Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeOff Grid & Self SufficiencyParashooter Pathfinder: An Adaptable Chest Rig

Parashooter Pathfinder: An Adaptable Chest Rig

Parashooter Pathfinder

Parashooter Gear is a small semi-custom tactical nylon store that has carried out a wonderful job of filling some market niches with well-made and progressive gear. We beforehand reviewed their AK-centric VOLK chest rig which served us nicely in coaching. Extra lately, they launched a brand new rig known as the Pathfinder. The premise is easy: a flat-laying multi-cell panel with laser reduce slots to connect MOLLE/PALS type pouches on the entrance, with a mushy hook-and-loop panel on the again for a drop down or “dangler” type pouch. The Pathfinder is on the market in three totally different sizes: 3-, 5-, and 7-cell. We selected to separate the distinction and evaluate the 5-magazine mannequin. Pricing ranges from $85 to $150 relying on measurement.

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder chest rig fully loaded with drop pouch.

Above: Pathfinder chest rig totally loaded with drop-pouch.

After the market endured a gentle firehose of mini- and micro-sized chest rigs coming to marketplace for the higher a part of the final decade, there’s been a palpable shift within the variety of new chest rigs being scaled as much as accommodate extra ammo and extra load carriage. There are two primary faculties of thought that go into this dichotomy. 

One idea is that “ounces equal kilos, and kilos equal ache”. In addition to batteries and water, loaded magazines are one of many heaviest stuff you’ll most likely have in your loadout. Smaller rigs are additionally simpler to hide when worn, with a big hoodie or windbreaker typically being sufficient to utterly conceal a 2- or 3-mag chest rig. Lastly, it may be pretty argued that the percentages are fairly slim for a ready citizen getting right into a protracted gunfight that may require greater than 60-100 rounds. Even when this does wind up being the case, you’ll be able to carry fewer mags in your equipment whereas preserving extra pre-staged in your home, automobile, or bugout bag. 

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder plate carrier.

Above: Pathfinder plate service with elastic stomach strap. 

Juxtaposed to this philosophy is the concept that the ready citizen have to be able to self-sustaining extra totally for longer intervals of time throughout a protracted emergency. Whereas this won’t essentially embrace extra taking pictures, bigger chest rigs may carry extra different stuff that’s rapidly accessible on the transfer. Loading up a 100-pound pack is nice in concept, but when it’s important to cease, drop your pack, and dig by way of it for each little gadget or software in your stock, this may be time-consuming and even detrimental to survival. Having extra of these instruments driving in your chest not solely will increase accessibility however balances whole load weight to make motion simpler.

Pathfinder Setup

The 5-cell Pathfinder is designed to carry 5 30-round AR-pattern magazines, however now we have seen photographs within the wild of those rigs carrying some kinds of AK mags with out problem. However bigger .30 caliber magazines similar to AR-10, FAL, M1A, and so on can be too giant to suit into the Pathfinder. Every journal pouch has 2 columns of laser-cut attachment slots, for a complete of 10 rows of webbing on our take a look at pattern. The rig ships with two male-end facet launch buckles on the highest, permitting the Pathfinder to be clipped immediately onto plate carriers or net harnesses that have already got matched feminine attachment {hardware}. For many who want to use this as a standalone chest rig, there are two loops on every finish of the placard, and 4 split-bar feminine buckles are included within the packaging. The harness you see right here was equipped by Parashooter for evaluate functions, however any normal chest rig harness with the identical sized buckles will work. It must also be famous that the magazine pockets should not have any energetic retention and depend on elastic pressure. That is most likely wonderful for many purposes however, in case you want an over-the-top bungee, there are small “tabs” constructed into the highest of every pouch with two holes pre-punched in every for passing bungee twine by way of. 

Studio photo of the fully loaded Parashooter Pathfinder chest rig.

Above: Pathfinder chest rig with out drop pouch.

After years of operating reduced-footprint micro chest rigs, we have been pleasantly stunned with how a lot attachment room we had with the Pathfinder. To benefit from the accessible load house, we hooked up the next pouches:

1. An XL Multi-Operate Pouch from Arbor Arms. The MFP is strictly because the title describes. A big flap-closure, bucket-style pouch meant to carry no matter you’ll be able to slot in it. On this case, we crammed it with an Armasight PVS-14 white phosphorous evening imaginative and prescient monocular, with Wilcox dovetail mount, and a Crye Precision NightCap.

Studio photo of the parashooter pathfinder nvg pouch unpacked.

Above: Pathfinder Multi-function pouch unpacked. Simply shops helpful gear like this evening imaginative and prescient optic.

The NightCap is a soft-cover various to mounting evening imaginative and prescient on a helmet for conditions the place you could use your NVGs hands-free, however don’t require the ballistic or bump safety of a helmet. It’s an ideal piece of equipment that reduces the load and bulk of an evening imaginative and prescient setup from one thing that needs to be saved gingerly in a pack to one thing that may be balled up across the PVS unit and slid right into a chest pouch for quick entry. The one draw back to the Night time Cap is that it doesn’t include the mounting shroud, however we have been in a position to get a Wilcox shroud from our pals at Night time Imaginative and prescient Community.

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder Multi-purpose pouch.

Above: Pathfinder Multi-purpose pouch full of evening imaginative and prescient optic and head gear.

2. An HSGI Bleeder Blowout Pouch. This slender, vertically-oriented med pouch has a quick-release buckle as nicely Velcro closure choices. There may be simply sufficient room for important medical provides, plus a pocket for shears. The MOLLE loops on both facet of the pouch assist plus up storage functionality. We adorned one facet with a Gray Man Tactical STRAP TQ to carry a Tourniquet. 

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder Bleeder Blowout Pouch.

Above: Shut up of the Pathfinder Bleeder Blowout Pouch.

3. One Unobtanium Gear frag grenade pouch. These pouches, designed by Longship Designs and accessible by way of Unobtanium Gear, have been initially designed to be small footprint, ultra-low-bulk pouches for navy problem fragmentation grenades. Since we will’t discover any of these, it has served as a wonderful place to stash a smoke grenade from IWA Worldwide. These palm-sized sign aids use a handy pull-pin fuse, are waterproofed, and put out cloud for its measurement. These might be efficient for getting individuals’s consideration and signaling for assist, or probably making a helpful distraction. 

4. Talking of grenades, we additionally added two USGI surplus grenade pouches. These are cheap, sturdy pouches that make nice general-use pouches for small provides like compasses, batteries, and fire-starting materials. We scored these off a navy surplus web site for $2.50 every. We don’t spend plenty of time speaking about surplus pouches as they’re not often probably the most progressive or attention-grabbing pouch decisions in any scenario, however they’re an instance of how one can get well-built gear at filth low-cost costs.  

Chest Rig Use Instances

Along with the improved load-bearing profit, standalone chest rigs make an ideal scalable load-out possibility when paired with an unadorned armor service. We used a Slick plate service from First Spear as a companion armor base for the Pathfinder. The Slick is probably probably the most minimalist plate service we’ve seen. It’s only a skinny, performance-fabric shell to carry plates. No mushy armor, no functionality to mount pouches or placards – simply most concealment. With out plates, the service is skinny sufficient to ball up and stuff within the leg pocket of your cargo pants. In case you’re in a scenario the place you need armor, however aren’t certain in case you want further gear, the Slick is nice “first line” safety that may be quickly and considerably scaled up by merely placing the Pathfinder on over it. Whereas it’s not as handy as a full-blown tactical plate service, the two-part system can be utilized in a greater diversity of conditions, and layered on the fly, preserving your “posture” unobtrusive however your capabilities strong. 

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder chest rig worn in a minimalist styler underneath a sweatshirt.

Above: Pathfinders’ minimalist method makes carrying the chest rig straightforward to put on in a large number of conditions. 

This precept might be distilled even additional down. If you don’t mount any pouches to the entrance of the Pathfinder, it’s elastic journal cells — even when loaded — are skinny and unobtrusive. Utilizing it only for spare mags, whereas carrying the remainder of your gear in a pack, provides you much more modularity to create and re-create a picked-for-mission gear package deal as the character of an unexpected disaster morphs over time. And, with 150 rounds on faucet, you’ve acquired loads of firepower to cross round to survival tribe- and team-mates.

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