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Archive | EDC

Mountain Ridge Gear Redesigns the TMP-W

Mountain Ridge Gear’s TMP-W (Tactical Man Purse – Wide) was the subject of one of the very first reviews that I ever posted on this blog. Mountain Ridge Gear has made some small improvements since that review. Now, Mountain Ridge Gear is performing a major overhaul of the TMP-W with even more improved features. You have to love it when a company continues to improve their product.

The most noticeable improvement to the new iteration of the TMP-W is the laptop sleeve. In the previous version of the TMP-W, there was a large internal mesh pocket. That has now been replaced with a padded laptop sleeve. The sleeve is covered with loop Velcro so that you can add additional Velcro backed pouches to the face of the laptop sleeve.

The new version of the TMP-W also features an improved rubberized bottom panel. The new panel improves water resistance and is easier to clean so you can set your bag down without fear of picking up dirt and grime.

Check out the new bag on MountainRidgeGear.com. If you don’t need a laptop sleeve, there are a limited number of first generation Coyote Brown TMP-Ws on clearance for a great price right now.

This video shows all of the new features:

 

New Cobra 1.5″ EveryDay Belt Colors from Jones Tactical

Jones Tactical is well known for their belts and the Cobra 1.5″ EveryDay Belt is one of the most popular models. It can’t be beat for all day gun carrying comfort. They are used by some pretty serious people but did you know that the belts are available in some less than serious colors?

Buyers of Cobra 1.5″ EveryDay Belt buyers will now have some eye catching options for the accent webbing. Firemen will love the red webbing, while female shooters might want to check out the pink or purple. If you are a member of the Usual Suspect Network, you will really like the toxic green option.

There are plenty of options so make sure you check out the Jones Tactical website and get in touch to see if they have your favorite color.

Blue Force Gear D.A.P. Dappers

Some backpacks have so much internal organization that it can be difficult to carry larger items and other backpacks have so little internal organization that small items can not be easily accessed. Thankfully, Blue Force Gear has the D.A.P. (Denied Area Pattern) line of backpacks and organization pouches called Dappers. The D.A.P. line represents a completely customizable approach to organizing your gear.

The D.A.P. Dappers are pouches that are backed with hook side Velcro. They can be attached to any surface that is covered with loop side Velcro, like the interior of a D.A.P. pack or other packs that are Velcro lined. The Velcro attachment system allows pouches to be mounted anywhere inside the pack and in any orientation. The possibilities are nearly infinite. While other manufacturers offer Velcro backed pouches, no one comes close to having as complete a line of pouches and organizers.

All of the D.A.P. packs including backpacks of various sizes and discreet rifle cases are being discontinued for 2012 and will be redesigned eventually. This is actually a great time to check them out since they are being closed out on the Blue Force Gear Last Call page at steep discounts. While Blue Force Gear is discontinuing the packs, they will keep producing the Dappers for 2012. They will also be introducing products that will adapt the Dappers to just about any pack.

Blue Force Britteny recently posted this video that shows the versatility of the Dappers and the D.A.P. packs:

Be sure to check out the full line of D.A.P. Dappers and the discounted D.A.P. Packs on the Blue Force Gear webpage. Stay tuned to Jerking the Trigger for a full review of the Wall Street Warrior Dapper Kit!

Spyderco Yojimbo2

The original Michael Janich designed Spyderco Yojimbo was one of my favorite knives of all time. The tall flat ground Wharncliffe blade had an awesome thin edge and a very fine point. That great blade combined with Spyderco’s excellent Compression lock made for a great combination for a hard use or self defense knife that also excelled at EDC tasks. I foolishly sold my Yojimbo years ago and it has been discontinued for quite some time. Fortunately, that isn’t the end of the story…

Spyderco has recently introduced the Yojimbo2 – a new, redesigned version of the original Yojimbo. Like the original it features S30V blade steel, grippy G-10 grips, the excellent Compression Lock, a Wharncliffe profile blade, and a very ergonomic handle. However, this new version also sports some changes. For instance, the blade is hollow ground instead of full height flat ground, the handle features slightly more rounded contours, and the spine of the blade has a new thumb ramp shape.

The pedigree of this knife is clear. It is still reminiscent of the original Yojimbo while offering some improvements in shape. Michael Janich and Spyderco appear to have another winner on their hands. Check out the Yojimbo2 on Spyderco’s website.

Benchmade 8 Hook with Glass Breaker (BLKWMEDR)

Benchmade Safety Cutters are some of my favorites pieces of gear because they just work so well. Their reliability and cutting power amazed me when I reviewed them. Now Benchmade has expanded the Safety Cutter line with the new 8 Hook BLKWMEDR which features a carbide glass breaker.

I keep a Benchmade 8 Hook in my truck where I can reach it easily in case I need to cut my seat belt in an emergency. This new 8 Hook incorporates a carbide glass breaker which makes it even more well suited to emergency use in a vehicle. It gives you the ability to cut your seat belt and break a window to extract yourself from your vehicle in an emergency – all in one simple to use tool.

Check out the 8 Hook BLKWMEDR and all the other 8 Hook Safety Cutters on the Benchmade website.

Fire Ant Red and Venom Green ESEE Izula from BladeHQ

My favorite compact fixed blades are the Izula and Izula II from ESEE. They fit the hand well, are bull strong, have a great warranty, are made right here in the USA, and come with a very versatile sheath system. The Izula may be small but, 99% of the time, it is all the knife that I need.

Small knives like the Izula are easy to carry but they can also be easily lost. BladeHQ has teamed up with the folks at ESEE to offer exclusive Izulas with high visibility coatings. They are offering a bright red color called Fire Ant Red and a fluorescent green color called Venom. These bright colors make it easy to find the knife whether you are rummaging through your pack, searching on a forest floor, or even if you drop it in water while crossing a creek.

High viability colors make a lot of sense on a survival tool as important as your knife and, let’s face it, they look pretty darn cool too. Check out the Fire Ant Red Izula and the Venom Green Izula exclusively at BladeHQ.

Velcro Backed GP Pouches from Mountain Ridge Gear

It is becoming more and more common for EDC or Tactical bags to feature Velcro on the interior so that users can easily customize the organization layout of their bag. Mountain Ridge Gear (MRG) makes one such bag – the Tactical Man Purse Wide Extreme. I have reviewed the original Tactical Man Purse on JTT and it is an excellent bag. Now MRG is making Velcro Backed General Purpose (GP) Pouches to work with this style of bag.

The pouches come in 3 different sizes that should handle everything from cell phones, radios, and GPS units to larger items like first aid kits and water bottles. The pouches are made to Mountain Ridge Gear’s high standards which you have to experience to believe and are available in a variety of colors including Multicam and A-TACS.

Each pouch features a 2″ wide vertical strip of hook side Velcro on the back which is nice. In this case, full coverage Velcro is not needed and this allows the pouch to be more easily removed and repositioned. The narrower Velcro also lets the pouches be squeezed closer to together when you are positioning them. The pouches also feature a small pull tab that makes removing the pouch even easier and can serve as an atachment point for a carabiner to hang the pouch on a pack.

The pouches are currently 25% off for the weekend so be sure to check them out on Mountain Ridge Gear’s website.

4Sevens High CRI Lights

4Sevens has introduced a limited run of a handful of their most popular models with special high CRI LEDs. CRI stands for Color Rendering Index and high CRI basically means that these lights put out light that is a similar color temperature to sunlight, thus rendering colors in a very lifelike way.

When LEDs first started finding their way into consumer lighting products, many people were put off by the bright blue coloration of the light that the LEDs produced. This blue light could be somewhat hard on the eyes and could make objects appear flat and lifeless.

LEDs began to improve and the light they produced became whiter, but it still lacked the warmer tones that sunlight contains. Many people think LEDs produce white light, but for the most part they are still lacking the warmer tones of the light spectrum. These missing parts of the spectrum are important for rending colors true to life and for cutting through things like smoke, fog, dust, and mist. High CRI LEDs correct these short comings and allow truer color rendering.

4Sevens has brought this high CRI LED technology to their line of edc flashlights. Sadly, none of their tactical lights have received the high CRI treatment. This type of light makes good sense for the military, law enforcement and the armed citizen since it cuts through a variety of environmental conditions more effectively and it makes potential threats appear less flat and more lifelike, thus allowing them to stand out more from their environment. Hopefully we can look forward to more high CRI options from 4Sevens.

You can check out all of the limited edition lights are 4Sevens.com.

Review: Advanced Outfitters Khyber Belt

As a shooter and someone who carries a concealed handgun, it seems that my belts become thicker and more rigid with each new belt. Thick, rigid belts work great when you are carrying a gun on your belt all day but there are times when a low profile belt is really what you need. You would be hard pressed to find a more low profile belt than the Khyber Belt from Advanced Outfitters (AO).

The custom Ti G-Hook is the key to how thin this belt is. I'm not sure you can make a belt any thinner than this.

The Khyber Belt is hand made by Kevin at Advanced Outfitters and there are a ton of options. The two main options are 1″ and 1.5″ widths. The belt can also be had in single and double thicknesses.¬†Even the double thickness belts are very low profile. There are additional hardware options (more on that later) and other options like a concealed spot that adds no thickness to the belt to carry cash. I chose the double thickness 1.5″ width since I would occasionally be using this belt with a holster and that is the belt that is the subject of this review.

Buckling and unbuckling is simple.

What’s the Point?

This belt was designed to be low profile. Kevin’s innovative use of an ITW G-Hook as a buckle is the key to how low profile this belt is. The G-Hook is barely thicker than the webbing from which the belt is made. The 1.5 inch versions of the Khyber Belt use a custom made titanium version of the G-Hook which also keeps the belt very light.

There are times when a belt must be able to ride beneath something like the padded hip belt of a backpack. The belt must be capable of holding up your pants but low profile enough to prevent hotspots from a heavy pack bearing down on it. The Khyber Belt excels at these situations. I purchased one to use specifically for hiking and for use under a padded MOLLE belt. It is perfect for both uses.

Try this with your gun belt!

Versatility

The Khyber belt is no one trick pony. The 1.5″ version with double thickness webbing is extremely thin and flexible but still substantial enough to carry the weight of gun though it isn’t the best choice for carrying all day. The belt features some additional stitching that helps to stiffen it enough for some additional comfort when carrying a handgun. I have been wearing this belt frequently over the last several months. Kevin is up front about saying this isn’t a gun belt but it does an admirable job of bearing the weight of a gun for such a slim, flexible belt.

It is perfect for wearing under a load bearing belt like a MOLLE belt rig. This is how I use it most often. I am able to wear my concealed handgun to the range on the Khyber belt and then switch the gun to the belt rig that I use in training. This belt is more than sufficient for traveling to and from the range. In fact, it is low profile enough to wear with a Velcro inner belt. They both fit under the belt loops.

If you aren’t carrying a handgun, you will appreciate how light and flexible this belt is. It is probably as close as you can get to not wearing a belt at all. It won’t look quite right in an office, but it is probably the perfect belt for just about any outdoor activity.

Simple hardware makes for an easy to adjust, easy to use, and very comfortable belt.

Hardware

Now that I have spent a lot of time with this belt, there is something that I would do differently if I were buying one all over again. The belt uses a triglide to adjust the length. Kevin makes this with a plastic version of the triglide(less expensive) and a titanium version (more expensive). The titanium version is considerably thinner than the plastic triglide. If I was starting over, I would definitely spring for the Ti version. The plastic slider is by far the thickest part of the belt and the Ti version fits better with the overall purpose or the belt.

Conclusion

I thought that this belt would fill a niche for me. I didn’t expect that I would find it so comfortable and useful as a general use belt. It is easily the most comfortable belt that I have used under a padded hip belt or padded gun belt. It is also a great weekend belt for outdoor pursuits. The icing on the cake is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, even with the custom Ti hardware.

If you want to order your own Khyber Belt, you should contact Kevin. There are some nuances to fitting that he can talk you through (it isn’t complicated). The double layer belts like the one reviewed have a smaller adjustment range than the single layer versions. You can contact Advanced Outfitters through their website, on Twitter, or on the Usual Suspect Network.

New Website and New Products from EXOTAC

EXOTAC, my favorite manufacturer of amazingly well designed, modular fire starting gadgets, has a great new website and some great new products.

Among the new products are the nanoSTRIKER XL which is a larger version of the previously reviewed nanoSTRIKER. Its larger ferro rod section gives you more strikes at the cost of some extra weight and size.

They have also introduced the MATCHCAP XL which is a larger version of the MATCHCAP. The MATCHCAP series is the perfect way to keep matches completely protected from the elements until you need them. They also work well as a place to store some emergency tinder like petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls.

The new products that interest me most are the polySTRIKER and polySTRIKER XL. This is a new line of ferro rod products that features a molded plastic handle. The plastic handle features a slot that retains the striking tool so that it is safe from loss and very compact. The plastic also keeps weight and cost to a minimum. In fact, these are priced on par with many other ferro rods that don’t have nearly as nice a handle as the polySTRIKERs.

You can check out the new site and all the new products at EXOTAC.com.

 

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