This past weekend, I traveled down to Houston and had the pleasure of hanging out with some good friends at the inaugural Carbine Home Defense class by 2 Vets Arms. In planning for the weekend, I had two main goals in mind. Goal #1 was to train with and gain some great insight from the folks at 2 Vets Arms. Goal #2 was to have an opportunity to run one of my newer gear purchases through some solid outside work in the tough South Texas heat and humidity. That piece of gear is the Haley Strategic D3CR (Disruptive Environment Chest Rig).
Haley Strategic is well known throughout the firearms community for their training programs and the chest rig is their newest item as they expand their product development offerings.
The D3CR is designed to be a low-profile and flexible platform which can be used as a stand-alone chest rig when using the supplied H-harness or you can remove the harness and secure it to a plate carrier or other armor using a quick release clip system. You can also remove the panel on the backside of the rig to expose a full area of Velcro which can help secure it to your armor option if it has that capability.
Area closest to the wearer’s torso:
- 4 pouches for rifle mags (AR or AK) single stacked and aligned side by side, the mags are held in place by Hypalon retention tabs.
Area in front of the rifle mag pouches, from left to right when wearing the rig and looking down:
- 1 general purpose pouch with a flapped closure
- 2 “Multi-Mission” pouches which can hold different items including pistol mags, flashlights, tools (like a Multitasker) which are also held in place by the Hypalon retention tabs
- 1 “Stuff-It” pouch which can be expanded or compressed to hold a variety of items
- 1 general purpose pouch with a flapped closure
Most basic configurations I’ve seen people running have been 4 mags, 1 pistol mag, a multi-tool, a bleeder kit and a handheld GPS unit, but as you see from the picture below, if you needed to run a really heavy configuration, you can get 7 mags and 2 pistol mags in the rig (shown below with seven 30 round PMAGs and two 13-round Glock 21 .45 ACP mags). I’m not a big fan of putting rifle mags in the general purpose pouches as they are not very secure (the flap can’t be pulled over them) but in a serious situation where having 2 extra mags would be critical, it’s an option to be considered.
A couple items of note, Brandon has the G-Code INCOG holster (which was developed jointly with HSP) and we were able to verify that the INCOG does fit in the general purpose pouch so an individual could have their Glock placed on the rig.
Also if you have a pack with clips like the Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Pack, you can remove the harness from the D3 and mount it directly to the pack using the clips on the pack and no additional hardware. Since I own that particular TT pack, this was a big selling point for me as you can quickly have a chest rig and operator pack combo.
Materials and Colors
The D3CR is made from 500 Denier nylon and a big plus for this rig is that it’s made right here in the U.S. It is available in 7 different colors: Black, Coyote, Multicam and 4 Kryptek patterns Nomad (shown), Highlander, Mandrake and Typhon.
Fit and Comfort
The first thing I noticed about the D3 was how comfortable it was. I’m 6’0 and 235 and there was still plenty of slack available in the lower harness strap after I got the right fit. The harness straps are supportive but flexible and that is a good thing as the hours of wearing it pass on. The D3 does a nice job of holding the load close to my body and I haven’t had a problem with it sagging or moving.
The D3 design really makes sense when you get into a prone position, kneeling, or movements other than just standing up straight. Unlike other chest rigs which have double stacked rifle mags and then pistol mag areas on top of it, the single stack rifle pouch design provides superior mobility in my opinion and is more comfortable, while not making you feel like you are sacrificing anything. I didn’t wear gloves during the training and the Hypalon retention tabs were easy to use and manipulate on and off the mags, even after have my hands were sweaty and dirty.
In fact, I found it to be very comfortable after wearing it multiple hours with a full load during training in ~90 degree South Texas heat and high humidity.
Quality and Value
The D3 build quality is excellent. All the parts including the harness, clips, pouches, Velcro, and stitching are top-notch and appear to be of a level that will serve the user well for a long time. Please note that this is an initial review and I’m looking forward to running this rig through more training and other work and seeing how it holds up over time. If there are items to report, I’ll post a follow up.
The D3 is available through the Haley Strategic website and the price is $170 + shipping. Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to value but for me, this is a fair price for a platform with this level of comfort, flexibility and overall quality.
I’m not a person that is an impulse buyer and is easily drawn in by fads, or someone who has to have a product because [insert super cool/famous name here] has endorsed, designed, or attached their name to it for whatever reason. I like to take my time, do my research and make an informed decision. That being said, I spent a fair amount of time debating on whether to buy the D3 and it did not disappoint on any level. If you’re in the market for chest rig, definitely give the D3 a look.