I was really impressed with Shaw Concepts’ The RAID Pouch, to the extent that I had a hard time handing it back. If it had been slick inside, Tactical Kit – who’d loaned it to me – would’ve had to fight me for it.
If an experiment is repeatable it’s science, right? Evidently, there’s no way my DIY experimentation could rise to the level of Shaw’s pouch, but the latter got me interested again in FirstSpear Tubes; and how I could expediently use them to attach ordinary pouches, dangler style, to my Crye AirLite Convertible Chest Rig (as featured in this article) or my AVS.
Let me further manage expectations at this point. This Shaw-inspired hack is a proof of concept, not a 100% practicable solution. If I take the outcome to the next level, I’ll be speaking to my friend Andy from TacBelts UK for a pro build.
I’m using genuine FirstSpear Tubes simply because I happen to have some (salvaged from a Retro Fit Cummerbund). That said, you can use the popular (and easier to source in Europe) ROC equivalent as an alternative.
As regular readers will know, I sometimes run a Crye Horizontal Mag Pouch on my rig. “Sometimes” being the operative word here, because on occasion I remove it which – with the current way I have the pouch attached – is a bit of a ballache.
So I thought, “Why not try and Tubes it?”
I already had 50% of the solution in hand – adding velcro to the rear of my rig as explained in this article. (Not a problem for most modern rigs, as they tend to be velcro backed anyway).
WTF provided the key component – the Multicam loop field seen in the pic below. This isn’t a solid enough contact patch to serve as a robust solution – the force of doffing the Tube with a sharp pull requires more substantial foundations – but it’s enough to help prove the concept.
The male Tube assembly came from the aforementioned FirstSpear Retro Fit Cummerbund, the velcro section of which is too long for my needs here but I work with what I have.
Adding Tubes to MOLLE Pouches
Adding the female part of the Tube to the Crye Horizontal Mag Pouch was lot easier than I anticipated; partly thanks to the configuration of the Tube, and partly thanks to the extremely versatile WTFix PALS straps I used to bind the two components.
Now, part of the versatility of the Shaw-style implementation is that it allows the user to easily swap between pouches. So, as part of the proof of concept I also decided to Tube another suitable candidate: a Crye 6x6x3 GP pouch.
Ideally I’d have utilised the pouch’s existing integral PALS straps, but the free end was too thick to fit through the Tube’s voids. Instead, I used the ever faithful WTF alternative – albeit in a longer length to those used with the horizontal mag pouch converted earlier.
And it all works to my satisfaction.
The key to moving this project forward would be a solidly anchored velcro contact patch on the rear of the rig (as referred to earlier). However, if you’re running a Mayflower or D3CR-series rig – or a Spiritus Chassis – you don’t have to worry about this, as those platforms come complete with hook velcro at the rear. That’s reverse orientation in terms of velcro, compared with what I did here, but the Tube assembly can handle it.
Indeed, if I do choose to proceed I’ll get a hook contact patch made up by TacBelts – which of course is the accepted standard anyway. The Crye AirLite Convertible Chest Rig does come complete with hook sections which can be woven into its rear face, but these are not substantial enough to deal with the forces generated by doffing a Tube.
One thing that is missing, which would improve how the pouches hang, is a stiffener behind the female Tube component. Here’s Shaw Concepts’ excellent RAID Pouch – the catalyst for this whole endeavour, as outlined at the beginning:
Note the band of tan webbing, which helps Shaw’s pouch dangle in a more vertical orientation.
With that being said, access to my Tubes’d pouches is absolutely fine. It’s more for the look.