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Review: ZAGG invisibleSHIELD

I have used a ton of different clear screen protectors in an effort to get more mileage out of my electronics, especially the ones that I use outdoors. For the most part, they were all found lacking. They would either peel, shrink, or discolor. Then I found the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD. They aren’t the cheapest screen protector on the market, but they are the first one that I have found that actually works well enough to be worth any amount of money.

I have one on my cell phone which has been in my pocket for more than a year with no signs of distress. The previous screen protector that I used started peeling in days and quickly had pocket lint stuck to all the edges. It was a mess.

I put them on all of my GPS units as well. I really enjoy orienteering and these units can really take a beating. The plastic screens that GPS manufacturers use scratch and scuff easily. It only takes a couple of days of use before the scuffs can start to make the screen less readable.  The invisibleSHIELD shrugs off scuffs and scratches easily that would otherwise damage a GPS.

They are extremely clear and do not seem to change the readability of the screen that they are protecting. In fact, they can enhance readability in some cases. It seems to fill in shallow scuffs. I have a GPS with some scuffing on the screen that can’t be seen through the invisibleSHIELD.

Installation is easy and, unlike most screen protectors, the invisibleSHIELD comes with everything you need to install it yourself (a spray bottle of lubricating solution, a lint free cloth, and a small rubber squeegee). I even keep the lint free cloths so I can tuck them into my gear. They are great for wiping down binoculars and rifle scopes in the field.

Electronics from GPS units to smart phones to tablet computers are becoming more and more common in the field. These items aren’t cheap so it is prudent to protect them. Check out the ZAGG invisbileSHIELD screen protectors.

TAREINCO SOB-Pouch

The new Survival Options Belt-Pouch (SOB-Pouch) from TAREINCO is a compact, concealable, belt pouch that is designed to carry small survival items. The SOB-Pouch also has a trick up its sleeve. It can be removed from the wearer’s belt just by pulling a webbing tab.

This pouch looks like a very unobtrusive way to carry small survival or EDC items. Most belt pouches on the market are far too noticeable and they look a bit, well, silly. The SOB-Pouch hugs the belt and is hardly noticeable, especially when covered by a shirt.

If you need to access the contents or remove the pouch for any other reason, you can simply pull the tab to remove the entire pouch from your belt. This gives you easy access to the contents of the pouch. This easy-off, quick access functionality would make the SOB-Pouch great for a small first aid kit.

The SOB-Pouch isn’t available yet, but you can check out TAREINCO.com or TAREINCO’s Facebook page to stay in the know.

More Info on the Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight from Battle Systems

Battle Systems gave us some additional information on their improved VS-17 based marker panel. It is tentatively named the Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight. In the previous post, we noted the Velcro field for IR patches, light weight material, and compact size. Battle Systems has also clued us in on some additional functionality.

The panels will feature loops at all 4 corners. These loops will allow the panel to be lashed to gear like your pack. These loops will also allow the panels to be connected in order to increase the visual signature of the panels.

Battle Systems will be offering the Marker Panel, Individual, Lightweight in “fire team packs.” These packs will include 4 panels, 4 carabiners, and 4 IR patches. The carabiners can be used to attach the panels together.

Keep an eye on the Battle Systems website and Facebook page for more details.

New Marker Panel Coming from Battle Systems

Battle Systems gave us a sneak peak of their upcoming marker panel. It is functionally similar to the VS-17 marker panel but it will be made from lighter weight materials and be compact enough to fit in a pocket or admin pouches. This is the type of gear that can find a home in anyone’s kit without weighing you down.

This new panel will also be functional in low and no light. It has a 2×2″ Velcro field on each side where an IR reflective patch can be affixed. The patches will be available at the time of purchase.

These panels have a ton of uses for everyone from military members to hunters and hikers. I like to use a high visibility marker like this for land navigation in a technique that I will show in the review of this new marker panel. We have a couple inbound for review so stay tuned.

FOURSEVENS Launches New Site and Branding

4Sevens is now FOURSEVENS. They have launched a new site that will showcase just the FOURSEVENS line of flashlights. The website and lights will also feature their new logo.

Check out the new site and branding at FOURSEVENS.com.

Review: Orion Concepts MOD-1 Holster

Sometimes it seems that holsters are such simple things that are designed to do a simple task – carry a handgun. However, the sheer number and variations of holsters on the market should tell you that holsters, especially good holsters, are not such a simple thing after all. There are a lot of holsters on the market that really just aren’t any good. Thankfully, the MOD-1 from Orion Concepts is good – not perfect but really, really good.

The Same but Different

The MOD-1 from Orion Concepts looks new and familiar all at the same time. At first glance it looks like a leather pancake holster until you notice that it molded from kydex. There have been other companies who have adapted proven leather pancake holster designs to kydex but none that were quite like this.

While this looks very much like a typical pancake holster, it is designed to be worn in a different way. The MOD-1 has very large belt “loops” that are designed to allow the wearer to route their belt over the holster, not behind the holster. This results in a holster that wears in a way that I have never really experienced. The grip is drawn into the side of the wearer tighter than any other holster that I have tried and that is a very good thing. The gun rides very close, like an inside the waistband (IWB) holster, but allows the easy access and comfort of an outside the waistband (OWB) holster.

Other Features

The front of the holster (the part that is away from the wearer) is more molded than the back. The back of the holster (the part that is against the user’s body) is very lightly molded. This seems to be part of why this holster is so comfortable. There are no real hotspots or pressure points even though the holster is pressed very tightly against your body. I have always found leather holsters to be more comfortable than kydex. This is the first kydex holster that I have used that challenges that notion.

The MOD-1 has a small but effective sweat guard. It does a good job of keeping you separated from the slide of your handgun and, maybe more importantly, does a good job of preventing your shirt from sticking into the holster (especially important for striker fired pistols with no manual safety). There is also a small projection on the sweat guard that covers the magazine release button. It is molded generously enough to work with the Vickers Magazine Release.

Fit and Finish

As good as this holster is functionally, it is a bit lacking in the area of fit and finish. There are areas where it looks like whatever tool is used to finish the edges slipped and marred the surface of the holster. The edges are finished so that they are smooth but this has created some sharp spots on the bottom of the holster (these edges don’t contact the wearer at all and are easily fixed). Thankfully, the opening of the holster is nicely rounded and lacks sharp edges. The molding is not as crisp as some kydex holsters but the retention is solid. It also seems like there could be a couple more rivets used in the construction and the material around the bolt loops could be left thicker though I had no durability issues during more than 4 months of carry. These issues are purely cosmetic.

In Use

The MOD-1 carries very well. Like every other shooter, I have far more holsters than I have handguns and this is the most comfortable one that I own. It also carries closer and conceals better than any other outside the waistband holster that I own.

It carries very well right on the point of the hip thanks to its curved shape. This is generally where I like to place OWB but many holsters are either too flat or too bulky on the belt for this position to work.

One thing that worried me about the holster when I first received it was I had to skip a belt loop with most of my pants in order to wear the MOD-1. With a typical OWB holster you can route the belt through the holster so that it passes through the holster, a belt loop, and then the holster again. The MOD-1 doesn’t allow that but after months of use, it has been a complete non-issue.

The MOD-1 allows a pretty smooth draw stroke. It holds the gun closer like an IWB holster but higher like an OWB holster. The result is a draw that is easier than an IWB holster but perhaps a tiny bit slower than some OWB holsters that don’t conceal as well. Anytime the grip is held in close to the body, you will sacrifice some speed. This is why competition holsters ride out away fro the body and concealment holsters ride close. You are trading some speed for a holster that conceals very well.

Conclusion

The MOD-1 is a tremendous holster based on function. It rides so comfortably and so close to the body that it really just exceeds anything else that I have tried. There are some fit and finish issues with my example but these issues do not diminish function at all. I suspect that we will be hearing a lot more about Orion Concepts and their MOD-1 holster as they get into the hands of more users. These are excellent holsters.

Check out the MOD-1 with and without weapon lights on Orion-Concepts.com.

 

PredatorEDC.com

If you are reading this blog, there is a pretty good chance that you carry a few EDC (Every Day Carry) items like a knife and flashlight. Well, now there is a new online store from some familiar people that you can visit to help get your EDC gear in shape.

PredatorEDC.com is the latest venture of PredatorIntelligence who are also the company behind PredatorBDU.com and PredatorARMAMENT.com. The new site carries EDC focused items like knives, flashlights, and pocket tools. They already have a ton of great brands listed and there are more coming.

Check out PredatorEDC.com.

Afrankart Prybaton

What happens when you dim the lights, turn on some music, and lock the door behind a pry bar and a kubotan? Something a lot like the new Prybaton from Afrankart is what happens.

You may remember some of Andy’s (afrankart is his screenname) other work that I profiled on JTT. The Prybaton is his latest project. It blends of the functions and features of a pry bar and a (kubotan). The result is a versatile self defense/EDC tool that can handle a surprising number of chores. The tapered pry edge is not only a useful tool but it also packs a heck of a wallop in training hands.

The Prybaton is made from 6-4 Titanium and is 6″ long by .6″ in diameter. The Ti construction keeps the weight of this handful of metal down to just 3.8 ounces. The handle features texture to lock the Prybaton in your hand during strikes or while you are prying. The pry tip is cleverly designed to be flat on one side and hollow ground on the other to facilitate prying.

The Prybaton is a clever and down right nasty tool. Contact Andy via email at afrankart@woh.rr.com for more information.

CCW Friendly Clothes Getting Mainstream Attention

It looks like the ever growing market for CCW friendly and tactical clothing is getting some mainstream attention lately. The NY Times recently published an article on, among other things, Woolrich’s line of CCW clothing.

From the NY Times article…

Woolrich, a 182-year-old clothing company, describes its new chino pants as an elegant and sturdy fashion statement, with a clean profile and fabric that provides comfort and flexibility.

And they are great for hiding a handgun.

You can check out the full article on the NY Times website.

Battle Systems LLC Vinyl Tape Heat Test

Battle Systems LLC is out to prove that their tape can take whatever abuse you throw at it while it is attached to your gear. Other vinyl tapes turn to a gooey mess when they are exposed to heat, but Battle Systems’ Vinyl Tape, Coyote Brown shrugs off the heat of an AR-15 barrel after a mag dump with no visible loss of integrity. It stays stuck and doesn’t leave a mess when removed. Every Tactical Handyman needs some of this tape!

Get your own at BattleSystemsLLC.com or BeyondIssue.com.

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