Chest rigs were first popularized for modern warfare during the Vietnamese conflict, from this point, the chest rig’s modern history can be traced to the African civil wars of the 70's and 80's. Most recently, though it can be attributed to the Brits and the Irish actions.
The Brits rode into action in Saracen Armored Vehicles with very tight seating. Impossible seating if you were wearing traditional web gear because of the butt bag situated in the rear interfering with the narrow bench seat's backrest. Taking off web gear was not an option because one may have had to spring into action on a moments notice.
The solution was to eliminate the butt bag while not losing load capacity through the use of a chest rig.
Our designers studied chest rigs very closely in an effort to make them more comfortable and versatile for everyone from search & rescue volunteers to professional soldiers and they did just that with the M.U.L.E.S. Mk 2 Chest Rig/Belt Rig.
First on the agenda was to address the comfort issue, and that was handled with ease by lining the chest and shoulder straps with super breathable, sweat absorbing 3 D mesh. Many users of chest rigs like to adjust the shoulder straps while on the march, in effect, moving the load about. Ours are adjustable; in fact you can remove them! But more on that latter.
Most chest rigs use very narrow back straps, not ours though. We know from building backpacks that a wider strap distributes the load better, so we used 2" wide webbing for the back strap and attached it with a fully adjustable quick release buckle. We didn't chintz out on the length of the webbing either, keeping in mind those customers that will use their chest rigs in the winter over heavy clothing and/or over body armor.
Earlier it was mentioned that the shoulder straps are removable. We've done this so that the whole rig can be worn as a belt, or ideally use two in combo, a chest rig and a belt rig for maximum comfort and versatility. (Tip: When using as a belt rig while sitting in a vehicle or aircraft, loosen the main buckle and slide the belt around your torso allowing the pouches to sit on your lap. This action clears the pouches from your back allowing you to sit comfortably against the backrest of the seat!)
While on the subject of versatility it should be noted that the Chest Rig/Belt Rig is part of our M.U.L.E.S. Mk 2 System which allows the user the option of using practically any military our civilian pouch on the rig.
Located behind the pouch mounting bandoleers is a zipper closed document and map pocket for convenience.
Upgrade your load bearing gear. Order the M.U.L.E.S. Mk 2 Chest Rig/Belt Rig.
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