We love our gear, but you all know this. We love interesting ways for us to carry and use our gear, be it plainclothes or in the field. And what we love more than just gear, is gear made in America, by veterans. Snake Eater Tactical has all of those.
Chris Calvert is the brains behind Snake Eater Tactical. Calvert joined the Navy in 1998 as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman. After A School I was sent to an F-18 squadron and spent the next four years working on Aircrew survival equipment. A large part of his time was spent sewing. He repaired, modified and fabricated all kinds of gear. In addition, he designed and built custom sewing projects for the squadron including tool pouches and equipment covers. He left the Navy in 2002 as an E-5 and soon found work at a marine canvas shop. Here he took his sewing skills to a whole new level as he learned to pattern and fabricate large custom boat covers. He worked in this field until he finished college. At that point he moved to Oregon to open his own shop. After about a year of scraping by trying to find canvas jobs, he discovered the tactical gear market. He found multiple online gear companies that were showing long lead times and he realized the high demand for quality tactical gear. He began coming up with my own ideas and testing them at local gun shows. This is how Snake Eater Tactical was born.
“After about a year I began making a name for myself and was able to make a decent living. Its been during the last two years that things have really taken off and I have been able to hire full time fabricators to help fill orders. I am passionate about quality and innovation. Snake Eater Tactical gear will ALWAYS be made in the USA,” said Calvert.
Now we love that – quality gear, made by veterans, right here in the US of A. Now lets get to some of his offerings. We checked out several of his IWB pouches, but they go above and beyond IWB pouches. You can loop these onto you plate carrier or pack with the slots on the back, or velcro them to your belt as designed. The velcro is extremely fine, and holds fast. I didn’t even know they made this type of closure, but I’m glad they do. It makes little to no noise, but holds extremely well on both belt and pack. As you can see in the picture, it doesn’t even look like velcro, but I assure you it is. The stitching is second to none – as is the construction. It’s an elastic type fabric that allows you to shove in items ranging from R.A.T.S. Tourniquets to magazines to whatever you need. You could even stash a pretty comprehensive E+E Kit in here. I like it as a method to carry my TQ low profile, yet still being ready at a moment notice with just a yank.
It’s clearly evident that Calvert both takes pride in his work, and is an experienced constructor of cloth items. I’m sure he did his squadron proud in the past, and is making great stuff now for general market consumption. If you wanted to use it for a mag carrier – which I recommend, as it is soft against the skin, not bulky like many carriers, and secures strongly to your belt with the fine velcro. And what’s more, these pouches pictured are all identical except for color – and he offers several hues – yet they have the versatility to be used for a myriad of loadouts. From left to right: RATS Tourniquet, a hefty 13 rd 45 ACP Glock 21 magazine, Sig M11-A1 magazine, Glock 19 Magazine and 7 rd 1911 Magazine. They all fit snug and are secure, yet easily depoyable. Admittedly, getting that massive Glock 21 magazine seated took a couple slaps, but it popped out with no issues.
Pros, What we like:
Solid American craftsmanship, great stitching and sturdy construction. The elasticity of the pouches also allow multiple roles to be filled. They are very well made, and can secure to your belt for IWB carry, or to a pack with velcro closures or with webbing.
Cons, what we don’t like:
Not so much we don’t like it, but the material is slightly elastic, meaning it may stretch over time. Not an issue unless you slam a hefty Glock 21 magazine in there for a week, then put an unassuming single stack 1911 magazine in there. I haven’t had this issue, but in the interest of full disclosure, it is possible. However, if you use say double stack 9mm magazines only, it won’t be an issue!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Castiglione lives in Atlanta, and is an avid outdoorsman and competitive shooter.
Where-abouts include getting after it in his garage gym, practicing martial arts, hitting the trails, or running CrossFit and Strongman competitions for his non-profit, Barbells for Bullies, which holds fundraiser fitness competitions dedicated to aiding Bully breed rescues, dog rescues, or other non-profits with similar missions.
Gear Review: HolsterCo IWB Holster & Mag Carrier