BE-X “Tyr” Semi-Modular Chest Rig
Because of its greater flexibility in load-out configuration and customisation, PALS/MOLLE gear is a tremendous improvement over M-56, ALICE or 58 Pattern webbing – and a lot more comfortable for those of us who had to endure the pains and frustrations of any of those older systems. But PALS/MOLLE gear does have a few significant disadvantages over non-modular equipment:
- It’s a lot more expensive to manufacture, and to purchase privately
- Its more complicated – a pouch for everything – and takes longer to set up
- Chassis and pouches combined can often be heavier than a similar non-modular rig would be
- Its often more “solution” than many soldiers / roles actually require
All of which means that there is still a place for non-modular, standard-configuration load carrying systems. Especially if those systems incorporate the latest improvements in fabrics and materials, fasteners, and “just enough” PALS loops to allow the attachment of compass/GPS/FFD pouches.
This is where the BE-X “Tyr” (semi-modular) Chest Rig comes in. It is an updated take the classic Northern Ireland style chest rig that incorporates such things as improved buckles and fasteners, BE-X’s very clever adaptable mag pouch design, and a stowable PALS panel on the upper chest for attaching admin and/or accessory pouches. It’s also made so that the size can be quickly and easily adjusted to fit different sized people, and so it can be quickly and easily transitioned between being worn with or without body armour or flak jackets.
- breathable, padded mesh on the inner side of the shoulder straps
- partially modular design for mission flexibility
- expandable magazine pouches adapt to different magazines types and sizes
- partially-detachable, fold-down MOLLE panel / admin pouch
- detachable shoulder straps and wasit belt
- 2 side-mounted multi-purpose pouches for large items, such as; rations, mess tin, rain suit, extra ammo, etc.
- 3 adjustable magazine pouches with retachable flaps for 6 G36/AUG/AK, or 9 M4/M16/SA80 magazines
- MOLLE panel with velcro-fastened inner pouch for notebooks, pens, admin materials
- 1 zipper-closed map pouch behind ammo pouches
- 3 pockets (1 mesh) on the inner side of the rig
- loops for radio cables / hydration tubes on the shoulder straps
- eslastic retaining loops on all straps
- snap-fastened cover, with MOLLE loops, on waist belt
Colours / Camouflage Patterns:
- Olive Green
- Coyote Brown
- Desert DPM
- Temperate DPM
- Asian Woodland
- US Woodland
- “Rooivalk” (semi-arid camouflage)
The best feature of this vest by far is the simple and easy way that the ammo pouches can be adjusted for different lengths or types of magazine (see photos above). The benefits of this are obvious – if you end up with a mix of slab-sided metal or ribbed synthetic M4 mags, no problem; if you end up with a batch of 20 or 40-round M4 mags instead of 30-rounders, nor problem; if you transition to a 7.62x39mm primary weapon, no problem; or even if you transition to a 5.56 Zastava or Galil, no problem – you won’t have to go through the bother of changing all your pouches, or your entire rig.
Another feature which is quite handy is the fact that you can unclip and fold the PALS chest-level admin panel down behind the main chassis. This might not be as big of a deal as the adaptable magazine pouches, but it shows an attention-to-detail and a thoroughness of thinking-through-the-problem that I admire.
Other features that I like are: the good levels of padding on the shoulder straps (and the fact that they are attached with quick-release buckles at both ends); the inclusion of elastic loops to keep the excess shoulder and waist strap ends tidy; the wrap-around, snap-closed, PALS equipped waist strap cover; and the use of snaps instead of fiddly buckles and straps on the ammo pouches.
Speaking of pouches, the side pouches are a good, general-purpose, size – large enough to hold a belt of MG ammo, plus a first aid kit; or several smoke or flash-bang grenades; or a ground-sheet, basha or other snivel gear; or a mess tin, food, or water bottle; or anything else you can think of. They’re not large enough to take an MRE without removing the contents from the bag and re-packing them into the pouch though. But that allows you to take only what you really need/want – so maybe that’s not so bad.
The one thing that I think could be better about the rig is the method of closing/securing the general-purpose side pouches – they only have a buckle and cinch-strap arrangement. It would be better – for greater ease-of-use and security – if they also had a Velcro patch, or if they were a zip-closed, top-loading design with a buckle and cinch-strap as well.
Other than that – and even though I generally prefer the front-split style of chest rigs – there’s not really anything to fault, and a lot of things to admire. Like its brother, the “Lightweight” combat vest, I haven’t been able to subject the “Tyr” chest rig to a full-blown infantry-combat torture test, but it’s certainly recommendable for most other, less-intense duties. After all, you get a lot of really good features and build-quality at great value-for-money too. Does it get much better than that?
Price: 64.90 EURO (approx. 92 USD, or 56 GBP)
Where to buy: To find your nearest dealer/retailer, check out the list here.
The full range of BE-X gear can be seen at www.begadi.com.
Text by Lawrence Holsworth, photos by Benji Hanson.
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- 25/07/2009 / 13:58
- Combat Equipment