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Tactical Tailor – Concealed Carry Messenger Bag

Friday, October 24th, 2014


Constructed from 500D Cordura Nylon, the Concealed Carry Messenger Bag features Hypalon accents, as well as airmesh lining on the bag and shoulder pad.

An accessory pouch and removable holster come standard with the Messenger Bag. Three internal compartments are lined with loop material so that users can rearrange the accessory pouch and holster to their preference, as well as further customize the bag with hook pouches and other accessories.

Available in all Black, or Black with Charcoal, Typhon, Ranger Green, or Wolf Grey accents.

FirstSpear Friday Focus – Mk 32 Punisher Pack

Friday, October 24th, 2014

This week’s Friday Focus looks at a very specialized product from FirstSpear, the Punisher Pack. Designed to carry the 40mm Mk 32 MGL issued to the Marines and SOCOM.


As you can see, in addition to the 6/12 platform technology, you can carry a rifle or shotgun down the side of the pack. FirstSpear makes a 6/12 SixPack 40mm grenade holder that will keep you covered for reloads.


Available in Black, Coyote, Ranger Green and MultiCam.

Punisher Pack

Gear History – The Becker Patrol Pack

Monday, October 20th, 2014

In this video, knife designer Ethan Becker describes another piece of kit he came up with, the Backer Patrol Pack.

Back in the day, the Becker Patrol Pack was the pack to have for short duration missions. Designed originally to be compatible with ALICE Slide Fasteners, it features strips of webbing to attach pouches. Additionally, there are six fixed external pouches closed via 1″ SR buckles.


The design also incorporates Coolmax padding in the back and shoulders for comfort in hot weather. You’ve got to remember, folks weren’t wearing armor all of the time. The shoulder straps also feature suede patches to offer purchase when shouldering a weapon. Like the ALICE pack, the top flap incorporates an internal pocket for maps or other items. Finally, the waist belt is removable and can be worn as a stand alone war belt.


Eventually, Eagle Industries would introduce a Large version of the BPP (above) with increased volume up around the Large ALICE as well as a MOLLE variant (below) that replaces the outer, fixed pockets and ALICE webbing with PALS.


OFFPISTE: The ‘UltraPack’ That Moves With You On Kickstarter

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014


OFFPISTE is currently seeking funding for an UltraPack currently up on KickStarter. Capable of holding 7 liters + 3 extendable liters, this UltraPack is highly versatile and designed for use with all levels of physical activity.

The triangular shape of the UltraPack and the high degree of modularity makes it a great option for hiking, running, kayaking, or general use. Its shape allows for complete freedom of movement in the chest and shoulders while still allowing easy access to any internal items. It’s also adjustable to be worn on either shoulder by adjusting the main strap to either side.


OFFPISTE has developed multiple modules for the pack such as the LightPack Modular Pouch, a hydration system water bladder, camera pouch, water bottle wrap holder, and more. They will also be offering the finalized UltraPack in multiple colors.

This Pack Found At Walmart Looks Very Familiar

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

We received a message Friday about a new line of tactical at gear at Walmart. The SOG line appears to be from SOG Specialty Knives & Tools but they aren’t available through their website, only through Walmart. Although there are numerous clones in the line, we decided to concentrate on the SOG Squadron Pack which bears a striking resemblance to the 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 backpack.

SOG Squadron Pack

Essentially, both are about the same size and serve the same purpose as backpacks but we don’t believe that the 5.11 Tactical product is patented. Instead, we see something amiss that is going to start showing up a lot; Trade Dress. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a form of intellectual property. Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging that signify the source of the product to consumers.

Pack Comparison

As you can see, aside from the overall look of the packs, there are several features in particular that are the same. What remains to be seen is if 5.11 Tactical has noticed (we are pretty sure they will after this story) and what, if anything they might do about it.

US Army Developed Ironman Ammo Pack Costs More Than Commercial Version It Emulates

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

A little over three years ago the US Army told us about this great new high capacity ammunition carriage system that they had developed for the M240 Machine Gun. It was so awesome they even hog gave it a cool name. The ‘IronMan’ was created by Natick’s Quick Reaction Cell and the Rapid Equipping Force after a Soldier identified the need for a means to carry and feed up to 500 rounds of linked 7.62. We literally thought this was a one off kind of a thing to support the 34th ID and that would be the end of it.

Interestingly, the Army spent a lot of time (initial prototypes in 45 days with an operational assessment almost two years later) and money to develop these things before they finally purchased a bunch of them. When we first wrote about it in July of 2011, we noted the conceptual similarity to the existing TYR Tactical MICO. The MICO Machine Gunners Assault Pack was created first, on TYR’s dime, and chances are really good that some enterprising GI saw the MICO and wanted one. Instead, he got the IronMan.

Above is the Army’s IronMan and below the TYR Tactical MICO. They are definitely different executions of the same concept.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s been done before. There’s no question, the concept isn’t new. Below you can see a ‘China Lake’ pack system built for the SEALs and used with the M60.


The difference here is that the government designed something that was already commercially available and incurred greater costs than the commercial model’s. Even worse, we hear reports that the issue models have trouble feeding and that units have been buying the MICO from TYR Tactical as replacements. That’s paying twice for the same capability.

In the time it took the Army to finalize and test their design, TYR Tactical has continued to develop the MICO, not only ensuring it will work with both the M240 and Mk48 but also introducing adapters for the M249 and Mk46 5.56mm weapons. They’ve also developed a tripod carrier accessory for the pack.

If any SSD readers have experience with the IronMan (or the MICO for that matter), please share it in the comments section. We are hearing that most are out of service for various issues.

From here on out, we’ll just refer to it as ‘IronyMan”. When all is said and done, the Army takes years to field a system that already exists commercially and pays more to do it. Sound familiar?

Beyond Clothing – Burrito Rolling

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Beyond Clothing made up this informative video on Burrito Rolling, also known as Ranger Rolling. Burrito Rolling is a space saving packing technique that makes it easier to dig through a pack without making a cluttered mess of the contents, while allowing for packing more items or using a smaller pack. Definitely worth a look.

ZOT Mini Mountain Ruck from Honor Point USA

Thursday, August 21st, 2014


Featuring Honor Point’s Zip Off Technology, the Mini Mountain Ruck relies on a common frame that allows the use of other bags when needed.


EraThr3 – Just What Is EraThr3?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

You may have heard of EraThr3. It’s a brand-new company by Sheri Johnson, former General Manger of Noveske Rifle Works. She is joined by Sterling Becklin as President/CEO and Jason Hulst of Hulst Customs. They plan on offering a line of bags, lifestyle gear, knives, and apparel, products that reach a wider range of demographics when compared to traditional tactical gear. Their press release can be read below:


Just What Is EraThr3?

“I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not Fight Club. It may seem like we’ve trying to keep things a secret but we’re not. EraThr3 [pronounced Era Three] is a lifestyle with a company wrapped around it. It’s not a company with a lifestyle.” Sheri Johnson, EraThr3 COOO.

How do you label EraThr3 in just one word? Easy. All you have to do is pick one. Cars, blades, gear, good booze, better tattoos, glory, resolve, off-roading, scandalous women, badassery.

It won’t be an accurate label unless you all of them and no matter what it will be incomplete, but you gotta start somewhere.


EraThr3’s leadership could be called heretical. It begins with Sheri Johnson, former General Manager of Noveske Rifleworks, hot tattooed chick now Chief Obnoxious Operating Officer (COOO); Sterling Becklin, previously President of Noveske Rifleworks, current President of ECS Case and long time outdoors aficionado turned EraThr3 Presidente; and Jason Hulst of Hulst Customs, custom car builder and HRDM (hot rod design maestro). These three possess an alarming range of talents and serious commitment. Design, fabrication, knowledge of the firearms-tactical-military industry, badass interpersonal skills and sheer lack of fear.

Johnson says, “The first question we get asked is, are you building firearms? The short answer is, maybe. Maybe at some point. They may be part of the journey but they’re not the entirety of the destination. We want to stay in the firearms industry, we love it, but we won’t be taking the usual path. We love to shoot and we train a lot but we’re not door kickers and we won’t be confined by the traditional ‘tactical’ world. EraThr3 is the embodiment of a more urban approach. We geared toward an overall lifestyle that includes—but is not centered on—firearms.”


EraThr3 will begin with a focus on accessories, some apparel, knives, packs and gear—we have a lot of radical gear planned, but none of it will be designed inside SOF or door kicker constraints. We will bridge the gap between the tactical world and people who love what we love, giving us the best of both worlds. We want to see our kit at the range, on the summit, on the streets.

Firearms part of the journey not destination.

EraThr3 has broad range of products is in the final stages of development now with several piece undergoing rigorous (if unorthodox) testing now. We will launch officially in October.

“We’re back in the garage again,” Johnson continues. “Just a little startup company, doing what we love and loving what we do. It’s awesome.”

Though all of the EraThr3 triarchy come from powerful positions in large companies, we reject the standard ‘stuff shirt CEO’ paradigm. We find nothing wrong with having a good glass of whisky in the middle of the day and returning to work after sobering up and we absolutely plan on partnering and doing awesome projects with cool people.

We’re not going to settle – you shouldn’t either.

Here’s to the future!

If you want to know more, you can find EraTh3 on Facebook here:

OR Summer Market – Cilo Gear

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Cilo Gear is well known for building ultra-lightweight mountaineering packs. Over time, specialized customers have come to them to build customized load carrying solutions. We’ve highlighted several in the past. This newest pack is the 40 Sniper Pack. While it was designed to carry a full length bolt gun vertically or at left or right canted. The kicker is that the users of these packs don’t have a primary duty as snipers but use accurized rifles in certain applications. They can carry the packs in the bag and get them into action very quickly but due to the means of carry they maintain a very low profile.


This 40 liter pack weighs less than 4 lbs and is made of MultiCam face fabric reinforced with Cuben fibers. The secret sauce is the cradle that holds the action of the rifle in place. I’ve seen guys run with it and it is very stable. In addition to a EDMF frame sheet which has a great deal of vertical strength that doesn’t sacrifice lateral mobility, it also accept and old school ALICE frame for you Luddites out there.


If you’re a customer for this pack, contact Cilo gear with your government email address for photos of it in use and additional information. This is not a standard production pack.