Today @ Down Range Gear

These pieces were commissioned by a customer as part of a recent order.

This admin pocket was designed and built to customer specifications. The request was to fabricate a flat pocket to accommodate items such as documents with an elastic pen slot on the velcro platform found in a Blue Force Gear DAP Pack.  Fabrication and design were pretty straight forward on this one, but it took two tries to get it right. The first one was built on an HDPE reinforced backing, which is generally a good thing for velcro platforms except when the surface you’re planning on sticking the pouch on will bend when your pouch won’t. That would cause the hook and loop to separate. The second version was not reinforced, so the pocket will fold with the platform it’s mounted to. The front of the pocket is a very solid, double layered, laminated 1000D cordura which gives the whole thing some heft and structure. The lid flap was built from a piece of 2″ webbing with the corners rounded out with a hot knife.

An additional set of credential carriers in tan and black follow one previously ordered. One thing that stood out last time I built one of these was how quickly the layers of material built up. These credential carriers should ideally fold uniformly flat, but that’s just not possible when the edges and corners have more material built up than the rest the structure. This time around, every effort was made to minimize the amount of material that went into fabrication. Less material leads to a thinner cross section. The end result is a lower profile, more streamlined carrier. The external material is 1000D Cordura wrapped around a thin HDPE stiffener which allows the carrier to hold it’s shape. The customer requested a velcro square on the front which allows him to orient the carrier properly by feel. The interior is unusual in that the windowed portion is actually two layers of 20 mil clear vinyl. Folding the vinyl over meant I could get away with not have to bind all the edges. The sides were bound and folded under but the edges of the vinyl were hot knifed, then stitched, meaning they didn’t have to be folded which would have added to the thickness of the edges I was trying to prevent. Overall, they turned out well.

Lastly, the revamped Light Utility Belt. The Light Utility Belt fills a niche for a low profile, lightweight belt capable of supporting a load. Simplicity has always been a key design consideration. Over time, trends have emerged in customer requests and critiques. This is the answer to the most commonly cited issues. The Light Utility Belt will continue to be made in 1.5″ width only and will continue to utilize an HDPE insert to reinforce the structure and keep the bulk down. The buckle on this version features a triglide, but these belts will also be available with ladderlocks. The largest upgrade to the belt design is in adopting a duty belt profile in which the end of the belt belt will actually underlap the buckle and lock in with hook and loop fastener. To go along with the belt redesign is a new size measuring protocol which will allow for a better  fit than was previously possible. The Light Utility Belt and it’s two variants will be covered in more detail in a future blog post.

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