Tag Archives | Phokus Research Group

Phokus Research Group Wound Cube

A good friend of the blog recently told me about his experience with the Phokus Research Group Wound Cube – a training aid in the form of a semi-transparent silicone cube with 4 common and realistic wound patterns molded into it. He was impressed.

The Wound Cube is designed to give students in a classroom setting, a chance to develop their skills at packing wounds. The different types of wounds offer the opportunity to pack 3 different gun shot wounds and 1 large laceration. The semi-transparent construction allows both the student and instructor to see the student’s work (especially when used with a flashlight). The durable construction allows the Wound Cube to be used over and over again.

Phokus Research Group offers a variety of different Wound Cube Packages from single Wound Cubes to entire classroom-ready kits. Check out the Wound Cube at PhokusResearch.com.

The SHIELD Pouch from Phokus Research Group

I am a fan of Phokus Research Group’s Sons Trauma Kit. In the time since I reviewed it, they have created several other configurations including the SHIELD which is a compact, low-profile kit that can be readily concealed. It is even easier to carry and conceal with the introduction of the SHIELD Pouch.

The SHIELD Pouch is a concealable, belt-mounted carrier for the SHIELD Trauma Kit that is manufactured by First Spear for Phokus Research Group. Most of the pouch is made from a performance stretch material that serves to keep the pouch very slick and compact while retaining the contents. The SHIELD Trauma Kit rides in a pull out tray that can be accessed via pull tabs from either side of the pouch.

Check out Phokus Research Group.

PHOKUS Research Group SHIELD Pouch 1 PHOKUS Research Group SHIELD Pouch 2 PHOKUS Research Group SHIELD Pouch 3

Review: Phokus Research Group Hoplite

Night Vision is a tremendous resource for LEO, military, and the prepared citizen. It is not inexpensive but it is best thought of as an investment. If you have invested in something so costly, why wouldn’t you spend a little more to make sure you had the right gear to maximize and protect your investment? That is exactly what the Phokus Research Group Hoplite does.Phokus Research Group Hoplite on PVS14 Phokus Research Group Hoplite


The Hoplite is a plastic cover for night vision devices that primarily alters the way that the device can be focused so that objects both near and far can be in focus and secondarily protects the objective lens from damage. It focuses the device via an adjustable aperture (3 sizes included) on the cap and protects the lens via a sacrificial lens that is always in place over the objective lens when the Hoplite is installed.

It looks very much like a scope cap but you need only to put hands on it to see that its quality far surpasses a typical scope cap. Scope caps wear out in three places – the spring that snaps them open, the friction lock that keeps them closed, and the hinge. The Hoplite doesn’t have a spring to break or wear out. It doesn’t have a friction lock. Instead, it relies on a large, well-constructed hinge to stay in the open and closed position.

The Hopelite attaches to the night vision device via a tension lock mechanism that is very secure.

The hinge is secured with a fairly large and confidence inspiring pin.

The hinge is secured with a fairly large and confidence inspiring pin.

Observations from Use

You only need to look through a Hoplite equipped night vision device one time to understand how valuable it is. It allows you to focus your device for “infinity” and then never touch the focus again. Without the Hoplite, that would mean that distant objects are in focus but near objects are blurry and unrecognizable. The Hoplite allows both and near and far objects to be in focus simply by closing the cap.

The difference that the Hoplite makes is readily apparent. One of the most dramatic examples that I can think of from my time with the Hoplite is that it was actually possible to peer into the chamber of a carbine at arm’s length and focus well enough to identify what type of malfunction you might be dealing with while still being able to glance down range and see targets in perfect focus.

Phokus Research Group Hoplite Aperture Installed

Hoplite cover with an aperture installed

Phokus Research Group Hoplite Aperture Open

Hoplite cover with no aperture installed

Phokus Research Group Hoplite Aperture Sizes

All 3 aperture sizes

I recommend that you spend a little time learning which aperture works best for you. The smaller apertures will allow you to focus closer than the full open aperture. However, we noticed that there is a pretty heavy trade-off that comes with the smaller apertures. They greatly reduce the amount of light that makes it into the device so as you decrease the aperture size, you greatly increase your dependence on an illuminator. If you don’t have a solid illuminator set up when using the smallest aperture, the image you see through the device will be very grainy and may be unusable.

One of the night vision owners that checked out the Hoplite with me was thrilled to see the sacrificial lens built into the Hoplite. He felt that was a very strong secondary benefit given that night vision devices are not cheap and there is supply chain support for the civilian night vision owner. Any protection that you can give the objective lens is invaluable.

Phokus Research Group Hoplite Protective Lens

The sacrificial lens goes a long way toward protecting your investment.

Wrap Up

The Hoplite’s ability to correct the focus shortcomings of night vision devices while also protecting it from damage make it indispensable. I can’t think of a reason not to own one if you have already made the investment in night vision.

Check out the Phokus Research Group Hoplite.

Phokus Research Group Hoplite Removed

The proof is in the pudding. This is the view through a PVS14 without the Hoplite. The target with ear pro is at 4 feet and the targets down range are at 100 yards.

Phokus Research Group Hoplite In Focus

This is the view through a PVS14 with the Hoplite. I wish the image turned out better to show how sharp it really is but the difference in definition on the near target is obvious. The far targets are still in perfect focus.

Review: Sons Trauma Kit from Phokus Research Group

The Sons Trauma Kit from Phokus Research Group is a trauma kit that is designed to be carried behind your plates in your plate carrier (PC). This is a massive departure from the way that trauma kits are typically carried which has understandably drawn some skepticism. Certainly, the Sons Trauma Kit may not be for everyone but, in my time with it, I think the audience for this kit may be wider than most people think.

Phokus Research Group Sons Trauma Kit


The Sons Trauma Kit is a simple and well executed concept. It is a trauma kit that is made to be carried behind the plates in your plate carrier and its entire form factor is built around that end goal. A kit intended to be carried in this manner must be extremely thin to fit the plate pocket with the plate and extremely water resistant to protect against sweat and rain. To accomplish this, Phokus Research Group created a durable medical-grade vinyl case that is shaped like a ballistic plate or soft armor insert.

Phokus Research Group Sons Trauma Kit Back

The kit’s contents vary based on which version is chosen. I received the Deployment Configuration which contains the following:

  • QuikClot Combat Gauze x1
  • 4″ Z-Fold Gauze Bandage x2
  • 14G Needle x1
  • Occlusive Dressing x2
  • NPA w/ 550 x1
  • 3″ Elastic Bandage x1
  • 2″ Safety Pins x2
  • Nitrile Gloves x1
  • Casualty Card x1

All of the above items are packed in such a way that the entire kit is never thicker than about ¾” which is pretty darn amazing. It is also notable that the items are packed in such a way that when the kit is opened, nearly everything in the kit is available without digging. Items are placed in an order the represents the order that they will likely be used.

Observations from Use

Much of the skepticism of this kit is surrounding its placement. People will wonder if it will be accessible enough and how someone else will know where it is located should they need to render aid. Those are all good questions and, while I will try to tackle some of them from my experience with the kit, the simplest and best answer is probably… It depends.

The question of whether it will be easily accessible will rely completely on how your plate carrier’s plate pockets are accessed and whether or not you train to access the kit. I placed the Sons Trauma Kit in a number of plate carriers that I had on hand and the only ones that I consider to be unusable with the kit were those with top loading plate pockets or those with complex closure systems. The plate carriers tested include the Mayflower R&C APC, Velocity Systems Light Weight Plate Carrier, Diamondback Tactical FAPC, Shellback Tactical Banshee, SO Tech Viper, and a few others. It really just doesn’t take long to peel open the hook and loop flap found at the bottom of the plate pocket on most PCs. There is an element of common sense at play here. If your PC makes it difficult to remove the plates while you are wearing it, it will be difficult to access the Sons Trauma Kit as well.

Phokus Research Group Sons Trauma Kit Removed

It should be noted that placing a surface mount IFAK comes with its own accessibility issues. The front of a PC is usually dedicated to carrying magazines and is probably the last place that you want to add more bulk. Mounting an IFAK on the side of a PC can reduce accessibility, mobility, and impede the draw stroke. Mounting an IFAK on the rear of the PC is common but it will be difficult or impossible for the wearer to access. When viewed through this context, the Sons Trauma Kit may actually solve accessibility problems rather than create them.

The question of how someone else will know where to find your IFAK is a little more involved. I do not have any military or LE experience but I suspect that in those settings it would be typical to set up some sort of SOP that detailed the location of the trauma kit so that all parties knew to check the plate pocket. For those who are using these kits outside of military and LE circles, I would suggest informing those that you shoot with where your Sons Trauma Kit is located and if you have regular shooting partners you may even want to rehearse accessing the kit. This issue is probably the most important factor for you to weigh when deciding whether the Sons Trauma Kit is right for you.

While I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for reading the above and determining that a traditional surface mounted trauma kit is right for them, there are situations in which the Sons Trauma Kit really solves a problem. The most glaring of which is where do you place a trauma kit on a completely slick concealment plate carrier? The answer used to be “you don’t” but the Sons Trauma Kit can easily be carried inside a concealment carrier while adding minimal additional bulk.

The Sons Trauma Kit’s thin form factor also makes it ideal for applications other than plate pocket carry. For instance, it will easily fit the hydration pouch or laptop sleeve found in many backpacks or brief cases. While most IFAKs are tightly packed cubes that end up at the bottom of your pack, the Sons Trauma Kit can stand vertically in a pack, ready to be accessed, and taking up almost no space at all. It even fit in a laptop sleeve along with the laptop.

Phokus Research Group Sons Trauma Kit in Pack

I also found several other useful applications. It fits the tight slip pockets found on the back of many car seats. It can be tucked easily between seats in your vehicle. Its slim form makes it easy to tuck into soft or hard carbine cases. Basically, this kit is thin enough to go a lot of places that a typical IFAK can’t go.

It seems to me that the Sons Trauma Kit could be a key piece in a layered approach to load carriage. For instance, I use my belt as my baseline for load carriage. It is set up to be self-contained and its suits me well as a regular guy who doesn’t need to carry much. The belt is the location of my fastest reloads, a few key pieces of range admin gear, and a basic trauma kit. The next piece to the layered approach would be a chest rig or plate carrier. They are only used when necessary and I generally don’t carry much on them. The Sons Trauma Kit could be placed in my PC so that should I need a second trauma kit or I find myself without my belt for some reason; I am not without a trauma kit.

Phokus Research Group Sons Trauma Kit Tear Tab

Wrap Up

The Sons Trauma Kit is just about ideal for me for use in a backpack or as a backup to a more traditional, surface mounted kit located on my belt. It has become irreplaceable for me in those roles. Every style of IFAK and every possible mounting location comes with potential issues. The Sons Trauma Kit is no different in that regard.  As with any piece of gear, all factors must be weighed to determine if it is right for you.

Check out the Sons Trauma Kit at Phokus Research Group.

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