Chest rigs are awesome pieces of gear, but like everything, there are ways to improve them. And for the past couple years, we've been wearing and running around with larger chest rigs. Not so much micro chest rigs that are set up as chest rigs, 'cause I'm not a huge fan of those. The weight distribution on them and usually the straps and everything just aren't super optimal. But larger chest rigs like this Mayflower velocity rig. I've had these for a few years and over the past few years of using them and relying on the single back strap on chest rigs that you'll find—three-quarter webbing with buckles—I've noticed they're pretty lackluster. They don't offer a whole lot when it comes to actually stabilizing a combat load or all of your gear that you're wearing in front of you. Whether it's four rifle magazines, eight rifle magazines, water, sustainment gear, like whatever it is, you're relying all of that weight on this tiny little strap in the back that you're wearing to keep everything together.
T.REX Back Strap (00:54)
So I was wondering, is there a way that we could make this a little bit more effective when it comes to holding that weight and when it comes to comfort and when it comes to stability. And what we've come to is the T.REX ARMS Back Strap. So what the strap is, it's an inexpensive upgrade that you buy. It does not come with an H-harness it does not come with X-harness. You will buy this for your existing chest rig that utilizes the swift clip style buckles on the sides. You will ditch or toss or whatever the back strap that comes on your chest rig, you will undo the T.REX ARMS back strap.
Comfort and Breathability (01:28)
And what you have is a one-and-a-half-inch webbing, so something a little bit thicker, a little bit more comfortable when it's against your back or pulling tight into your body. There's also elastic on each end of the strap. And what this does is this gives you that little bit of breathability so that you can keep your chest rig nice and tight, but it's not going to destroy your breathability after sprinting, you know, 500 meters or something crazy. So we have that little bit of elastic, which is very beneficial to keeping the rig tight to the body, so it's not moving all around, but allowing that breathability. And then we also have, utilizing these triglide buckles right here, a way to quickly size the back strap based on what you're wearing, or if you're wearing it on top of a plate carrier.
Sizing It to Yourself (02:13)
Now, as you can see, we ship this with quite a bit of webbing, so depending on how large your plate carrier is, or maybe what you're trying to fit this around. But what you're going to do, if you need to size it down, you're going to undo one end at one end of the triglide. You're going to set it to whatever size that you need. Thread it back through the triglide. And now I have adjusted my back strap to be a little more sized to myself, and I can still loosen it if I need to. So now I have this much. Or I can tighten it down.
Included Buckles (03:09)
We also include the two female split buckles. So depending on your chest rig or your placard or whatever, if it did not include these there are two that are included. If they're not needed just a pop on the side and you'll be good to go.
Installing on a Chest Rig (03:21)
So let's modify this Velocity chest rig right here. So we're going to remove the existing three-quarter inch back strap that they include, which is not bad, but again, in my opinion could be improved. And we take our larger back strap with breathability and fast adjustment, buckle that in. And there we go. That's about what it looks like. Now I have the tail still attached so that I can adjust it to myself and then when I'm done, I can cut all the excess away and I will be good to go. So I can adjust very easily. So putting it on… Standard chest rig (got to make sure my microphone clears) and then I've got the back strap. And that's what it looks like.
If I needed to loosen this for whatever reason or tighten it, for example, all I have to do is undo one end, bring it around, pull the tabs, so now it's quite a bit looser. Which in this case, I would actually need to tighten it. Come back around, buckle it in, and you can see how much of a difference that I have in sizing adjustment. Unbuckle, come back to the front, tighten it down, back around, and you get the point.
Installing on a Chest Rig on a Plate Carrier (05:04)
The other use case for the T.REX ARMS back strap is use on a plate carrier. So I have an AC1 right here, swift clip buckles. I will need a chest rig (if I'm dedicating the chest rig to the plate carrier) I'll need a chest rig that has similar swift clip buckle sizing, such as this Mayflower. So what we're going to do is we're going to detach the H-harness from this plate carrier, or your X-harness, doesn't matter, whatever your harness is. So pull the whole thing. I'll pop the back strap for now. Pull the rear patch, detach the swift clip buckles. So now I have the chest rig mounted to the plate carrier.
But as you can see, if you have a larger chest rig, than say, a triple mag placard, which usually fits on the front of the Velcro, my side pouches are hanging off and it's just not that great. Plus on this particular chest rig, I only have a small piece of Velcro. So I actually don't have very good adherence to the plate carrier itself. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to utilize the T.REX ARMS back strap to help attach the sides of the chest rig and pull it nice and tight to the body.
So opening up the rear flap of the AC1, I then am going to take my back strap and I'm going to have to open it up a little bit for this because I'm fitting this over hard plates and everything else. So come on back to here. And now that I've loosened it up a little bit, I now have—you can see just how much adjustment sizing capability that I have—I'm going to place this behind the back panel of my AC1. I'm going to have the tightening buckle on one side, I'm going to have this side that's non-adjust on the left side. The back flap is going to shut over this, like so. That's going to keep it retained. I'm going to buckle to the top buckle. And now I have this part of the strap right here that I can adjust based on what I need to do. And after I put the plate carrier on and attach the cummerbund that will clip into the front of the chest rig.
So the cummerbund is going to be going underneath the chest rig, but on top of the plate carrier, like so, chest rig folds back on top. And then take my little back strap and then that is going to be buckled in. So that's now going to pull the sides of my chest rig in, tight to the body. This particularly useful on a chest rig such as this one that doesn't have a lot of Velcro. And if I need to adjust this, I can, but I have that strap that is retained underneath the AC1 back panel. So that's not going anywhere. So this is good to go.
When You're Done Sizing (08:08)
When you've ascertained how much tail or how much adjustment that you need in the overall back strap, whether you are adding it to a plate carrier as a dedicated stabilization method or if you are wearing it just, you know, as a normal chest rig against your back, after you set that you can roll this up and tape it off, or you can chop it. We have enough excess here, it really isn't a problem to chop. And this is inexpensive enough that if you have to buy another one someday, not a real big deal. If you have any other questions on the T.REX ARMS back strap and its use and its compatibility with other products go ahead and email us at [email protected].