Sunday, February 16, 2014

T-shirt Based Alternative to Shoulder Holster - Packin' Tee by Ridge Outdoors

I'm always looking for different methods to carry a concealed pistol on my person so the Packin' Tee definitely peaked my interest.  At first glance it looks like a normal T-shirt with holsters stuck on either side but Dave with enlightened me with fine details of this product.

Not just a normal T-shirt
It might seem at first that a normal T-shirt with 2 lbs of metal and plastic strapped to each side would result in a jiggly and sagging mess of a carry system - I would tend to agree. However the Packin' Tee features reinforcements to keep centrifugal and gravitational forces under control.  The sides of the shirt are made with a double layer of material that surrounds the holster and goes up and over the shoulder.  The area behind the back of the neck also features this double layer.  These reinforcements along with the snug fit keep unwanted movement of your pistol and mag(s) to a minimum.  You may not want to have it loaded up with a full sized Glock and 2 spare magazines while you are getting physical with your favorite Sweating to the Oldies tape, but in most day to day activities, the amount of movement is perfectly acceptable.

The holsters
On each side of the shirt is an 8" by 6" section of loop material.  It seems there is a plastic layer in between this Velcro patch and the shirt because you can hear it when flexing this area.  The crackling sound is not overly intrusive however and it provides a sweat barrier between you and your prized pistol possession.
The holsters themselves are comprised of a relatively thick and somewhat rigid material with a large piece of elastic on one front and the hook material on the backside.  The elastic is sewn down so as to create an open bottomed, gun shaped pocket.

Also available is a mag pouch to hold your - you guessed it - spare magazines.  I think the mag pouch was originally intended for a single mag but it will fit two double stack mags and hold them more securely then just a single mag. You can also get a plain pocket that would be ideal to carry a wallet or spare cash while visiting pickpocket prone locales.

Sizing, Colors, & Neck Styles
Available sizes are small to 3x and they are geared toward a tight fit so if you border on two different sizes you may want to go with the larger of the two.  As for colors, the men's shirts come in black or white with either a crew neck or V-neck and for the women's shirts, they only come in white with a lower cut, rounded neck.  All of the shirts are sleeveless.

Safety Considerations
There are a couple of safety considerations that a potential user of this product should be aware of.  First, due to the design of the holsters, gravity does most of the work to keeping the gun secure.  With that in mind, if you find yourself bending over at a steep angle or riding an upside down roller coaster, you might also find your firearm suddenly laying on the ground.  In my testing, the elastic of the holster did not always have enough squeeze to overcome the pull of gravity.  This becomes more pronounced as the weight of the gun increases.  There is always the option of using your arms to apply some additional squeeze if the need arises.

Second,  due to the placement of the holsters, the fact that they orient the muzzle vertically, and the requirement that you use your free hand to hold the holster elastic open means that re-holstering your weapon can be a bit awkward.  Care must be taken to not get a finger or the elastic material caught in the trigger.  Obviously care must be taken when reinserting a loaded firearm into any holster but not all holster setups are visually obstructed by your hands/arms/weapon as this one can be.

Pricing and Ordering
As of February 2014, sells these shirts for $42 and this includes 1 holster of your choice.  You can add another holster for $12 or get an optional mag pouch or hidden pocket for $6

If you use or are considering trying a shoulder holster, you might want to give the Packin' Tee a look - I see it as an alternative to the shoulder holster rig at around half the price - for example, a Galco Classic Lite on Amazon (as of the time of this writing) goes for somewhere in the low-$70 to $100 range. All indications point to it being a quality product and after a more long term test I will post an update with more focus on the user experience.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Splinter-Out Splinter Removal Tool

"How handy is this?!!" will be the first words that run through your mind after using this simple yet very effective little splinter extraction tool.  

So what exactly is Splinter-Out? It is a disposable, sterile packaged tool that you use to dig out splinters.  I know what you're thinking, you already have a needle, right? Well put that needle back in the sewing kit where it belongs - you won't be needing it to dig out those annoying slivers anymore. 
A Splinter-Out is much easier to use than a needle due to its much wider and flat gripping surface.  Its small handle even has ridges for more finger traction.  The pointed tip is just as sharp as a needle (sharper if you have made the mistake of buying cheap needles like I have) yet its wide taper makes it easier to see right where you're sticking yourself.  Normal sewing needles don't typically come in sterile packaging, so plus 1 for the Splinter-Out on the "won't give you Tetanus" scorecard.  Not to mention, needles have a habit of being hard to find once you set them down.

 If tweezers are more you're splinter weapon of choice, you still might want to consider a Splinter-Out because if you have a splinter that is near flush with or under the skin, it might be difficult or impossible to grab.  Digging into flesh with a pair of tweezers can add pain and irritation to an already painful and irritating situation.  Digging into skin with a Splinter-Out can be near painless depending on how deep you have to go and location of the excavation.  The combination of super sharp point and easy-to-hold handle allows you to easily remove the minimum amount of skin necessary to get at that tiny shard of wood or metal.
Bottom line - they are cheap, convenient, take up next to no space, and work so well, why wouldn't every hard working or hard playing person want a Splinter-Out in their first aid kit. 

Click here to get one from Amazon.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Maxpedition Malaga Gearslinger Backpack Review

  • "Goldilocks Zone" size
  • Durable
  • Ambidextrous
  • Quality zippers
  • Lots of pockets 
  • Top front pocket only has 1 zipper pull which can let items fall out when the zipper is opened while the back is being carried in front in lefty mode.

It's been about a year and a half since I first put up the video review of my Maxpedition Malaga Gearslinger backpack and I still use it daily as my go-to EDC bag.  I often think to myself that I should get something else, just for a change, but this bag just works too darn well for my EDC use I can't justify prying open my wallet for anything else.


I have been super impressed how well this bag has held up over the last couple of years.  It shows virtually no signs of aging after being thrown here or shoved under here or squished behind this truck seat - literally day after day, year after year.  The zippers all still work great (although I would've liked 2 zipper pulls on the top front pocket instead of just the 1 that is on there) and the latch in the middle of the main carry strap still snaps tightly and releases smoothly.  I was wondering if that latch would stand the test of time since it is plastic but it has proven to be of quality construction.  In a nutshell - Maxpedtion stuff is built to last!

I know it is long but if you really want to know the ins and outs of this bag, check out my video review above. If you want to purchase one (which I doubt you will regret) you can get one here at Amazon.

Top City Gear is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Friday, October 11, 2013

Deadly Powerful PVC Nerf Dart Gun

"Holy shit!", I exclaimed after pulling the trigger and watching a nail infused Nerf dart engage warp speed across my garage and bury itself into a hunk of 2x4. This was my reaction after the initial test firing of my then newly constructed PVC air gun.  I was genuinely surprised that a lowly 30 psi of air pressure contained so much energy and that the overall contraption worked so well.

I came up with this idea after discovering from some fellow Youtubers that a suction cup style Nerf dart fits quite nicely inside a 1/2 inch PVC pipe.  The rubber suction cup end fits just well enough to form a decent seal inside the pipe but loose enough that you can use your lung power to blow the dart very effectively.  If you push a medium sized nail through the rear hole of the Nerf dart and poke it through and out the rubber suction cup, then you have a decent blow dart gun for next to nothing.

If lung power is good, then a compressed air tank would be better right?  Believing so, I got out the graph paper and started designing my gun.  One of the most critical parts needed for the gun was the air release mechanism.  I really wanted an electric valve of some sort - I imagined a mechanical valve would be too slow (thus reducing projectile velocity) and introduce unwanted movement which would effect accuracy.  Again some enterprising Youtubers came to the rescue - a sprinkler valve from the local hardware store would do just fine.
Now the valve needed a battery and a trigger, and the gun needed a grip of some sort.  As it turned out I had all of these items in the form of an old Ryobi drill that I no longer needed. I ripped the motor assembly out of the drill body and enlarged the resulting cavity to fit tightly around the intermediate pipe of the gun.  Wiring the sprinkler valve to the trigger of the drill allowed the battery to power the valve for a near instantaneous release of all the air pressurized within the 4x12 inch reservoir attached to the rear of the gun.

I already knew that i needed a 1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe for a barrel, the length however was a design parameter that required some trial and error to get figured out.  Judging from some of the comments on the video, the ideal length is much longer than you might think.  While I did not scientifically verify with a chronometer, my seat of the pants meter told me around a 5 foot barrel length was the ideal compromise between maximum velocity and structural integrity.  With this setup the projectile seems to want a relatively long barrel to get up to speed.  Shorter barrels seemed to spit out the projectile before all the air had a chance to go to work.

This fairly simple design, capable of 100+ psi, propels Nerf darts at scary fast speeds - we're talking welt leaving speeds as seen here :


If you want to try this project yourself you can order one of the sprinkler valves here from Amazon.

Top City Gear is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Remora Holsters 35% Off This Fall!

Remora holsters are awesome and this fall that awesomeness comes at a 35% discount.

Check out these Top City Gear Remora reviews

And then go to , use coupon code FALL35, and pick one (or more than one) up.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Master Cutlery Cyclone - 2 years and 200,000 views later

I find it quite amusing and perplexing how the cheapest and most spontaneous video I've made to date has also become the most viewed and commented on.  Although a lot of the comments aren't terribly nice :-( .
At any rate, I had a grand 'ol time testing out this menacing marvel of modern manufacturing.  Thanks to the sharp eye of a thoughtful sister-in-law (who performed double duty as my videographer), I was able to get this exquisite example of garage sale gold for the bargain price of $1.
When this wicked-looking blade made first contact with my eager and clammy hands, I felt a bit of a ninja tingle race through my body.  Immediately I thought, "I wonder if these blades will swing out mid-air if I throw this thing?". My next thought, "If they do, will I lose a finger?"
The fear of losing a digit is the reasoning behind the wussy throws exhibited in the first part of the vid.  The weak and Frisbee style pitches that so many YouTubers were gracious enough to make fun of, were simply my attempts to not lose a finger in case of a quick blade deployment. Luckily, I had nothing to worry about as the blades deployed quite predictably once the knife was a flying a few feet away from my release.
Once the blades were out and heading to the target, they reliably stuck in said target with a satisfying thud...a few times anyway.  It quickly became apparent that this example of fantasy cutlery was not up to the task of handling this type of abuse.  Oh well, it was still a helluva lot of fun for the bargain price of a dollar.

If this knife is a gotta have item, you can click here to pick one up from

Top City Gear is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Top City Gear Post

This is a test post on the new Top City Gear blog. Blah , blah, blah. Pay me no mind.