In preparation for their new Whisper version, Blue Force Gear reduced the price on their Trauma Kit NOW!, an item I’ve been eying for months now. The basic concept is appealing, combining the basic idea of a rip-off IFAK with the stability of a permanently attached one. I opted to pay the extra for the “loaded” version just to see what they included.
If you’re even half-aware of this site, you know we’ve been reviewing lots of first aid pouches in prep for our upcoming podcast on first air and safety. Having spent so much time around them, I now have a really good idea of what I do and don’t like in a first aid pouch. Being able to get the gear away from your body and wear you need it is nice, and space is always fighting with making things too big. I also worry about items being crushed or ruined. First glance at the NOW! looked like it might address all of these worries, but would it hold up well to real use an abuse? I felt the best way to really abuse it was to swap out my Maxpedition FR-1 on my EDC, toting it everywhere I go. Here it is attached to my Maxpedition Kodiak.
You can notice the outside velcro allowing the attachment of patches or other needs. The pouch attaches with its own straps, which I sometimes find annoying, but in this case the design works very well. The attached straps use velcro at the end to connect, instead of snaps, plus a loop of ribbon to ease in detaching them. While not as fast as some options, it is very secure.
As with many pouches, there are loops to contain the gear you choose to carry, but in this case they are vital to keeping your supplies from being thrown all over the ground. The loops are all elastic to assure a tight fit, and there’s also room behind one of the panels to tuck flat items like pads, cards for recording information, and the like. This panel also has a stiffener, which helps to protect things like sting treatment, and keeps the pouch crisp. At the very bottom is more velcro to attach more items or patches. I haven’t yet made use of this, though I can see them being handy for securing small items. I intend to put a piece of velcro on the back of some super-glue and a penlight.
What we see here is much of what came in the “loaded” version, plus a lot more. A tourniquet, compressed gauze, battle dressing, duct tape, gloves, and a petroleum dressing all came with the pouch. I added medical tape, bandaids, gauze pads, pencil, alcohol wipes, combat gauze, and a pencil. Not shown here are the trauma shears I usually tuck in the back. Since the insert really just sits in an open pouch, there is space behind it to hold things. Additionally, there is PALS on the top to attach other things, like the BFG, which I intend to add.
I have to say, I really like this pouch. Easy to use, spacious, and well designed. Here’s the breakdown:
What I like:
- Price – It’s on sale!
- Great layout
- Detaches, at least in the critical manner
- Built in straps
- Good size for the individual
What I don’t like: Actually, nothing! I intend to keep this on my EDC moving forward, and will try it on my rig this season. I’ll be curious to see the new Whisper version when it comes out.
View the full article