Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Platatac Drop Gas Mask Bag

A while back I lucked out and snagged a special deal at my favourite supplier, and got a swag of pouches in one bundle which was an excellent chance for me to get a range of different accessories in one fell swoop. These included the 60 Round Mk II Pouch, a MOLLE Radio Pouch, the FUP and a MEOP Medic Pouch, both of which I have previously reviewed. It included a twin-mag Steyr pouch in Tan, rather than my preferred khaki. The good people at Platatac swapped it out for a replacement, because that's the kind of ace thing they do. The combo-deal also pictured a pistol holster, which didn't make it to me, but, as I don't have much use for one, and the deal was already so good, I counted my blessings. They always do right by me and I didn't see a need to make a fuss. I'm sure if I had, they would have sorted it right out. However! Last item in the combo was something a little different. Here is the Platatac Drop Gas Mask Bag which adds a certain bad-assery all of its own.

At my place of work, I have managed some OH&S concerns, and have been a Warden. As a result, I have had need to become familiar with the 3M 6000 series full-face gasmask, and the Formaldehyde/organic vapour cartridges that go with it. It's never a good thing when you have to break these out, but its good to have them, and know they work. I'm strongly considering a set for home, for the "making" I do. We do a fair bit of cutting and grinding ... Look at all that waffle, for not actually any discussion of what I'm reviewing! Gives you an idea of how seriously I take PPE. So, without further ado, here we go. This a a very lightweight bag, differing from the other stiff Cordura 1000D of the other pouches I've covered before, but is still one of the Cordura Tactical Nylons although I am unsure what it's denier rating is

The stitching is of the same high quality, as are the fittings. The main pouch is closed with a heavy Fastex buckle and webbing, giving quick access whilst a secure closure. The side pocket is hook-and-loop closed, and will fit an extra filter. Always a good option. The main pouch is spacious and is designed to fit the Avon S10 (ADF issue mask) which leaves ample room for my needs, as up till now I've used it as a dump-pouch, a purpose it fulfills admirably. A drainage grommet in the bottom stops it from becoming a bucket in the event of a dunking.  I did a quick check and the 3M full face-masks do fit in the pouch, but only of the cartridges are detached. Both cartridges will fit in the side pocket, easily. and there is room in the pouch for a couple more, due to the shape of the pack and the pouch. I'd call that a win.. It also fits one of my "dead-people jars" perfectly. Always good to know, for sample collection, supply storage or any other heavy-duty sealable carriage I need.
The back view shows the PALS/MOLLE strips, which gives a very solid five-loop attachment if required. Other attachment options are a hook-and-loop sandwich strip along the top edge, for attachment to the bottom of a rig such as the MAC This is a really cool feature, but not one that I currently employ. The last attachment option is a buckle for feeding webbing through, whether as belt carriage or to fit it to a drop-leg rig. I actually wear it on the bottom of the back of my MAC rig . I've done a lot of rock climbing over the years, so I am used to wearing a pouch low off the small of my back, and with my longer-than-human arms, I don't have any trouble reaching back to either grab things out of it, or dropping things into the pouch. Like a big chalk-bag for a gas-mask. Even though the material is lighter than the rest of the Platatac line, I have no doubt of its durability or ability to carry what I need to with it. Its a matter of picking the right tool for the right job.

If I ever feel the need for respiratory protection, I'll be putting what I get, into one of these, that's for sure. It's the right design and suits the purpose exactly. Until then, I have a great, lightweight tail-bag  for my LRP needs.

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