Think you’ve seen this before?
Not like this.
You don’t shell out the sort of money required to buy into brands like Crye Precision and First Spear unless you’re serious about kit.
When you’re that exacting about equipment, you want everything to be right.
And if you can’t purchase it the way you want it, you find someone who can do what you need done.
This isn’t the first time a customer has entrusted Down Range Gear to modify two high end pieces of gear. It’s no small thing to send gear off to be hacked up and put back together. In the right hands, you can end up with something that is considerably better, in the wrong hands, it can be substantially worse.
We’re talking about retrofitting a Crye Precision Skeletal cummerbund with First Spear’s Tubes hardware, of course.
The catch is that because Tubes cannot be had as a standalone item, the customer had to purchase two different cummerbund systems in order to get the working solution he wanted. That’s pretty steep.
He’s not the only one who’s done it or thinking of doing it.
The Crye Precision Skeletal cummerbund epitomizes lightweight and low profile with everything that isn’t there.
First Spear Tubes hardware is the first good, viable hardware alternative to hook and loop cummerbund closures.
There are at least a few people out there who would like to see these two things together.
Last time we did this, the complicated part was making the Crye cummerbund’s 3 row PALS grid interface with the two 1.5” slots in the First Spear Tubes hardware. They are neither sized correctly nor spaced to align. We did that job with webbing, which was effective, if inelegant.
We have a significantly better way to do it this time.
Non-woven, synthetic fabrics are game changing in that they can be cut to specific shapes to solve problems that simply aren’t possible with webbing or conventional fabric.
We were able to custom fit a one piece “end cap” for the Crye cummerbund, neatly binding the webbing ends, then narrowed down to fit through the attachment points in the Tubes hardware. It’s a very clean, flat, single piece solution.
A major gain for the user is that this also allows for everything to be sewn together closer than was possible before, which is significant because we do everything we can to minimize gaps in the user’s critical workspace (front of the vest, forward of the hips.)
After using the Tubes hardware to upgrade the Crye piece, we went back to retrofit the First Spear cummerbund with a hook and loop closure. The customer had to buy two expensive pieces of gear to make this work. Keeping the extraordinary investment of gear in mind, making sure both could be viable for the customer was important. Does the customer have plans to use it? Can he resell it to recoup some of the cost? Don’t know, but with careful work, we’ve preserved that option.
Buying Crye Precision and First Spear represents a tremendous investment in high end gear. We are exceedingly grateful to customers who trust us for precision work with expensive equipment. The application of new materials and fabrication techniques to improve on the process made this a fun challenge and interesting project .