Developed by Battle Board and released in mid-2022, the Armband 4.0 is the latest iteration of personal support gear intending to make it easier for individuals keep track of essential data, and have it readily at hand.
Made predominantly from 500D Cordura nylon, the Armband 4.0 has an overall size of 6.5” (H) x 9.5” (W) and features a 3.25” x 5.25” window made from a transparent polycarbonate for improved longevity. A standard 3×4 index card can be slid underneath and a wax pen can be used for writing. The Armband 4.0 did include a black dry-erase pen, although end-users can select a writing implement at the time of ordering.
On the exterior of the window are corner-retention tabs that can attach an index card to the outside of the armband for standard writing.
The interior of the Armband 4.0 includes an open-cell spacer pad that is secured via nylon mesh for breathability and airflow while worn.
The Armband 4.0 is secured via a hook-and-loop tab, which in turn uses a custom, flat braided elastic nylon band using Invista material and color-matched to the Armband 4.0 to form the cinch strap that is adjusted for a desired fit.
The Armband 4.0 is available in Multicam (featured), Coyote, Black, Ranger Green, and eight other popular color combinations.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): With its list price of $39.95; the Armband 4.0 has a simplistic design that allows the wearer to maintain notes, diagrams, and other important information within arms distance. The material used is Cordura nylon (for the arm band) and polycarbonate plastic (for the window) that are both known for their flexibility and light overall weight. The closest market alternatives would be the Tactical Notebook Cover ($38.98) from Combat Quarterback, or the Tactical QB Sleeve-Arm DOPE Card Holder ($29.99) by Raine Tactical Gear, the Armboard ($59.99) by RE Factor, or the Tactical Arm Band ($62.99) by Tactical Assault Gear. The simplistic design, balance of function, and overall material all place the Armband 4.0 at a good price amid the current market.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, when the Armband 4.0 was worn over the forearm it proved to have a good level of comfort due in large part to the flexibility of the material, and the open-cell foam pad on the interior that prevented chafe against exposed skin. The 500D Cordura was an appropriate (or average) denier of nylon that was common to many tactical accessories on the current market. This allotted for a good degree of flexibility in the material to contour around the arm and with its associated movements. When worn over a jacket or sleeve, the Armband 4.0 still was able to retain a solid position, though there was significantly less nylon (para) cord material by which to secure the hook-and-loop tab that went over the arm. The included Lumocolor pen wrote smoothly and consistently over the clear polycarbonate window, and the ink did not smear or rub off unless desired.
- Durability – Good (4/5): From a durability aspect, the Armband 4.0’s 500D Cordura held a good level of flexibility so as to be readily available when needed, and still be contoured around the arm when not in use. The nylon material also had large curves in design that avoided hard edges or corners being formed like other similar accessories. Reinforcement/bartack stitching was noted at the corner of hook-and-loop (female) sections, and reinforcing the interior padding that prevented incidental curling or separation from use. Single line stitching was used to connect the various elements to the single sheet of Cordura nylon fabric; this included the polycarbonate window and tape fabric to round off/seal edges. Traditionally, as similar transparent polycarbonate materials age (due to UV exposure or general use) it can cloud, turn color, or become brittle. During the review period for this product (roughly 45 days) no premature, cracking, discoloration, nor brittleness was experience and this is likely an issue that may be faced over the long-term (1yr+) and based on degree of exposure to the elements.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Armband 4.0 allotted for a good level of use and simplicity by providing a protective forearm display of critical data that would otherwise be in a notebook or pocket, and not readily available. The end-user was able to easily glance down and clearly see the data card, note card, or writing on the exterior provided the Armband 4.0 was in a position that was appropriate on the arm or weapon. The combination of materials (500D Cordura and polycarbonate window) proved to be flexible enough to adequately wrap around the forearm, though sliding the DOPE or casualty card into the slot while worn was problematic (likely due to curvature of the opening in aspect to the linear card or paper). It was easier to insert the data card (by twisting the paper slightly) while the Armband 4.0 wasn’t worn and then attach it. Attaching additional cards to the exterior of the polycarbonate window via the corner slots proved to be easier, although it left the card greatly exposed to moisture and/or abrasion. The provided fine point Lumocolor® Permanent Marker wrote fluidly and was easily visible in the daylight, although end-users should be aware than an alcohol pen was not included – so anything written on the exterior of the window will not be removeable until an alcohol wipe or pen can be used. The end-user has the option to select other writing implements (or none at all) at the time of purchase, so it depends on the individual and their needs. It would be recommended to Battle Board to add a second pen loop on the 4.0 for an alcohol pen or other implement, so the user could also have the means to erase/adjust anything written. During use, the only negative aspect of the Armband 4.0 noted was the enclosure band itself, with the nylon cord having no flexibility to extend/adjust the hook-and-loop tab around the arm. Adjustment could only made by untying the knots at the base of the nylon cord and adjusting the overall length as woven through the Armband 4.0. This meant that while the sizing was suitable around the bare arm, it wasn’t easily adjusted when wearing an outer garment like a coat or fleece. Even at full extension, the nylon cord was very tight over a jacket sleeve. It would be recommended to Battle Board to increase the overall length of the nylon cord, or transition the nylon cord to an elastic/shock cord to provide that flexibility/elasticity. Battleboard has recognized this issue, and added additional length to future product.
- Weight – Excellent (5/5): Weighing in at a very demure 2.0 ounces, the Armband 4.0 owed a majority of its light overall weight to a minimal design that was not excessively bulky (with layered or excessive fabric), and use of as thin nylon as possible. Thus it was neither unbalancing or noticeable on the arm while worn, nor on the stock of a rifle. In contrast, the Tactical QB Sleeve-Arm DOPE Card Holder (4.4 ounces) by Raine Tactical Gear, the Armboard (2.5 ounces) by RE Factor, or the Tactical Arm Band (3.0 ounces) by Tactical Assault Gear all demonstrate the differences in similar products that utilize more material and thus add more weight (if only in an ounce or two). Thus, for its design and materials, the Armband is the lightest of the listed items and excellent for the current market.
Overall Rating – Good (21/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, 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.
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