Tourniquets, everyone is carrying at least one on his loadout. Which model and how many is another question which should be discussed in another article.
My tourniquet of choice is the Combat Application Tourniquet, short CAT. There are several ways to mount a TQ, from simple ranger bands, pouches, dedicated kydex holsters to even really, really weird ideas like zip ties -yeah this has been observed.
It has always been important to me to mount at least one TQ on my first line belt. As I opt to wear my belt at all the time on the range. But with a small frame you will suddently experience that a vertical pouch will result in your TQ stabbing your stomach all the time you switch to a kneeling position.
This is where Austrian holster manufacturers STB02 (Stop the Bleed) TQ Sleeve kicks in. The STB02 is a low profile minimalist solution that allows you to securely hold a CAT ot SOF-T tourniquet on your belt horizontally without adding to much weight and bulk.
The STB02 isnt rocket science, it is a elastic sleeve that covers around 90% of the surface of a (properly folded) Combat Application Tourniquet. It has loop velcro on the inside to interlink with belts that feature a hook velcro connection to a inner belt. It also features hook velcro on the outside if you want to continue using the inner belt. As a nice touch, it comes with a piece of loop velcro as a cover. If you don’t need the cover, don’t throw it away, it may be useful.
The milspec elastic is sewn together in a way that creates one big and two small elastic channels. One being sized for a TQ and the other ones being just the right size for a chemlight, sharpie or a decompression needle. Now about the possibility of carrying a decompression needle for quick access: I used to do it, but after some thought it makes absolutely no sense, its a nice option anyways and having one or two sharpies at the ready is a nice thing too.
I wont go into to much detail regarding the sewing quality, as we are talking about a sewn together piece of elastic webbing here. The elastic will rip or wear out before any of the seams will do. But it does its job and the STB02 isnt an expensive item at all.
For me the STB02 is a game changer for the firstline, as it enables you to carry an easily recognizeable TQ in your front, relatively protected and accessible with both hands by a firm pull. It may consume more space than a vertically mounted TQ does but at least it allows you to move freely. Other applications may include carrying a TQ discreetly under a blazer or jacket.
The STB02 is available directly from Black Trident.
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