Released in 2022, the Spear Chest Rig, Gen 2 by T3 Gear is the latest iteration to its chest rig predecessor of the same name. The Gen 2 builds upon previous design to offer a more streamline profile and improved material, while sacrificing none of the functionality.
Initially the first Spear was made from 500D Cordura and introduced to allow end-users the ability to carry either 5.56 or 7.62 rifle magazines. Today the Gen 2 uses T3 Gear’s latest line of laminate nylon fabrics to provide a similar platform that can appeal to the widest variety of missions possible.
At the center of the main platform, the Spear Gen 2 has an envelope pouch completely lined with hook and look (female) material. This works in conjunction with the included 5.56/.223 rifle magazine insert (with corresponding hook-and-loop (male) material on the insert’s exterior) with shock cord retention. The insert can be removed whenever desired in lieu of a 7.62 insert (not included) or other similar such inserts.
On the front exterior of the main platform is a laser-cut MOLLE-compatible field, with three bands of hook-and-loop (female) fabric covering the center portion of the outward exterior. This can be used for attaching identification or morale patches.
Immediately behind the main envelope pouch is a secondary kangaroo storage pouch, secured at the top via hook-and-loop and with nylon pull tabs. Inside this pouch is an elastic nylon band that has been stitched into three cuffs for securing flat items.
The rear of the main platform has a removable pad like the Day Rig whereby it is an open-cell pad enclosed in a nylon mesh, and secured to the back of the Gen 2 via hook-and-loop.
On either side of the main platform is a larger multi-purpose utility pouch that is ideal for radios, magazines, water bottles, etc. The back of these side pouches is made from elastic nylon for flexibility, and has a retention band across the bottom to ensure the larger items don’t slip through. The side pouches are also designed for shock cord retention if desired, and the available material is included with the Gen 2.
The the shoulder harness for the Spear Gen 2 has two, 1.75” wide padded straps in the front that (combined with the 1” Fastek buckles at the back and removable cross strap) allow the 1” nylon straps in the rear to distribute the overall weight of the chest harness along an H-pattern harness. Aluminum D-rings at the rear of the harness allow the user to convert the overall harness to an X-pattern as desired.
Each padded front strap has laser-cut MOLLE/PALS segments for attaching carabiners and other accessories to, with vertical cuts for running communication cables or hydration tubes.
The Spear Chest Rig, Gen 2 is available in Multicam (featured), Black, Coyote Tan, OD Green.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): With a list price of $215.95, the Spear Gen 2 utilizes the same laminate-cut nylon as T3’s recent line of newer products, offering a more streamline chest rig with higher abrasive properties than its predecessor. The Gen 2 still provides access to magazines and side utility pouches, while offering some measure of scalable customization based on the end-user’s needs. In comparison, similar chest rigs as the Gen 2 would include; the Ten-Speed SF Chest Rig ($249.95) by Blue Force Gear, the D3CRX ($199) from Haley Strategic, or the UW Chest Rig Gen IV ($209) by Velocity Systems. And while all these chest rigs have some measure of variance due to materials and design, the Spear GEN 2 still was at an appropriate (or average) price point amid the market and alternatives identified.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): Once length adjustments to the shoulder and waist straps was completed, and the placard loaded, the Spear was moderately comfortable both on the shoulders and around the torso. There was no padding in the shoulder straps and this was notable when the Spear was fully encumbered, although not to any measure of discomfort. It would be a point of recommendation to T3 to consider adding a minimal level of padding to any load-bearing strap, such as the Gen 2’s shoulder straps. 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, although it would have been preferable if the pad had taken up the entirety of the chest rig’s rear space. The multi-purpose pouches for radios or other accessories was a clear improvement over the first generation of Spear as there was less bulk to be cumbersome during a range of movement. Separate shock cord and materials were provided should the end-user opted for such retention to the multi-use pouches as desired. The magazine pouch insert did provide for a smooth draw, although insertion of magazines was slightly challenging as it was observed the insert would collapse flat if a magazine were not in it. One clear advantage of the Spear Gen 2 was its ability to change between H or X-type harness styles, allowing the user to opt for what was more comfortable. However, this raised one issue with every conversion necessitating adjustment of the overall harness, and occasionally the nylon straps would slide in the adjustment buckles unintentionally. T3 may want to consider adding hook-and-loop retention bands at the end of the harness straps to prevent slippage.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): From a durability aspect, the Gen 2 had extensive bartack/double-line stitching throughout all key stress points to include the MOLLE/PALS webbing, harness and shoulder connections, and edges/seams. Laminate nylon is known for having an abrasion resistance greater than 1000D nylon, with a high-degree of durability. 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 – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Spear Gen 2 distinguished itself apart from its predecessor with a more appropriate balance in materials and design, a good profile, and significantly less bulk. The chest rig’s purpose (a four magazine and two accessory pouch combo) remained the same and just as functional. Smaller-bodied items, such as some hand-held radios, handheld lights, or other items may not sit as securely in the open bottom, multi-use, side pouches as larger items—but the retention band on the bottom of the pouches still worked to provide support and retention. Perhaps the greatest improvement was in the shoulder harness, with significantly less tabs and excess materials. The laser cut laminate nylon kept a flush profile while the laser-cut nylon made threading hydration tubes and attaching carabiners easy. One notable recommendation to T3 Gear would be to add retention nylon bands to the bottom of the hook-and-loop magazine insert to prevent over-insertion. It was noted several times that adjustments of the insert needed to be made due to the ride height of the magazines themselves. To get full insertion, it is recommended the end-user first position the magazines into the insert, and then use paper or cardboard to assist in setting the depth of the inserts inside the hook-and-loop lined pocket. Otherwise no restriction in movement, range of motion, or access was noted. The Spear Gen 2 had limited cross compatibility with other plate carriers or packs due to the width of the placard and its side pouches. The only true application to expand the Gen 2’s functionality was if the user was utilizing a “slick” plate carrier (with no MOLLE/PALS or pouches) where the Spear is worn over it to augment it for that role. There was no cross-compatibility with a typical hydration bag or pack, and thus those items would need to be worn over the Gen 2’s shoulder harness. As previously noted, configuring the Gen 2 between H and X-pattern harness was a bit tricky, and could not be done simply on the fly as it necessitates reconfiguring the rear slide-adjustment buckles and the aluminum D-rings, which in turn effected fitment of the overall shoulder and waist straps.
- Weight – Good (4/5): The Spear came in at approximately 1.0 pounds (unloaded and w/mag insert) and its relative lightweight design was due to its use of the lighter laminate nylon material over more traditional fabrics. This light weight was also due to an absence of padding along the shoulders that is found in other heavier chest rigs. The Spear’s weight also put it on par with several other larger load-bearing chest rigs of similar design intended to carry magazines, radios, and other accessories. In contrast, the Ten-Speed SF Chest Rig (0.69 pounds) by Blue Force Gear, the D3CRX (1.98 pounds) from Haley Strategic, or the UW Chest Rig Gen IV (1.54 pounds) by Velocity Systems illustrate that the SPEAR Gen 2 is one of the lightest weight chest rigs available on the current market.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
Product Link: https://www.t3gear.com/t3-spear-chest-rig-gen-2/
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.
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.