Monday, 27 May 2013

CTOMS FrontLine with 3 Magazine Shingle

No more leg bags...

Last deployment, I used a CTOMS FrontLine with 3 Magazine Shingle as my first line treatment pouch. A vest mounted low profile combination magazine and first line medical pouch.

Traditionally, Medics and Tactical First Responders have used a leg bag as their first line medical treatment pouch. Defence RD Canada released a study stating that any gear strapped to the legs of a provider increase fatigue and increase energy expended by a whopping 15%. Per Leg! That is a significant percentage of increase that needs to be addressed. Tactical operations and tactical medical incidents are exhausting enough without fighting your gear. Besides, I have never really like subloads or strapping on my legs. 

Lifesaving gear needs to be in your ‘work space’ or the Diver’s Triangle for easy access under stress, period, full stop!  Additionally, to be able to drop prone and still be combat effective, any vest mounted treatment pouch needs to be low profile and top accessible.  A properly stocked first line treatment pouch will take up a bit of MOLLE real estate room that may be required for equally important primary weapon magazines. Sometime, fire superiority is the best medicine. Therefore, a substantial amount of ammunition must be rapidly accessible. So, a low profile vest mounted combination magazine/medical pouch is the solution to this problem.

For my most recent deployment, I selected the CTOMS FrontLine with 3 Magazine Shingle as my first line treatment pouch. It was mounted to the front of my issued SORD SCS set up as a Plate Carrier; a Canadian Armed Forces vest trial was being conducted during this rotation. I selected the CTOMS combination pouch design over other commercially available pouches as it has the magazine on the front of the pouch, rather than behind the med pouch. The primary weapon magazines on the front of the pouch allow for a quick, snag-free draw under stress. Each of three open top shingles will hold a single USGI, P Mag, or Lancer AR magazine secured with a shock cord with pull tab.  That meant ninety rounds plus one on the rifle without additional pouches added to my rig.  The Frontline with 3 Magazine Shingle has an integral plastic stiffener sewn into the outside panel. When combined with the zipper end locations, the pouch does not flop open when in use or making movement. Additionally, there is a backup Velcro closure that can be used to secure the pouch closed should you have to make rapid tactical movement if threats present themselves during Tactical Field Care. That never happens!  

CTOMS FrontLine made my rig very low profile
especially important on low visibility convoys

Most of road work done in the my AOR was low visibility  convoys, so space was at a premium but threats were constant. CTOMS FrontLine with 3 Magazine Shingle is a low profile pouch but held sufficient medical gear for opening a Tactical Field Care Bubble. Medical gear is secured in place by CTOMS’s signature Modular Adjustable Retention System (MARS).  Also, there is a flap pocket on the inside front panel. It is very simple to customize pouch layout. A top accessible pouch and low profile design, I found I was still able to prone out and contents surveyed with a simple downwards glance in most positions. 

Proning out with FrontLine with Magazine Shingle

FrontLine with 3 Magazine Shingle Loadout

1x Glove pouch with 3 x Pair of Nitrile Gloves
1x Whistle
3 x 30 round primary weapon magazines


3 x Cas Cards
1 x Sharps Shuttle
2 x C-A-T®
3 x Warrior Wipes
2 x PRNs
1 x Triangular Bandage
1 x Sharpie Black Marker
8 x 2” Safety Pins

Looking down into the FrontLine when worn.

The CTOMS FrontLine with 3 Mag Shingle is an excellent first line treatment pouch for tactical care providers that use an AR platform. It is constructed of 500D Cordura with a reversed #10 coil YKK zipper and CTOMS Zip Tabs. Designed in Canada; made in the USA.  As with everything from CTOMS it is built to last. There was little to no wear on the pouch after eight months of on/off tactical operations and in-theatre continuation training. For those that use other weapon platforms, consider the CTOMS Frontline. It is essentially the medical pouch with MOLLE on the front for the addition of appropriate weapon’s platform magazine pouches. Many of the infantry and engineers I worked with expressed an interest in the CTOMS FrontLine with 3 Mag Shingle as a admin panel or EOD pouch.

While intended for AR platform magazines,
you can run other platforms in a pinch.

Take care out there


  1. Solid information, thanks for putting all this out in full detail! Making it really easy for me to make my decisions on building my new MED vest over my gunfighter rig,