Helikon’s ‘Training Mini-RigPaul
Dave Porter reviews the Helikon’s’Training Mini-Rig
For a few months now I’ve had the pleasure of fielding Helikon’s ‘Training Mini-Rig’, or TMR for short. I have to be careful that this review doesn’t sound like a sales pitch, because in all honesty, I really don’t have a bad word to say about it. To put some context to how I’ve been using it, I typically run as an assaulter-style role, yet occasionally I pick up a bolt action or DMR and play the long game instead. What I’ve found with the TMR is the versatility to use the rig across several different roles. Ordinarily, I run I plate carrier, but when I first began using the TMR, I was astounded by the level of comfort and manoeuvrability I had over my usual setup. The H-harness is extremely comfortable, which was surprising as the straps first appeared to be quite thin. Being an H-style harness though, the straps didn’t dig in or pinch towards the middle of my back, and the weight was very well distributed. What I really like about the placement and distribution of pouches is everything is upfront and central, and nothing wraps around your sides or waist. Arguably, this improves the speed of grabbing your gear when you need it, rather than having to reach around your body a little bit when every second counts.
Less is more
Over the years, I’ve become accustomed to carrying more than I need on my plate carrier, so transitioning to a chest rig, the TMR blew my mind when it comes down to storage. Using my DMR loadout as an example, I could fit three 5.56 mags, my radio, three pistol mags, QD mock suppressor, a selection of smokes and bangs, dead-rag, a few first aid essentials, my sidewinder speed loader, and a bag of ammo to boot. Even with all that, the TMR still felt light and manoeuvrable, in fact, I found myself sprinting ahead and putting myself into positions I would ordinarily think twice about. In terms of customisation, the TMR is obviously less changeable than the basic blank panel chest rig whereby you add your own pouches, but there are still a few things you can alter to suit your style of play. For example, when I’m running the bolt action, I remove the two middle 5.56 pouches held in via hook-and-loop, and I use the middle utility pouch to hold my magazines. The ‘dangler’ pouch is also removable, so for my lightweight sniper’s role, I strip this off to shed as much unnecessary weight as possible. Lastly, the pistol pouch retention can be adjusted to suit different sized magazines, although you could go one step further as I have, and replace all the bungee and fabric retention with Kydex, just to make things that little bit faster.
The TMR is constructed from Cordura, and it’s really durable and hard wearing. Coupled with the excellent stitching, the solid quick-clips, and the YKK zippers, I’m pretty confident I’m still going to be fielding this rig in years to come. All in all, I’m impressed with the TMR, not only for its size, and comfort, but its durability and functionality too. It’s breathed a new lease of life into my game, and the TMR has now taken residence as my go-to piece of kit.
Universal, removable, adjustable H-harness.
Three velcro personalisation panels: on the main pouch, detachable pouch for accessories and at the back of the harness.
Double rifle magazine insert for two AR/AK magazines included.
Main pouch with internal organiser and zippered mesh pocket.
Four fixed, small pouches with detachable flaps for pistol magazines, multitool, flashlight.
Adjustable pouch flaps with position markers.
Two fixed AK/AR rifle magazine pouches.
Spacious central Cargo pocket.
MOLLE/PALS mounted pouch for medical insert or additional accessories.
MOLLE/PALS panel at the bottom for additional pouches/accessories/tourniquet.
Adjustable hip belt.
Available from Military 1st