I’ve seen it mentioned multiple places that there should be a gear thread so here we go!
This is me in all my gear, just so you know I really do know what I’m talking about :
I’m going to break the OP down into pieces that are generally used by people on this forum instead of going balls to the wall and talking about every piece of kit out there.
Chest rigs are generally lower profile options to carry magazines and kit on your torso. Most are covered in PALS to facilitate in the attachment of MOLLE pouches. Many also have built in pouches for items such as rifle magazines or medical kits.
There’s a MOLLE pouch built for just about anything you can think of. Obviously some are better quality than others.
For mag pouches, the most important consideration is magazine retention. Do you want a lid covering your magazines? If so, do you want it to attach via velcro or plastic buckle? Would you rather have bungee cord or elastic retaining your mag for quicker access?
Honestly, everyone and their fucking mom makes pouches, so it would be ridiculous to list brands. Most of the shops linked above for chest rigs would also be good places to get pouches.
We all know what a holster is. However, as some people may be new to the scene, I’ll go ahead and break down the common types of holsters.
The three most commonly used materials to build holsters are Kydex, plastic, and leather.
Kydex is a thin plastic material molded by heating it and then shaping it around the gun. It’s relatively strong, but the main advantage is how thin and light it is.
There’s a whole bunch of ways to wear a holster, but to keep the post succinct, we’ll just discuss IWB, OWB, and drop leg, since those will be the most applicable for our purposes.
IWB stands for ‘inside waistband.’ It’s, you guessed it, a holster worn inside the waistband of your pants. IWB holsters are typically held in place with some sort of clip or loop that comes up over your waistband and secures to your belt.
OWB stands for ‘outside waistband.’ Pretty self-explanatory. OWB holsters are generally either secured with a paddle or belt loops. A paddle is a large, flat piece of material that usually seats inside your waistband and uses the tightness of your belt and leverage to hold the holster in place.
Drop leg holsters are normally worn on the upper thigh. They are secured to the belt by a strap, and normally have a strap or two that goes around your thigh to hold the holster in place. They’re usually of very limited utility until the user has a chest rig or body armor on, which often makes it difficult to draw a gun from a belt mounted holster.
Many OWB and drop leg holsters have retention mechanisms built in. These are devices that both secure the gun against falling out as well as prevent someone else from taking your gun. Safariland’s SLS and Blackhawk’s SERPA system are examples.
Every pistol should have a holster and every rifle or shotgun should have a sling. We’ve come a long way from the leather GI sling and now have shitloads of choices.
Single point slings attach to the gun at a single point, normally where the gun’s stock meets the receiver. They’re designed not for comfort, but for speed and easier gun handling.
Two point slings attach to the gun at two points, normally at the front of the gun near the muzzle, and at the rear of the gun near the end of the stock. They’re built primarily to carry the gun comfortably for long periods of time and may function as shooting aids by increasing the tension on the gun to hold it steady.
Three point slings are becoming increasingly obsolete, but they’re still around and ideal for some types of guns. Three point slings typically attach to a gun at two points, but have a strap that runs down the length of the weapon, and a loop to wrap around your body.
First line belts
First line/battle/war belts are becoming an increasingly popular option to hold your equipment. The main benefit they have over chest rigs is that they’re much lower profile and hold enough gear for a class or competition. They’re often a little quicker to load from, though this can be mitigated with practice. They also get your kit off your chest so there’s less potential for snags.
I’m going to go ahead and wrap this post up. I plan to add more in the future, things like general belts, packs, bags, etc. If there’s anything that should be there and isn’t, please let me know.