The old gen of Chesty rig wide from Ferro Concepts. Rich over at The Reptile House Blog recommended these to me many years ago so I picked one up in multicam first to add some extra PALS capacity either side of my Spiritus chassis and it was a great call. I won’t do a full write up on these because TRH already has a great one and Ferro makes a different version now anyway, but sufficed to say I liked my multicam example enough to grab two more a little later down the line. In fact we’re now well over 2 years down the road from that purchase and I would say we are only just now seeing (within the past few months) anything else on the market that can actually do the expansion job a little better in some respects.
The Ferro Chesty Wide mounts any standard placard that uses G-Hooks, or 1″ buckles if you simply add a 1″ female buckle to the H-harness. Super light because there’s nothing unnecessary going on, just a slab of cordura with laser cuts right through for PALS and a field of loop to mount those placards in the centre.
Not what you’d want if you load so much weight in your chest rig that you need a thickly padded harness or tons of rigidity, but that shouldn’t matter to most. You can also affix a Spiritus chassis without buying any other components at all from Spiritus since the back strap and harness are included here, though all the industry standard X/H harnesses and backstraps out there can be subbed in if desired.
The only small complaint I had in my comparatively casual use is that the placard is not locked in to the Chesty in any significant way, it’s just held by the velcro so would tend to peel a bit at the edges given that the human chest is not a dead flat sheet. My placards never got close to coming detached but a lot of similar products now have at the minimum a couple of webbing loops to feed the top buckles through, with some having holes and cord to tie the placard in along the bottom edge.
I have a Spiritus Thing 2 on the way at the moment and the Sidewing from Beez Combat Systems will another option I might take a look at, possibly along with the Crye Airlite Convertible since that’s all the rage now.