Parashooter Pathfinder: An Adaptable Chest Rig

Parashooter Pathfinder

Parashooter Gear is a small semi-custom tactical nylon store that has finished a superb job of filling some market niches with well-made and revolutionary gear. We beforehand reviewed their AK-centric VOLK chest rig which served us properly in coaching. Extra just lately, they launched a brand new rig referred to as the Pathfinder. The premise is easy: a flat-laying multi-cell panel with laser lower slots to connect MOLLE/PALS type pouches on the entrance, with a delicate hook-and-loop panel on the again for a drop down or “dangler” type pouch. The Pathfinder is on the market in three completely different sizes: 3-, 5-, and 7-cell. We selected to separate the distinction and overview the 5-magazine mannequin. Pricing ranges from $85 to $150 relying on measurement.

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder chest rig fully loaded with drop pouch.

Above: Pathfinder chest rig absolutely loaded with drop-pouch.

After the market endured a gradual firehose of mini- and micro-sized chest rigs coming to marketplace for the higher a part of the final decade, there’s been a palpable shift within the variety of new chest rigs being scaled as much as accommodate extra ammo and extra load carriage. There are two fundamental faculties of thought that go into this dichotomy. 

One idea is that “ounces equal kilos, and kilos equal ache”. Apart from batteries and water, loaded magazines are one of many heaviest belongings you’ll in all probability have in your loadout. Smaller rigs are additionally simpler to hide when worn, with a big hoodie or windbreaker typically being sufficient to utterly conceal a 2- or 3-mag chest rig. Lastly, it may be pretty argued that the percentages are fairly slim for a ready citizen getting right into a protracted gunfight that may require greater than 60-100 rounds. Even when this does wind up being the case, you possibly can carry fewer mags in your equipment whereas conserving extra pre-staged in your home, automotive, or bugout bag. 

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder plate carrier.

Above: Pathfinder plate service with elastic stomach strap. 

Juxtaposed to this philosophy is the concept that the ready citizen should be able to self-sustaining extra absolutely for longer durations of time throughout a protracted emergency. Whereas this may not essentially embody extra capturing, bigger chest rigs also can carry extra different stuff that’s shortly accessible on the transfer. Loading up a 100-pound pack is nice in idea, but when it’s important to cease, drop your pack, and dig by it for each little gadget or device in your stock, this may be time-consuming and even detrimental to survival. Having extra of these instruments using in your chest not solely will increase accessibility however balances complete load weight to make motion simpler.

Pathfinder Setup

The 5-cell Pathfinder is designed to carry 5 30-round AR-pattern magazines, however we’ve seen pictures within the wild of those rigs carrying some forms of AK mags with out challenge. However bigger .30 caliber magazines resembling AR-10, FAL, M1A, and many others can be too giant to suit into the Pathfinder. Every journal pouch has 2 columns of laser-cut attachment slots, for a complete of 10 rows of webbing on our check pattern. The rig ships with two male-end aspect launch buckles on the highest, permitting the Pathfinder to be clipped straight onto plate carriers or internet harnesses that have already got matched feminine attachment {hardware}. For individuals who want to use this as a standalone chest rig, there are two loops on every finish of the placard, and 4 split-bar feminine buckles are included within the packaging. The harness you see right here was provided by Parashooter for overview functions, however any normal chest rig harness with the identical sized buckles will work. It also needs to be famous that the magazine pockets should not have any energetic retention and depend on elastic stress. That is in all probability fantastic for many functions however, in the event you want an over-the-top bungee, there are small “tabs” constructed into the highest of every pouch with two holes pre-punched in every for passing bungee twine by. 

Studio photo of the fully loaded Parashooter Pathfinder chest rig.

Above: Pathfinder chest rig with out drop pouch.

After years of working reduced-footprint micro chest rigs, we had been pleasantly stunned with how a lot attachment room we had with the Pathfinder. To profit from the out there load house, we hooked up the next pouches:

1. An XL Multi-Perform Pouch from Arbor Arms. The MFP is precisely because the identify describes. A big flap-closure, bucket-style pouch meant to carry no matter you possibly can slot in it. On this case, we crammed it with an Armasight PVS-14 white phosphorous night time imaginative and prescient monocular, with Wilcox dovetail mount, and a Crye Precision NightCap.

Studio photo of the parashooter pathfinder nvg pouch unpacked.

Above: Pathfinder Multi-function pouch unpacked. Simply shops helpful tools like this night time imaginative and prescient optic.

The NightCap is a soft-cover different to mounting night time imaginative and prescient on a helmet for conditions the place you must use your NVGs hands-free, however don’t require the ballistic or bump safety of a helmet. It’s an ideal piece of equipment that reduces the load and bulk of an evening imaginative and prescient setup from one thing that needs to be saved gingerly in a pack to one thing that may be balled up across the PVS unit and slid right into a chest pouch for quick entry. The one draw back to the Evening Cap is that it doesn’t include the mounting shroud, however we had been in a position to get a Wilcox shroud from our buddies at Evening Imaginative and prescient Community.

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder Multi-purpose pouch.

Above: Pathfinder Multi-purpose pouch filled with night time imaginative and prescient optic and head gear.

2. An HSGI Bleeder Blowout Pouch. This slender, vertically-oriented med pouch has a quick-release buckle as properly Velcro closure choices. There’s simply sufficient room for important medical provides, plus a pocket for shears. The MOLLE loops on both aspect of the pouch assist plus up storage functionality. We adorned one aspect with a Gray Man Tactical STRAP TQ to carry a Tourniquet. 

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder Bleeder Blowout Pouch.

Above: Shut up of the Pathfinder Bleeder Blowout Pouch.

3. One Unobtanium Gear frag grenade pouch. These pouches, designed by Longship Designs and out there by Unobtanium Gear, had been initially designed to be small footprint, ultra-low-bulk pouches for navy challenge fragmentation grenades. Since we are able to’t discover any of these, it has served as a superb place to stash a smoke grenade from IWA Worldwide. These palm-sized sign aids use a handy pull-pin fuse, are waterproofed, and put out a superb cloud for its measurement. These will be efficient for getting individuals’s consideration and signaling for assist, or presumably making a helpful distraction. 

4. Talking of grenades, we additionally added two USGI surplus grenade pouches. These are cheap, sturdy pouches that make nice general-use pouches for small provides like compasses, batteries, and fire-starting materials. We scored these off a navy surplus web site for $2.50 every. We don’t spend a variety of time speaking about surplus pouches as they’re hardly ever probably the most revolutionary or fascinating pouch selections in any scenario, however they’re an instance of how one can get well-built gear at dust low-cost costs.  

Chest Rig Use Instances

Along with the improved load-bearing profit, standalone chest rigs make an ideal scalable load-out possibility when paired with an unadorned armor service. We used a Slick plate service from First Spear as a companion armor base for the Pathfinder. The Slick is probably probably the most minimalist plate service we’ve seen. It’s only a skinny, performance-fabric shell to carry plates. No delicate armor, no functionality to mount pouches or placards – simply most concealment. With out plates, the service is skinny sufficient to ball up and stuff within the leg pocket of your cargo pants. If you happen to’re in a scenario the place you need armor, however aren’t positive in the event you want extra gear, the Slick is nice “first line” safety that may be quickly and considerably scaled up by merely placing the Pathfinder on over it. Whereas it’s not as handy as a full-blown tactical plate service, the two-part system can be utilized in a greater diversity of conditions, and layered on the fly, conserving your “posture” unobtrusive however your capabilities strong. 

Studio photo of the Parashooter Pathfinder chest rig worn in a minimalist styler underneath a sweatshirt.

Above: Pathfinders’ minimalist strategy makes sporting the chest rig straightforward to put on in a large number of conditions. 

This precept will be distilled even additional down. If you don’t mount any pouches to the entrance of the Pathfinder, it’s elastic journal cells — even when loaded — are skinny and unobtrusive. Utilizing it only for spare mags, whereas carrying the remainder of your gear in a pack, provides you much more modularity to create and re-create a picked-for-mission gear package deal as the character of an unexpected disaster morphs over time. And, with 150 rounds on faucet, you’ve bought loads of firepower to cross round to survival tribe- and team-mates.

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