Chest rig modification concept – weight on sides

Let me speak from my heart. I have a dumb hobby (honestly; and not only that one) of making gear setups just imaginary, not making it real. Sometimes it is for learning purposes, frequently for geardo reasons, rarely to give an advice. Currently it is just that case.

Some regular guy need a load-bearing solution:
– compact to fit loaded in weapons’ safe
– distributing weight less front and more sides (sure, he is aware of PT importance)
– spacious enough to fit 2 or 4 AK 30-seat mags, trauma kit, radio, multitool, light, knife, gloves, weapon license

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Smock modification – cinch cord/drawstring ends

To keep clothing clean-looking and free from catching with the bush, I modified it in order to hide cord ends on the bottom. I’ve seen similiar solutions on backpacking softshell and commercial-made smock, but for sure this mod can be easily done by every owner with two hands and enough dexterity to not put the spoon in the ear.

I took two pieces of ahem leather with alredy installed grommets – from an old piece of clothing, already garbage.

cinch cord smock modification

And I’ve made holes in the smock’s pockets from an inner side, put pieces with grommets on the holes and sewed them together by hand – rough but tough.

cinch cord smock modification

Here is view from inside a pocket:

cinch cord smock modification

Satisfied with it so far. Though, it will be better with two-layered leather with grommet – one layer into pocket, second on the inner side of smock.

Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor

Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor

Smock is essentially a “soft shell” of previous days, key element of an old-school layering system. Just windproof, not warm. Rainproof a little, very temporarily and depending of the condition of waterproof treatment. Sometimes smocka are made fully waterproof, but it is an aberration from original concept.

It serves as protection from harsh environment – thorns, gravel, and so.

It serves as camouflage layer and frequently has a loops for camo attchments.

Under the smock are worn:
– base layers (next-to-skin and warm underclothes)
– mid-insulation layer (fleece and even softshell anorak “PCS Lightweight Thermal Smock”)
– lightweight rainproof gear (as “stealth suit”)
– heavyweight rainproof gear (sometimes)

Over the smock are worn:
– heavyweight rainproof gear
– heavy insulation layer

Smock is not only a clothing item, it also features a load-bearing capability. Not full battle-rattle, but a number of belongings:

  • writing instruments
  • first aid kit
  • pocket knife
  • ear plugs
  • flashlight
  • survival kit, whistle, firestarter, compass, signaling panel
  • hygiene items
  • a length of cord
  • gloves, tube scarf, beanie hat, bandanna
  • snacks, rations

Depending on pockets’ size and placement, compact load-bearing chest rig could be worn over smock keeping pockets usable (or at least some of them), photos below.

smock load bearing chest rig

For year I had used a smock-like clothing items, various windproof jackets. Because here in (not Soviet already) Russia we have two winters, white and green. For the green winter windproofs are a must-have layers.

Recently I’ve got a common British “Smock, Combat, Windproof, Woodland DP” 50% polyester, 50% cotton. In used condition, to keep the price low, just to try it. Why lie, I like it. But some pieces need to be modified.

Look at the huge hood:

british smock hood mod modification

Then the front piece with inner wire is folded, it looks like that:

british smock hood mod modification

Work in progress:

british smock hood mod modification

Final look:

british smock hood mod modification

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