This customer wanted to extend the versatility of his Multicam Tactical Tailor MAV to make it fit over several different platforms: with an ATS Tactical H-Harness, on a plate carrier and issued IOTV via Down Range Gear’s Chest Rig/ Armor Interface Kit. While there are a number of different ways to do this, the most important aspect of the job was constant communication with the customer to make sure we reached a solution he can live with.
The disparity between the ATS harness 2″ webbing and the MAV’s 1.5″ buckles was the most obvious hurdle to overcome, but there were the additional factors of available space on the IOTV and plate carrier to contend with. Simply put, given the spacing between the two vertical attachments on the MAV, there was some uncertainty whether it would actually fit on the plate carrier.
The initial request was to attach a set of 2″ buckles to the MAV in order to ensure compatibility with the ATS harness and bring them closer together in order to fit the plate carrier. This caused several unforeseen issues including: limiting access to the MAV’s internal pocket, narrowing the MAV’s vertical support (not a good thing on such a wide panel) and routing the harness straps uncomfortably around the wearer’s neck. Clearly, this wouldn’t work.
In addition to repositioning the requested buckles, the customer was presented with options that included going back to the original 1.5″ buckles with different placement on the MAV or the possibility of going down to 1″ buckles. The size of the buckles used is not as important as their placement on the vest. Larger buckles do not necessarily equal a higher tensile strength or sturdier construction.
The customer opted to go with 1″ buckles which offered several advantages over the others including being able to position them in smaller increments and compatibility with ITW Nexus’ low profile Surface Mount buckle for attaching to the PALS webbing on the IOTV and plate carrier. Two lengths of 1″ webbing were sewn into the MAV to support the new buckles. Sufficient excess was provided to allow for adjusting the height of the MAV. The strap ends can be tucked behind a PALS loop to keep it out of the way once a desired height is found. In addition to an extra buckle set (just in case) a set of Velcro wrap buckle protectors were provided to help protect the buckles from impact.
With the buckle issue decided on the MAV, the ATS H-harness had to be altered to match. That meant replacing the 2″ webbing running off the harness with 1″ webbing. The original 2″ webbing was severed and rolled under at the end with enough excess so that it could be reconstituted at a later date should the customer change his mind. We like to do what we can to preserve the original configuration and function of your gear with an eye on future changes. 1″ webbing was sewn into the harness running all the way to the back and sewn directly over the top of and using the exact same stitch lines as the original 2″ webbing. The ends looped into a 1″ female side release buckle and locked in with a triglide, which will provide the customer with the ability to adjust length.
The four 1.5″ side attachment points on the MAV were replaced with 1″ female buckles that would not only match the ends of the ATS harness but work perfectly with the Shock Cord Anchors provided as part of the Chest Rig/ Armor Interface Kit. Four Shock Cord Anchors were provided to attach the MAV directly to the armor system. 1″ buckles have proven to be the most efficient method of attaching the sides of chest rigs and leave the smallest footprint.
The final detail was to fashion a replacement waist strap to work with the newly reconfigured buckle layout. 1″ webbing with male buckle ends would be the easy way to do it, but why settle for the lowest common denominator? Some of the 2″ webbing clipped off of the H-Harness was scavenged because the increased width might ride a little easier against the wearer’s back. 1″ webbing was then routed off the ends through a set of ladderlocks which would allow for a natural, front, forward pulling motion to adjust length.
Sending gear you payed good money for to some random, former grunt takes a lot of trust…When making major alterations and changes to personal gear, constant communication with the customer is critical to getting it right. The gear arrived on September 17 and was completed 12 days days later, requiring 28 emails to go over options and details. Luckily, the customer was very attentive and showed a lot of patience while we went through this process.