Chest rigs aren’t for everyone. Most of us never use one, especially on a regular basis, because they fit a unique niche. But, for those who carry their gun in one, it must be right and work the way they need it to. CrossBreed’s new Chest Rig, almost three years in the making, fills that need.
If you’re not familiar with chest rigs as a category, you’re not alone. Most gun owners and concealed carriers don’t own one because they don’t have much use for it. Instead, they are content to carry their gun in an IWB or OWB holster. But, if you are an outdoorsy person who likes to have your gun ready while getting it out of the way of your other gear, a chest rig is a great choice.
One common challenge when camping, hiking, or backpacking is that the waist belt of the backpack conflicts with an OWB holster, making the gun hard to access in an emergency. Plus, it can also be extremely uncomfortable. But, as the name implies, a chest rig rides around your upper body, holding the gun squarely in the middle of your chest, easily accessible when needed and away from your backpack straps. The only significant drawback to a chest rig is that it’s much harder to conceal unless you’re wearing an outer layer that can hide it.
CrossBreed’s Chest Rig is a classic three-point design with straps and buckles at three contact points surrounding the holster. Two of the three straps are permanently affixed to the straps that accompany them, but the third contact point strap has a detachable metal (not plastic) buckle for easier on and off, especially helpful since the Chest Rig goes on over one shoulder and around your middle, requiring you to put one arm through the straps. Detaching one strap makes the on/off process far less awkward.
The straps are made of semi-stretchy nylon in either black or brown to match your leather choice and feature slider adjustments for a snug fit once the rig is on. All three straps meet at a cushioned leather panel in the back with a breathable mesh pad for comfort.
The holster portion is classic CrossBreed: black or brown leather backing attached to a molded Kydex shell held together with seven Philips head screws for both comfort and durability. They even added the trigger guard retention device introduced on the Reckoning a couple of years ago.
Another direct throwback to the Reckoning, the Kydex on the Chest Rig is optic cut as standard. All holster manufacturers should be doing this now, so it’s good to see CrossBreed pay attention to this all-important detail.
I found the Chest Rig extremely comfortable. It was easy to put on, held my Glock 17 with Vortex optic very tightly, and stayed put while hiking a trail in one of my local county parks. Because spring hasn’t really sprung yet where I live, I threw a puffy vest over the top that hid the gun and chest rig perfectly. Had I needed to draw the gun, a quick unzip of the vest would have given be clear access to the canted holster.
At $149.95, the CrossBreed Chest Rig is not cheap. But it also has a ton of leather, appears to be strong enough to hold up through years of use, and comes with a lifetime warranty. If you’re in the market for a chest rig, this one is worth a look.