View Full Version : Tactical Tailor MAV with Pack?

30 April 2010, 16:01
Hey all, I'm basically brand new to the site but I noticed that a few people on here have experience with the 2 piece MAV. I'm a member of Civil Air Patrol and do some search and rescue work with them. This can be anything from USAR to disaster relief and most commonly, hoofin it through the woods looking for hikers or a downed plane.

I've got a cheep tactical vest that i've been using, but have three major gripes with it.
1) It ain't modular in the least. As the mission changes my pack needs to change. Easily.
2) Most of the load sits right at my hips making it a pain to walk in (or hike in)
3) I can't fit a backpack over top of it due to the location of the pouches and such.

I think the MAV solves the first two problems, but I'm not sure about the last. The pack I'll be using is just a Gregory Whitney internal frame pack. Also, if I get the MAV I'll get the x harness with it for comfort and for the capability to add a hydration bladder, so that factors in as well.

Anyone used a pack with the MAV before? Got any suggestions for me?

6 May 2010, 12:27
Chest rigs work relatively well with packs. As with everything it's not a perfect fit but it sure beats wearing body armor and a pack!!! If you will always have the Pack on - I would put the Hydration system in the pack. The hydration system is probably the single most annoying part of a chest rig with a pack. I need to have it directly on my chest rig/ body armor b/c I ditch my pack at the first sign of trouble. If you have to carry your pack for search and rescue stuff I'm sure you won't be leaving the Medical gear behind so it shouldn't be an issue. Enjoy the MAV - I rocked one for years.


6 May 2010, 15:43
Thanks for the reply. A couple of things I wanted to comment on. The way that NSAR (National Search and Rescue) does it, as well as CAP is to divide into a 24 hour pack and a 72 hour pack. The 24 hour pack can actually be just a stripped down version of the 72 hour, but its just not as convenient for grabbing supplies. The idea is that in a hasty search you grab your vest or day pack and head out. You hope you never have to actually spend a night with that amount of gear, but you're prepared to if necessary. Just to give you an idea what all I'll need to carry here's the basic list.

Notepad, Pencil, Reflective vest, bush craft knife, Leatherman, Signal Mirror, Whistle, Rubber surgical gloves, very small first aid kit, a few Chem Lights, matches, Para cord, duct tape (part of a roll, not a whole one), Flashlight and head lamp, spare batteries, spare socks, work gloves, flagging tape, insect repellent, lip balm, 2 MREs or equivalent, Shelter material (space blankets), canteens or camel back, coat as needed.

What I really like with the MAV is its ability to transition easily to fit the needs of the mission. These are technically the requirements (or at least most of them), but we're allowed to bend those just ever so slightly depending upon necessity. For example there's times when we have no need to carry 2 MREs with us and may dump em. My thought was either tear away panels, or attaching some of that gear directly to my hydration carrier. That way if I don the backpack my "line 1" gear is still on my chest while the rest is stowed in my pack.

Any thoughts?

6 May 2010, 18:37
Just a comment from the peanut gallery: Replace your space blanket with a cut down casualty blanket. The one with the colored side, fiber layer and mylar. It's a little heavier and a little bulkier but if you really need to use it as a shelter, you will be thankful! BTDT.


6 May 2010, 21:21
Actually that's basically what I've already got. But yes you're right, those are infinitely more useful than the cheep 2 dollar tin foil blankets. I've attempted to build shelter out of those before and its incredibly frustrating. They're reasonably tough until they get a small tear and then its all over. Fortunately, I've never had to sleep in a shelter built out of them... yet that is. The other nice thing with the thicker blanket is mine already has grommets on it's corners to make shelter building much easier.

With my pack right now I usually carry the legit space blanket, a few garbage bags, a cheapy fold up poncho (as back up, I have rain gear as well), and several of the 2 dollar blankets. Added with zip ties, duct tape, 550 cord, and a little ingenuity and you can get a decent shelter any day.

One point I'd like to make, I am by all means a beginner with the SAR teams. I'm CERT and first aid qualified, I've been on a few bivouacs and Sarex's (Search and Rescue Exercises), I have a working knowledge of LPERs (downed airplane beacon finders) and I'm an avid backpacker, but that's it. I haven't been called out yet and I am by no means an expert. However I do know my way around the woods, and am taking steps to get on the short list of people that go out in a real incident.

7 May 2010, 09:06
It sounds like your 24 hour gear could all be carried in the MAV. It has velcro pockets behind the MOLLE webbing (the actual chest rig part) where you could line your emergency blankets, then if you don't need (or aren't allowed to) carry ammunition all the other "Real estate" could be used for sustainment type pouches to carry the first aid equipment, MRE's, chemlights, tape, etc. This way you could just throw the 72 hour pack on without any worries. I'm sorry if I'm misinterpreting your needs. If you want to keep the MAV for other things you could cram all that gear into something like this: http://www.skdtac.com/Maxpedition_Jumbo_Versipack_SType_p/max.508.htm and use an assault pack for the 72 hour mission needs. I have worn plenty of chest rigs with a satchel type bag and then thrown a backpack on top. Not the most ideal but it does make it versatile.


7 May 2010, 17:02
Nope, you interpreted it perfectly. Obviously the main idea with the vest is to make the tools you need fast easily accessible. This is especially important in a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) type of scenario, i.e. urban SAR and disaster medical.

The main things I'll want handy are water, my knife, leatherman, head lamp, surefire, first aid kit, compass, maps, etc. The stuff like MREs, TP, and even tarps doesn't necessarily need to be readily accessible. If I can I'd like to get some of that stuff mounted some where on the back.

And yes you are correct, we aren't allowed to carry firearms of any sort. However when funds allow I may use the rig for some shooting/ hunting uses as well.

One more thing, I'd like to stay away from the skittle carrying satchel type pack (little joke from a movie). I've never used one, but they just don't appear to be very comfortable over a long haul. However, its possible that type pack would work very well as an expanded First Aid only type pack to be used in Urban situations. Always something to consider I suppose.

11 May 2010, 08:23
Sorry I guess I let my love of Indiana Jones and Jack Bauer get the best of me. But on my last tour my extra medical stuff was kept in a "Tacti-cool" satchel. lets you slide it out of the way when you have to do something else.


12 May 2010, 20:10
Happens to us all my friend. Unfortunately the bull whip and stetson don't go to well with BDUs.

Going back to a few posts ago, I did try lining the map pockets with 2 spare ponchos on one side and 2 emergency blankets on the other, as you suggested. From what I can tell so far, this will work really well. I also like that it adds a slight bit of padding in case there's any bulky/ sharp objects loaded on the outside. Hopefully I can get out on even just a backpacking trip and test out the rig soon.

17 May 2010, 18:09
Stetsons don't go with BDU's??? I think you better tell that to the CAV guys. Just playing.

Glad the map pockets worked out for you. I stuff so much crap in them myself.