When I purchased my Motorola APX 8000HXE, I had to find a way to carry it while doing my volunteer work with CARLA, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, San Francisco Fire Department, and United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
My Maxpedition Falcon III Wolf Gray Back-pack is a perfect bug-out and EDC back-pack; and, I’m able to use it with my volunteer work; however, when I get to my site, I don’t need to wear my Maxpedition Falcon III Wolf Gray Falcon III Back-pack at the comms site…just like going to school or an office-job, I needed to take off my back-pack; but, I still needed to have access to my Motorola APX 8000HXE.
While hanging out with my acquaintances at Los Angeles Fire Department and San Francisco Fire Department, I learned about radio straps.
I came across Boston Leather Radio Strap; so, without knowing any better, I purchased one without any research nor due diligence — after all, a strap is a strap — what’s the big deal? WRONG! It is a big deal! For a day of wearing it, I found it uncomfortable — the leather was hard, and the strap was irritating my neck. In addition, the radio holster did not properly fit my Motorola Motorola APX 8000HXE; and, I did not like the exposed metal leather-bolts rubbing against the external case of my Motorola APX 8000HXE. Later, I learned that the Boston Leather was not washable for obvious reasons, and I learned that it would retain odors of a fire or scents from HazLoc. I always felt the strap on me — it was really uncomfortable for me, and I was not happy with the holster workmanship AT ALL; hence, I returned it.
After that miserable experience with Boston Leather Radio Strap, I exercised more research and due diligence; and, I found SGT Fire Bags.
SGT Fire Bags specializes in fire-fighting equipment. Ian, the owner and founder of the company, is a former fire-fighter EMT/Paramedic personnel in the Florida area, and he took his fire-fighting and EMT/Paramedic experiences and applied them to the creation of his products.
All of his products are designed to withstand the rough-handling, high-temperatures, wet, and dirty environments of the fire-ground. Most importantly, Ian’s products are anti-contagion and 100% washable — these two qualities are extremely important for EMT/Paramedic personnel; because, these personnel are exposed to blood and other forms of bacteria and germs while at work.
SGT Fire Bags produces two products that I wanted for my Motorola APX 8000HXE: the Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and the SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster.
Some of the many features I like about the Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set is the MOLLE straps, the zippered pouch, and the radio-keep. These features provide a level of conveniences that leather straps and other straps don’t provide. The zippered-pouch is big enough to keep rubber gloves, ear-plugs, pen or pencil, and other small essential items.
The radio-keep Velcro strap keep the microphone cable secure, and the MOLLE straps provide attachment options for other pouches if needed.
In addition to the aforementioned three features, supra, the Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set has two Velcro strips to attach a battalion patch and ID/Name patch.
The other nice feature that serves an important functional component is the large carabiner for the keeper. Many other manufacturers have small latches; and, the small latches don’t work well with large belt-loops found with tactical pants. SGT Fire Bags uses large carabiners, and they are an excellent touch; because, SGT Fire Bags’s large carabiners can fit large belt-loops found in tactical pants.
In the picture above, the small carabiner hooks to the holster D-ring; and, the large carabiner hooks to the pants’s belt-loop in the rear.
This carabiner keeper secures the radio holster from swinging around to the front of the pants when running, bending, or just walking and moving around, as shown in the picture of me, supra, bent forward taking directions from relay-control.
After doing my research on SGT Fire Bags and reading all the positive customer feed-back, I decided to purchase the Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and the SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster. They are two of the best accessories I purchased for my Motorola APX 8000HXE for 2020.
The Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster are extremely comfortable to wear — I tested it by wearing them all day in my crib in Beverly Hills, California and walking around in Los Angeles, California; and, they were super-duper comfortable — I didn’t even realize I was wearing them throughout the day; but, the big test would be doing a mission; and, with the CoVid-19 lock-down, all my volunteer activities were placed on halt: no face:face contact at any level with the agencies with which I do volunteer work.
I got an email from the San Francisco Radio Club requesting auxiliary comms volunteers for a sailboat race in the Red Triangle. The time was set for 1830-2400 hours, 19-September-2020. This was a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone — I get to test my Motorola APX 8000HXE, and I get to test my brand new Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster.
Once I got to the site, I put on my Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster. They were easy to put on, which is really important if you’re in a mission-critical assignment under a time constraint, which this assignment was NOT.
The next test is set-up. Whenever I get to the command site, all the volunteers set up the command site with equipment and stuff — we are picking up boxes, moving and climbing ladders, setting up tables, loading and unloading vans and trucks, pitching up a comms tent or staging area, pitching up antennas, running electrical lines, kicking on generators, and so on — there is a lot of movement, and I need to be able to have freedom of movement and full-range of movement without any restrictions nor discomfort.
I don’t want to have to constantly adjust my uniform or gear that’s on my person. The Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster excel in this area. They provided a stable containment of my Motorola APX 8000HXE; and, they did not restrict my movement nor interfere with my movements in any way. I made NO adjustments whatsoever while moving stuff and climbing ladders and ledges. The Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster stayed in the position I set without any interference of my movements — excellent work SGT Fire Bags.
I had to run to a different section of the site to get a visual of boats approaching the Golden Gate Bridge; and, while I was running at full gate, the Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster stayed secure and did not restrict nor interfere with my running to the other part of the site. Excellent work SGT Fire Bags — stability is really important while running around the site.
The next test was access to my Motorola APX 8000HXE. I had easy access to my Motorola APX 8000HXE while in the SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster attached to the Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set. They did not leave the set position I created by adjusting the strap and the carabiner strap and the tension on the holster. Excellent work on accessibility — while in comms-mode, I need my transceiver to consistently stay in place; so, I won’t fumble around to get to it.
The Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set glows in the dark and has reflective strips for easy visibility. If you are doing volunteer work that requires more stealth, you can get the non glowing strap. The volunteer work I do requires high visibility of personnel at the site; hence, the Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set made me highly visible, and my teammates were able to easily see me without a problem.
If you’re looking for a system that is comfortable, rugged, durable, washable, reliable, stable, anti-contagion, fire resistant, and odor-resistant to hold and keep your transceiver protected against the elements of your work, check out SGT Fire Bags and their Lumen “Glowing” Modular SGT Radio Strap and Carabiner Keeper Set and the SGT Fire Resistant Universal Radio Holster.
/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)