Blast from the Past – Who Remembers The Eagle Industries Chest Pouch SF30 AK

I ran across one of these on Instagram earlier this week and did a web search looking for a new one. Sure enough, I ran across an article I had written in 2017 about this chest rig.

The SF30AK from Eagle Industries was the second chest rig I owned. While stationed in Germany in the late ’80s I had purchased a Arktis 42 Pattern Chest Rig. It was very lightweight and served me well but I was always checking out new kit.

Later, while stationed at Ft Bragg, I purchased the SF30AK chest rig, via mail order from Eagle Industries. I chose the OD version because that’s what gear was made from at the time and wouldn’t stick out quite as much as another color. I used it a bit during training but its only operational use was for a time during Operation Restore Democracy in Haiti. When we first went in, we wore RBA, making it a good choice to wear over the armor vest, but later in the deployment, I just wore a JS Industries Predator Vest with a Camelbak in the back slot or an issue ETLBV. Vests you could just slip on while outside the compound, were easier to don and doff than a chest rig.

Mine is long gone, but even years later, I still like the design for its innovation and carrying capacity. The pockets would accept up to 12 magazines and the GP pockets would take canteens or other gear. What’s more the ammo pouches featured Eagle’s silent closure which required a downward pull on the webbing tab to release or attach the flap.

At the rear, there were two male portions of 1″ side release buckles which would allow the attachment of the assault pack from the field pack, large internal frame. However, most everyone cut them off because they would dig in if you wore a pack. The Vest in the photos is later production and has Coyote buckles. Back in the day, they were Black.

-Four magazine pouches that carry three M4/ M16 or two AK47 magazines each.
-Two large side utility pouches with slotted webbing for “ALICE” clips to hang extra gear.
-Two extra pockets behind the utility pouches.
-One full length inside pocket.
-The back of CP-SF-30AK is padded and uses CoolMax mesh for ventilation and comfort.
-Drop loops will attach to the Eagle Duty Belt or military web belt.
-All closures and fasteners use Mil. Spec. hardware.
-Made in the USA

Unfortunately, they are no longer available.

Did anyone else use this chest rig?

7 Responses to “Blast from the Past – Who Remembers The Eagle Industries Chest Pouch SF30 AK”

  1. Ray Forest says:

    93 doesn’t seem like ancient times to me but I distinctly remember ordering the Eagle black and white catalog. It came in a Manila envelope. It was heavy and had a few flyers with new items that had not made it into that editions print.

  2. BS says:

    Some time ago, guys at Helikon decided to recreate the idea with their Guardian chest rig. It features one less mag pouch but comes with internal slots for mags. Pretty decent, got one as a hasty “trunk” rig.

  3. Jack Griffin says:

    During the early GWoT years, the wide array of chest rigs hung over ancient flaks and brand-new Interceptors was impressive. And just about every security contract company was handing out real deal and rip-offs of Rhodey rigs like this one. As far as second tier companies, the one that used a lot of capslock and exclamation points made a killing during that period selling said rigs. I remember finding them occasionally even in the late 2010s.

    I’ve enjoyed the ride between separate harnesses and armor, integrated armor carriage and back. Nobody will sell me on back panels, though.

  4. Lasse says:

    I can only assume that this was the thing that Arktis rigs were inspired by, and thus basically resulted in the Norwegian NFM and CombatKit both make very similar rigs during early GWOT days. We even had a company directly knock-off the BHI Commando rig in Norwegian camo produced at the same factory BHI used.

    So this rigs influence is still found in several places today.

    • Its my understanding the Arktis 42 chest rig was a copy of an early 80s SBS rig. The addition of utility pouches is what made it unique (the 45 had 5x ammo pouches). Prior to then chicom, Rhodesian, SADF and other chest rigs were all geared towards carrying ammo.

      The SBS were looking for webbing that would work in their Klepper kayaks, they needed to carry more than just mags and couldn’t wear belt kit. Thats where the 3x ammo+ 2x utility pouch design came from. At some point the idea jumped the pond and the Yanks improved it with 4x ammo+ 2x utility like the Eagle rig above.

      We seem to have come a full circle with micro rigs, chest rigs focused on ammo again and maybe updated with radio pouches. I’m really interested to know when the AWS Strike rigs first came out, as they were another departure from the ammo focused designs. I’d like to do an article on the evolution of chest rigs but its just to hard to find solid info. I can only find snippets here and there.

      • SSD says:

        The AWS rigs are from the late 80s. A CT Assaulter driven design, they were Black. Paul Howe took his and had Eagle make a version. I remember in the 90s seeing ones issued to an AF ST element with Blackhawk tags.

  5. Chuckk says:

    I have one in Woodland that has black buckles. It has an Eagle tag but no other info but it has hand written numbers/notes in red marker in places. I love it. Never fielded it except for fun. Given to me by a friend years ago. Perhaps a prototype? My kid uses it for airsoft.