Not too long ago TTAG posted a review of the Five Best AR-15 Rifle Slings. I was glad to see the Vickers Sling among them, and dissapointed to see that the Viking Tactics sling didn’t make the list. The comments included some good discussion about single-point and two-point slings, and I noted that I use both for different applications. Then I got the word that one of my favorite companies, Fighter Design USA, actually produced a lightweight sling that quickly converts back and forth from a single-point to a two-point configuration. So I got one . . .
For those of you who have never heard of them, that’s understandable. They make a lot of products specifically at the request of the Special Operations Community and they also own Combat K-9, but haven’t really focused much on the civilian market. I know about them from seeing their Airflow pants at SHOT Show a couple of years ago. Folks, I don’t have any other way to say it, but if you are out in the heat, these pants will change your life. They cool you better than shorts. I don’t undersand it. It might be witchcraft. But that’s the way it is.
And then I found their Magnetic Retrofit Kit which is quite possibly the smartest thing I’ve seen in decades. It’s one of those inventions where you look at it and slap your head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that”.
As for the Featherlight sling, I’m once again impressed by the workmanship, as well as the just plain “no corners cut” quality of what I see from Fighter Design. There is no groundbreaking technology here. I mean come on, it’s a sling, but it is well thought out and has everything. Note the “2 is one and 1 is none” design here.
The sling has fastex style buckles on both sides of the pad for easy on-off to anything. If I still had my old IBA on and wanted to attach the rifle directly to a fastex hook on the shoulder of my armor, I could and still have the function of a two-point if I wanted to sling it across myself later. Or I can just use the fastex buckles to get it off without taking it over my head.
Also, there are two strap buckles on each side. That’s a big help for strap end managment, but also great for redundancy. What if a buckle breaks? On this sling…so what? You’ve got another one on that side and two more on the other.
Adam Slank, the chief designer/mad scientist at Fighter Design, cut his teeth on parachute design, and you really see that level of redundancy here. But it doesn’t come at the cost of weight. The entire sling weighs less than 100 grams. That has to make it one of the lightest, if not the lightest sling on the market.
Finally, my sling came with an Impact Weapons Components Mount-N-Slot Direct Attach Mount. That little gizmo allows the Fighter Design sling to convert from a one-point to a two-point sling almost instantly. Moreover, because the sling adjusts both front and rear, I can, with the pull of a strap end, switch the single point from hovering high on my chest to hanging closer to my hip. This little device is a great additon to any two-point sling, but really works well on Fighter’s product.
The only downside to the sling is that there’s isn’t a lot of padding. The pad is quite wide, which helps a lot more than any actual padding itself, but if I was going to roll around with a 20″ Larue Tactical OBR and no body armor, I might opt for something with a little more cusion. I’d more likely just find a thicker cusion that I could snap into the rest of the sling, or get a biathlon style sling like I use for my heavier bolt guns.
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall: * * * * *
All and all, a simple design, executed well, with exceptional construction. And surprisingly innexpensive at $29 a sling. I’ll be swapping out most of my slings with this one.