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 Post subject: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:12 am 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia, USA
So this is my first review of an armor system, and any comments are welcome. If you have questions please feel free to ask.


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TAG has recently been baught out and since then their prices have dropped on most of their gear. I picked up the Intrepid chest rig thinking it would be the same as a buddy's of mine, however there have been quite a few changes.

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The chest rig itself is very light weight, coming in around a pound or so, and is very comfortable when fully loaded. you can configure it in an H or X fashion and its very adjustable for slim build up to a stocky build. Because of this you can put it over any sort of armor carrier as a few squad mates do, such as the TAG HAVOC, or a Vel'Tyre Hugger.

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The rig can hold 8 m4 mags, which are open top, with retention straps built in. An added security on all the mag pouches though are built in magnets. These hold the mags in place securely, and allow you to keep the retention straps off the mags if you want faster access. It can also hold 4 pistol mags, from single stack to double stack , though double stack is a little bit tighter. I keep a Leathermen Wave in one of the pouches and it fits all the way in so its not going anywhere.

4 shotgun shell holders also come with this rig and are secured with Hook-and-Loop on the sides of the M4 pouches. They are large enough to hold Chem Lights, , IR Stiks, or LifeGear battery opperated Glow sticks.

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I try to only keep these holders on the outside of my end mag pouches so it doesnt create any strange spacing. The elastic bands hold very tight, so I havent lost anything yet.

Another major change is the size of the GP pouches on the end. Before they were comperable to an LBT 1961 in size, but since the new buy out, these pouches have shrank in size. They are now about 2 inches shorter and an inch or so slimmer as well. I havent found to much of a use for them yet, since they arent that large, fitting a single point sling bunched up. The pouch is big enough to hold MAYBE 2 M67 Frags, or some small medical supplies, overall its a big disappointment for this rig.

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The padding on the shoulders has also been reduced. In the older models it was about an inch or two thick, in this current run, its about 1/2 inch padding. I personally dont mind, however some prefer it, and have come to expect it in their chest rigs. I have run this rig now for a few days in training operations with no pains or issues, again the padding is a personal preference, but one to be mentioned in the differences.

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The material and coloring have also changed recently. Older models were a little more Khaki than the current Coyote Brown coloring. The feel of the material has also changed, though the codura count remains the same, it just feels, "different" as one squad mate put it in comparison to his older gen one. I prefer the darker Coyote to the older design but again its a personal thing. The feel though doesnt matter to me so much as long as its still as durable, and for the most part it has held up to training, and it should last me a while.

On the rear of the chest rig it has a small mesh pocket for storing maps or other papers, though not very large, itll do the trick. Also 4 large gromet holes are at the bottom of the rig for draining any liquid you may take on. There is also a small pocket built into the rig that is secured with Hook-and-Loop to hold a sidearm. I wouldnt recomend storing it there due to comfort but to each their own. It does come with some nylon that has button snaps and velcro for making a holster or some sort of securing for the sidearm.

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Another area where TAG has cut corners is on the buckles and the retention for radios. Before they would use buckles by national molding (I think), now the buckles dont even have a manufacturer on them. I am tempted on smashing them and replacing them with Nexus Replacement buckles, much like the Mayflower Plate Carrier uses. The Radio pouches are another major area where the materials got shit canned. Before they used either Shock Cord or 550 cord, but now they use some sort of rope material attached to a 1 inch square of nylon with velcro on the back. This allows you to adjust where the cord is so you can secure your radio better. It cinches down with the usual plastic barrel piece.

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The pouch it self can hold anything from an MBITR (original design intention), down to a Puxing PX888 or HT-750. As the description from TAG's site, the bottom of this pouch can open for easy access to the battery of an MBITR, which is great , if you have one...If not its a wide open gap for smaller radios which makes you put something in the bottom of the pouch to close this gap. How you open the bottom is a simple piece of nylon that has been put through a belt loop at the bottom and held together by velcro, this also allows you to adjust how small or large the opening at the bottom of the pouch is. I would of prefered a closed bottom pouch with a gromet hole, but again it was designed for a different radio than what I have access to.

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Overall I still love this rig, it has done everything i need it to, and holds most of the things I need for operations, what it doesnt hold a nice assault pack will. I just wish TAG hadnt changed so much of the rig since they were merged with another company. I may have saved $100 but they left out so much from the old gen. Granted after a couple minutes I could upgrade several things my self with better quality materials, but thats besides the point, its something that should of been done already.

For the price I got this rig, Id recommend it to others for use in combat or other uses. Its a light weight rig that holds a lot munitions and wont cause you strain. The shoulder straps when configured in an H harness style have MOLLE on the rear so you can run a 1 point sling throuh them as well further reducing combat fatigue.

TAG Price:$180
another retailer I got it from: $130

Lifetime Warrenty

Sorry for the pictures guys, Only have my camera phone to work with. Again if you have any questions, feel free to ask.


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:01 pm 
I can't work for assholes
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:09 am
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Location: Dead Center of Texas
very impressive review, VERY informative.... ive always had a spot for TAG, but was unaware of a buy out...

the info was very detailed, but as you asked, since this is your first review, maybe more pics...?...?...

i.e. where the MBITR radio, battery access is, its hard to figure out whats going on in that pic. the only reason i knew, was im familiar with the rig.

but again VERY INFORMATIVE if someone was contemplating this rig...Kudos!


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:49 pm 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia, USA
Ill snag some more photos and put in more info tonight when I get home. Thanks for the comments.


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:56 pm 
Part of the furniture
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:40 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Seattle, Washington
Very nice review. I've been looking at picking up some of TAG's new items, but was wondering how its purchasing by LC affected the gear. TAG's buyout by LC occurred in January according to the Soldier Systems article.

Can you take a photo of both the old and current versions of the Intrepid chest rig? That would go a long way towards showing the changes that took place. If you can't take a side by side photo, maybe your buddy can take one of his rig and let you add it to this review?

-Vic

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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:15 pm 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia, USA
Yeah, he is down in VA Beach, but Ill see if he can grab a few shots for me so I can post those up. You can also call TAG and have them make you an older Gen version. Currently he is having them make an M60 version of this rig.

Changes being made:
-an inch wider shoulder straps
-heavy duty buckles
-more padding than the old Gen
-Closed top, one pouch will have 2 pistol mags in front where the Velcro will go over the entire outside
-Changing the grenade pouch to the Elevated double stack grenade pouches

A couple other things are being done, but that's just an idea on the things we are working on changing with these rigs.


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:10 am 
Quite OK actually
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Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:16 am
Posts: 157
Location: UK/ HRA
Great review.

I might be starting a new job next year and have been thinking of getting one of these.

How snug are the mags in the pouches? do you think they could hold Sig 552 mags?

Could you fit 2 M4 mags in the radio pouch?
Im thinking of running an SOE pull out med tray in one.

Make sure you post pics of your mates custom rig when its done.

Cheers.

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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:49 pm 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia, USA
It fits GI M4 mags pretty well and it has some room left over. My guess is it'd fit a Pmag pretty firm and may not even require the retention straps.

The older Gen model though hardly fits GI mags, my buddy keeps them in the pouches when not in use to help stretch them out.

The Radio pouch could hold 2 M4 or maybe even AK mags as its a pretty deep pouch. You'll want to get something to plug up the bottom otherwise the mags would fall out. An SOE Med pullout would work great on that rig, and even better if you wanted to make itva dedicated Med pouch. You could mod the pouch a little more to hold that Med Tray even better, then secure it with the pullcord.

I'm not sure how Sig 552 mags would fit since I don't have any on hand. I've been away from my kit for a couple days now so I still can't snag photos, but I haven't forgotten to take a few more.


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:27 pm 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia, USA
Ok now for more photos and info.

First is the size of the GP pouch. I've placed a set of medical shears vertically in the pouch to show you what kind of size you have to have to work with.

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Now onto the medical pouch. It has a very slim pocket in it, which could hold a mag, but again you will need to form a bottom to this pouch. The easy way of course is by stuffing something down there. Another way would be to take a solderinging iron and making several holes are the bottom of the pouch on both sides, then using either 550 cord or zip-ties to lace the bottom together.

As I said before though, you could cut the divider out entirely and use it for an SOE medical pullout tray.

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This is the bottom of the radio pouch. Unfortunatley there is no real way to see this. But just imagine it as a pouch sleave, and at the bottom is that 2'' band of adjustable nylon to control how open or closed the bottom is.

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This is the frag pouch. There is one on the outside of each GP pouch. These pouches hold an M67 frag very well, but it could possibly hold a Pineapple grenade with minor overhang from the pouch. The buckle on the outside of the pouch is adjustable to compensate for odd or oversized frags. IT WILL NOT HOLD A SMOKE GRENADE, OR BANG.

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On each shoulder strap is a small channel of MOLLE , holding 4 rows for HORIZONTAL mounting. This can be annoying for mounting Bowmen PRR or anything other then PTT. This MOLLE section is built on a panel that opens for storage of excess comm wiring.

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If you guys need any other pictures or have other questions let me know.


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:50 am 
Quite OK actually
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Posts: 157
Location: UK/ HRA
Stewartb109; Thanks for taking the time to post, it was really helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:48 pm 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia, USA
Anytime! I know I've wasted my fair share of funds buying Tac gear on a leap of faith only to find out it didn't work at all. So every little bit helps!


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:10 am 
The New Guy

Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:50 am
Posts: 7
Gonna drag this thread back from the grave and ask a few questions. How sturdy do you think the straps are? I don't mean the padded ones but the 1 in webbing that adjust? Do they fray easily? I'm also wondering about how much material is between the two center m4 mag pouches. I know a hard core tailor and would consider having him sewn in a heavy duty zipper (in the upside down position, think esstac boar a1) and make this thing a split front.

Thanks for a great review. A tip on the crappy looking/functions zipper pulls and radio tie downs: replace them all with 550 cord. If you gut the cord you use on the radio pouch it should lay flat and hold the radio more snug. I'm looking at this rig as a real possibility on deployment, it's at the lower end of what i've spent on gear before so I'm naturally cautious. If you don't think it could handle a year in the sand box please let me know.

Thanks
Rider


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:46 pm 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia, USA
Alright Rider, to answer the most import question first... your life in the sandbox. I have put this rig through MOUT life, country side patrols and humping through bush, and Killhouse type environments. Its lasted and held up great with no signs of structural damage. If anything, the rig has gotten more comfortable. I personally would put a stamp of approval on it...
HOWEVER, to be extra safe, I'd get in touch with TAG and ask them about the materials used on this. I'm still not 100% sure but I think this particular rig was made for a price quota for Ares Armor (the third part I purchased from). I have a feeling if you bought directly from TAG you'd see the material quality increase to a better Sandbox quality. The price difference is only about 40 USD from the two sites.

Aside from all of that I think it'd be a great comfortable rig, but TAG hasn't been seen/mentioned much in theatre so other feedback is limited. There was one member here that used a TAG MOLLE cheat rig in 07' I think, and if I remember it had desert DPM pouches on it.. no complaints were listed.

Onto your structural questions.
-The Straps: these feel light weight, almost like backpack strap off an LL Bean pack. Despite their feel I haven't noticed any issues. There hasn't been any fraying, no wiggle, the buckles grip really tight on them so it doesn't loosen up during operations. Even though the strap feel light, they could still be made from good quality materials...like I said I've used it extensively since I picked this rig up and nothing bad has happened to the straps.

-Zipper Mod: this shouldn't be a problem, can't imagine it be much more than a quarter inch of material but Ill take a look at it later. You will need to do a lot of stitch work though. the mesh pocket on thbe rear would either have to be modded or removed. Then the velcro internal pouch of the rig (for a sidearm or maps) would have to be modded or removed as well depending on what you need it to do if anything.
Though if your doing a zipper mod like that, I think after cost it'd be better to look at LBT 1961G since it would basically become that (LBT has larger GP pouches)

I hope that helps, but like I said about holding up in the sandbox, I think it would work great as a light weight rig for patrols, lite to moderate contact / abuse. Anything above that and Id talk to TAG about some reinforcements , or make them build you the old gen $279 version.


Good luck mate!

EDIT: just realised what you asked about material around the mag pouches... there isn't enough room to latch a zipper mod on there. The pouches are very close together, only segmented enough to allow better mobility . Sorry for the confusion


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:06 am 
The New Guy

Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:50 am
Posts: 7
Thanks for the quick and in depth reply. I emailed TAG's Custom Shop tonight about the material and construction, and inquired about some custom alterations including the following...

- Extra reinforced seams and stress points
- upgraded buckles and 1 in webbing (that runs through the buckles)
- zippered (zips down) split front between center mag pouches
- medical pouch (will hold soe pull out tray) with a bottom instead of a radio pouch under right arm
- larger gp pouches
- hook and loop flaps over the pistol mag pouches

we'll see what they have to say, and I'll make sure to share. If I can get these mods done under $315 I'll be pretty thrilled, but I'm guessing if they'll do them at all it'll cost more.


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm
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Location: Virginia, USA
Your looking at well over $400. For that price, I asked for some simple stuff :
-Black Buckles (just like the appearance )
-closed top pouches like the 1961
-Switch the shoulder MOLLE direction and add another column to hold a Bowmen PRC

There may have been something else I asked for but he wouldn't do it for under 400.

Let me know though on how much they quote you!


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 Post subject: Re: TAG Intrepid
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:44 pm 
Quite OK actually
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Posts: 157
Location: UK/ HRA
Stewartb109 wrote:
There was one member here that used a TAG MOLLE cheat rig in 07' I think, and if I remember it had desert DPM pouches on it.. no complaints were listed.


That was probably me. I used it in Afghan then sold it on to another guy on my 2nd tour. He used it with no troubles. I'd happily deploy with TAG gear again.

Just an idea. But why dont you get a LBT or Eagle rig and mod the ammo pouches? Its got to be easier than modding the whole TAG rig.

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