Before we get cracking I’ve got a few disclaimers to get out of the way. Firstly and most importantly it has to be said that this product has been provided for T&E by the guys at Tactical Kit. Secondly this is a very short term review, as I’ve only had hands on for 24 hours. The agreement I have with Tactical Kit is that for any item provided free of charge I will only write about the things that I like, and will send back anything I don’t. This allows my reviews to remain unbiased, as there is no pressure to say if something is good or not.
The second point to be made is that I haven’t had the T.Rex thigh strap for very long, only 24 hours, but as it’s such a simple item and is so interesting I wanted to get writing as soon as possible. If in the long run I need to eat my words then rest assured I’ll amend this blog and make a big song and dance about it. On to the review:
T.Rex Arms Thigh Strap
The humble thigh strap is a piece of kit that almost everyone has, but is always left as an afterthought. What this means is that in an industry where there are countless off-the-shelf ways to carry/do/mount things, attaching a holster to your leg is not one of them. It’s remarkable when you really stop and think about it, and obviously somebody did. Enter T.Rex Arms.
Breaking the T.Rex thigh strap down is simple. The majority of it consists of an ~800mm long by 40mm wide elastic strap, that has 2 rows of elastic cording exposed along the inside that provides a grippy surface to interface with your clothing. Attached at one end is the female portion of the National Molding side release buckle, with the male counterpart slotted onto the open of the strap like a triglide, and any excess stowed with a provided length of velcro one-wrap. So far, nothing out of the ordinary.
The unique feature of the T.Rex thigh strap sits just next to the female buckle. A square of black cordura is stitched in place, with a 5mm grommet sitting in its centre. This is the mechanism that allows you to mount your thigh strap directly to your holster mount of choice, in my case, a Safariland UBL. In the packet you also receive a set of replacement mounting hardware and crucially, a set of rubber spacers.
How to set up your thigh strap
This part is very simple and requires very few tools. Assuming like me you run QLS forks simply remove the receiver plate, add a spacer to each of your top screws and the thigh strap correctly oriented to your bottom screw, then tighten everything back down again. In my case I have chosen to utilise the replacement crosshead screws included with the kit, screwed directly into the Safariland “toothed” nuts, partly to see if they fitted, and partly because I didn’t realise at first that I could use the original Safariland screws.
Why bother spending money on a “fancy” thigh strap?
As I alluded to in the opening of the article many people will see this as a “it wasn’t broken so why did they fix it?” scenario, but for me there are a few crucial traits that make the T.Rex thigh strap a necessary upgrade for anyone running a mid ride UBL.
Firstly, mounting the thigh strap directly to the lowest screw means that the strap is moved around 1.5” lower than if using the traditional “passthrough” method. What this means is that wearing a mid ride UBL will no longer chop your balls off and give your arse a lift like a pair of booty lift leggings. For this very reason I have been running the low ride UBL for some time, as I found the passthrough leg strap to be far more comfortable on this plate despite the larger profile. In fact, using the T.Rex thigh strap on a mid ride is roughly equivalent to a passthrough on a low rider.
The second functional advantage offered by directly mounting the thigh strap is that it allows an adjustable degree of rotation and flexibility when running. Is this massively important? No, not really, as the nature of an elastic strap is to flex anyway, but as a happy side effect it’s nice to have.
Finally the T.Rex thigh strap has one glaring positive for those of us outside the US: it isn’t affected by FUCKING ITAR. It seems unbelievable, but apparently a Safariland leg strap is so fucking dangerous that the rowdy colonials have decided to ban its export. Cunts. The T.Rex strap comes out ahead therefore as you can actually buy it, without having to hunt for a fucked one on the second hand market.
Is there anything I would change?
Yes. One of the things I like the most about the Safariland straps is the buckle, which locks the adjustment when worn and means that during vigorous movement (nice) the strap won’t loosen itself over time. Will the T.Rex have this problem? Probably not, but the built in functionality and sleek profile of the buckles used on Safariland straps would have been nice to have.
Something I do suspect to have a problem with however is the rigidity of the leg strap. Having used an almost identical leg strap every day for several months overseas I can report that it wasn’t as comfortable as the “softer” Safariland alternative. Now as I haven’t worn the T.Rex for several months I can’t comment definitively on this, but if I were designing the strap myself then the softer strap is what I would have chosen.
Finally (and I’m really looking to split hairs here), the quad-stitching is not as anally neat as it could be.
So the biggest question is: should you buy one? Answer: yes.
It’s a simple upgrade, but if you’re running a mid ride UBL and don’t want to be castrated by a sudden movement then it’s a necessary one. While I would personally change the material, the current one works just fine, and is 99% as comfortable as a Safariland strap.
It’s not often that I get a product that makes me slap my head and call myself an idiot for not coming up with it myself, but this is definitely one of them, and for my mid ride will be a permanent fixture for the foreseeable future. If you want to get some yourself Tactical Kit has got a few left in stock, and I’ll leave a link to them here.
As ever thanks for reading through my ramblings, stay tuned over the next few weeks for the review of the T.Rex Ragnarok holster, and if you have any questions, or simply want to call me a shilling cuntflap then head over to my Instagram @thegeardocrow. Cheers.