At first glance, you might pass off the Invrt bandolier from IC13 as a silly contraption. It’s a bandolier that straps across your chest and gains its name from the fact that it’s designed to be worn inverted. Your magazines are oriented downward, and that’s not exactly the usual for load-bearing gear. You might also think it’s the smallest chest rig out there, but you’d be wrong there, mostly because it’s not a chest rig.
The Invrt is a bandolier. It’s not designed to be a chest rig. The Invrt is load-bearing gear, but it’s made for a minimalist load. I would argue it’s made for a realistic load. Most people, including law enforcement, will likely never have to reload in a firefight, especially with a rifle. However, no one ever complained they had too little ammo in a gunfight.
The Invrt System
The minimalist nature of the Invrt allows it to be several things. First of all, the Invrt system allows you to carry anywhere from two magazines and a mini IFAK to three magazines. When we get into the .308 caliber rifles, that can be a little tougher, either way, you can get at least two rifle or SMG mags on your chest for a rapid reload.
IC13 sells the Invrt plain, and you can add your own pouches, or you can purchase them as complete kits for several different platforms. This includes the AR, the AK, and even subguns like the Scorpion MP5 and more. The system Invrt sent me is for the CZ Scorpion and came with two CZ Scorpion mag pouches, a pistol mag pouch, and a small admin pouch.
The second thing the Invrt excels at is being easy to stash. You can fit it into a go bag or active shooter kit easily. It doesn’t take up much room by any means. This allows you to stash the Invrt nearly anywhere without it taking up much room.
Finally, the Invrt is easy to rapidly put on. You can do it moving and grooving. If you’re responding to violence, you don’t have much time, so you can swim into the Invrt with ease. You can do it while holding a long gun. It takes seconds to toss on and get back to responding directly. Like any bandolier, it fits across the body, primarily across the chest. A third strap goes under the arm and locks it in. This third strap can be secured with a buckle or with hook and loop as you see fit.
Running the Invrt
The Invrt’s upside-down magazines are an interesting touch. It’s different, but fast. The pouches are friction fit. When a mag’s loaded, it’s fine when you’re just walking and shooting. However, once you start sprinting and taking stairs, you’ll want some degree of retention. The mag pouches are set up for bungee cables, and IC13 sells bungee cables fairly cheaply to secure the mags. I would certainly suggest getting the bungee cables or not running the rig inverted.
With the upside-down magazines, you can quickly grab the mag and get it into your gun. It works really fast, impressively so. It’s way more intuitive and doesn’t call for you to bend your wrist this way or that for a clean draw. Just grip, rip, and reload.
The rig is super comfy. The back of the Invrt has some slight padding, and when you run, it doesn’t bounce or slam loaded magazines into your chest. After several sprints, I didn’t notice any discomfort. The support straps are both very wide, which helps distribute weight well. However, there isn’t much weight between two Scoprion magazines and a Glock mag.
Getting the Invt on and off doesn’t take much effort. You hold it with your dominant hand and swim into it essentially. Then, grab the strap and lock it down. Although to be fair, you don’t have to use the support strap, but it keeps the rig from rotating when worn.
What About Shotguns?
Plenty of police officers still rock and roll with shotguns. With that in mind, IC13 doesn’t seem to offer a shotgun kit. Luckily, the Invrt panel uses standard MOLLE. It’s easy to make your own. I grabbed two of my many bandoliers and strapped them to the Invrt. This gave me ten rounds of firepower, which is likely plenty when it comes to shotgun fights.
The bandoliers strap on easily enough, and I have the shells orienting in the same direction to make it easy to retrieve shells from either five-shot bandolier. It’s a little clumsy, but it still works and makes feeding your shotgun easy.
The Invrt could be set up in all sorts of ways. Maybe it’s a bit medical kit. Maybe it has a radio, or maybe it’s nothing but magazine pouches for your handgun. You can configure it to make sense for your needs like any other piece of modular gear. With the Invrt, you get a piece that’s rapid to don, easy to stash, and still as modular as any piece of modern load-bearing gear. It’s a realistic setup for most encounters and was clearly made with a lot of forethought.
Check it out here if you think it’s a good fit for your go bag.