True North Gear Blog
NEW Aero-Vest Feature Video
Posted by TNG Staff
The premier of our new Aero-Vest video showing off the product's features and how to turn the vest into leg pockets, and how to adjust for best fit. See the Aero-Vest in all its GLORY!
The Aero-Vest has been a very popular product with search and rescue teams. It is a modular system that converts to the best fit for the job. Working in the woods? Everything is right at your fingertips in the front vest pockets. Snowmobile or horse travel? The vest can be converted to thigh pockets so they are out of the way. There is even a version for Urban SAR with zipping pockets so nothing escapes while working on the ground in tight corners.
Here is how the Aero-Vest came to be:
The Aero-Vest was a gift. I was at the Washington State SAR Conference when John Carlson from the Skamania County SAR asked me if we take outside ideas. I told him we actively encourage them and I thought he had some suggestions for improving an existing product. Instead John showed me what he called the "Pest" because it was a cross between a pack and a vest. Besides being a talented designer John is also has a very dry sense of humor. The Pest had most of the front pocketing of the Aero-Vest, but only webbing straps in the back. John said he hated to sew and kept getting requests to make copies of the Pest so he wanted to know if we would take it on as a product. I was impressed with the thought that had gone into the design, the versatility and the freedom of movement the Pest presented so I immediately said yes.
The transformation of the Pest into the Aero-Vest took several design evolutions to complete. The Pest was based on John's many years of searching in the rugged terrain of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding mountains and wanting a load bearing system that was highly adaptable. What we did was to refine the design of the pocketing and add features like the padded shoulder yoke, and the dedicated Field Operations Guide case. The larger thing we did was to make the vest part of a larger modular system that allowed the creation of a versatile load bearing system that could be quickly reconfigured based on changing mission profiles. We did this by adding attachment points for extra gear and the ability to add a load bearing waist belt, hydration reservoir and other packs. We also created a version of the vest that was more optimized for Urban SAR, and have incorporated many suggestions from other field users to tweak and improve the functionality and versatility of the design. But at the heart of the Aero-Vest is still the Pest, the gift we received from John.