What does Speed and Drag mean to you?
We are certainly not talking about cars here, Speed is how quickly one can reach to their magazines / accessories and side arm ; and Drag is what is in between that slows you down between the movements. The key concept here is to only carry what you need and the K.I.S.S. principle , Keep It Simple Stupid, do not introduce extra actions to accessing your gear.
How to be high speed low drag?
Get a setup that is as simple as possible that carries all you need, fits your purpose and minimizing elements that would slow you down, avoid having:
extra strings or
extra straps etc ,
these all require you to use your fine motor skills to reach the items you need, which fine motor skills often fail under stress. (Fine motor skills are actions that requires ones brain to manually exercise an action, such as telling your hand to undo the button to access to something.)
So what is our High Speed Low Drag setup?
Regardless of what plates or what helmet we have, the following are what the RW crew usually use that are pretty much instinctive what it comes to grabbing what we need. No frills as some say
For your upper body, we have our top selection Esstac Daeodon Plate Carrier and LBX Armatus II , both are versatile platform that could quickly adapt to different situations and both could carry M / L sized ESAPI plates (LBX is sized for M size or L size with respective models).
Both provides great comfort and only carry what you need in a simplistic slick platform that does not have a zillion pouches stacking on each other nor flaps to go through to reach your items, you grab the magazine, you load it into your weapon and keep on fighting.
What to wear underneath is also fairly important as it affects your overall comfort while trying to stay in the fight, moisture - wicking is definitely suggested to keep your body dry, as sweat builds up heat and could often lead to heat rashes. Being breathable also reduces odor, no one wants to stink only 1 hour into the game.
Esstac and LBX both have their panel systems for sale separately that holds configurations or the standard molle platform that one could choose what pouches to be attached.
Typically we only keep a medical pouch on the vest and have a HSGI riggers belt fitted with a holster of our desire, a set of pistol pouch, a dump pouch and a backup rifle pouch, at times we would use the HSGI leg rig if we do not use belt pouches. The backup rifle pouch / leg rig would be for emergency reloads as it would be the pouch that is easiest to access (usually). Do not place your backup pouch at somewhere you cannot access. Foodrage usually keeps his right behind his pistol pouch at 9 o'clock and in front of his dump pouch.
Holsters are also fairly important, as it holsters your gun (duh?), and getting a good holster makes sure your gun does not accidentally discharge or fall out of the holster, we usually use the Safariland 579 with a low drop adapter to make sure it does not get in the way. Any other holsters may work, but make sure you find one that:
Use the K.I.S.S. principle when choosing your gear, make sure there are no extra/ redundant actions required to access your gear.
Avoid gear that requires complicate action to reach your gear, reduce bulk and only carry what you need, if you have doubt if you need that piece of equipment, chances are 90% of the time you would not need it, keep it at home and fight light. Extra gear introduces fatigue way quicker than you imagine. And fatigue gets you shot in the process if you are unaware of it.
Later we would have another article about choosing your combat garment, what to choose for and what would not suit you.
If you are interested, we have the Esstac Daeodon System and LBX Armatus II here.