When it comes to chest rigs there are generally three types of retaining straps readily available. Those straps are: the standard criss cross style; The h-harness; and the final is known by a multitude of design names such as the yoke, x-harness or just a harness.. To date there are only three major manufacturers producing an "x-harness style" for sale as a seperate unit; Tactical Tailor, Original SOE Gear, and EssTac. Herein we will take a look at the latter of the group... Esstac and their Padded Harness and Sleeve Kit.
The Esstac Padded Harness
is designed to replace the standard straps of and work integrally with the Esstac Boar line
of chest rigs. It features all the connecting hardware that the standard shoulder straps have (pictured below). As pictured above, there is an elastic band on each connecting strap. These are very useful when dealing with excess webbing. Instead of trimming the webbing after adjusting it to the right height, you simply fold it over (as many times as necessary) and then slide the elastic over it.
As I stated in the intro, this is a padded harness. The manufacturer uses, what seems to be, a closed cell foam. It is not as "cushiony", nor is it as poofy as open cell foam. Closed cell foam has become popular because it rarely shifts onced stitched into place, and is not prone to clumping as the open celled foam does. It's about as thick as a standard USGI sleeping pad/work out mat, for those of you who are familiar with them. For those unfamiliar with a USGI sleeping pad, think yoga mat thick. In the Back piece the foam is stitched into place on all edges and with a line going down the center. The Arms are a different story.
Not only is the back piece padded, the padding also extends into the "arms" of the harness. The Arms are a different story. Each Arm is lined with loop material. This allows for complete customizable placement of the included arm accessories. It would appear that the loop material was the last piece to go onto the arms, as it is tacked down through the material AND the foam; thus holding the foam in place with three lines of horizontal stitching and two rows of vertical stitching.
As stated previously the arms are lined with loop material so that you can easily move around the included accessories. The padded harness comes with One large black, rubberize piece. This is for extra padding when shouldering your weapon. Because of the texture it also works in conjunction with your rubber butt pad (on your stock) to prevent the weapon from slipping off the shoulder strap. It also comes with one loop faced square for attaching unit patches; and one pals faced square for additional accessories. All three have hook material sewn into the inside.