Available Chest Rig Options: Don’t Get Stuck on Sexy…

If you have an AR or other modern semiautomatic rifle for preparedness, one of the biggest things you need is a way to carry ammunition. One of the best ways to carry ammunition is a chest rig or load-bearing equipment of some sort. Everyone likes the new, sexy micro chest rigs that are out there – Haley, Spiritus, and so on. But don’t get stuck on sexy.

First, as I’ve said before, analyze your needs. Make sure the micro rigs are what you actually need and aren’t just on your list because they are the new hotness. Don’t get me wrong – I love new hotness. But unless you need that hotness specifically, there may be other options that can meet your needs. Also, if you can’t afford a plate carrier initially, it’s actually more important to have a way to carry mags than it is to have a plate carrier. I do think you should work toward a carrier eventually (I think every prepared citizen should have one), but in the meantime, be able to carry mags.

A few examples:

First up, we have an old-school Blackhawk rig that I found in a dumpster at work. Don’t judge, free is free. I usually use this for playing OPFOR, hence the Simms paint. But with a little imagination, I can carry 4 mags, a light, a tool, a radio, and a med kit courtesy of ATS Tactical’s Low Profile Medical Insert. Is it as cool as a D3CRM? Probably not. Will it fit everything the D3CRM will, and possibly a bit more if needed? Actually, it will.

Next up is an Eagle Industries Multi-Purpose Chest Rig (Split Front). These can be found for around $100 on eBay from reputable sellers. As with the Blackhawk rig, it will require a little imagination and repurposing of pouches, but it will easily accomplish the task of carrying your mags, radio, and other small items that you might need in a preparedness scenario.

Finally, there is the Special Operations Forces Load Carriage System (SOFLCS, you can also search RLCS and SFLCS). There is a ton of this gear on eBay. It’s a little old school (think early War on Terror), but still very functional. I have one of the Rhodesian Recon Vests from Eagle Industries, and I can easily customize my configuration to meet my needs. You can find the vests in tan for as little as $50, with pouches as low as $10, depending on what you’re looking for. This makes procuring and experimenting both easy and fairly inexpensive as tactical gear goes.


New gear, such as popular micro rigs and even larger modern chest rigs, are certainly worth the money if you can get them and they fit your needs. However, there are still plenty of older designs that can be found and effectively used when newer gear is out of stock. Just because it is older doesn’t mean it needs to be relegated to the realm of milsim and impressions. If your preferred hotness is out of stock, or out of financial reach, check out some of the older gear and use your imagination.

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