Users of Spiritus Systems’ Micro Fight Chest Rig enjoy arguably the most flexible and diverse ecosystem of any tactical nylon platform. While simple, its system hub – the Chassis – allows multivalent couplings with OEM and third party enhancements; not only in terms of capability customisation but in capacity expansion, too.
Spiritus’ Micro Fight Expander Wings are part of that capacity agenda, with transformational implications for the Chassis form factor.
The wings allow the Micro Fight to be expanded from a compact micro into a full profile chest rig, simply by extending the Chassis at its flanks.
The wings can also be utilised by most other micro chest rigs, which feature the industry standard velcro backing. Similarly, they can be attached to applicable PCs – under the front flap and secured by the cummerbund.
Strong contenders for the best chest rig-optimised extenders out there, Spiritus’ Expander Wings don’t stop at providing the usual velcro mating surface. They leverage deeper integration in the form of multiple retainer loops.
These are additional load bearing structures which also help keep the wings where they should be, and conformal to the user.
The loops have to be built tough, because aside from their supportive capabilities they undergo the abuse of donning and doffing the rig – given that the harness and back strap ends run through the loops at six points. Because of this, the rig becomes slower and more fiddly to don and doff – but after a bit of practice it becomes second nature.
Working in synergy with the loops, the pouches exhibit a semi-stiffened front face.
The stiffness is achieved by using a double layer of cordura, which I believe sandwiches a thin, flexible core. In any case, it serves to add structure to the face of the pouch, which helps stops it warping and puckering with the user in motion.
The main load bearing structures are, of course, the large velcro surfaces which tuck into the back of the chest rig.
Each wing comes complete with a tethered cord-loc, and webbing loop. These features are located at the pouch mouth.
The product also includes two bungees and pull tabs.
Put them together and you get adjustable bungee retention – although I’m not using this in my current implementation, only carrying a single mag in each wing. Pressure from the harness and back strap keeps the mags in place enough for me.
Here’s how it can work with two mags – which is well within each wing’s capacity.
Yes, there’s some slack, but it makes little difference in use because the rig harness keeps the mags snug and orientated towards the user.
The user is not only limited to mags, of course – an MBITR radio will fit, as will an appropriately sized water bottle. Approximate wing pouch dimensions are along the lines of 6″x 3″x 3″.
And, speaking of liquids, each pouch is equipped with a basal drainage grommet.
4. Is there a the downside?
I’ve stayed away from products like this for the most part. I’m conscious that removing an item from a wing pouch slackens the harness and back strap, with potential for the rig to sag or become loose. A radio doesn’t present this problem, being static, but I don’t carry any gear which remains in the rig at all times.
However, when combined with the Crye Harness Hack, the problem of episodic slack disappears – because the harness’ elastic keeps the rig under constant tension even when a mag, for example, is removed. Getting stuff back into the wing? Well that does take practice.
With that said, I’ve also been using the the wings with Spiritus’ own Fat Strap H-harness and Back Strap. These are, of course, not elasticated like the alternative Crye items. There is actually a sweet spot that can be achieved with each, so that the rig doesn’t feel too slack when a mag is removed from one of the wings – it just doesn’t stay as snug as the elasticated alternative. Equally, if the user is wearing layers, the slackening is less noticeable.
The other thing to consider with this type of pouch is comfort: it’s not as comfortable carrying hard objects facing in towards the user, as it is carrying them facing out. For this reason, external pouches are my preference where there is a choice. That said, internal pouches do become much more comfortable over layers, as opposed to being worn next to a T-shirt.
Clearly, comfort is a personal matter and it applies to the type of pouch, not Spiritus’ implementation specifically.
Spiritus products never fail to impress. I’ve had my hands on most of them, as evidenced in my many reviews. I’m convinced that the amount of thought that goes into every single design more than justifies the hype – and that’s saying something.
Their Micro Fight Expander Wings are no different a proposition – exhibiting Spiritus’ native design expertise and penchant for innovation.
Its the load bearing loop structures that make this product really special. These combine to cut sag and pucker, and generally encourage the Expander Wings to behave – along with the slightly stiffened flat face of the pouch.
While for me personally I don’t find wing type pouches the most comfortable solution, if you’re already a fan or are yet to take the leap, Spiritus’ version is hard to beat.
I bought my Expander Wings from Tactical Kit.