Lovely, Lovely Storage

Something from G-Code Holsters that satisfies my OCD immensely – the contact chest rig system bag.

First thing I’ll say is I don’t think the contact chest rig gets anywhere near the attention it should given how goo-goo people get over the Spiritus, but then if there’s one thing we know there’s *definitely* no element of sheep-think or this-month’s-flavour in the tac gear world.

No automatic alt text available.

The idea of this bag course is to house the G-Code contact chest rig when loaded up with pouches and mags etc. It’s sized just right for that purpose. Could you just wrap the thing in a cheap supermarket bag? Sure, it’d keep the mud and grit out of your mags if you stash the rig in the car boot or whatever, no drama. But if you do happen to want a more durable storage or transport option then this bag will serve you well.

Where I realised these bags would fit my desires (“needs” would be a stretch) perfectly is storing placards. I’ve got 3 different plate carriers that are either built or adapted to accept the standardised(ish) size of modular front panel using a pair of 1″ side release buckles and hook+loop. Of course if you have that system it’s pretty pointless to only have 1 placard, so where do you store those spares in a neat and easily accessible manner? Using colour matched bags made from cordura in the expected military gear style fashion. How else you silly sausage?

No automatic alt text available.

With the contact rig being sized for 3 x 30 round 556 mags, the complementing storage bag works out to be just the right size for the most common type of placard, which will be 6 columns x 5 rows of PALS to accommodate 3 commonly available magazine pouches. There’s enough depth in each bag to store at least 3 placards with stiffened pouches like TACOs, but if you use all-fabric pouches or even something super slim like BFG TenSpeeds you could easily fit in at least 6.

Not a terribly complex item as you can imagine. Loop field for whatever you like on the front, coil zips with paracord sheath pulls, built inside-out with ribboned seams and very nicely constructed handle up top comprising 2″ webbing that’s been folded in and sewn in to a more comfortable carry shape. Doesn’t open symmetrically as you’ll note, which means you have a flap or lid of sorts which is pretty nice for accessing the contents. Only thing I’m not a fan of is the field of hook that runs along across the top of the bag on the inside; exposed hook likes to eat other gear and it’s really stitched in to the construction of the bag so no unpicking it. But some cheap loop to cover that won’t exactly bankrupt you.

Whenever I pick up another PC or Chest rig that takes placards in a different colour I’ll honestly be looking forward most to adding another one of these bags on to the top shelf there. Something which is easily done to compliment whatever kit you use because they offer a very wide range of solids and camo patterns when you buy one of these.

Hopefully some of you will find the aesthetic of this 3rd image as deeply satisfying as I do.

Image may contain: shoes and indoor

Though You Still Can’t Beat Surplus Prices

I was a bit torn making this video, because I felt I was almost betraying my gear whore principals in a way, but on the other hand I don’t think I’ve ever pretended that buying the super high end kit turns you in to the SF equivalent of Superman either.

Most likely I’m going to bring up the SKD Tactical ‘Enhanced Combat BDU Shirt’ a few more times in the near future because I’ve got a couple of other field cut shirts in original MC that I’m planning on going over and none of them get close to beating the SKD in terms of value. Do they (higher end shirts) look and feel more premium in general, handy little features in the pockets, more pockets maybe, more time and effort put in to cutting the fabric and stitching it all together? Yeah, no doubt. I’ll continue talking about that sort of gear just because I want to put out the information, as I always have, such that if you do want to spend the money you can at least get a bit more detail than a website product description before you invest so much. Plus of course I just enjoy collecting that sort of product and I can only publish info on the products I have.

All that said, for a shirt to cover your torso and camouflage you, carry a few items in pockets, protect you from the sun and certain abrasive things better than a t-shirt will; well I’d be dishonest frankly if I tried to claim that anything from Patagonia, Crye, Arc or Beyond did anything magical that this SKD shirt doesn’t, it can even take elbow pads. At the basic level of things that matter like durability, wearer’s comfort and practicality in usage, the difference between the really gucci brands and this shirt is quite little.


#MoraleMondays from

No automatic alt text available.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I have to say I hit the Visa HARD over the weekend, however there’s no regrets because I keep a list of everything I ‘need’ to complete a project/loadout/whatever and I never stray far from that. I’ve not been spending out much the past 4-6 months so when the sales do hit I can make my money work hard for me; a strategy I highly recommend. At this point I know the retailers and brands I like, I know which ones will be good and reliable and I know what’s a genuine good deal when I see one. Also we all know when these sales are coming, they’re like clockwork, so save for them in advance and make every £/$ stretch as far as possible. You very rarely need to pay full price for anything.

Tactical DistributorsSKD Tactical and O P Tactical Gear Store had great sales on of course and they’re usually my go-tos, but I went slightly off the beaten path this time around, since I’m pretty well setup in terms of the more widely available commercial pouches, apparel etc. As it happens I managed to track down a couple of bits of very nice gear that filled gaps in my collection right here in Europe and the pricing was in line (or better) that what I was seeing in the US with all factors taken in to account, which made a real change.

In the end I opted for a few bits from Edgar Brothers/Edgar Brothers ShopFRV TailoringPolenar TacticalGrey Ghost and 2 other related brands that are going on my RIFs which I won’t mention just now. Plus of course one or two things from classifieds and used gear groups, as per usual. My goal is always to keep things cycling through, new designs, better quality items, interesting camo patterns, good things to review and make my rigs and RIFs lighter, more ergonomic, more comfortable, faster and easier to manipulate in whichever way is applicable.

Also I absolutely froth over a real bargain, even if it’s not mine, so if you got anything real cool or gucci at a sweet price point the past 4 days l want to hear about it.

And if you haven’t yet, hit the blue shop button to take a quick look at my little patch store. Might just see something you like.

Buy My Gear!

I’ve had a few requests for a full listing of all the gear I’ve personally got for sale, so after literally years of procrastination I’ve spent most of the weekend taking pictures of basically everything I’ve got that I’d like to move on and uploaded them all. I’ve had the link in the pinned post for a while but who ever reads pinned posts? Check it:

I’ve eaten more than a few cakes and occasionally lifted a weight over the past couple of years, so if you wear a Small in shirts oh boy do I have some deals for you in particular. There’s all sorts of accessories, pouches and plenty of clothing as you’d expect. As you’ll also note the variety is about as wide as you’re ever likely to find, which is just a result of trying to cover as many brands and items from around the world on the website, here and on the channel. Also the fact I’ve been putting off uploading these images for many years now means there’s a huge spectrum of brands and price levels. I’ve got some ‘big ticket’ items (more of which will be added in the next few months so be sure to bookmark if you like Crye) ranging all the way down to the middling and economical budget.

As I’ve mentioned before, my storage space is really beyond its’ limits and I need to open it up to get more gear in to feature, use and review. It’s all getting posted on forums, groups and ebay over time but I thought you lot should at least get first chance if you fancied it. Given how much room I need to create here I’m not at all adverse to letting things go pretty cheaply, so just get in touch any way you’d like and we’ll sort out some deals. If you know anyone else after some pretty decent kit then share or let them know too. The quicker I make room the quicker I can bring in new product and I’m confident you’ll all really enjoy the line up of posts that are incoming over the next few months and years. If you’ve seen the big mail call posts that have gone up in the last ~12 months you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I’ll not post about this again for the next couple of months at least because I don’t want to bombard your feeds with sales, but I hope you don’t mind the very occasional entry here in order to help me out bringing in the content you hopefully will enjoy.

Tactical Food Chain

Ever wondered where you fall in the natural pecking order of tactical stuff on the internet? Well wonder no more, the REmf TAc Research and Devlopment sub-division is working around the clock to produce answers for all your burning questions.

Top is best of course and you work down from there.

Image may contain: text

Clear Giveaway

(Copied from facebook)

Good news, I secured the go-ahead from PLATATAC to do my first ever gear giveaway of this style. I’ve got a set here of the Tac Dax Special Projects Mk3 trousers in NWUII (pretty much AOR1) sized Medium/Regular (around a 33-34″ waist) that I reviewed a little while ago:

Image may contain: people standing, outdoor and nature

No automatic alt text available.

My biggest issue these days is definitely storage, so if I can give something back to you good folks, publicise the name of a brand I know makes really good quality kit and make a bit more room for more gear to come in here for posting about; well that seems like a win-win-win.

To enter 1. You need to have liked this page of course 2. Drop Platatac a like either here or on IG, which honestly I would recommend anyway because they make cool stuff; I’m not going to be checking on these because there’s not really a reasonable way to do so, so there’s an integrity test for you 3. React to this post and comment when you’ve done so. Throw in some pics of your other gear you’d rock these with as well if you like, just for the craic.

A share here on facebook or a like/comment on youtube would certainly help your case and help me out but the reality is, far as I can tell, unless you have your facebook settings fairly open Pages cannot see who has shared their posts. On the rare occasion I see shares here I’m very seldom able see who’s clicked the button and to require a share for the competition would be disingenuous (despite the fact plenty of big retailers pretend this isn’t the case).

This will run for a week (winner announced Saturday 2nd Dec) and is open to anyone, even if you’ve won stuff from me before because I’ve not given away actual gear like this previously. If you’d like to read the manufacturer’s product description or buy some yourself in a different colour here’s the link:

Salomon Blues

You want controversy and really hard hitting stuff? It doesn’t get much harder hitting than this my friends, because let me tell you.. I am not particularly a big fan of Salomon (regular or forces). You might go so far as to say, I don’t like the brand.

I know lots of people think they’re great and people can get really protective of brands in this general arena, so don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here as an attempt to somehow disqualify every good experience anyone else ever had in a Salomon boot; that isn’t how I roll. However my XA Pro 3D mids have come up in my image posting queue so this felt like a good point to run through my history with this footwear.


Purchases starting around 2012, through until now:

1. A pair of non-forces trail runners that I actually picked up in a Millets if memory serves. Wore them just strolling around camp for a few days when a long stitch line along the side just totally failed creating a 3″ wide tear in the outer shell of the shoe. Resigned the pair to ‘dirty jobs’ and moved on.
2. Eskape Peak – one of the arch shaped metal eyelets right at the top of the right shoe (by the ankle) simply ripped right out one day when tightening the laces, this was after maybe a month or so of just general walking around at home and on base. I contacted Salomon UK, who’s customer service response consisted (eventually) of “we’ll send you a 20% discount on a new pair”. Then to top the shit cake with an extra turd, they never actually bothered doing so.
3. Eskape Aero – Another pair of fairly simple trail runners at the lower end of the Salomon price range that haven’t failed me in any way, been my most comfortable pair of trainers for about 4 years now. They’re the most horrendously unfashionable dad-shoes I own, but when I’m going to be on my feet a really long time I reach for them.
4. Forces XA Pro 3D Mid (as pictured) from LEAFGEAR, really great customer service from them – I took the Mids with me on a contractually obliged sunny summer get-away and alternated them each day for a couple of months with the issued Haix suede/desert boots. The Mids were wonderfully light and comfortable for sitting around and the quick lacing made them far superior for the multiple times per day I’d be changing clothes. Unfortunately the soles were the most pathetic I’ve ever encountered, even with no weight on my back I could feel the concrete floor through them, just no comfort under foot. With belt line, Glock 17 + spare mag, Osprey Mk4 with full armour compliment of armour, 4 x EMAGs, pouches with med kit and other ancillary/admin items, Mk7 helmet and backpack with food, hydro and spare clothes… not a bloody chance, the material of the in and mid soles absolutely caved in. I opted for the Haix and that’s not a thing I thought I’d ever have to type. I’ve kept these for using indoor at airsoft games, but that’s all. I don’t trust them for work.
5. Forces XA Pro 3D Mid, GTX – I had some credit with a certain ebay store and they had the gore-tex lined Mids in my size, but an older variant that feels slightly more solid. Worn for a day’s indoor skirmishing so far where they did fine so I’ve not resigned them yet, but a day running around with minimal weight on smooth surfaces isn’t exactly a thorough test. They will be tried out again on some hills and in less pleasant weather.
6. Forces XA Pro 3D (lows tops) – I wanted a super tacticool shoe that would allow me to really blend in a SHOT Show, what better? Probably literally anything else as it turned out. It may be all indoors but the expo centre is gigantic, on my feet from 9-5 covering at least a few miles each day; yet still on flat carpet so how hard could the going be? Well I certainly got the right size and as always I used all the proper foot care knowledge I’ve accumulated and practiced over the years, but at the end of day 2 the skin was just straight missing from the outside of both my little toes. Not an issue I’ve ever had with any other pair of boots or shoes I’ve ever worn in my life.

“But you haven’t tried the Quest 4Ds! The 4Ds!” you say and you are not wrong there. Many people have them, I know for a fact a few people reading this have them, my brother owns a pair and liked them so much he wore them out after very regularly using them for about 3 years. But 4 pretty bloody bad experiences out of 6 products purchased isn’t just my limit, it’s well beyond it. I kept going thinking “but so many people love them, surely I’ve just been really unlucky” but I was betting endlessly on red in vain hope and black just seemed to keep coming in.

If you’ve got Salomons and you like them, that is awesome, they do have some good ideas and designs. But I’m done buying them.

Daylight(weight) Robbery

Just noticed SKD Tactical have their very awesome FirstSpear OEM’d STT on sale today only. In flat colours, once you add it to the cart, you can pick one up for $159.20 before shipping.

Particularly for you guys in the US who haven’t experienced the Tubes magic yet… well I’m not seeing any better opportunity to get in on the action. You can easily spend the region of $150 on carriers from lesser manufacturers that weigh more with lower quality stitching, not to mention far older design and technology built in.

I’ve never so much as exchanged a message with anyone who works at SKD but I’ve shopped there at least a dozen or more times. I’ve recommended them before in terms of customer service and that recommendation still stands based on my last order placed a couple of months ago. They stock a lot of nylon stuff that I personally think really stands out.

RAW Part 2

Now the winter’s here I can finally put on my MilSpecMonkey Hoodie the way I like and talk about it.

If you’ve been subscribed to the channel over there a fair while you may remember the previous video I did on this jacket, I liked it then, but this newer example is definitely softer to the touch and more comfortable all around.

If you find camo and tactical colourways interesting make sure to check the description for the articles MSM have published going in to great detail on the minutiae of choosing the shade they finally went with. There’s a lot of very interesting pictures in there. Before reading those pieces I myself thought Wolf Grey absolutely made sense as the solid colour to go for in an urban environment, but I think the Monkey has done a really good job debunking that concept in reality.

Will we see more apparel and cordura load gear like rigs and pouches in this colour? Maybe, but given the logistical issues for a company of investing tens of thousands in getting thousand yard rolls of fabric printed (be it NYCO or 500D) and then standardising other components, adding it all to the production line for various offerings and then convincing other brands to get on board so people can build the loadouts they want… it’s a slow conversion process.

As I mention, RAL 7013 uniforms are already out there from UF PRO and Clawgear and RAL is not too far off this shade from MSM, but I’ve not seen any loading bearing kit to match yet. Ranger Green rigs and pouches from Crye or FirstSpear probably come closest but that cordura can most definitely vary in shade depending on when it was manufactured. The old Foliage Green cordura some companies made 5-6+ years ago may have been closer but that is long gone from most inventories.

If the right people see this stuff and appreciate its’ value I reckon we could well see an expansion in these ‘muddy’ middle-ground colours. Hard to say which shade it would replace exactly since they sit very much in between RG and Wolf (with a bit of Coyote in there) but do keep your eyes peeled and we’ll see what unfolds.

What Happened With Arktis?

In a move I always greatly welcome from any company that makes gear, Giena Tactics contacted me earlier today asking for details on what specifically was wrong with the kit I posted yesterday. Obviously I gave them a few other details and other feedback and they’ve got my e-mail now, so we’ll see what happens there.

Turns out they’ve already got a combat cut lower garment in the works which actually includes the stretch panels, which would be a good move I reckon. They’ve built a pretty solid foundation of products already, it wouldn’t take more than a couple of tweaks to improve their offerings substantially and bring them in to line with what I’d call pretty bloody solid.

As I’ve mentioned before, I did go through this with Arktis in 2016 and earlier this year. I offered them literally no end of assistance, experience and ways they could drastically improve their combat cut trouser with only a few minor tweaks and did they listen to any of it? Nope. A change of quite literally about 3mm in the opening to the knee pad pocket would’ve fixed their pad fitment issue and then I’d be pretty happy to recommend their Ranger Trouser to you all, especially given the huge range of patterns they offer. I gave them dimensions, photographed measurements, offered to lend them my own Crye gear to get things right; and they either ignored it all or refused to accept they had issues in their pattern. At one point they claimed “oh the trousers you have are from a really early batch, we’ve checked some new ones in the warehouse and it’s all fine now” then a few weeks later I see posts from other people who’ve just purchased their stuff and are having the EXACT same problems. Excruciating.

As for blatant copies of Crye’s design.. tricky one. At this point I honestly think it’s sort of crossed in to that area where the horse has thoroughly bolted and it’s just a common design that everyone’s making. Every type of gear we know and love came from one company at one time but it comes to a point you sort of have to accept it’s just out there to my mind. Adjustable mag pouches with bungee lacing, certain styles of chest rig, features on plate carriers, the combat shirt (another thing Crye started and now everyone’s doing it and that’s just accepted everywhere), the list goes on.

Anyway, I enjoy being transparent and not letting any manufacturer get away with putting out gear that’s got significant problems, especially if they can be easily solved. I feel there’s a real lack of both transparency and integrity in a lot of social media for the sake of money and free shit. Hopefully you lot like this kind of thing, but let me know either way.