Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Hazard4 - Ventrapack

I've been really pleased with the Hazard4 LaunchPad iPad case, and the Loader RG holster harness that I have covered previously. The Loader RG harness is part of my EDC, I don't feel dressed without it. 

 When I placed my last order with Hazard4, I picked up a couple of items, and this was one of them. I have covered a couple of admin pouches before, and am a big fan of my ZuluNylonGear CAOS pouch, as well as my really good Hill People Gear Runner Bag.

This is the Hazard5 low-profile chest rig, the Ventrapack.
The first thing I found was that it was considerably bigger than I had expected, at 31 x 26.5 x 3 cm (12.2" x 10.4" x 1.2"), if I had checked their website or even counted PALS/ MOLLE strips, I would have worked this out. However, size is not a concern for me. Sure, it matters, but I like variety! 

With 6 channels and 4 rows of PALS/MOLLE, and two rows of loop-field, you get an idea of the size here. A Faastex style clip on the front gives a quick secure option, as well as the twin zipper releases around the perimeter. This then reveals the interior, which is really very cool. 

Webbing retainers hold the "front" of the platform, to make a shelf, with an included clear document/map window with a stiffened and quilted padded micro-suede backing (much like in the LaunchPad) with two little hook and loop tabs which fits and secures an iPad nicely. A cable feed port is a really nice addition.

That shelf also acts as a work-space, which is matched by a tool shop's worth of storage on the "back" of the platform. Three pen holders, Two multi-tool sized pockets, twin elasticised cylyme/small tool holders on top of a wide but shallow pocket make the first row of pockets, with a second layer with two PDA sized pockets, and a wide and tall, hook-and-loop closed pocket. behind all of these is a full document sized panel, with a dummy-cord'ing loop. 

I filled out my pockets with a collection of little tools; my Spyderco Harp tool, one of my WTF multi-tools, a set of lock-picks, and several practice locks. I also have my APOC Geiger counter. Because I'm awesome.
The back of the pack shows off its attachment options. Four sets of webbing, attached to each of the four corners of the pack enable the wearer to lash it to the straps and body of a backpack. Fastex buckles provide quick attachment and removal of the Ventrapack, as well as ease of fitting.

Each of the four sets of webbing are terminated with a hook-and-loop strip, which enables you to both bundle loose webbing, but also attache the strap to other straps, without the need of an additional buckle. 

There are D-loops fitted to the top two straps, as well as the front Fastex clasp, all of which can be used for additional attachment. I found that my Portuguese sinnet paracord lanyard for my multitool, which I attach to both belt and tool with a small carabiner, perfect placement for this pack, making a very effective hip-bag for hands free courier-style. 

You could just as easily throw a shoulder strap through those D-loops and wear it as a messenger-bag.

 I really like the variety that this pack offers me, especially for times where I know I will be needing to carry a bunch of hand tools, but also needing my hands free. Roof crawlspaces, zombie-choked freeway, half-way up a power-pole, having your tools to hand and your movement unrestricted is a real boon, and this is certainly one way of ensuring it. 

The Invista® 1000D Cordura makes for a rugged and sturdy pack, which is good for both your tools and your body, and I especially liked that the bottom of the pack had a toughened strip, to further guard against abrasions. 
The fact that the back of the pack is lined with a breath-ability enhancing mesh, forming an additional document pouch as well as having bottom pockets to stow the straps when not in use, when the pack is attached by D-loops, or carabiners off a hip, or the like.

As you can see, it does have a big foot print when worn on the chest (although I'm a skinny fella), it doesn't restrict arm movement overly, and sits very securely. All in all I am very pleased with this additional to my technical loadout. Next time I have to fix something in a hard to reach area, this is coming out to play!

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