Chest rigs are nothing new in the tactical community. In fact, they’ve been around in one form or another for decades if not centuries. For the purpose of this review we’re simply going to define a chest rig as a manmade wearable accessory used for carrying gear on the upper thorax which does not have innate protective (armored) properties. However, chest rigs have improved tremendously in the last 60 years. I attribute this to two main variables. Number one: improvements in modern material and production techniques. Number two: Improvement’s in guerilla warfare techniques. The first extremely successful chest rigs I’m aware of were used by NVA fighters in the American Vietnam war. These early chest rigs were a simple OD green heavy woven cotton canvas-like material and traditionally carried AK-47 magazines along with some small accessory items. They also proved highly effective paired with the guerilla warfare tactics used by some of the men who carried them.
Fast forward forty years and American military Special Operations still utilize chest rigs like the Haley Strategic Partners D3CR ( www.haleystrategic.com ) due in part to an appreciation for the speed, surprise, and violence of action these chest rigs allow. The initial idea behind the invention of the chest rig was a lighter, faster warrior. A chest rig allows the user minimally restricted range of motion as well as access to components in confined spaces such as a vehicle. The lightweight construction of the chest rig itself allows for the operator to move more quickly with a lighter overall loadout. Apart from being light the nylon material of this rig is durable with a small amount of flexibility. It also holds and displays the camo pattern well. We received ours in multicam which we feel is effective over the broadest range of environments out of all modern camouflage patterns.
The HSP Disruptive Environments Chest Rig is also extremely modular. The straps are highly adjustable for a large array of individuals and body types yet also completely removable. By removing the harness portion, the pouch section of the rig can be used independently. Independent use of the pouch section can give the operator the ability to quickly attach the pouch section to a plate carrier for missions that require body armor. On the other end of the spectrum, the pouch section can also be attached to the inside of a vehicle, briefcase, or bag when extremely low visibility is required. Everything can either be fully closed or held in place by shock cord, so the pack is also jumpable for aerial insertions. The mag pouches can carry AKM or AR magazines effectively. We have equipped our D3CR, fully loaded, with: four AK mags, 4 Glock mags, a Glock pistol, a TQ, an Israeli bandage, a Spyderco street beat fixed blade knife, and a leatherman MUT utility tool.
There’s always a balance when it comes to choosing kit items. In this case the balance is the age old choice of light and fast versus slower and armored. Although the D3CR cannot hold armor plates, it can be worn over soft armor or connected to a PC as we mentioned previously. The one real gripe we have about this chest rig is that it doesn’t carry a pistol extremely well. The recommended carry method for a pistol almost seems like an afterthought. A Velcro accessory panel is required to wedge a pistol holster in between the user’s chest and the rig. It’s a bit unorthodox, it doesn’t seem secure, and it takes a lot of practice getting used too. However it works, and throughout extensive testing it has proved secure despite appearances. Also, extensive training with one’s line 1 gear is required regardless of what equipment you finally decide on going with, so the fact this rig takes some getting used too isn’t really a negative. As the old adage goes, “If it’s stupid lookin’ but it works, it ain’t stupid.”
As far as chest rigs go this one is a Cadillac. The design of the rig itself is on par with the few other high end chest rigs available. HSP offers a large variety of camo patterns suitable for nearly any environment. There were no expenses spared in its construction and you will pay accordingly. The fit and finish is superb.
Durable, well-made, simple, effective and streamlined design.
Expensive, does not carry a pistol extremely well.
8 out of 10 Bones.
“Designed and optimized for work in urban, vehicle, rural and other confined settings, the Disruptive Environments™ Chest Rig was built to be worn as a stand alone system with a detachable H-harness or clipped into a armor platform equipped with a quick release system.
Driven by Mission Versatility
When run as a stand alone, the platform is low profile enough to be worn fully loaded and not print on a normal/loose fit jacket or sweatshirt. When run on a armor platform with a quick release system, such as SwiftClips™, it can be attached or stowed in seconds, giving the end user the versatility to transition from low vis to high vis or vice versa.
The rifle magazine pouches accept AR type magazines as well as AK 7.62 x39mm and 5.45 x 39 magazines. The Multi-Mission Pouches accept 1911, Glock, Sig, M&P, XD and other standard double or single stack pistol magazines, as well as many handheld lights and multi-tools.
The rig intentionally does not include a radio or dedicated full size medical pouch so no matter the posture, essentials such as communications and medical kits can remain on the end user at all times.”