after using the Light 2 “contract” carrier sized for Jack Ellis plates that fall between size medium and large, I found it just too wide to be comfortable. After sending it in to Nick at C2R to see if he could modify it for an ultra-low-profile medium plate, he said it would be more economical to simply make a new carrier. I used the opportunity to ask if he could fix some of the other niggles I had with the old model: Multicam Velcro instead of solid tan, dedicated triple kydex magazine flap, and the continued ability to accommodate medium zip on panels.
Nick being Nick went above and beyond on all counts:
- Multicam Velcro front and back
- Custom hybrid magazine placard with elastic and kydex active retention (it also has the option to be covered with a laminate flap, and includes loops for bungees)
- Custom zip on assaulter’s panel with 4x 40mm covered pouches on top; medical tearaway panel on the bottom; hydration pouch in the middle
I’m a big fan of the laminate construction and ‘split-plate sock’ design. The laminate holds its shape well under weight and doesn’t deform or stretch, even under the weight of training plates designed to make you hate your life. The split-plate sock design is essentially a foam-backed elastic plate sock with a webbing tension strap at the top and a laminate face for the attachment of pouches – and Velcro for patches etc.
My Light 2 Custom is set up in accordance with ‘ultra-light’ philosophy – everything I might reasonably need and nothing I don’t. If I haven’t had to use it before, then I don’t see a reason to carry it. Having recently been inspired to move towards a medical kit, the carrier works wonderfully with the Mystery Ranch RATS Pack (seemingly the UKSF medical Bergen of choice) and forces me to keep the kit streamlined and light.
C2RFast Light 2 Custom Setup
- Ultra-low profile plates
- C2RFast Hybrid 556 Magazine Placard
- Mil-Spec Tailor Elastic Tourniquet Sleeve
- Crye JPC MBITR has since replaced the BFG MBITR to fit under the left cummerbund
- TRI Thales 148 6-Pin Radio with Thales Short Flexible Antenna
- Invisio V60 Control Box (as currently seen issued to UKSF, programmable for up to 4 radios)
- Invisio V60 External Power bank for extended use if needed
- Invisio X5 In-Ear Headset (superior to chunky Peltors in every way)
- Warrior Assault Systems QD Single Point Bungee Sling (my usual Padded BFG VCAS has been away with my L119A2 replica on a lengthy hiatus)
- C2RFast Assaulter Zip On Panel with Medical Tearaway Pouch
Small changes will undoubtedly follow, like padded shoulder covers to help with cable management. Overall I’m extremely happy with the work Nick has done.
Thanks to the @justthisthingofours team for putting on the Level 1 and 2 workshops; the T42 lads for bullying me to get a lighter carrier; Nick @C2RFast for putting up with me, his cracking turnaround time and for his quality workmanship. Lastly, thanks to @shvtt.er for his photography skills.
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