Sunday, November 24, 2013
Today on the CQB Radio blog, we are looking at this - the NcSTAR Tactical MOLLE Backpack. You can find it over at Airsoft Atlanta HERE for only $24.99. As you can tell, I got mine in OD Green, but it also comes in Black, Tan, and ACU. And, as noted below, this is from their VISM line of gear.
Let's start with some of the specs:
- Main Pocket = 18x12x6
- Side Pockets = 5x5x1.5
- Front Top Pocket = 8x4.5x2
- Front Bottom Pocket = 9.5x9.5x3
- MOLLE webbing = EVERYWHERE!
If you are looking for a low-cost but very versatile pack, this one should be checked-out for sure. Here you can see the two side pockets - one up top, one down below, and you've also go a solidly-constructed handle in the middle, so it's easy to grab the bag no matter what angle it's jammed into your car or in a closet.
Another shot of the handle on the side of the bag.
As you can see from pretty much all of the photos, this thing has MOLLE webbing all over, so if you've got a few other MOLLE pouches, you can certain strap them onto this bad boy. Basically, other than my AEG, this thing can hold everything I need to take to a day-long airsoft op. Here's a list of some items you can pack in here:
- Tac vest
- Knee pads
- Goggle spray
- Dead rag
Basically, it'll fit it all, and you can just keep your AEG and sidearm in a gun bag.
Looking at it here, you can see the the set-up for pockets is as follows: two on the left side, two on the right side, one main compartment, and then two more compartments (one up, one down) on the front side facing you.
Up top - you guessed it - another handle to grab the bag. And below the handle you can see a little window where you can put your info so we all know whose bag it is. (Side-note: the photo colors change a little depending on how close I got the camera to the bag. The bag is all the same color - OD Green).
One the sides, you can see that compression straps are also included. You can certainly add more gear/pouches on these straps, but they are intended to compress the bag down to make it as stream-lined as possible. Two on the left, and two on the right = total of four compression straps.
Let's talk about your carrying straps. You get adjustable shoulder straps with D-rings included to attach whatever items you might want easily accessible. You can also see there is a sternum strap included so that will give you more stability and control of the pack as you hike/move/crawl with it.
Down below, you have a waist strap that is fully adjustable.
Here's a view of the bag from the side. You can see the compression straps in use here, as well as the handle up top.
The main compartment is, well, huge. For a backpack of this size, I was pretty shocked at how large this main section. was. And a plus - the zippers go all the way around and all the way down so you can fold the front down like so.
Inside the main compartment...another compartment. This is about half the size of the panel, and can hold whatever your little heart desires.
Peeking finger = opening to run your hose for a hydration bladder.
Missing hand = storage for hydration bladder or other items inside the main compartment.
Overall, for $25, I'd call this a steal. A smaller bag from some of the big name companies out there will run you over $100 EASY, so think that you could get one of these, use it, have it wear out, get ANOTHER ONE, use it, have it wear out, get ANOTHER ONE, use it, have it wear out, and then get ANOTHER ONE, and use it and you'd be even for what you spend on the super-high-end tactical bags. BUT WAIT...
NcSTAR has one of the best warranty's in the U.S. Check out the specifics HERE, but basically they told our friend Thumpy that if it breaks, no matter what, they will fix it. Nice eh?
Find this pack and many others over at Airsoft Atlanta - CLICK HERE!
Keep on firin',
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Let's not kid ourselves - this is not a scientific study. BUT it will give you a sense of how the Kryptek pattern compares to the very popular MultiCam pattern. I got the Kryptek Highlander hat HERE from Airsplat so if you want it, I'd recommend you buy it from THEM. Taking a look above, you can see that I put an OD green American flag on each hat so there was no 'advantage' given to one hat over another when it comes to the front patch.
One of the things that more recent camo patterns have been utilizing is a mixture/splatter/cross-fade effect. The older woodland camo patterns had very distinct edges for each color, but MultiCam, A-TACS, and Kryptek tend to blur the lines a bit more. Just look at the brim of the hat below.
The MultiCam hat (below) has less of the blurring, but with the broad mix of colors, a lot of people like it because it seems to be, as the name implies, multiple forms of camouflage in one pattern.
Here's a shot of them in the grass and in bright sunlight. Certainly this is not an ideal 'hide' situation (who's going to lie in the open like this?), but none the less, you can get a sense of what they look like.
To me, the MultiCam 'pops' a bit more than the Kryptek in the two pictures below.
In this leaf litter, I think the two patterns are even. Both seem to blend in pretty nicely, and if you added in shadows to this photo, they'd be even harder to see. That said, if you made me pick, I'd say the Kryptek was a little more hidden in this picture.
In the white pine here, the thing that stands out to me the MOST is that the flag and its shape. It really does 'pop'. Straight edges are not natural, and that's pretty obvious from the photos below.
In these bushes, I don't give a real advantage to either one. Again - shape of the flag makes it stand out.
Same bushes from further away.
Here are some final shots of our two competitors.
Here's the "IMHO" part of the show. Kryptek Highlander wins. Now hear me, you MultiCam fans - I REALLY like MultiCam. I actually wore this MultiCam hat all day yesterday at the range in the woods. And I'm not a Kryptek fanboy, but as I look at them, the blurring of the lines that the Kryptek offers is an advantage in your camo. What do you think? Post a comment below and thanks for reading. Thanks also to Airsplat for sponsoring CQB Radio.
Keep on firin',
Monday, October 14, 2013
Welcome back to CQB Radio, gals and gents. Today we are taking a look at the Cast Gear Tactical Hoodie from Airsplat. You can CLICK HERE to see it over on the Airsplat website. How did I get this one? Glad you asked. When I was speaking to my contact over at Airsplat, they mentioned that they'd like to have some of their new Cast Gear items reviewed, so this is the first of a bunch of their items we will be looking at on the CQB Radio blog.
So Cast Tactical Hoodie. Here's a look...
and here are the specs:
- Available in sizes Small through Double-extra large.
- Made of 60% cottom and 40% polyester; 10 ounce brushed fleece for warmth and softness
- Fully jersey-knit lined hood
- Thumb-holes on the sleeves cuffs
- Front kangaroo pockets
- Zippered side vents
- Hook-and-Loop closures on the side for open-carry
- Available in: Urban Digital, Woodland Digital, C-Cam, Black, Navy, Gray, and Camel Tan
The front pockets - comfortable and nicely placed. The zippers are easy to use and though that may sound like a no-brainer - try getting a sweatshirt that has crummy zippers and you'll see why it's worth mentioning.
The thumb holes in the sleeve cuffs give you something like a fingerless glove built right into the sweatshirt. Amazing how covering a just a little of your hand can give you some much-desired additional warmth in the colder weather. The cuffs also have some elastic in them and this allows for your hand to be comfortable and also snug in the cuff.
On both the left and right upper arms are pockets with a patch panel on the outside. These are large pockets in which you could easily hold a pad a paper, a mag, more other items. They also have a pull built into them so that you can access them easily even with gloves on.
Another cool feature is the speaker-microphone holder on the shoulder. If you have a mic that you can to clip onto your hoodie, well with this little cloth 'flap' of sorts, you can hook it on your right shoulder.
The hood - it works. It fits nicely even with a hat on.
I've worn this one for a while, and I like it. It's warm and comfortable, even though Urban Digital is not exactly subtle while walking around town, I didn't feel like I was walking around in a BDU blouse (yes, that's what they are called). I've also got one of these in black - that one is just as nice.
The cost for one of these bad-boys is $44.99. If you are looking for a hoodie that is more than just cool looking but is also functional, this is a great option. I've talked to the folks at Cast Gear and they seem like a solid group of individuals. Check them out by CLICKING HERE and then check this item out over at Airsplat by CLICKING HERE.