The american Condor Outdoor is a manufacturer producing a “tactical gear for masses” – that means, pretty cheap and easily to get. It’s because of the “Made in China” marking on it and using nylon instead of more expensive cordura. Does it make a low-quality product? For me – nope. The more, Condor using simplest solution making whole gear easily cusomizable for every user. Also, that’s good for making the rest of equipment fitting to the personal needs. I even have a word for that – the modularity of basic construction.
Rapid Assault Chest Rig MCR6
Basic informations about it:
- Adjusting for basically every body shape
- Six STANAG 5,56 magazine pockets
- A 27×19 cm pocket with velcro closing hidden under the pouches
- Flat 27×17 cm mesh pocket inside (at the body side)
- Elastic bands for gear like lightsticks etc.
- Drainage holes in the bottom of the rigg
- Comfortable foam-filled braces
- D-rings and Molle pals on the braces
- Swivel Push-Button braces buckles
- The belt part with two fastex buckles
- Weight: about 690 g
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS
The tested vest is a part of Condor’s Chest Rigg family where every of them is named from MCR3 to MCR7 (we’ve got MCR6 one) and the rest is a code for the color, ex. MCR-7-001. The thing I liked mostly in those riggs is the modularity of it – you can choose the types and placing of buckles and every Molle pals which you can change for other pruporses, like Hydro Harness which is a backpack with hydration blade. The spectrum od chest riggs expansions is not very huge, yet you have to remember that chest riggs are meant to be light and comfortable and you shouldn’t attach to it tons of pouches, cargo pockets and tank cannons.
The MCR6-003 given us for tests is made of nylon 600D in Tan color, but there are other colors too ex. Olive Drab (001), Black (002) or Multicam (008), Every of them you can get even in Polish market which is not really big.
The thing that made me amused in those vests is the adjusting system – it’s really wide, and as for me (195 cm height) is a thing I really need. From what Condor wrote, you can fit it between 30″-60″ (76-152 cm) in belt size so you can be a grass eater or an elephant or everything in between and you’ll fit it to yourself. (If not, you better contact your hospital and start to care about your health, if its not already too late.) Every of those adjusting pals has a small velcro pals to keep them rolled down and organized instead of being an upset human being because of them hanging down from your back.
BRACES AND BELT PART
There are two 4,5×2,5 cm pals sewn on the front part of the braces which you can use for a small pouch, ex. the personal wound dressing or dedicated admin panel module. You can esily see that the manufactuter took all the care on making it for the dedicated panel, yet you can use it however you want to. I attached my airsoft red marker pouch by Templars Gear. In the same part of braces you can find a D-ring.
At the top part of the end of the braces you can see the fastex buckles, but in the bottom parts you’ve got Swivel Push-Button buckles. The belt part has a fastex on both sides – a little smile from Condor to the users of his gear.
One one back of one of them there’s an a band with small velcro panel to stabilize both braces and preventing it to move when wearing on and using it. It basically makes the X-shape more solid and comfortable.
On the inside of the shoulder straps there is sponge padding, secured with mesh. This affects the comfort very positively, because it prevent the shoulder straps to move around, Athough, this may be affected by weight. I’ve added two cargos on the front panel and a dump pouch on the waist strap. even after putting 6 AK mags into the dump pouch, the vest stayed in its’ place.
The waist strap ( about 3,5cm wide), beside keeping the vest together can be used to carry a dump pouch.
The most important part of the front panel are the mag pouches, There are 6 single shingle mag pouches, with shockcord on the top, to secure the mags. According to the producer, they’re ment for STANAGs, but i think they’re better for AK mags. They just work better in those pouches. They sit there very stable, and Shockcord won’t slide off them. The entire front panel is covered in MOLLE.
On both sides of the front panel there are two elastic straps, good for mounting some smaller stuff like lightsticks, pens etc. I’ve used it for my hydration straw. It worked really well!
Classic: there are 3 drainage holes on the bottom to drain water or sand.
On the back of the front panel where is a mesh pocket, closed with a small Velcro patch. It’s good for a map, a pen- some basic, small stuff, because the pocket isn’t too big. I think that it’s not the best solution they could’ve came up with- if you wear the vest higher, or tighter it will be very difficult to access. The closing alone makes you wonder if you shoul put anything valuable there, when you move around a lot. Velcro gets dirty very easily, which makes it weaker and you may end up losing something. smaller thing may fall out through the gaps on the top, and putting any bigger stuff there may be uncomfortable. And any tactical Snickers you might want to carry there will melt from the heat of your tactical belly.
Better solution is a pocket closed with a solid, full lenght Velcro strap- it’s located inside the front panel. it’s painfully loud when you open it, but it’s not letting anything fall out. Of course it’s designed for smaller objects. inside the pocket, on the back wall there is a 9,5×19,5cm Velcro panel- why? Well, it’s there so you can add a top-front panel- as you can see it’s very modular. Unfortunately you still can’t carry a armor plate like in RRV. At least not without some tinkering with the vest.
It’s very light and comfortable. Light as a feather and nearly impossible to overload- there’s just not enough space. Of course, you could if you’d really want to, but that’s not the point of this type of gear.
Overall it’s preety good! You can a rule used by chinese manufacturers: “Want it cheap, it’s gonna be made poorly. The more you pay the better stuff you get”. In this event, they payed a bit more, so quality is a solid C+, and here’s why:
- It’s sewed together preety well (although some sews could be better)- during some intense games nothing got ripped, all Velcro is still good, but some string started sticking out,
- buckles are solid and work well,
- no badly sewed MOLLE straps (although in the one we’ve tested there was one on the shoulder strap),
- all loops for straps are stiff and durable,
- velcro is really strong, but it could ude some reinforcement so they won’t fall off,
- the overall design is really good- it fits very well, and it adapts to the user.
There could have been some better solutions used, but it’s still a really well made piece of gear.
Recon Chest Rig MCR5
As said by the producer:
- It can be adjusted to fit practically anyone,
- Six sewed-in pistol mag pouches and three double Stanag pouches,
- Under the pouches, there is a 27x19cm pocket with a Velcro panel,
- A flat 27x17cm mesh pocket on the inside,
- Side MOLLE/PALS panels,
- Drainage holes on the bottom,
- Comfortable shoulder straps with sponge filling,
- D-rings and MOLLE straps on the shoulder straps,
- Shoulder straps buckled with a Swivel Push-Button buckles,
- The waist belt closed with fastex buckles,
- 820g of weight.
The only difference between MCR5 and it’s older brother is the front panel- the shoulder straps and inside pockets are the same, but there are no inside mag pouches. they’ve been replaced with permament outside pouches- in the midle of thhe front panel there are 3 double M4/AK pouches and 6 pistol mag pouches, 2 on each mag pouch (side ones with individual flaps, the middle one has a single flap for both pouches).
So if we attach 2 double mag pouches on each side we can get 14 main replica mags and 6 sidearm mags of capacity.
And that’s where the differences between MCR5 and MCR6 end.
HYDRO HARNESS MODULE
Standard MCR6 shoulder straps can be replaced with a Hydro Harness module- a modular hydration pack. Only MCR product NOT compatible with it is the MCR3, which also can’t take the admin panel. it’s available in Olive drab, black, tan and Multicam, the same as MCR6. It’s available for purchase in Poland.
What are the main advantages for that solution? Here they are:
- quick and easy to attach – All we need to do is detach the standard shoulder straps and attach the module- it takes about 30 seconds, both ways. The procedure itself is a piece of cake,
- less straps -instead of having a separate hydration pack, it’s a better fitted piece of the entire design,
- fitting your needs -if you don’t need more than 2l of water, you put on the Hydro Harness and off you go. but if you’ll need more than that, you put on a standard shoulder straps and a bigger hydration pack,
- simple solutions – zippers, velcro and a couple of buckles- easy and comfortable to use.
The user isn’t forced to just one configuration, which is a sign of a great attitude of the producer.
STRUCTURE AND QUALITY
As i’ve mentioned, the module is a piece of the entire vest- it’s a carrier system (the waist belt is the same as with the standard shoulder straps), and in my opinion much more comfortable than the standard shoulder straps, becasuse they don’t move apart or twist. and putting the vest on and off is more comfortable.
The way it’s stablilised couldn’t be simpler- there is a mesh sleeve on the bottom, where the waist belt goes, so it doesn’t go up and down as you run.
The material used to make it is nylon 600D, the same as in the MCR6.
The harness is divided into two pieces- shoulder straps attached to the vest with fastex type buckles in the front, and Swivel Push-Button buckles on the back. All mentioned parts are permament elements of the module.
On the right shoulder strap there are:
-an adjustment strap, with a velcro to gather the strap,
-3 7,5×3,5cm Velcro straps (i’ve used the bottom one to run the adjustment strap through),
– 2 loops with velcro for a hydration straw’
-a single 7,5×3,5cm strap,
-one metal D-ring.
On the left shoulder strap there are:
– adjustment strap with velcro to gather the loose end,
– 3 7,5×3,5cm, 2,5cm apart. (i’ve used one to run the adjustment strap through),
– 2 loops for the hydration straw,
– one metal D-ring.
Both shoulder straps are lined with a sponge covered with mesh, as well as the top of the backside of the module.
It should be noted, that Hydro Harness’ shoulder straps are a bit wider than standard ones, so they are more stable on your shoulders.
On the top of the module, there is:
– a drag handle, covered with a soft fabric,
– a hole for a hydration tube sealed with a 1cm wide Velcro strap on both sides- left and right (on the top and bottom it’s sewed in permamently). it’s not really that easy to run a hydration straw through it- i think it should be sewed in only on one side. the hole itsefl is about 5x5cm, so it makes up for that inconvenience.
Back side (the hydration pack)
We can find here:
– 4 MOLLE straps (take up about a half of the back of the module),
– a flap on the top, closed with zippers on the sides and Velcro on the bottom (pulling that little handle on the bottom will cause the zippers to open by themselves),
-10x7cm Velcro panel,
-a drainage hole on the bottom.
The pack can hold about 2,5/2L bladder. One you can see on the photos is 2,5L, but i had to roll it up on the top, for the bottom to sit correctly.
On the top of the pocket, there are two mountig points for the bladder. Too bad that there is no other type of a mounting point to fit different bladders. Anyway, after filling the bladder up, it should be stable. The backpack itself isn’t to big, so there is no space for anything else (no additional pockets inside), so it’s clearly designed to do that one and only thing. the fabric used is elastic and fits the bladder quite nicely.
Putting in a bladder with 1,5L of water (that’s most i pour in at any time) makes it a little back heavy, but it doesn’t pull the front up- big plus there, Mr. Condor
After attaching the Hydro Harness you can still attach the admin panel, but it covers up the Velcro on the right shoulder strap- something for something, but it’s not that painfull loss.
It’s preety light- 490g. Attached to the MCR6, the whole set weights around 1,2kg. It doesn’t get much heavier even after attaching additional pouches with all the neccessary stuff inside them. It’s designed for short distance and dynamic games, when you need you energy for playing, not carrying a lot of stuff.
USAGE (PERSONAL OPINIONS)
GRABER -I’ve got the MCR6 in the standard comfiguration, just when i was thinking about changing my gear from the good old Reactor vest from Mil-Tec (i’ve used for 7 years, and once changed it to a new one). I liked the quality and design from the moment i got it. And, because i don’t like to carry a backpack on every, short game, i’ve gotten mysefl a Hydro Harness to not die from dehydration. The main features of the vest i like the most are:
– a huge range of adjustment,
– fitting any body type well,
– low weight,
– it’s very stable and stays in it’s place when i move’
– the price- 40 euro for the MCR6 and another 40 for the Hydro Harness.
I like having a choice and ability to set my gear up to fit my needs and the MCR6 allows me to do that. Because the chest rig alone is no good for longer games, i’ve added a TCP belt with suspenders from MIWO Praszka. It worked together very well and completed eachother (asspacks are good stuff).
SAPPHIRE – I’ve tested the MCR5, the one with permament mag pouches. I don’t really like chest rigs, but didn’t mind that one.
Firts of all- the adjusability. It’s huge! You could put it on a freakin’ tank and there still would be some space. I’ve just barely fitted it on myself- it was made as tight as possible, and then it fitted me nicely, which is hard, when you’re 180cm high and weigh 60kg. All adjustment straps have Velcro tabs to gather loose ends, which is very useful when you’re that thin 🙂
And the pouches- they’re quite capable. there are three double M4/AK mag poches ans 6 pistol mag pouches, which gives us space for 6 mags for both a main gun and the sidearm. Not enough? Just add 4 double pouches, 2 on each side and you have 14 mags- even low-caps fans should be satisfied. And you can still add a beltkit.
Fastening it all by yourself isn’t too big of a problem if you like some morning gymnastics. I personally don’t (i’m lazy), but i can fasten it just as fast as when someone’s helping me. And, beside all those mag pouches there is that small mesh pocket on the inside, closed with a short Velcro- i think that it’s better than those full lenght Velcro straps- they don’t always line up too well, and they’re noisy, and there’s no such problem.
As i’ve said in the beginning, i wasn’t so fond of it when i first got it, i simply prefer plate carriers. but i think i’m going to keep it for the summer, because even when full, it’s still very comfortable, and it works well with a CamelBak or a Backpack. It’s great to move aruond in, even lay down, as long as you set up the pouches right.
So, summing up those chest rigs with the Hydro Harness module- quite well made (but still. it’s not Cordura), comfortable and quite easy and cheap to expand (chest rig + Hydro Harness + a couple of pouches):
+ overall well made,
+ huge adjustability in every direction,
+freedom in customizing it to fit your needs,
+ability to personalise it,
+ light and functional design,
+ price (around 80 euro for the whole set).
-some sews are faulty,
– straps on the shoulder straps aren’t quite fitted for extra pouches,
– Velcro panels on the shoulder straps are too small,
– the flap sealing the hydration tube hole could be better’
– no room for some extra stuff in the hydration bladder chamber,
– mounting points in the hydration bladder chamber work only with Condor bladders.
Most flaws of the MCR5/6 are in the details- the finish and some smaller design issues, but they don’t influence the overall comfort and usability of the gear. In both vest there is a problem with arisoft M4 mags- they’re shorter than the real-steel version, so rhey sit too deep in the pouches, so they may be hard to get out quickly. putting something under then will fix that problem. We had no such problems with AK mags.
Are they worth recommending? If you like chest rigs- hell yes!
We would like to thank e-Militaria.pl for kindly providing those Condor chest rigs for us to test out!