So this is my first review of an armor system, and any comments are welcome. If you have questions please feel free to ask.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
another retailer I got it from: $130
Sorry for the pictures guys, Only have my camera phone to work with. Again if you have any questions, feel free to ask.