I like to keep life saving equipment as handy as possible. The place that I’m far more likely to see a serious traumatic injury than anyplace else is on the road. Being a guy who shoots and hunts regularly, the next most likely place is on the range or in the field. And while I’m doing any of those things, my truck is likely to be close by. That’s why I’ve always kept a small aid pack tied to the back of my head rest.
It’s a very visible spot that anyone looking in my truck can see, and it’s never under anything or hiding in a trunk. It’s up high and easy to get to. I’ve used a North America Rescue Products Drop Leg pouch in that way for years, and it’s great gear, but it has some downsides. First, there’s more straps than I need that just get it the way. More important, it off takes two hands to manipulate the buckle.
I must not be the only medic or EMS professional that’s had that problem, because BLACKHAWK! has solved it. In combining their useful Go Box medical pouch with a simple hook and loop attachment base with straps, they’ve come up with their QD Vehicle Medical Bag.
Instead of having to detach buckles, once you’ve mounted the QD bag’s Velcro backing, just grab the large red loop at the top and yank.
It comes right off without much effort. The two bright red rubberized rings used to open the pouch look and feel different than anything else on the pouch, making low- or no-light opening something you won’t have to fumble with. The outside of the pouch has Velcro for your favorite medical charity patch or a high visibility reflective marker.
This isn’t a big bag by any means, and it shouldn’t be. This is a grab and go (or grab and throw) bag. It is plenty big for a couple of tourniquets, some Quick Clot, a few bandages, an occlusive dressing, and a roll of tape.
You could squeeze a scalpel, sheers, and a NPA in there as well, but not much more. And that’s fine. That’s the minimum, and frankly most, gear you’ll need to handle 90% of the penetrating trauma you’re likely to encounter, and other than spinal stabilization, most of everything else, too.
The pouch is set up with two sides, with elastic loops on both sides over two thin pockets. The pockets are perfect for reference cards, evacuation information, or hopefully for the chest seals or occlusive dressings you should have in there. I rarely use the elastic loops in a bag this size, I’d rather just throw the few items in and use it as one big opening. Those of you with more OCD tendencies than experience will want to have everything secured in its place, and the bag has you covered there as well.
I also love the way they’ve mounted the three straps included with the backing. It has both vertical and horizontal strips, effectively MOLLE that you can pass the straps through. I hang mine behind the passenger head rest, but looking around the truck, there are quite a few places I could stow it. A Jeep or ATV would have a dozen such spots.
The great thing is that the straps aren’t sewn in, they’re just run through the loops. So if I only need one strap, and I only need one strap, I can just pull out the others and use them for something else. I can secure the pouch where it needs to be and I don’t have extra loops or straps hanging on anything.
I’ve been running around with the QD pouch for a few weeks now, yanking it on and off the truck to test the hook and loop as well as its general toughness of the construction. I’m absolutely sold. I’ve got one, and I intent to buy another one as well. I’ve worked a few hundred traumatic patients in the field that it is very rare that you are truly acting alone, and the “Grab and Throw” model is extremely helpful. Plus, two is one, and one is none, when it comes to anything you bet a life on.
BLACKHAWK! QD Vehicle Medical Pouch
– Mounts to most automobile headrests and some visors
– Quick detach feature for instant removal
– Loop panel on front of pouch allows attachment of hook-back ID patches
– Made of 500D nylon and YKK zippers
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall * * * * *
I bought my first BLACKHAWK! bag from Ranger Joe’s outside of Fort Benning on Family Day just before graduation from Basic. My next BLACKHAWK! bag was issued to me, their S.T.O.M.P. and then S.T.O.M.P. II medical bags. They have always held up extremely well in some of the most hazardous places in the world. This little QD Vehicle Pouch is better suited for my every day missions now, but it’s built just as thoughtfully and durably. At $41.95, this is an easy buy for me.