Frank Hughes' Testimonial


Sir,

Thank you again for sending me this product to test. After having some time to try it out, I wanted to share my thoughts with you. My interest in the sleeve originally was for EDC purposes. I carry the RATS daily and was looking for a better way to integrate it into my system regardless of the type of pants or shorts I was wearing. During the period I tested the RATS sleeve product I observed several pros and cons related to its use as an EDC carry method. Before delving into the pro's and con's, let me first share my thoughts on the construction and material of the product. I don't know what the MSRP on the sleeve will be, but I am sure the price point is a factor in the material choice. The first thing I noticed with the product is that it is constructed of a fairly loose weave nylon, very similar to the material the old Mini-Maglite flashlight holsters were made with. The belt loops appeared to be made of the same velcro strips typically used to bundle electrical wires together. The stitching attaching the strips to the sleeve were secure, but I'm not sure how durable they will be. Depending on the price point, these materials are suitable for the job but the overall longevity of the product is questionable to me. For use as an EDC item, I had some concerns with the overall durability of the item. I don't know if the stitching holding the velcro straps to the sleeve will hold up to repeated use of the straps, and it seems the nylon material of the sleeve may begin to fray. One other issue I noticed from the first day of use was that there was no way to secure the metal cleat or three finger loop of the RATS, meaning that it stuck out at an angle from the sleeve and constantly snagged on things while getting in and out of vehicles, etc. I was able to remedy this by using a portion of the velcro strap to secure the three finger loop once the velcro was wrapped around my belt. On the positive side, the sleeve had a very low profile, and it did not print, even through a thin t-shirt. With the profile being so low, it felt no different than if I was just wearing my belt. The sleeve held the TQ very securely, and removing the TQ took conscious effort which I liked since that meant the TQ wouldn't inadvertently be pulled out of the sleeve. I also liked the idea behind using the velcro straps as the attachment method: it allowed for the sleeve to be used with a variety of belt widths, allows it to be easily attached to other items such as pack straps, etc. (more to follow on this), and allowed the sleeve to be added or removed from a belt without having to take the belt off. Because the sleeve takes up a large amount of real estate on the belt, and because there is not a way to securely retain the cleat/finger loop, I ultimately did not feel this would be a good addition to my EDC system, and I returned to carrying the RATS in my pocket. I did, however, find other uses for the sleeve. For areas not requiring daily donning and doffing of the sleeve (thus putting extra wear and tear on the straps) and where real estate is not a concern, the sleeve seems to be a great way to integrate a RATS and keep it readily accessible. Adding the sleeve to the strap of the carrying handle on my range bag provided me with instant access to a TQ should an incident occur in training. The sleeve can provide the velcro straps are long enough, be attached to pack straps and frames, and with some work can be attached to MOLLE webbing allowing limitless applications. It can also be attached to weapon slings providing a viable option for keeping a TQ on the weapon. To summarize: Pros: Multiple applications, holds TQ securely, low signature, the ability to attach/detach without removing the belt, etc. Cons: Material/stitching might not be durable over time, no way to secure cleat/three finger loop. I would like to see another option for EDC-ing the RATS, perhaps some type of low profile/low signature belt pouch. I hope that you find this review helpful, sir. Thank you for giving me the opportunity the test this product. If you have any questions for me, please reply to this email. If you do find this review helpful and have any other products from RATS or your other companies you would like reviewed, please consider me.

Respectfully,

Frank Hughes