Its 2019, and bum-bags are back in fashion.
Well that’s not strictly true, but it certainly is in the tactical gear industry. For quite a while now tactical fanny packs and danglers have been growing in popularity, and the competition has been too.
The trend of having Molle pouches attached to abdominal armour panels has been around ever since high speed units moved to using more modern plate carriers, and it’s easy to see why. The ergonomic advantage of having your quick access equipment on the front of your gear is paramount, and moving it down onto an armour panel stops your rig from widening to the point that you no longer fit through doors.
C2R have been in the dangler game almost since the company’s outset, and in my opinion their mini armour panels come in at a close second behind their illuminated Tac-Pads as their most iconic product. Anyone who has dipped their interest into the UKSF gear scene will recognise these items at a moment’s notice, and they remain popular to this day. It is only recently however that C2R have really adapted their design, and I think it’s for the better.
Back when I had an “abdo” of my own, I was always determined to use it to carry extra gear, but never found a setup that I really agreed with, and so sold it with the hopes of having a custom panel made by Morion Threadworks, before he decided to be all responsible and start a family.
The plan in my head was to have a panel the same shape as Crye’s small LAP panel, but with an internal zipped pouch for carrying flat items. It wasn’t long after having this idea however, before C2R released a teaser image on their newly founded Instagram that made my mind up for me.
Their design showed a flat pouch, with multiple levels of storage and the ability to be worn as a dangler or as a fanny pack. Prayers answered.
In its form factor, the C2R dangler was exactly what I was after. It’s low profile and in the same shape as a traditional armour panel. It also didn’t compromise on what the original abdo’s were all about, and still retains the ability to carry a protective component behind the storage compartments.
The pockets themselves are simple, consisting of a larger rear area, featuring elastic straps to secure smaller equipment, and a flat pouch piggy-backing on the front. The larger pocket is smaller than you might find on other danglers, like the HSP MMH, but for me it still provides ample room. I have used it to carry basic bits of warm kit, spare grenades and even managed to squeeze my entire dems kit in on occasion.
My model is slightly different to the rest, as the detectives among you may have noticed, it’s green. The use of Multicam Tropic fabric seems to have prevented the inclusion of a stretch panel on the front pocket, meaning that this smaller space can be limited, but for my use it has been more than adequate, and if you were to buy one of the commercially available Multicam variants, this pocket would be a little more roomy.
The real reason I got my hands on this piece though, is the ability to use it either as a traditional velcro-on dangler, or as a very trendy bum bag. To my knowledge this is a unique feature, and it is certainly something lacking from the bigger name’s offerings like the SACK and MMH. You won’t always have the ability to attach an abdo to a chest rig, and so it’s nice that you dont have to compromise on how you carry your gear depending on the situation.
Obviously when I bought this piece I was a little concerned about its authenticity, and had some questions regarding its features and the provenance behind it.
Firstly, and most importantly from a collector’s point of view, is it genuine? Yes. This came from them and isn’t just a knock-off with a C2R label. My contact also gave some hints as to who these danglers had been made for, and there were no surprises there.
They also answered some questions on the features, namely, the shiny zips and small velcro tab. As you might suspect the zips are water resistant, which is a nice touch, but considering the total lack of waterproofing everywhere else, isn’t entirely useful. That being said I haven’t read the design brief for this dangler so maybe that’s to blame. My other question was the purpose of the small velcro field. This is apparently to label up your pouches, so that the user could run several, one set up as a med kit, one for MOE and so on. Again this is a nice touch, and I’m sure is useful for guys who have to change their kits often.
As with everything I review, I always try to poke holes in products and be as genuine as possible with my thoughts.
The only major disappointment I have with this product is one small lapse in quality. The materials and stitching used throughout are flawless, apart from the sides of the velcro hanger. For whatever reason, these edges have been left without a hem or even any heat treatment. This isn’t really a deal breaker, as I can reinforce this area myself, but it was still a surprise to see.
So where do I stand with the C2R Fanny Pack?
Unsurprisingly I’m very happy with it. I’ve used it in several games now in the bum bag configuration, and I really feel that it has been a worthwhile addition to my gear. It provides an extra bit of protection to the crown jewels, and provides a really nice space to carry the random bits of kit that don’t merit a dedicated pouch.