There are quality chest rigs out there, and there is garbage. Somewhere in between is a place where you can spend a reasonable amount of hard earned money on a quality rig for your budget conscious kit project. I am writing this article today because I have seen some shooters spend thousands on gear for their AR15, yet scrimp when it comes to chest rigs, and buy “Airsoft Quality” on ebay or one of the other airsoft gear suppliers on the internet. Don’t get me, airsoft has its FOF training purposes, but the gear is not to be trusted with lives. What interested me about the need for cheaper rigs is that some shooters don’t want to crawl around in the mud with their expensive duty rig when taking a class and need a cheaper yet reliable rig they can use for training purposes. (For consistency issues, if possible, I always recommend training with the same gear, or at least a similar one you use in “real life”.)
Condor’s MCR6 will run you just about $40 with shipping; just about twice as much as the cheaper Airsoft versions, and you get a lot more quality for the money. The MCR6 will hold 6 30 round AR15 magazines, but since it has a MOLLE front, there are other options available for carrying more pouches and equipment. While I would not usually carry 12 magazines, I wanted to test the stitching strength on the MCR6, so I decided to buy 6 additional mag pouches from VoodooTactical so that I could really put a lot of weight on the rig.
Fully loaded the entire rig weight just over 30 lbs. And that included:
- 12 Fully loaded 30 round Magpul Pmags
- ESEE 6 survival knife w/sheath
- Sog Seal Pup utility knife w/sheath
- Utility Pouch
When tested the entire rig fit wonderfully either by itself, or overtop a plate carrier. There was enough adjustment in the straps to have the magazine area of the front of the rig up high when wearing it in conjunction with a plate carrier, or down low when wearing it by itself. There was enough padding on the H-Harness (or criss-cross harness, it is either way with this rig) that the weight of the mags and additional gear did not bite too deeply into my shoulders. The build quality of both the Condor MCR6 and the VoodooTactical were higher quality than I expected for this price point. I likeed how the elastic bands for retaining the mags were user adjustable and replaceable. Another feature I did not expect was the retention of the mags without the bands was good; there was enough room in each pouch to easily insert and remove the mags, without being too loose; but they were also loose enough to store empty mags upside-down in their pouches if needed for identification purposes.
Overall, I would recommend both of these companies for individuals looking to build a budget rig they can actually train with without it falling apart.
In future posts I will probably give you readers an update on the “Long Term Durability” of this particular setup. We will see how well it holds up, but for now, it seems to be serving it’s purposes just fine; crawling, jumping, and weight lifting – it has all held up beautifully.
Stay Safe Out There!