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Author Archive | Matt

Review: Blue Force Gear Tracer Pack

Before I dive into this review of the Blue Force Gear Tracer Pack, I should give some context for my time with Blue Force Gear Dap Packs. I have been using their packs going all the way back before 2012 in their original line of Dapper compatible packs. I still have and use a Micro Dap Pack and Skye Dap Pack.

In the intervening years, Blue Force Gear discontinued their packs with the larger models being the first to go. They continued making their hook backed pouches in the Dapper line until the recent reintroduction of the Dap pack line to include the redesigned Jedburgh and finally, a new large Dap Pack, the all new Tracer.

Overview

The full panel loading Tracer Pack was designed to be an EDC/Travel/Office pack with a heavy dose of tactical stirred into the mix. The exterior appearance is fairly “low profile” though it does have a loop field and MOLLE compatible panel.

The straps are straight and thin but well padded. The rear of the pack is stiffened with a thin HDPE frame sheet so the pack holds its shape under a load and items don’t dig into your back.

It weighs in at 2.5 pounds and has 36 liters of capacity. That capacity is spread over the large main compartment with laptop sleeve, a front admin pouch, and a top stash pouch.

The Tracer Pack also feature distinctive and easy to grasp rubber zipper pulls. A very comfortable and grippy grab handle that is textured rubber over webbing so it is bull strong and two tweave water bottle pockets.

The interior back of the main compartment is completely lined for use with Dappers. The interior front of the main compartment is mostly lined as is the back of the front admin pouch.

Observations from Use

The Tracer Pack has been serving as my travel and EDC pack for almost 3 months now. That includes 2 full cross-country trips via air. It still looks mostly new which is not a surprise given how BFG builds these packs. The quality is excellent with great materials and attention to detail.

There is a lot to like in this pack. I especially like BFG’s use of tweave material. The water bottle pockets are excellent. They are deep and tightly retain bottles up to 32 ounce Nalgene diameter. They thoughtfully tapered the opening so it is lower on one side which makes bottles easy to retrieve. BFG also backed the upper stash pocket with tweave which allows it to stretch a bit when stuffing with oversized items.

I also like the use of BFG’s MOLLEminus to reduce the visual signature of the MOLLE field on the front of the pack. Most people wouldn’t know that they were looking at which helps the pack blend in a bit.

The fact that this is a panel loader makes great sense. It gives the user the ability to fully line the main compartment with Dapper pouches and then lay the bag fully open to access each pouch. I tend to like packs without a ton of built in organization so Dap Packs suit me. I can add the organization features that I want, where I want them.

Perhaps the best thing about this pack is the Dap Pack concept itself. If you like a big, wide open bucket of a backpack, you can do that. If you are more of an everything in its place kind of guy, you can do that. The organization features are completely flexible. I should also note that the admin pocket is a perfect fit for BFG’s really excellent Admin Dapper of which I have several because they always seem to find a place in my hook and loop style backpacks.

I don’t normally rave about grab handles but I will in this case. The Tracer Pack’s grab handle is a thick rubber coated webbing with large bumps for texture. It is comfortable to carry even when the back is heavy. It doesn’t roll in your hand like tubular webbing or cut into your hand like flat webbing.

This pack has a very good laptop sleeve. It is easy to access and well stiffened which is nice because my laptop is often the heaviest thing in the bag and the stiffened back panel helps support that load.

There are a few things I wish were different. The shoulder straps are straight and simple which is not a bad thing in and of itself. They are padded enough to comfortable but they are mounted very close together. it would be nice if they were spaced apart just a bit more. As they are now, they can ride up onto the start of the wearer’s neck and they feel shorter than they actually are.

Additionally, I recommend end users remove the little metal BFG logo plaque on the shoulder strap. When you don a pack, you often slide your hands down the shoulder strap as your pull it on your shoulders. That metal plaque has diced up my hand a couple of times. It is easily removed and I only put it back on for pictures.

Wrap Up

The Tracer Pack leverages Blue Force Gear’s already well proven and flexible Dapper system so it is extremely functional right our of the gate. The shoulder straps could be spaced just a bit further apart but the build quality is typical Blue Force Gear which is to say that it is great. The materials used for the pack are smart, unique, and functional. I also happen think it is probably the best looking Dap Pack yet.

If you have been awaiting the return of the larger Dap Packs, wait no longer.

BlueForceGear.com


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In-Depth Look at RE Factor Tactical Advanced Slickster Carrier

If you want to take a deep dive into the new features of the new Advanced Slickster from RE Factor Tactical, check out the video below. This plate carrier was created in conjunction with Ferro Concepts and is available now: Advanced Slickster at REFactorTactical.com

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Helikon Tex Swagman Roll Poncho

The Helikon Tex Swagman Roll Poncho is an insulation layer with a number of uses. This insulated poncho is constructed from Helikon’s Windpack nylon with Climashield Apex insulation and YKK zippers. It features a large zippered closed front pouch, insulated hood, and cinch straps that allow the Swagman Roll to be gathered around the wearer.

The Swagman Roll is 57″ x 78″ and weighs in at 26 ounces. It can be packed into a stuff sack or into its own pocket (which is printed with suggestions for use). At that weight, you won’t mind taking it along in your kit for use as a quick access insulation layer when you stop moving, as a light sleeping bag, or to add insulation to your normal sleeping bag. It is compatible with USGI pattern ponchos for use as a bivy.

Check out the Swagman Roll Poncho at Helikon-Tex.com.

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New from TOPS Knives – The Quickie Knife

TOPS Knives just released their newest knife – The Quickie. Here’s what they had to say about it:

In an increasingly uncertain world, tools like the Quickie become ever more valuable. It’s a “3-finger” karambit, meaning that the 3rd finger away from the blade should be placed in the hole. The design allows the user to still have some use of his/her hand while the blade is being held. This is especially useful for first responders that may have to draw the knife before they can access their primary weapon because it removes the need to drop or re-sheath the knife (both bad options) to get to that primary weapon once it becomes available.

Pick up the Quickie from a TOPS authorized dealer or from TOPS at www.topsknives.com/quickie

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Proven Arms & Outfitters: Springfield SAINT Victor Rifle Now Available for Pre-Order

ABERDEEN, N.C. – (February 2019)- The SAINT Victor Rifle and Pistol from Springfield Armory is now available for pre-order at LE/MIL Program and Commercial (non-LE/Mil) pricing at Proven Arms & Outfitters.  The SAINT Victor rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances. This versatile, flat-shooting build is the workhorse of the SAINT Victor line up and comes packed with enhanced components selected for rugged reliability.  Be the first to have the new SAINT Victor rifle or pistol by pre-ordering today.  Proven Arms & Outfitters does not charge your card until your order ships.

With premium features, direct out of the box, the SAINT Victor at Proven Arms & Outfitters is a sure win.  It comes standard with 15” M-Lok Free Float Handguard, Nickel Boron Coated Flat Trigger, and Spring Loaded Flip up sights, QD Mounts, and SA newly designed Muzzle Brake all at the Proven price of $758.00 for LE/MIL and $858.00 for commercial.

The SAINT Victor Pistols come in 5.56 and .300 BLK, with similar features to the rifle, minus the flip up sights and utilizing different muzzle devices and an SB Tactical SBX-K brace instead of the standard stock.  The 5.56 Victor Pistol comes with a 7.5” barrel, while the .300 BLK comes with a 9” barrel.  SAINT Victor Pistols feature a pinned low-profile gas block, a must-have on a professional use defensive AR pistol. The .300 BLK model features a multi-mode adjustable gas block for tuning to specific ammo or suppressor use. Both SAINT Victor pistols are available at the Proven price of $809.00 for LE/MIL and $909.00 for commercial.

Sign up for our email list, and you’ll see the promotions and announcements first!  These exclusive deals are while supplies last, so don’t miss out.

Don’t miss the Winter Clearance Sale; all Magpul Apparel is 50% off or more!  Virginia and Tacoma locations have 5.11 Tactical Outerwear at 40% off!

Stay tuned and look forward to more exciting announcements coming from Proven Arms & Outfitters very soon! 

About Proven Arms & Outfitters:

Proven Arms & Outfitters is a leading supplier of apparel, gear, and firearms to Enthusiasts, Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Military professionals. We have the PROVEN selection of products designed to help you perform at your peak.  For a complete and current outfit for your weapon, build out existing kit, or gear up for your next adventure, choose us for our practical knowledge, experience, extensive selection, and exceptional customer service. 

Visit one of our two Proven Arms & Outfitters locations, find us on the web at ProvenOutfitters.com, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Sneak Peek: WWII USGI Mess Kit Knife Homage from Heavy Cover Inc.

You likely know Heavy Cover Inc as the makers of a titanium mess kit based on the size and shape of a USGI canteen. It is a thoroughly modern homage to a classic design. Is it any wonder that, when developing a a knife to serve as a companion to that same mess kit, they took inspiration from another classic USGI mess kit item?

Heavy Cover Inc. has been working with Dauntless MFG to develop a modernized version of the USGI 1945 WW2 Mess Kit Knife. The Heavy Cover version of this knife will boast a D2 steel blade with a black nitride finish. The scales are machined from aluminum and will be hard anodized on the production knife.

This knife is still in the prototyping phase. Stay tuned for additional details.

HeavyCoverInc.com

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Alpha One Niner EVADE 2.0

My favorite EDC/travel/office backpack of all time is now bigger and better than ever. Alpha One Niner is now offering the EVADE 2.0 which boasts several new features and some additional internal volume over the original EVADE.

There are a ton of new features and I highly suggest you watch the video below to see them all. The highlights include new modular components like a beavertail, hip belt, hook backed admin organizers. The packs also has a deeper main compartment and a new integrated luggage handle pass-through. The new flatter shoulder straps and compression straps are also an improvement over the original.

The EVADE 2.0 is available in a number of color and fabric options. Your choice of two admin organizers is included.

Check out the EVADE 2.0 at AlphaOneNiner.com.

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Alonso Defense is Now Ciguera Gear Company

Alonso Defense is changing their name to Ciguera Gear Company. The change appears to mark a shift toward a new product line of high quality, affordable outdoor gear. They are still offering the Emissary Gun Belt for which they are well known.

Stay tuned for updates.

www.Ciguera.com

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New from Bushcraft Outfitters – Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner

Bushcraft Outfitters’ Koretemp line of lightweight, modular, multi-use shelter components is about to receive a very interesting addition – the Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner. This insulated poncho liner has features that make it extremely versatile as both a stand-alone insulation layer or for enhancing your existing outdoor kit.

The Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner is made in the USA from from mil-spec quilted batting faced by coyote fabric, webbing, and thread. It weighs 40 ounces and is 62″ by 93″. It has an integrated hood with drawstring closure, a sewn in chest pocket, and 2″ channels at the top and bottom that can be used to close the ends into a foot box.

All of those features mean that the Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner can be used in a number of ways. You can cinch up the hood and a foot box to use it like a warm weather top quilt (like a sleeping bag). It can be used inside the Koretemp Poncho as an insulated bivy or hung over head to protect from the heat of the sun. It can be used as an insulation layer that can be quickly be donned over your thinner shell layer and pack when you take breaks on the trail or stop to glass for game. Even if you already have a well sorted out sleep system, the Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner can serve to increase the temperature rating of your sleeping bag.

Regular poncho liners are already very useful as I am sure you are already aware. With the addition of a few thoughtful features, Bushcraft Outfitters has taken that concept to the next level.

The Koretemp Hooded Poncho Liner will be available soon (and will likely sell out fast) at BushcraftOutfitters.com.

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27-Round Glock PMAG Now Available & More Stock Updates

ABERDEEN, N.C. – (February 2019)- Proven Arms & Outfitters has the new Magpul PMAG 27 GL9 in stock and available online and at all locations.  The PMAG 27 GL9 is 27-round Glock 9mm magazine compatible with all full-size, compact, and sub-compact double-stack Glock 9mm variants with some protrusion below the grip.

Sig Sauer FOXTROT365 Weapon Light for P365 is now in stock and available online now and in stores soon!  The FOXTROT365 mounts to the P365 models.  The weapon light is ideal for home defense, law enforcement or military applications and should fit most holsters designed for handgun lights.

FN 509 Midsize w/Night Sights is now in stock and available online and in stores soon!  The 9mm pistol ships standard with 15-round capacity and is compatible with all FN 509 magazines with use of a sleeve.  It is the ideal upgrade for your EDC needs.

Don’t miss the Winter Clearance Sale, all Magpul Apparel is 50% off or more!  Virginia and Tacoma locations have 5.11 Tactical Outerwear at 40% off!

Sign up for our email list and you’ll see the promotions and announcements first!  These exclusive deals are while supplies last, so don’t miss out.

Stay tuned and look forward to more exciting announcements coming from Proven Arms & Outfitters very soon!

About Proven Arms & Outfitters:

Proven Arms & Outfitters is a leading supplier of apparel, gear, and firearms to Enthusiasts, Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Military professionals. We have the PROVEN selection of products designed to help you perform at your peak.  For a complete and current outfit for your weapon, build out existing kit, or gear up for your next adventure, choose us for our practical knowledge, experience, extensive selection, and exceptional customer service. 

Visit one of our two Proven Arms & Outfitters locations, find us on the web at ProvenOutfitters.com, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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