Released circa 2020 as a replacement to the Contact Series of chest rig components, the Sync Zero Series by G-Code is the current company’s non-plate carrier platform. The Sync Zero Series builds upon previous experience to offer a minimalist profile, while offering diverse configurations to fit the end-user’s needs.
Made from an overall combination of Cordura and laminate nylon; the Sync Zero (SZ) chest rig is available in a variety of rifle/pistol combinations, with differing widths that allow end-users the ability to opt for their preferred platform.
At the center of the SZ chest rig, the central placard (in this review the 10” (W) x 6” (H), three-rifle magazine combination) has a base made from laser-cut and laminate nylon, with hook-and-loop (female) material, and slots in MOLLE-compatible spacing. This works in conjunction with G-Code’s 5.56/.223 Scorpion rifle magazines (attached to the exterior via G-Code’s R1 style belt clips).
Depending on the configuration selected at the time of purchase, the SZ chest rig includes a specific configuration of molded Scorpion softshell magazine pouches. These pouches have an exoskeleton design and soft-polymer interior, which represent G-Code’s signature approach of providing shock/impact resistance and longevity to magazine pouches. Elastic shock cordage binds the sides of each pouch together, and the sides are channeled to give the Scorpion line universal compatibility across multiple magazine manufacturers. The opening of the Scorpion magazine pouch is slightly flared to allow easy insertion/access.
The rear of the main placard has a removable pad whereby it is an open-cell foam enclosed in a nylon mesh, and secured to the back of the SZ chest rig via hook-and-loop.
Included as an option based upon the time of purchase, the SZ chest rig also has a Sync Suspension Pouch that has a hanger flap of hook-and-loop fabric to attach the pouch between the layers of the rear placard, and the removable pad. The Suspension Pouch has a three-sided zipper with rubberized pull tab to allot for maximum access when opened. Additionally, a band of hook-and-loop material bisects the outward facing exterior for attaching morale or identification patches or panels.
Inside the Suspension Pouch the interior is divided with hook-and-loop panels that are laser cut to allot for custom placement of the included hook-and-loop bands and shock cord to configure the desired retention style needed for medical or administrative needs. Included in the interior is a single 7” (L) x 4” (H) Sync pouch for storing further items.
The shoulder harness for the SZ chest rig uses the previous, 2” wide Contact Series Harness that connects into the front (via 1” Fastek buckles), and allow the 1” nylon tightening strap across the torso to distribute the weight along an intended H-pattern harness. A lower adjustable torso strap also uses the 1” slide-release buckles and serves to anchor the overall chest rig and prevent excessive shifting during more dynamic movement.
Each unpadded nylon shoulder strap has two MOLLE/PALS segments for attaching carabiners and other accessories to.
The Sync Zero Series Chest Rig is available in Multicam (featured), Black, Coyote Tan, OD Green, Wolf Grey, and Multicam Black.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): With a list price between $97.00 (for just the base placard and shoulder harness) and $197.00 (with four rifle magazine pouches and Suspension Pouch), the SZ chest rig utilizes many of the same nylon materials as other products. This provides a lighter, minimalist platform with more abrasive resistance properties than other traditional platforms. In comparison, similar minimalist chest rigs as the SZ would include; the Training Mini Rig ($149.95) by Helikon Tex, the D3CRMicro ($175) from Haley Strategic, or the DWARF Chest Rig – MkII ($208.30) by Raptor Tactical. And while all these chest rigs have some measure of variance due to materials and/or design, the Sync Zero Series Chest Rig still was at an appropriate (or average) price point amid the market and those alternatives identified.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): Once sizing adjustments of the shoulder and waist straps were complete, and the placard/pouch loaded, the overall SZ chest rig had a good level of comfort both on the shoulders and around the torso. There was no padding in the shoulder straps, and although the wider 2” shoulder straps defrayed the weight well—the encumbered weight was not discomforting to any measure. The H-pattern rear design of the shoulder straps did a good job of ensuring there was no hinderance in range of motion and the straps themselves did not pinch. It would be a small point of recommendation to G-Code to consider adding a minimal level of padding to the interior side of the shoulder segments on the Contractor harness for added comfort. The mesh and open-cell padding to the rear of the chest rig did a good job at protecting the torso from chafe or fabric abrasion, and had adequate coverage over the entire rear of the placard. The Scorpion pouches held a solid retention of various magazines, and themselves had zero excess movement while mounted to the placard. The Suspension Pouch itself had an expected level of comfort as a dangler, and did bounce as expected when running (though not excessively once fully loaded with medical items and weighed down). The slide release buckles functioned cleanly, and the nylon straps themselves adjusted easily and no slippage was noted.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): From a durability aspect, the SZ had (what appeared to be) 500D Cordura nylon with extensive bartack/double-line stitching throughout all key stress points to include the MOLLE/PALS webbing, harness and shoulder connections. All corresponding edges/seams were cut/sealed accordingly to prevent incidental fraying. The associated hardware, shock cords, and mesh padding material showed no evidence of fraying or wear despite several iterations and over 30 days of trial. It is most likely these elements may show the initial wear over a greater time, but have historically held up despite extreme handling in other similar products.
- Functionality – Average (3/5): Functionally, the SZ distinguished itself as a micro chest rig with an appropriate (or average) balance in materials and design, a good profile, and minimal bulk. The chest rig’s purpose (for this review as a three-rifle magazine and dangler pouch combo) was functional as intended for a stand-alone rig, with easy access to needed items. The inclusion of the Suspension Pouch as a dangler (for accessories, medical, or other items) was the most the chest rig could expand however, as the polymer R1 belt clips prevented full contact of the hook-and-loop fabric (thus preventing complete connection with the rear padding panel). One recommendation for G-Code would be to add some hook-and-loop (male) material to the back of the R1 clips to assist in a secure hold, or possibly increase the length of the hook-and-loop (female) fabric on the rear padding panel to give it more length in connecting around the clips to the corresponding material on the rear of the placard. This extends to the attachment flap of the Suspension Pouch, which could also use hook-and-loop (female) fabric the entire dimension of the flap and thus a complete connection to the placard. Otherwise no restriction in movement, range of motion, or access was noted. The SZ chest rig placard itself had limited cross compatibility with aftermarket plate carriers due to the fixed side buckles (in lieu of Swift Clips that can be removed), so when the placard was attached, the slide-release buckles (female) remained also attached. There was no cross-compatibility with a typical hydration bag or pack, and thus those items would need to be worn over the SZ’s shoulder harness.
- Weight – Good (4/5): The weight for each configuration varies based on elements selected at the time of purchase. The Sync – 3Zero 3×0 Micro Chest Rig for this review came in at approximately 33.07 ounces (unloaded) and its relative weight was due to its use of the Scorpion magazine pouches (with associated hardware) and traditional nylon. This respective weight also included an absence of padding along the shoulders that is in other chest rigs. The SZ’s weight as a micro chest rig also put it on par with several other larger load-bearing chest rigs of similar design intended to carry magazines, radios, and other accessories. Despite this, the SZ was neither burdensome nor fatiguing despite several hours of continual wear, and the H-style harness distributed the full load of contents well. In contrast, the Training Mini Rig (21.94 ounces) by Helikon Tex, the D3CRM Micro (20.48 ounces) from Haley Strategic, or the DWARF Chest Rig – MkII (7.05 ounces) by Raptor Tactical illustrate that the Sync Zero Chest Rig was one of the heaviest weight chest rigs available on the current market.
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
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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