If you are in search of an easy way to carry basic gear in an easy to reach way, a purpose designed chest pack is an interesting option. Usually when we talk about chest pouches, tactical rigs for fighting are what come to mind first. These rigs are not necessarily the best choice for a regular camping trip and not everyone needs a fighting rig. A camping or backpacking trip will have different requirements and there is a class of chest pouches just for these situations. Sometimes you just need an easy way to carry a small amount of basic gear.

Over the last few years I have seen a couple of designs come on the market that fit the description. Ribz and Hill People Gear both make designs in this niche, and the prices are not all that steep, running from $65 to $125 or so depending on the manufacturer and model. For the more frugal among us, or those with tight budgets, LA Police gear has come to market with a nice option costing around $30.

I have been using LAPG branded gear for a while now. They provide a good combination of quality and price that enable me to buy more gear for less money and keep to my budget. Their tactical pants are comfortable, sturdy and fashionable and the boots are as well. I also have one of their original 3-Day Packs that I am quite fond of. Because of these experiences over the last year I am very open minded about their products, so when a new one is released, it tends to catch my notice and interest.

The Details

The Tactical Chest Pack Attachment is part of their new Atlas line of products. This new line includes a series of backpacks, boots and pants and I expect the line to grow going forward. It is made of a tough 210D rip-stop nylon. It has four low-profile, laser cut MOLLE attachment points for small pouches to carry items you need to get to quickest. On each side, there are three pockets that vary in size and are closed with two-way zippers.

The pack comes with a padded yoke that is buckled to the pouches. The yoke goes behind the neck so that the pack can be worn alone. There is a strap with a buckle that goes around at waist level to hold the pack close to the body. The pack is secured in the front with a zipper that connects the left and right side. The buckles that connect the yoke can also be attached to matching buckles in the Atlas line of packs, connecting both into a single load bearing assembly. This adds to the capacity of the pack that it is attached to, leaving you more room in your pack for other gear. They are available in all of the popular “tactical” of OD Green, Black or Coyote Brown.

This pack was intended to keep every-day use items handy when hiking, hunting or camping. It provides ample space to keep the little items that you might need for various tasks quickly at hand. Through the years there have been lists such the 10 essentials or Dave Canterbury’s 5 C’s and this is a near perfect pack to put one of these kits together in. Using the yoke, you have an easy way to have your basic emergency kit immediately at hand anywhere you go. Attaching it one of the packs and the space in the pack where these basics might be stored can now be used for other items such as extra food or first aid gear.

The right and left sides are connected in front with a zipper. Each side has three pockets of varying sizes that allow for the organization of gear of different sizes. Two small pockets for small items such as a compass, to medium for map cases and the like and finally the largest in the back of the stack that are large enough to hold a folding saw. The largest pocket also has an organizer pocket and a mesh guard to keep flat items secure. Each of the pockets has dual zipper pulls that allow for the opening of the pocket in either direction. This permits the user to open a pocket while at different angles while reducing the chance of gear falling out.

The inside of each side is covered with a nylon mesh that allows more air to move between your body and the pack. This should reduce the amount of sweating that you do during an outdoor activity and make you much more comfortable

Final Thoughts

There are some things I would change, or more accurately add. Velcro backing in the largest pockets would allow for the addition of a firearm holster for a small .22 would be most appreciated. I have a shoulder bag that has this kind of arrangement and I have used it to carry my S&W 22a while out in the woods. I would also like to see D-rings in the pockets to hang lanyards on to keep small gear attached yet useable. It might also make sense to make the MOLLE panels on the bottom two rows instead of one to add a little more choice when adding external pouches. These are minor criticisms and for all that I know, they may have this planned for the next iteration.

All that being said, I would not classify this piece of gear as “tactical” in the sense that most of us think of the word. When the word tactical is used we think of gear for high speed, low drag types on the battle field fighting the good fight. For most of us that is not the reality and, I think that this piece of gear is meant more for us then for true tactical users. Could it be used in that way? Sure, but I suspect that those guys would be more inclined to use different types of gear.

It is always great to find a piece of gear that is affordable, well-constructed and fills a real need. This is the kind of innovation that I am coming to expect from LAPG and if the construction holds up, it will prove to be a great asset to me. This piece of gear would be handy and worth the price if it was priced more like others in its class, but at $29.99, it is a worthwhile addition to your kit.