Rethinking the Chest Harness - Repost from K7JLJ.com
This past Winter patrolling the woods I was experimenting with wearing my old chest harness below, both under and over garments.
This opened my eyes to a huge difference in maneuverability and comfort in what amounts to “slick” rifle use with the harness under a soft shell jacket. It is a night and day experience compared to running a rifle slung across the overt chest harness that is constantly hanging up on something.
Needless to say, slick is where it’s at!
While the chest harness above has worked just fine for many years now, this year I decided it would make a good birthday gift to upgrade it.
I’ve always wanted to upgrade to the BFG Ten-Speed because of it’s low-profile, but was unwilling to drop the coin on it since this old hacked up Paul Howe harness did the job.
So when it came time to find a replacement as a birthday gift to myself, my first thought was the get the BFG Ten-Speed at $90.00 and be done. Looking around though, I found a new option for a low profile chest harness.
Gadsden offers several ready made rigs and allows you to design your own using the rig-builder app linked above.
What I wanted was a simple setup of (3) AR15 mags and a place to put my HT radio. The option for a slimline pouch on the rig-builder looked like the perfect fit and a quick email to them confirmed it would be the right size.
One thing about their customer service I need to say up front is that it’s as good as it gets.
Their response to my inquiring on the pouch dimensions was so fast I thought it was an automated response and almost didn’t read it.
When the rig accidentally was sent with coyote shoulder straps instead of multicam, they owned up to the mistake and resent a new set immediately. They also refunded shipping on my entire original order and asked that I send the wrong one back at my convenience.
The original shipping of the whole setup was $8.90 and the cost to mail back the shoulder straps was $7.25, so they paid me for their error. That’s rare these days!
BUILD QUALITY AND SIZING
I could not be happier with the rig. The stitching and construction is solid, and the function is perfect. When designing the setup online, I kept going back and forth between an extra option here and there that would extend the width of the chest harness.
I’m glad I did not go past the 12″ width I settled on as this is the perfect size to keep all your gear immediately in front of you without wrapping to the sides and getting hung up on a rifle sling. It also is the perfect width for concealing it under a hoodie or light jacket.
One thing you NEED to be aware of is that the harness sizing is for fitting against a T-shirt IMO. I selected Medium because the website ranged it between 38″- 48″ in the chest area and I’m a 44″ chest. With the strap fully extended it will fit over a sweatshirt, but not much more.
This is not a big issue in my case as I intend to wear it under outer garments, but if you want to wear it over a parka or Winter jacket, consider the range I listed above and size it up accordingly.
DIFFERENT APPROACH TO LOADOUT REQUIRED
Since there is a lot less real estate to stuff gear into on this chest harness, it required me to relocate some critical gear.
Previously I had used my chest harness as a replacement for my war belt when on patrol. Preferring to have nothing on the hips, I was willing to give up a pistol on belt to accomplish this.
Now having gone to the Gadsden Dynamics War Belt, I find it comfortable enough on patrol to keep it as my 1st line at all time, allowing me to run my chest harness with supplementary ammo and medical only.
Previously carried survival gear in the slip pocket of the old chest harness has been relocated to the HSGI Pogey pouch on my 1st Line belt.
- Platypus collapsible water holder
- Aqua purification tablets
- Lighter & Petro Cotton
- CR123 batteries
- Tru-Nord button compass
Maps and lenstatic compass are now relocated to the left cargo pocket when needed. The Lecia 1600 LRF also is now attached to my 3-Day pack. A mini-BOK (SWAT-T, Cerlox, Izzy-D) kept on the chest harness in the closed pouch.
The harness is very comfortable and rig does not move due to the tacky neoprene like material sewn onto the back of it.
If you are looking for good kit, then Gadsden Dynamics deserves a hard look!