MVT VERSA Chest Rig – Available for Purchase!
February 12, 2016 at 11:30 am #92615
February 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm #92616
There it is. I’m pretty stoked this is back in production. Time to pull the trigger on that long-delayed x-mas present you were gonnna give to yourself. That timing really blew chunks, as I know a lot of you were going to get one in that time frame. But now you’re going to get an improved product, and save some money.
If you’re thinking about, I would recommend going ahead and get your order in the queue now. I gotta a feeling these things are gonna get back-ordered fast. The guys down in Texas are already trying to talk Max out of the prototypes.
February 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm #92617SocksParticipant
Awesome! Just ordered one!
February 12, 2016 at 4:26 pm #92618
Nice tag line. Just about my favorite author. Even if he was a boat-schooler.
February 12, 2016 at 8:20 pm #92619SocksParticipant
Thanks! He is a… highly quotable author to say the least. Starship Troopers and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress have to be two of my favorite books.
February 13, 2016 at 10:39 am #92620
SST is a must read every year.
“The truth is, I’m scared silly every time”
February 13, 2016 at 12:12 pm #92621
Back to the OP, I wanted to esplain some of the reasoning that went into the design and development of these rigs. Back in ’07, on my buddy’s first deployment, he contacted me with a request for a light weight, low profile chest rig. Back then these guys went out loaded for bear and quickly found out you couldn’t really fight and move with all that shite. So I started work on what ultimately became MVT gear chest rigs. The idea was for a single layer of mags, and a few other items, that was centered in your “office space” as it were, center mass. In the mountains of Afghanistan, often as not, they patrolled, dismounted, without body armor. Yes, there are many pros and cons to this. But let it be said, there are times and place for BA, and not. That is your decision. The chest rig gave him the option of patrolling with, or without it. As opposed to the plate carrier with integrated mag pouches and such. And, he quickly went from 12 mags, down to 4-6. This is also dependent on terrain and situation, but in general, most firefights did not exceed 4 mags. So we made rigs for 4 and sometimes 6 mags.
Over the years we developed new designs and features, which culminated in the tuck tab closure system. The idea originally came from my jumping days, where rigs were kept closed with “tuck tabs”. Paraclete and others brought the idea to tact gear, but mainly as a way of hanging it on molle webbing. One of my buddy’s teams had an SOP for top-flapped mag pouches, which got me thinking about using this as a main closure. So he tested this out (in lieu of Velcro) and really liked it. We used these on the utility pouches of the MVT Gear of today.
The concept is to have a silent closure system, which can be manipulated with one-hand. No buckles to break, no Velcro to make noise, clog with mud or snow. No metal snaps to rust out. This is very important for recce work, which in my opinion, is very close to what we may be doing.
So for now, we are doing open top mag pouches, which work reasonably well, and have become the industry standard. But, we are also working on some upgrades, to make these work even better. When you buy the standard rig, you get Velcro already sewn into each mag pouch. These are for adding kydex inserts, which will allow you to “prep” the pull tab to the side, or even remove them entirely. This is a nice feature to have, as it makes the pouch more rigid, and not only retains the mag better, but makes it easier to pull out, and makes “plus-ing up” much easier, one-handed. These will be coming out as upgrade kits shortly.
The hybrid shoulder harness is un-padded, and made to be low profile, to fit under Bergen ruck straps. But, it is still surprisingly comfortable. It has webbing slots for webbing loops for hydro tubes or radio PTT/wire routing. You can also add some slotted SR hardware on the back for a hydro bladder pouch, in lieu of a pack, for short patrols or training.
The utility pouches are made to carry the typical gear we may have on patrol. The larger ones are made for bleeder kits, optics, or simply a nice utility pouch (for leatherman tool, chem lites, whistle, etc.) The smaller ones are for notebook, pen, LED light, oil bottle, etc. And a compass pouch on the back. All are looped for dummy cords.
A little about the tech aspects. I apprenticed with a parachute rigger, to learn the techniques and materials used in parachute work, which are directly applicable to tac gear making. The mil-spec materials. The needle and thread combinations. The tensions. The stitches per inch. The sew patterns. I pull-tested every sew technique when I worked at Lockheed to learn what the tensile strengths were. All this went into the chest rigs for MVT today.
When I first talked to Max, he was interested in developing a line of gear that was optimized for our needs. We combined his combat experiences with what I was working on, and we developed the Versa rig. This rig gives a nod to the fact that many guys within the movement are divided between 5.56 and 7.62. Some roll with both. So it gives you a lot of versatility, hence the name. We tested them out at MVT all last year and validated the design. So let’s rock.
February 13, 2016 at 6:49 pm #92622LloydParticipant
Dang, Diz… That is the best advertisement for this rig that I have
seen! Needs to be posted as a “more info” link from the MVT gear store page.
I am really looking forward to getting my mitts on one of these.
February 14, 2016 at 10:55 am #92623
Yeah I mean sure, I’m pimping out our rig, but I wanted people to understand the background behind it. We actually put a lot of time and effort into the design and construction of MVT gear. It’s not just slap some shit together, imitating others, with a different label. It’s the culmination of years of research and design.
February 14, 2016 at 2:15 pm #92624LloydParticipant
I hope you didn’t misunderstand, Diz. I wasn’t being a smart-ass. What I meant was that your description of the background, mechanical and field testing, etc would have pushed me to hit the “purchase” button, if I hadn’t already done so. Truly interesting background story that includes a lot of little design details that show how well thought out this gear is.
March 15, 2016 at 9:58 am #92625
There’s been some other inquiries about the background to this rig, so I wanted to go a little bit more in-depth on it. Particularly about the materials n such.
After I apprenticed with a parachute rigger, I adopted mil-spec materials and sewing techniques. The reason being that what is used for parachute work is readily adaptable to tac gear. First the materials. We use all domestic stuff. From cordura, to webbing, Velcro, thread, and everything in between. Everything is made in USA. We use the exact same materials as government contractors. Some people have been asking about this, so there you are.
A word about mil-spec. I know some people think this is a joke, but in parachute work, it’s real. Every product has a breaking strength, which combined with a sewing technique, gives each sewn joint a certain strength rating. For example the 1″ webbing we use is approx. 1,000 lb test. If you wanted to match that with a sew pattern, you would use “E” thread, 6-7 SPI, for a box-“X” pattern, of at least 1 1/4″ in length. Since the polymer hardware is half that strength, we use a box “X” pattern of 5/8″ for a sewn joint of approx. 500 lb test. Which has shown to be plenty of strength in extensive field testing.
As I said before, when at Lockheed, I pull-tested each typical sewn joint I used, and personally verified the strength rating. Surprise, surprise, the mil-spec actually was valid.
A word about the box “X” pattern we use. I have found that when joining rolled goods, aka cordura, and webbing, the strongest joint is a box “X”, or “two-point cross stitch” pattern. The reason being, you want to distribute the stress over as great an area as possible. The webbing is so much stronger than the woven material so you need a greater surface area on the material to “anchor” it in. (Some folks think the bartack is the shit, and it is, when joining two equally strong items, such as webbing, but experience has proven that “cross stitch” patterns work best for unequal materials.) On the other hand, I’ve lost count of how many chest rigs I’ve seen with straps just sewn into the main body with 1-2 lines of stitching. This is a clothing construction technique. Sure it will probably work under normal use (read: dress-up play) but for real use, I would not trust it. That is why all our straps are anchored with box “X” patterns. The same as you would see on a parachute harness or container.
A word about stitch pattern sewing technique. The trick is to match needle size, with thread size, and combine that with a stitch length and pattern length. In parachute work, the stitch pattern is made so there is a little stretch in the pattern, so under opening shock, the thread will literally slip or stretch in the pattern, thereby soaking up the stresses put on it. You have to match all this up with the materials being used. Some mfg’s mistakenly believe that by going up in thread size, their products will automatically be stronger. This is not necessarily true. With a stronger thread in an application where it’s not actually needed, the joint becomes stiff and unable to stretch under load. It will be prone to break instead of elongate when really under stress. This along with excessive use of bartacks is marketing hype used by other companies to pimp up their gear to an unsuspected public.
But does all this work? Well, sea story time. For one of my projects for my rigger license, I re-furb’d an entire de-mill’d MT-1XX military free fall system. One of the things I had to do was completely re-build the harness which was cut in several places. I did test patterns and pull-tested them at work to verify the stitch patterns were 6,000 lb test (yeah no typo). Re-lined the canopies, the whole nine yards. On the day I test-jumped it, I won’t say I wasn’t a little nervous, but I knew this sucker was just as strong, if not stronger than it’s original mil-spec condition. So out the door I went. Moment of truth, I pulled the ripcord and whoosh, I was under canopy. Thats’ an awesome feeling floating down in a rig you just re-built.
Now, the exact same materials and techniques go into MVT gear. I don’t know of any other gear manufacturer that has actually hung their ass out in the air to test out their sew patterns. But we have.
Now on top of that, we have some innovative design features, such as the tuck tab closure system, which takes it to another level, IMHO.
So there you have it. The materials, the sewing techniques, and the design features to give you a truly innovative piece of kit, designed and made for real-world use. You can pay a lot less, you can pay a lot more; we have tried to strike a balance between quality and cost, for something made in a small workshop in this country. We believe we have accomplished that goal.
March 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm #92626Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
I too like to hear the details and thinking behind the choices made in construction.
I miss the days when I could go to a rigger and get custom work done, most of the time for their choice of adult beverages.
March 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm #92627
I just received my VERSA today and am very pleased with the quality. I also really like the more greenish tint multicam and webbing. Sometimes coyote can be a bit too tan. the webbing appears to be half way between tan and od, with is perfect for my AO.
I have a newbie question. Somewhere I remember reading that you can attach a hydration pack to the back of this vest; but for the life of me I can’t figure out how.
Could you walk me through it; perhaps with a picture? There are bound to be others with this question
March 18, 2016 at 8:49 am #92628
The shoulder harness has a “ladder rack” of 1″ webbing on it, tacked down at approx. 1 1/2″ intervals. What you have to do is make two hanger straps, that will attach your bladder pouch, from it’s molle webbing, to the shoulder harness. The top of the straps need a slotted SR buckle, which will rig into the web slots on the shoulder harness. The bottom of the straps need a loop and a ladder lock, for rigging through the molle straps on the bladder pouch.
You’ll need about a yard of 1″ webbing, 2 x 1″ slotted SR buckles, 2 x 1″ loops, and two x 1″ ladder locks or tri-glides. I like Rocky Woods Outdoor Fabrics for small quantities of this stuff.
If this becomes something popular maybe we’ll make a kit for it.
March 18, 2016 at 11:18 pm #92629
March 19, 2016 at 6:57 pm #92630
March 24, 2016 at 8:50 am #92631Dennis WParticipant
Do you have a source for the buckles on the versa rig? I bought some online but only half(one side) will work with the buckles on the versa rig. I was going to make the little attachments for a plate carrier.
March 24, 2016 at 9:02 am #92632
I like Rocky Woods Outdoor Fabrics for small lots of this stuff.
March 24, 2016 at 1:36 pm #92633Dennis WParticipant
So any of their 1″ NEXUS side release buckle should work? I see one that is different (Nexus GTSR). Thanks Dennis
March 25, 2016 at 2:17 pm #92634
Are you planning to have them made in OD green in the near future ?
March 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm #92635
Yeah just about any slotted hardware should work. Also, on the new single cal rigs we are putting a piece of molle on the cross strap so the bladder pouch can attach directly to the harness, via the molle straps on the back of most pouches.
OD, well yeah maybe, although I am partial to Ranger Green. OD green looks so bright to me these days.
If nothing else, we might be able to do custom orders in different colors once we get caught up n stuff.
March 26, 2016 at 4:34 am #92636
I will buy the first one in Ranger Green when it is made
March 26, 2016 at 8:40 am #92637
Green rig = no ‘Team Coyote’ for you!
March 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm #92638
November 16, 2019 at 5:23 am #128101liquidtravelParticipant
Just curious if these chest rigs are still available anywhere? Thanks
November 16, 2019 at 3:20 pm #128145RobMParticipant
I saw the post on the top of the forum and thought there was another release. I’ve been hoping that Max does move forward with another order. One thing I love about his classes are that you get free gear tests. I took a FOF class over the summer and my Haley Strategic chest rig was literally falling apart. The thing was driving me crazy all weekend…The majority of the guys there had Max’s chest rig and no complaints. So Max, I’ll take one in ranger green…
November 16, 2019 at 7:18 pm #128178
Well, you know, Max has had some really good designs come down the pipe, but damn it man, it’s hard to find someone to do small production runs of custom gear.
Max and I have been talking about rucksacks lately, and also belt kit. So maybe chest rigs are not far behind. There is a chance we maybe be able to line up another mfg to do some limited runs of MVT designed gear next year, if Max and you guys are interested. Nothing firm yet, just in the talking stages.
If you are interested in a new MVT chest rig, pipe up here and we’ll discuss things.
November 16, 2019 at 11:49 pm #128207liquidtravelParticipant
I am interested
November 18, 2019 at 4:52 pm #128390josdupeskoParticipant
I am interested as well.
November 18, 2019 at 10:19 pm #128438LouFParticipant
I would be interested also.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.