Whether you are a competitor or a first responder, you need a way to carry magazines and essential gear securely and in a position thats quickest and easiest to access. For me, I need a chest rig for competitions that require multiple guns. Where I live, the matches are usually scheduled for the spring or summer with a desert environment, so its hot and dry. Full molle vests are a bit overkill I've found, as they tend to hinder range of motion, and some stages only require 2-3 carbine magazines and 4-6 pistol magazines. I've found that using a simpler M4 chest rig is best.
Some call it a recon-style harness, others may refer to it as a "Rhodesian" chest rig. The one I use is an Eagle Industries Chest Rig M4 Molle LE Style (currently discontinued but newer models are available) and it is just enough to get me by. With molle strapping on the left and right sides as well as over the top of the carbine magazine pouches, its perfect for adding handgun mag pouches. The pouches themselves are rigid, reinforced with some kind of thin composite board and then lined with a softer material for magazine retention without surface wear. The straps are adjustable and use large M style buckles. They go over the shoulders and cross at the back and attach to the bottom of the rig on both sides. There is a single strap that goes laterally across the back and attaches via a smaller buckle. I let it hang just below my pectorals. and am able to have 3 carbine mags with a pair of pistol mags on each side via molle pouches for a total of 4 mags. Alternatively you could attach 3o round carbine mag pouches on either side to increase to capacity to 7 mags, and attach pistol mag pouches to the front of the rig's pouches.
The advantages to this style of chest rig are lightness of weight, ease of mobility, and simplicity of use. Another perk is the kangaroo pouch with a wide hook-and-loop mouth that is easy to access even with carbine mags holstered. Its wide enough to stow more magazines, loose rounds, papers/documents, or a couple packs of beef jerky. I often will stash a couple of Glock 33rd magazines in the pouch for the longer, no-capacity limit stages.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: The Eagle Industries Chest Rig M4 Molle LE Style is designed for active shooter scenarios that require your equipment to rapidly adjust to the unfolding events.
Target Market: Competitive shooters or Law Enforcement
FNBs (features & benefits of this product):
- Three open top 30-round M4 magazine pouches
- Two large side release buckles
- Full length interior pocket
- MOLLE webbing for custom rigging
- Fully adjustable for height and girth
- Lifetime Guarantee
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Khaki, Ranger Green, & Universal Camo
What others are saying?:
- "I love this product. The mag pouches hold the mags very well in their Kydex liners. No need for a flap. I bought 2 more pouches for 2 more mags. My only complaint is the harness straps could be longer for big guys. I may have problems with a coat on. I'll just get another harness. GREAT product." Optics Planet Review
- MSRP = $82.69
- Retail= $69.00 - $74.99 listed on SKDtac, Triad Tactical and NatchezSS but possible out of stock/discontinued.
I need it now! Availability: Used online, in Army Surplus stores or find close alternative from Eagle Industries
+ Lightweight and simple, no unnecessary bulk. + Inner pouch pocket is full width and makes for extra storage. + Pouches are open-top with no flappy covers, mages speedy mag changes easier. + Sits high enough to no interfere with a belt and holster, no issues with carrying a carbine with single point sling.
- Kydex lined mag pouches may be tighter fit for certain mags, PMAGs and other polymer bodied mags until expansion with use. - More "ample-bodied operators" may need longer straps.