Review Posted: Flatpack Plus: Haley Strategic’s Multi-Role Pack

Continuing on their innovation, the Flatpack Plus by Haley Strategic offers the wearer the ability to functionally bridge between an Every Day Carry (EDC) pack, Patrol pack (augmenting a chest rig), or […]

Review Posted: Propper Expandable Backpack: Big Boy Has Some Space!

Be it on the trail, at the range, or even built as an intro level “Get Home Bag,” the Expandable Backpack by Propper can fit any need you’ll have for it. The […]

Review Posted: Vortex Viper: Solid Design In a Little Optic

As a mid-level red dot optic, the Viper provides all the advantages of a quality co-witness reflex optic for pistols, with a robust housing at an affordable price. Scoring 21 of 25 […]

Review Posted: The MARCO: Next Gen Personal Illumination

Representing the next generation of illumination, the Marco by Blue Force Gear represents an evolution in personal marking during Period of Darkness. At a fraction the size of traditional “chemlights”, and in […]

Review Posted: 10-Speed M4 Chest Rig: Tactical Minimalist

As a minimalist chest rig with adaptability, the 10-Speed M4 Chest Rig by Blue Force Gearoffers a high degree of positive magazine retention, with no excessive materials or weight. This is in […]

Cause & Effect Training Opportunity

Another round of professional-level training is coming to Saint Louis, MO. Cause & Effect Tactical Solutions USA (CETSUSA) will be delivering Pistol I & Dynamic Rifle on August 24th. Slots still remain […]

Review Posted: Lightning X IFAK: Premium First Aid For All of Us

The Lightning X Spread Eagle Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) is a premium, full-sized aid kit intended for civilian, law enforcement, rescue, or tactical users. Scoring 19 of 25 points, this IFAK […]

Review Posted: Micro Trauma Kit NOW! Immediate Aid When You Need It

Medical kits (and the skills to use them) are essential. By using a soft compression design to secure life saving items, the Micro Trauma Kit Now! (Micro TKN) by Blue Force Gear, […]

Review Posted: Vortex Razor: An Optic for Cross-Platform Compatibility

Introduced in 2012, the Razor by Vortex Optics​ is designed to be a high-quality, open reflex optic for competitive or defensive shooters. Scoring 19 of 25 points in our evals, the Razor […]

Review Posted: Propper Range Bag: For a Light Day On The Range

For some light pistol work at the range or working long distance rifle, the Range Bag by Propper offers a light-to-moderate bag that will allow you to carry all the daily essentials, […]


View All ›

Emdom USA Field Mat: Keeping the Necessities Organized

Providing a clean and durable work surface in the field, the Field Mat is a collaborative effort between Emdom USA and Military Morons to give shooters the ability to carry accessories or cleaning supplies in a collapsible roll.

Released in 2019, the Field Mat is a 23″ (L) x 19″ (W) cut of nylon (Multicam is 500D Cordura while other colors are 1000D) that provides for an easily transportable working space that can be used to cover any space. From there disassembly of firearms, stored cleaning tools, or secured accessories can utilized. Each corner of the mat metal grommets that allow for it to be secured to any surface as necessary.


On one side of the unrolled mat are two 9″ (L) x 3″ (W) x 1″ (H) accessories pouches that can be opened and laid flat to maximize access. Inside each are a variety of different sized pouches secured via hook-and-loop that can accommodate a variety of items, such as cleaning rods, bore snakes, weapon lights, multi-tools, and more. On the top exterior of the left accessory pouch is a 4” (L) x 2” (W) (female) hook-and-loop field for name tapes or morale patches.

In front of the right-side accessory pouch is a 6” (L) x 4” (W) field of (female) hook-and-loop that comes with a 14” length of 1” wide of VELCRO® BRAND ONE-WRAP® Tape that can be cut to desired lengths. Emdom recommends two 4” lengths and two 3” lengths that can be used to secure springs, pins, and other small parts to the hook-and-loop field.

In front of the left-side accessory pouch is a removable 7″ (W) x 7″ (L) dump tray made from an oil-resistant, rubberized material and secured to the mat via hook-and-loop on the underside. The tray is a high visibility blue that allows for darker parts, such as pins, springs, etc. to be more easily identifiable. Snap-closures in each corner allow the tray to either lay flat when not in use or secured to for the tray.

On the underside of the field mat is an 8″ (W) x 18″ (L) storage pocket divided into two compartments and secured via a single full-length zipper enclosure.

Two shock cord loops on one side of the mat keep it secure when compressed or rolled, while a 1” nylon webbing loop between the accessory pouches facilitates in carrying, hanging, or to secure it.

The Field Mat is available in Multicam (featured), Black, Coyote, SDU Grey, and Ranger Green.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): At an MSRP of $58.99 (color dependent), the Field Mat by Emdom USA gives the user a portable and secure means to store a variety of accessories and cleaning supplies. Roughly the size of a rolled towel, the Field Mat contains a number of useful features for immediate action and care of the firearm, or storage of suppressors and other shooting accessories needed. Condor previously had a Roll-Up Cleaning Mat ($19.99) similar to the one by Emdom, but did not have anything near the functionality and as eventually discontinued. Turbon does also make a roll-up Cleaning Mat ($30) that is similar but also specifically just for cleaning accessories. The Field Mat from Emdom combines a number of features and storage that allow the mat to expand use beyond just for simple after range cleaning, and as such gives it a good scoring for cost.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): Made dominantly from 500D Cordura (for Multicam, or 1000D nylon in any other color), the only aspect of the Field Mat material that isn’t nylon was the rubberized dump tray, the outer material inside the zippered accessory pockets, and the shock cord retention bands. All of which held up well during use, for both cleaning and transporting. Eventually oil and carbon did begin to impart to the nylon, but per Emdom, the mat (with the dump tray removed) was able to be easily hand washed. The dump tray itself was simply wiped off as well and during the course of evaluation did not stain. Given the durability and abrasion resistance to the 500D materials, it is more likely that the shock cords securing the rolled up field mat will fail over the long term, before the field mat itself and thankfully those are easily replaced. Overall the simplicity and materials in the Field Mat gave it a good scoring for its durability and long term usage.
  • Functionality Excellent (5/5): From a functional aspect the Field Mat did an excellent job in a more purposeful design and improved materials over older versions. The YKK zippers kept the accessory pouches secure and slid easily. There was a little difficulty in turning the tight corners some, but nothing that inhibited access. The accessory pouches were large enough for a variety of firearms-related accessories, so the option was there for those who want to transport the bolt carrier group securely in the pouch, and break their carbine down into an upper/lower carry. Likewise, there could be the ability to transport a suppressor as well as tools in one accessory pouch, as well as cleaning tools in the other. Otherwise the large mat provided plenty of room that gave the user a clean space to work on firearms, and the dump tray gave a secure space for smaller pieces without risk of blowing away and spilling the contents. When rolled and secure, the interior nylon loop also gave a convenient means by which to hang or secure the mat to a pack or cable via carabiner (not included).
  • Weight Average (3/5): At 11 ounces (empty), the Field Mat’s relative weight provided a good way to compartmentalize, carry, or store needed accessories and/or cleaning tools. While the overall weight of the mat increases with what is contained, either way it can only hold a fixed volume. For its use, and the limited number of comparable products on the current market, made for the Field Mat to be of an approximate (or of average) weight for the materials used. A heavier denier of nylon besides 500D and 1000D could be used to make the product more abrasive resistant – but doing so would also increase the weight and therefor in its current configuration it gave the perfect balance.

Overall Rating – Good (16/20)

Product Link:

IMG_2889_TackenbergI am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Snake Eater Tactical War Belt: Flexability and Comfort

Nestled back in the upper potions of the Pacific Northwest, lies one of the more recognizable tactical and EDC belt makers on the market. Chris Calvert from Snake Eater Tactical (SET) has been producing some of the finest mission-driven belts for years. His recently upgraded SET War Belt offers one of the most secure, stable, and comfortable weapons/accessory platform available.

The SET War Belt is a custom-cut belt that comprises a three-part system; it includes an inner belt, mid-belt, and outer belt.

  • 1st Belt (Inner Belt) – This belt is cut from a single layer of 16oz. Hypalon, then stitched with 1.5” wide (female) hook-and-loop strip along the entire outer-facing side. This inner belt is intended to be worn through the beltloops, and has a thumb loop on one end to help tighten it while you use the hook-and-loop (male) belt-keeper on the other to hold the overall belt in place. The Hypalon material facing the body offers a tremendous grip against fabric.
  • 2nd Belt (Mid-Belt) – The second belt is the larger, padded portion to the SET War Belt and consists of ¼” closed-foam, cell padding with a heavy-duty mesh covering for ventilation, buoyancy, and drying. The pad has one full length of 1.5” (male) hook-and-loop on one side, and 1.5” (female) hook-and-loop on the other. Reinforced stitching is added in a diamondback pattern along the length of the pad. The premise being that the two-mating hook-and-loop panels on the 1st and 2nd belt join to form the base of the system and offer a large area of padding.


  • 3rd Belt (Outer Belt) – The outer belt is where all the work gets done. It consists of an AustriAlpin D-Ring Cobra Buckle and a 2” channel for connecting carabiners, with the belt itself made from two layers of 1.75” Type 13 parachute webbing (with a tensile strength of 7,000 pounds). On the back is 1” (male) hook-and-loop material, stitched in 2.5” increments, resulting in a MOLLE-compatible pattern that allows the user to mount gear without interfering with the hook-and-loop integration.

Also provided for review were two Burro magazine pouches (two for pistol, and one for rifle). Each Burro is flared at the opening, made of an elastic material on the exterior, and has Hypalon lining on the inside and back of the exterior to give it positive retention. The Burro can expand to accommodate any single/double stacked magazine, or .223 rifle magazine (.308 Burro’s coming soon). Inside each Burro is a curved piece of kydex that aids in indexing the magazines.

Lastly, a nylon dump pouch was provided that uses the same mesh material as the mid-belt. It provides maximum drainage and drawstrings for carrying capacity that can be used to hold any number of range items (up to five AR magazines, brass, papers, pasters, flowers, etc.). The dump pouch features a strip of Type 13 material down the middle that gives the pouch an easy-access structure from the top.

The SET War Belt and Burro pouches come in six different colors; Ranger Green (featured), two variants of A-TACS, Black, Coyote Brown, and Multicam. Sizing instructions for the custom belt cut are provided on the website.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): At $183.00 for the SET War Belt, $25-$28 per Burro, and $45 for the dump pouch, the cost of the system reflects the high-quality craftsmanship and materials used. Between the nylon, Hypalon, and Cobra buckle there are a lot of unique and quality materials at play that are seldom offered elsewhere. In comparison to the market, the cost of the belt and pouches are equally comparable to other American custom manufacturers who emphasize direct, hands-on manufacturing over industrial or overseas mass-production means.
  • Comfort Excellent (5/5): The flexibility of the overall belt, combined with the width of the mid-belt padding makes for an extremely comfortable system. The draw from the Burro is smooth, and the kydex makes for positive retention regardless of magazine type. Re-inserting magazines is easy and smooth thanks to the oversized flare at each opening.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): It’s difficult to judge the long-term durability of the belt and components. With reinforced stitching, X-patterns, and bartack—the Type 13 belt and Cobra buckle are most likely to outlast all other the accessories, and will handle most heavy usage you throw at it. In Google searches some folks have tested the system on the range or in general use for over a year with no stated adverse effects. Snake Eater does offer separate purchase of the inner Hypalon or padded belt should those wear out.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): The functionality of the SET War Belt is without question as the MOLLE-compatible slots on the inside of the belt allow for full customization of any holster or accessory. You can even add a Burro on top of the dump pouch to save space on the belt, or for an additional magazine. The oversized mid-belt pad helps ensure that the body is not pinched against the belt when bending, or by other equipment. The three-layered system also is extremely rock solid and does not afford any movement in the belt or pouches itself. If you want to reconfigure the belt or add accessories, you do need to break the belt down. In truth, the only negative is more aesthetic as the sleeve-like Burros have a somewhat lackluster appearance, but this did not play a factor into evaluating them for function.
  • Weight Good (4/5): At 1.7 pounds overall, the three-part SET War Belt is very lightweight thanks in part to the overall materials, and this comes in under the weight of other notable quality belt manufacturers. Burros weigh 1-2 ounces each (depending on pistol or rifle) and the dump pouch weighs 4 ounces. Taken into context of ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain and the SET War Belt is at less weight than most complete systems on the market so long-term wear of the system will not be as painful as others.

Overall Rating – Very Good (22/25)

Product Link:

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


Shadow Elite Bravo Fleece Hoodie: Comfort From the North

Manufactured by Canadian company The Requirements Group and sold in the United States via its subsidiary retailer Shadow, the Bravo hoodie is part of the company’s Elite line and one of its more practical items of tactical clothing.

Specifications for the Bravo Fleece Hoodie:

Constructed in a flexible, weatherproof, three-layer fleece the Bravo hoodie features:

  • An outer layer with a 10k hydrostatic weatherproof membrane
  • A fully adjustable hood via drawstring
  • Zippered pockets on both the left and right sleeve with hook-and-loop panels
  • Elastic banded cuffs
  • Oversized front pockets with two-way YKK zippers
  • Hidden internal pockets
  • Concealed shock-chord adjustable hem
  • Coats stitching

The Bravo hoodie comes in sizes from Small to XXXL, and in black, olive drab, and coyote.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): With an MSRP of $79.70, the Bravo fleece is accurately priced in a wide market offering a dearth of duty or tactical clothing. Yet when considering the Bravo is a three-layer system that maximizes weatherproofing, the hoodie is actually well marketed.
  • ComfortGood (4/5): The Bravo is extremely comfortable and the layered fleece was notably flexible in both the shoulders and chest. While the XL tested has enough length in the arms, the fleece is also slightly flexible to allow it to stretch slightly and accommodate those with a slightly elongated upper torso. The elastic cuffs stop just at/above the wrist bone. The hood does cover up to the crown of the head, although it would be beneficial if it were either removable or storable into the collar when not in use.
  • DurabilityGood (4/5): Designed by The Requirements Group and manufactured in Pakistan, the multi-layered fleece uses a method of fabric weave that enables it to attain a 10k Hydrostatic Rating and resistant to most major weather concerns. The seams are not stitch sealed however, so while the larger three-layer surface area is waterproof, with enough heavy saturation the seams will seep first. The Bravo did maintain durability during various stressor tests to include light fitness drills (burpees).
  • FunctionalityGood (4/5): Overall the Bravo met all functionality expected of it, which is as a lightweight, flexible, duty or tactical fleece. The added benefit of the hidden pockets and rubberized access point enabled for an iPhone with headphones to be threaded through from the inside of the pocket to the inner shell. The hook-and-loop panels also enable for a variety of morale, IR, or unit patches to be worn and be easily visible.
  • WeightGood (4/5): The XL Bravo fleece hoodie weighs approximately 1.8lbs. and is consistent with other light fleece jackets on the market. It is light enough to be worn as a daily wear light coat, or as layered duty apparel. The weight would also do well to serve as a light range fleece to ward off the cold of early morning setup, or late night/low-light range drills.

Overall Rating – Good (19/25)

Product Link:

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.