A few months ago I received a chest rig from G-Code for review. I reached out and they offered to hook me up with their chest rig and I gladly accepted. While the rig was free, I will do my best to give it a fair review, so here we go:
Fit and Finish
The fit and feel of this chest rig is comfortable. I have not noticed any of the straps digging into my shoulders, although when I go shooting I am usually limited to a few hours. The chest rig itself doesn’t breathe very well, but I sweat a lot already and I feel as if that’s a given, not much you can do about it but live with it. This is my first chest rig, but I did notice that when I attempted to lay prone and aim through a scope was more difficult as the angles of my body had changed. Even though it is a very slim design, I still had a difficult time getting my head in a position that I could see through the scope and be comfortable. Again, not much you can do about that to my knowledge, correct me if I am wrong as this is my first chest rig, I am just reporting my experiences. The mag pouches are phenomenal. There is a rubber insert on the inside of the pouch to help hold the magazine in place and it also reduces the noise of mags rattling while moving, a very nice touch.
The admin pouch that you can purchase with the chest rig is very handy and a decent size. I am using it to carry a small notepad, pencil, sharpie to mark targets, a multi-tool, and my range finder. Overall quality feels good. Their website says that the mag pouches hold AK mags and they’re not wrong, AK mags do fit but it feels very top-heavy since the AK mags are taller than AR mags… it makes the chest rigs fall away from your body due to the change in center of gravity when using AK mags. The mags do stay in place though.
As I mentioned, the mag pouches are great! A little more effort is required to slide the mags in when compared to an Esstac Kywi mag pouch, but I feel that also helps hold them more securely. I have had no mags fall out of my Esstac pouches though, I just feel more confident with the rubber padding of the G-Code if that makes sense. The material feels like it’s good quality, however, I cannot find what the material is on their website. An option they have with the purchase of this rig is for G-Code to assemble it for you… spend the $5 and do it. Just have it done right because it makes your life easier, I get confused with all the straps and cords and bungees and screws, I can’t even figure out some slings, so I had it assembled before they sent it. No regrets.
Another great thing that I like about this chest rig is that it can be used with a plate carrier. There are 6 clips that hold the chest rig straps to the rig itself. Remove those and you can attach the chest rig to a plate carrier if you would like. So if you want to go out on a range day and wear a plate carrier to prepare for the upcoming civil war, you could do that. Or if you want to LARP as a recon soldier on a long-range mission to the kitchen to get your Oreos, you can do that by using the chest rig without a plate carrier. Overall the versatility is absolutely welcome.
I think I would like this loadout more if I had it on a plate carrier which hopefully I get sooner than later because the strap hardware is sub par in my opinion. The tri-glides (Adjuster tabs) whatever holds the straps in place and allows you to tighten and loosen the straps to fit your body, there is only one per strap. So the problem that I run into is when I put this on, I have to re adjust every time because I loosen it when I throw it over my head. And I have noticed that throughout the day, it will loosen on its own. I believe that a second slider would prevent the strap from loosening at all and allow me to not spend 5 minutes trying to re-adjust all of the straps.
I also don’t like that I can’t tighten it tight enough that when I run, it won’t bounce. I have noticed that I can get it tight enough to prevent it from moving side to side or away from my body, but I cannot get it to stop bouncing up and down. And as the straps loosen throughout the day, the problem becomes worse until you cinch it down again. The strap problem is amplified with heavier mags such as the AK.
While this is designed to be a minimalist chest rig and it does that job EXTREMELY WELL, it is a minimalist chest rig and there is no room to add anything extra. Being that a chest rig is used for guns and pew pew stuff, I would like to have the ability to add some sort of trauma kit or TQ to my chest rig. Even though I already have one in my back pack, I would like the ability to add some sort of medical or even a radio depending on the mission?
My last con is one that some may care about and some may not. I wish there was a way to lock down the admin pouch. It just hangs all loosey goosey like when I run and then when I drop to prone it’s always in a bad spot and gets shoved straight into my stomach. Some sort of clip option to hook onto the lower clips or an additional strap would be good, or I might complain that there are too many straps at that point.
I feel like that is a lot of cons so I want to make one thing clear. I do enjoy this chest rig and I have found it to be very usable. Some of the cons may be just personal such as not getting low enough to the ground to get good headed placement to look through my optics as I do have a belly, your mileage may vary.
Design and Use
This chest rig is designed to be a minimalist chest rig. Light enough that you can carry it all day. Whether that is a long range day or class, or patrolling your neighborhood during riots or preventing looting during a natural disaster. You can carry 90 extra rounds of ammo, and some small admin items. What more do you need from a MINIMALIST CHEST RIG. I can sit here and say I want this, or I wish it let me add this, but that defeats the purpose of what it was meant for.
I’ll be honest, even though I didn’t pay for my chest rig and G Code sent it to me asking $155 for the chest rig, before assembly, and before the Admin pouch is a little steep. Not quality wise because the quality of material used is superb, but bang for the buck. Again, it is a minimalist plate carrier with magazine pouches that are $60 alone before the chest rig and other hardware plus R&D. But you are getting a minimalist chest rig for $155 and the admin pouch is another $35. Which is a little steep in my opinion. However, don’t let the price scare you too much, because you do get what you pay for, and you are getting a chest rig that will make it through tough times without breaking. If I had bought this rig, I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Side note: I did talk to Jesse Lockhart, the VP of Gcode about some of my concerns. And he understood where I was coming from. Hopefully some changes, specifically a way to lock the straps in place and keep them from loosening. That would change the review completely. I will do an update once I get my plate carrier. As well as if GCODE makes the changes to their rig.