Misc Info: Check your local retailer for ITW Products
Sweat The Small Stuff
ITW Military Products has been around for quite a while: pre-Civil War according to their website. They produce a number of small but respected products for the military and tactical communities. Recently, they piled a bunch of items in a box and sent them to The Gear Locker for some abuse. Today we’re going to look at a few of those items, specifically the GrimLoc, Web Dominator, and the Tac Link.
I personally first learned bout ITW through Mil Spec Money and bought both GrimLocs and Web Dominators through his store. So, even though we just got these items, I’ve been familiar with them for about a year now and feel confident giving them a long-term review.
Let’s begin with the GrimLoc, a simple yet deceptively brilliant design. The concept is that of allowing a lockable clip that mounts to PALS webbing. As you can see from the picture, the inside of the GrimLoc has cut-outs allowing it to slip onto the webbing, which it does quite easily. I found this process intuitive and secure. You are now left with a way to easily attach items to your gear without stretching the webbing out the way a caribiner can. I have a few mounted on my EDC bag, a Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger and use them a lot while traveling. I often spend 2 or 3 days a week flying and don’t like using large luggage that never has space in overhead compartments, so I often bring just the Kodiak and a small duffle. The GrimLoc I have mounted on my shoulder strap works very well for attaching that duffle to the bag, slinging a coat, carrying a bag of gifts for the family, or whatever I need. On the field, I’ve used it to attach a hydration system without MOLLE to my rig, to carry electrical tape, or even to lug objective props while keeping my hands free to operate my weapon.
These are not designed to hold massive amounts of weight, but, let’s be honest, you aren’t going to suspend another person off one small section of webbing. Anything under 75-80 pounds is likely to be fine, and I suspect the stitching on your gear may give out before this does. It’s light, easy to use, and incredibly effective, a win all around!
GrimLocs are available in tan, black, foliage green, and coyote brown.
Since I’ve had Web Dominators for a while, we’ll go here next. Yet another simple idea with wide application. It goes onto webbing quite easily and has a shock cord to allow you to trap excess straps and keep them out of the way. Many manufacturers are now adding velcro to their straps to handle that excess, but that’s noisy and not always where I want it. The WD moves around easily to where you would like it to be. The shock cord is pulled tight and snapped into place to secure the webbing.
The WD is not designed to take weight and shouldn’t be tested that way. Rather, use it to secure small items that might get in your way. Outside of using it for straps, I’ve found it handy for securing my hydration valve when running around the field. It can also handle small, light stuff like glowsticks as dead-lights.
The ones sent to us by ITW had a smaller piece of shock cord than those I received from Mil Spec Monkey, and I’m torn on whether I like the longer section or not. It really varies by application, but shock cord can always be ordered separately, so it isn’t a big deal. They are available in the same colors as the GrimLoc.
Now we come to the Tac Link. These are exactly what they look like, a plastic carabiner. To be clear, these are not for rope work of any kind, simply for attaching gear! They are available in 7 different colors; the same 4 as the GrimLoc and Web Dominator, Average Ghillie Green, Rescue Red, orange, and pink.
At this point, everyone reading this knows how to use a non-locking carabiner, so I won’t insult your intelligence. The size is average for a caribiner, but is incredibly light compared to even an aluminum one. The texturing helps to remove some of that weight, as well as increasing the ease of grabbing and manipulating the Tac Link. Additionally, the polymer construction doesn’t jingle, rattle, or scrape in the manor that a metal one might.
The proof of any carabiner is in what it can carry and hold. The size of the Tac Link allows a lot to fit in, including a full size of electrical tape (or a well used one of duct tape), glove, or small MOLLE items you wish to hang off your gear instead of mounting onto it. Tying gun and gear bags together works well and I was able to hang a small gear bag off the shoulder strap of my gun bag with no effort or available strain. In fact, I’ve suspended over 50 pounds from it with no apparent strain or distortion to the Tac Link.
One thing we like to think about here at TGL is all the little things that make things work better on the field. I can say ITW is in the business of making a number of those items. For very little money you can acquire any or all of the above to make life a little bit easier.
- Stephen out!