Posted tagged ‘ES’

GSARGear Review: Boker Rescom

January 6, 2012

This is the Boker Rescom.

It is a very small, (4.5″ open) light,(2.4oz) simple extrication tool.

Form: The handle is a simple shape, identical to the Subcom lineup. It comes in black and dark red. It has little notches running around the edges and back of the blade for grip, and the handle is covered in a stylish cover of nylon scales. The blade is an angled AUS-8 steel cutter with serrations running the length and ending in a sharp hook. There is a sturdy belt-clip on the back, and a lanyard hole on the tail end of the grip.

Function: The Rescom works very well for its intended purpose: slicing seatbelts. It doesn’t do much else, but it’s small, clips anywhere, and is always handy when you need it. The blade opens very smoothly, the frame-lock is easy to manipulate, and the serrations and hook do their duty without complaint. The thumbstuds are ambidextrous, and the pocket clip is reversible, so you can clip it to a backpack or belt.

Cons: The knife is just a little on the small side, it can be difficult to maintain a grip on and use any force, especially when used with gloves.
In addition, the blade doesn’t feel like it has any kind of coating on it whatsoever, and rusts extremely easily when exposed to sweat, blood or other fluids.

Over all though, this is a great compact tool that stays out of your way until you need it to slice through seatbelts or webbing.

GSARGear Review: Recon I

May 21, 2011

GSAR GEAR Review: Cold Steel Recon I

This knife is a rugged, reliable cutter.
Weighing in at 5.6 oz, with a 4″ blade and a 5 1/3″ handle, it’s a serious heavy-duty knife.

Form:
The Recon I features the following:
-Large cutting blade available in several different configurations.
-Black teflon finish for protection from rust and other damage and easy maintenance
-Contoured G-10 scales on handle give a solid non slipping grip
-Pocket clip, reversible for left or right handed use
-Rounded thumbstud for one-handed opening, also reversible

Function:
The Recon-I is extremely solid and well-balanced. Extremely sharp right out of the box. The blade is manufactured from AUS-8A Stainless and finished with a nice black coat, and doesn’t scratch too easily. It holds the edge very well, not showing marks even after cutting aluminium and the other hard materials. The teflon starts to flake away after about a year of hard use, but the blade is still in great condition, and the tip handles all sorts of prying and puncturing jobs without issue.
I have the partially-serrated tanto blade, and it is perfect for all kinds of situations. It cuts very smoothly and evenly through all materials, and provides a nice long cutting stroke, thanks to the 4″ blade.

The Tri-ad locking mechanism is extremely solid, if a little slow to open, and holds the blade very securely until released. It also helps retain the blade in the closed position to prevent it from opening accidentally. The mechanism also makes a satisfying ‘click’ when engaged, providing audible feedback that the knife is not closing until you decide it should. The lock release on the spine requires a good bit of pressure to depress, which is good, considering its location.

The Recon-1 requires little maintenance. I’ve used mine in deserts, underwater, forests, and urban situations, and it doesn’t rust or get jammed up inside. A little oil and a rub-down every once in a while makes it run even more smoothly.

The reversible pocket clip is very tight, and will not fall off of whatever you have it clipped onto accidentally. The clip is also much smaller than most, it doesn’t interfere with your grip or cause blisters over long periods of time. It holds the knife slightly higher than most if you’re pocket-carrying it, and people will probably notice you have it there. It rides well in a pocket, just not very discretely.
The G-10 scales are extremely grippy, and the Recon-I will not slip out of your hand accidentally, even when covered with oil or blood. The scales are rough, but the handle is nicely contoured and is is quite comfortable in either hand.

As you can see, this is a large, no-nonsense, cut everything knife. It might scare people at your local command post, especially in the more aggressive models, but it does what is required of it, and will last a long time.

GSARGear Review: RCP-1 Pro

March 26, 2011


GSAR GEAR Review: Coaxsher RCP-1 Pro
This radio chest harness is without a doubt one of the best on the market.
I’ve been using this Coaxsher RCP-1 Pro for about six months now, and it has really proven itself.   It is an extremely functional and sturdy rig.
Form:
The Pro features the following:
-Adjustable main radio holster
-Adjustable GPS/secondary radio holster
-Wide battery/misc equipment pouch
-Narrow writing tools pouch
-Two quick-access pen loops
-Large ziptop main pouch
-Two smaller organizers inside main pouch
-A small loop for hanging a glowstick on
-Removable Mod-U-Lox flashlight clip
-Several grommets and D-rings for attaching other gear
-Secure square-rig back straps

Function:
The RCP-1 Pro is very sturdy and water-resistant. All the pouches are easy to access, but keep the gear very snug and secure, thanks to some well placed elastic straps. There are small loops at the back for tidying up loose straps or attaching other gear. The front buckles unclip and the rig folds down, held in place by elastic straps, presenting a nice mobile writing platform. I have a picture of the straps unclipped below, but better pic here.

There is a flashlight clip included that mounts on the straps. Of all the different lights tested with it I’ve found that it fits Mini-Maglites the best. It’s a little stiff at first, but it holds the light very nicely.

The main pouch is pretty spacious, you can fit two Pelican 1020s side-by side in it, with room to spare. But when the extra space isn’t needed, the rig folds flat against your chest. The rig adjusts to almost any size, and fits securely and comfortably, even with a heavy load.  The rig rides very nicely, you almost forget it’s there, and it allows a nigh-on uninhibited range of motion.

As you can see, this is a seriously high-end radio-rig. Extremely well thought out design and construction, very feature packed and useful. Just about an ideal radio rig for SAR.

GSARGear Review: CRKT Bear Claw ER

February 8, 2011

GSAR GEAR Review: CRKT Bear Claw ER
The CRKT Bear Claw ER  is an outstanding purpose-built rescue knife.
Form:
At 5.75″ long and weighing in at 3.4 oz, this knife is a uniquely designed extrication knife designed to quickly and easily cut through webbing, seat belts, lines or just about anything else in between a rescuer and the victim.

It has great ergonomics. The large finger hole is easy to use even with gloves, and the Hi-Viz orange Zytel grips contours line the blade up perfectly with your hand.

Function:
The polished full-tang stainless steel blade is machined from AUS 4 and holds up against corrosion very well, even with constant exposure to salt water.   The blunt tip keeps the blade from puncturing life preservers or rafts or people, making it excellent for cutting in close to the victim. The serrations are extremely well designed and can easily cut through just about anything with ease.

The black sheath is also manufactured from durable Zytel. There are a lot of mounting options, thanks to several belting slots and lanyard holes, with two points of attachment to screw on the black stainless steel pocket clip.  The sheath is extremely well designed, and the amount of pressure required to release the knife from it is just perfect. It’s stiff enough to where the knife will never come out by accident, but designed to slide smoothly out if you pull it correctly.

All in all, this is a nigh-on perfect knife for SAR, or boating or any other activity requiring a safe, efficient cutting tool.

GSAR GEAR Review: Inova X5

November 11, 2010

X5

GSAR Gear Review: Inova X5 Flashlight

The Inova X5 is a nearly indestructible LED flashlight. The body of the flashlight is machined into a six-sided cylinder from solid aerospace grade aluminum. It is available in either silver or black. The hard anodizing is extremely durable and has no real scratches or blemishes, even after being put through rigorous use and abuse.  The X5 is also water resistant to IPX4 standards and pretty well crushproof, so there are no worries about it getting wet, dropped, or otherwise beaten-up in the field.

The bezel has five separately drilled holes, providing excellent protection to the Nichia CS LEDs recessed inside.
The run time more than makes up for the cost of the batteries themselves. The light has a decent output and throw(56 lumens and 118 feet, respectively).  It’s pretty bright, but it’s not going to replace a searchlight. But what it lacks in power it makes up for in solidness and sheer unbreakability. It makes a great general purpose light. I would say that the lights advertised 1.75 mile signal visibility is true, and even understated. Simulated missing persons were reportedly able to see it blinking on top of a small mountain from 2+ miles away.

Power:

The X5 runs on two CR123A batteries. They’re widely available camera batteries which are fairly expensive($1-$2 apiece), but are much longer lasting and provide more power than AAs.

Inova X5
Use:

The X5 has an interesting interface.  It has three modes:
1. A momentary-on, which is used by pushing the tailcap in.

2. A constant-on, which is reached by twisting the tailcap.

3. Lock-out mode, which is reached by twisting  the tailcap 360° this disables the momentary-on, so you can throw the X5 in a pack or a pouch and not worry about it turning on by itself.

Cons:

One of the things I would’ve liked to see was a removable pocket clip. And although you can use a pouch or a lanyard,  a clip would have really been a nice addition.

 

Overall, after several months of hard use, I can say that this is really a great rugged general purpose SAR flashlight.

 

 

 

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GSARGear Review: Lumabiner

December 9, 2009

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Lumabiner: a Ground Search and Rescue Gear Review. This is the CRKT Lumabiner. Combination knife, carabiner, and LED flashlight, this little tool (approximately 5″ long open, 3.4″ closed”) is really just a handy thing to have for SAR.
It clips directly onto your gear or belt(loops) which means you don’t have to go looking through pouches and pockets for it, it’s right there on top.

The flashlight is actually brighter than I thought it would be. Not a replacement for a larger flashlight, but a quick source of light for finding things in the dark.
Very nice design, detaches easily and quickly from wherever you have it clipped on, and can be operated with one hand, and there are two thumb studs, one on each side, so you can open it with either hand. It also has a nifty little switch which locks the carabiner latch into place, making sure it doesn’t fall off your gear by accident.

The knife blade itself is relatively small, but it’s quite sharp, cutting through paracord and duct tape and just about everything else you can throw at it. It doesn’t have a screwdriver, or pliers, or tweezers, or a saw, or anything like what you’d find on a multitool or swiss army knife. But then the Lumabiner isn’t supposed to replace them, just allow you to tuck them out of your way when you don’t need them but keep access to the most important tool, the knife blade.

The whole Lumabiner is really lightweight, but it just feels solid and well-balanced.
I would highly recommend this to anyone in SAR, as a quick-access knife/light.

(All content Copyright© GSAR GEAR 2009)

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GSARGear Tip: Moist Towelettes

December 8, 2009

Moist Towelettes*

Moist towelettes. The multi-tool of sanitation.

They pack tight, and make great space-fillers anywhere in your pack or pouches, and can be used for just about everything, from washing hands or faces to cleaning watches, glasses,electronics, flashlight lenses, and any other gear needing a wash. They’re quite cheap, but they are a great help in the field. They even come in bug-repellent variety for even more uses.

I always pack several extras in extra nooks and crannies in my gear, they’re just useful little things to have. Be sure to pack some on your next misson/training exercise.

*Image © Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.