LeonWorx QD-NVL (V2): Securing Your Investment

Blending innovative technology and design with traditional tactical function, the QD-NVL (V2) by LeonWorx Solutions is a retention system for night vision devices that provides a solid lock and safety to otherwise very valuable sensitive items.

Using the sewable V-Buckle 25 by Fidlock, the V2 is the second version LeonWorx’s unique QD-NVL retention lanyard for securing night vision to helmets that uses a magnetized lift opening mechanism. This mechanism itself has a static breaking load of 588 newtons (a measurement of force), or 60kg (or 132lb) and can only be actioned if the proper lift angle is utilized.

At the base, the QD-NVL (V2) utilizes a double-layer panel of 2” (W) x 3” (L) 17337 Mil Spec solution-dyed Cordura nylon webbing, with hook-and-loop (male) on the bottom for attaching to corresponding hook-and-loop panels on helmets or covers.

On three sides of the QD-NVL (V2) are nylon pass-through loops for threading shock or paracord through for added security. Additionally, an elastic nylon cuff is behind the V-Buckle for spare battery storage.  

The fourth (front) side of the QD-NVL (V2) is reserved for a 1” tab that allots for shock cordage to attach to the night vision device, and can be adjusted via press-button slide lock.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): With a list price of $44.99, the QD-NVL offers a unique locking mechanism to secure an end-user’s night vision device to their helmet’s preferred hook-and-loop panel or covers. Considering the dollar value of many night vision devices, any added security serves as a beneficial insurance against slippage or damage to the retention arm that could potential cause the night vision to fall off. The Fidlock buckle itself is a $25 value, and from a European company that specializes in biking and sport retention locks. The bottom of the QD-NVL also utilizes industrial hook-and-loop (male) to ensure positive connection. The closest market comparator to the QD-NVL would be the Nightvision Elastic Retention Device ($35) by Kinetic Consulting, or the SBL NVG Lanyard ($35) by T.REX Arms, but both are only a simple hook-and-loop panel and lack the mechanical locking mechanism of the QD-NVL. Wilcox does offer an NVG mechanical Lanyard ($68.14) but those are simple spring-tension lanyards that mount directly into specific helmet NVG shrouds. Thus, the QD-NVL (V2) is at a good price point amid the market, offering significant security over other retention lanyards with a balanced price for the hardware included.  
  • Comfort Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the QD-NVL (V2) was simplistic in approach, came pre-assembled, and attached easily. The industrial hook-and-loop did provide a noticeably stronger than typical connection to the corresponding panels on both the helmet and helmet cover. The locking mechanism of the V-Buckle 25 itself broke easily when the pull tab was pulled directly outward/up, but remained locked firmly when pulled forward (such as if the NVGs broke free of the mount and suddenly placed increased tension/load on the front of the device). The strength of the V-Buckle 25 was such that it could fully support the weight of a loaded helmet (i.e. with earpro, NVGs, light/accessories) freely and without any slippage. The magnetic element inside the base of the V-Buckle 25 allowed for easy realignment and rehoming of the release mechanism, without any measurable effort, to re-engage the lock.
  • Durability – Average (3/5): With its base 17337 Mil Spec material made from double-layer solution-dyed nylon webbing, the QD-NVL (V2) had a somewhat pliable base that contoured to the curvature of the helmet easily. The fabric itself had typical (or average) abrasion resistance amid the nylon gear market, and held up with expected usage. Despite continual re-adjustment, the hook-and-loop (male) material, nor threading, showed any signs of premature wear or excessive fraying. Over time, the shock cord will need to be replaced simply due to exposure and wear (typical for this type of material). Otherwise, the V-Buckle 25 had a max load capacity of over 100 pounds and kept producing the same level of secure lock over the term of usage, and showed no signs of wear at the edges of the aluminum or weakening of the magnet.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally, the QD-NVL (V2) came down to a good level of added strength and retention as a safety backup to the NVG mount. The V-Buckle 25 locking mechanism was able to support the full weight of the overall helmet, while freestanding only off the locking mechanism’s pull tab—yet it still did not slip unless the tab was pulled as intended. Elsewhere, the elastic cuff for battery storage was initially very tight, but that was ideal considering it was the only measure securing the spare battery. It could easily fit other items like full-sized chemlight. The side nylon loops were intended for tying additional retention/paracord to the QD-NVL (V2) for added security, but without other accessories like a battery pack/Mohawk/earpro helmet mounts for hardpoint connections, they offered only slot space for mini chemlights. The only notable aspect from a negative functional perspective was that when the night vision was deployed downward, and the greatest level of tension was exerted on the shock cord and QD-NVL (V2), the rear edges of the nylon fabric would curl or pull on the helmet cover fabric. It was never enough to cause the hook-and-loop to begin separating, but noticeable because it displayed how that tension was being carried through the QD-NVL (V2). Those with the longer band of hook-and-loop on their helmets/covers will most likely experience less of this effect, unless positioning the QD-NVL (V2) further to the rear of the helmet, and thus placing more tension on the cordage and body of the locking mechanism. A recommendation to LeonWorx would be to consider adding a grommet at the rearward portion of the QD-NVL (V2) so that it could serve as an alternative tie-down point if the nylon loops were otherwise not available.
  • Weight Average (3/5): Weighing in at 1.8 ounces, a majority of the (minuscule) weight to the QD-NVL (V2) was from the overall double layer of 17337 nylon and shock cord. The retention lanyard as a whole was not noticeable when mounted on the helmet, did not shift, nor was unbalancing. However, the inclusion of a mechanical locking mechanism (rated to over 100 pounds) added slightly to the overall product weight as opposed to only a hook-and-loop panel. In contrast, the Nightvision Elastic Retention Device (0.50 ounces) by Kinetic Consulting, or the SBL NVG Lanyard (1.0 ounces) by T.REX Arms illustrate that use of only hook-and-loop retention panels are slightly lighter, but they also only have a rating to approximately 50 pounds. The Wilcox retention lanyards are similarly only 0.50 ounces and have a breakaway rating of 12 pounds, but necessitate direct mounting to an NVG shroud. Thus for the minimal addition in weight, the QD-NVL (V2) still offered superior retention levels and was an appropriate (or average) balance between all market alternatives and designs.

Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

Product Link: https://www.leonworx.com/products1/p/qd-nvl-v2-coyote-brown-khaki

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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